+quot;Recording Electric Bass+quot; _ CompuServe MIDIMusic Forum Discussion Fm BEEMAN STRO

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

"Recording Electric Bass" ______________________________________________ CompuServe MIDI/Music Forum Discussion Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: All Does anyone have a good experience in recording a nice, round, fat, punchy electric bass that comes through the mix with all of its frequency ranges, and doesn't get muddy on the bottom? I would love to hear some ideas for a project I am working on. I have used a direct box DI's into the board, and I have run it through an Aphex exiter, used heavy EQ and other things, but it just isn't right. I have tried it through a Roland GP8 guitar processor which is ok. I have a BBE Sonic Maximizer, but I haven't tried that yet. I am thinking about getting a Sans Amp GT2 and give it a try?? I have a nice Kubicki bass with active electronics, and I have now changed the strings which seems to help alot. Thanks to any one for ideas and success stories. Fm: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 Take a feed from the DI and run it through something with tubes in it. We used to mix a clean DI signal with one that went through a Mesa Boogie. I like to also run a bass through a Boogie Mark II--it's hell on 12" speakers, but it gives a nice, round sound to the bass. The Sans Amp Bass DI is a good product for the money, but I still like tubes for presence on electric strings. I've used a Blue Tube with some success. When I get to work in the big studios, I like to use an old Pultec. Anything to warm up the electronics and give the bass some personality. Fm: Steve Landay 71652,3456 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) I've been playing bass for a while and I've found that the best way to record is to start with a good sounding quality bass. Kubicki is a quality bass, and with fresh strings and all tone controlls set flat, you should be getting the best sound from the _instrument_ while going direct to the board or tape or whatever. (I plug direct almost every time, except for a little compression here and there.) But since your not happy with the sound, and you've tried tweeking it almost every way possible, It seems that it's the _basses_ sound your not happy with. Getting a good sound should be easy, and with out the need for all kinds of outboard gear. I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with your bass, just that _it's_ sound may not be what your after. IMO, the sound starts with the instrument. Fm: James Port -Sysop 76702,1133 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) Are you able to get the bass sounding alright when it is all by itself? If not, you need to do something about the actual sound of the bass, and it really won't be a process of the mix. OTOH, if it sounds fine until you try to mix it in with the other instruments in the track, you have a different problem. My suggestion is to make sure you leave enough room for it in your mix. If you have too much lower end in the drum kit it is going to mask the bass until you turn it up too much. What helped me was to remember drums are 99% attack. The ring isn't all that important and can get in the way of other things in the mix. Another thing that helped a lot was to turn up the bass guitar if there wasn't enough, not the bass frequencies. Fm: Michael Sole 76300,3351 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) I'm sorry but I have know direct experience with good bass recordings. All my bass sounds are synth generated. But i have recently been doing a lot of research on the subject. H&SR (this months issue) talks about EQ'ing techniques that might be helpful. Some of the basics are run your bass through a compressor with little or no reverb and perhaps a little chorusing. Boost the low end EQ, but not to low or your sound will get muddy. Possibly nothing below 100k. A good bass and good playing helps :-). I don't know if I would run it through an aphex. I think it would add harmonics, and harmonics adding in that range might come off as muddy. The BBE might work better, I use it for vocals (it does a nice job on this one really bassy voice over guy I use). Remeber these are just some tips I have received and I am only now experiementing with them (as a few people recently said I lack serious bass in my mixes). I think a direct box is the way to go, you probably wouldn't want to pick up any room as it would turn muddy and flat. I have heard the Sans Amp on guitars and it does an amazing job, I wonder if its as good on basses. Fm: Jeremy Roberts 72630,2350 To: Michael Sole 76300,3351 (X) FYI, when producing the Will Lee bass libraries, we used next to NO EQ... The secret of recording bass... well, get a good bass and a good player and then shut up and make sure tape's rolling and you're in record before he starts playing! Fm: Michael Sole 76300,3351 To: Jeremy Roberts 72630,2350 (X) Good bass, good musician, absolutely! My understanding though was he needed help punching it out from the mix. Now I most certainly am not any sort of bass expert. In fact I will so I know almost nothing about recording real basses. But recently I have found the bass on my recordings lacking in something, now since I use synth generated bass sounds, I try to treat it as if they were real and approach it like that. So I have been researching some of the possibilities regarding bass sounds and how to make them sound better and those suggestions are what I had come up with (to date). I hope I made myself clear on that. Anyway, most sounds that are recorded go down dry or with a minimal EQ. Any prossecesing is done in the mix. Do you have any suggestions on how to get good (not muddy) bass sounds to jump out in the mix? Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 (X) Thanks for the tips. I am trying the Sans Amp DI now so I'll let you know how it performs. I will also try the BBE, the Aphex and the plane old direct box with a little compression. I get a pretty good sound from my Peavey Mega Bass, but I don't think it is a tube system and it's a pain to lug around. I guess I should try it. Also, I can go from the DI to the Roland GP8 which is a tube system. I'll try that with just a touch of overdrive. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Steve Landay 71652,3456 (X) Thanks for the tips. I get a pretty good sound from my Peavey Mega Bass, but I don't think it is a tube system and it's a pain to lug around. I guess I should try it. Also, I'll try a DI into the Roland GP8 which is a tube system and see what happens. As you say, the sound is good from a bass rig, but it just doesn't come through round and fat on tape and through the studio monitors (or typical stereo speakers). Do you achieve that transition with just a DI? Mine lacks presence. It just doesn't sound like I'm playing in the room. It can be done though, because I have heard wonderful fat bass recordings, and from project studios, too. I just need to figure out how to get it. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Michael Sole 76300,3351 (X) Thanks for the tips. I am trying the Sans Amp DI now so I'll let you know how it performs. I will also try the BBE, the Aphex and the plane old direct box with a little compression. I get a pretty good sound from my Peavey Mega Bass, but I don't think it is a tube system and it's a pain to lug around. I guess I should try it. What do you use for compression. I have a DBX 166 that kicks in at about 0 Db set to 6:1. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) try compression or limiting followed by EQ. Try heavy compression; try light compression. Try cutting anywhere in between 100 and 800 (depends on the bass) to help bring out the 400-1k range. Often, setting a narrow BOOST and sweeping up will allow you to quickly find "honking" frequencies; when you find one, just twist the parametric from Boost to Cut. Don't add in the 2k-4k range, it won't much help. Don't add too much below 60; you can try taking a fairly narrow, deep notch staring about 20 Hz and sweeping upward until the "mud" vanishes. Mix an amp and a DI. I used to run a Tele Bass (with a REALLY bassy Fender Hum-sucker pickup) thru a Vibro-Champ miked in a iso booth to get a gutty but not overwhelming tubed out sound. Mix the sound of 2 amps. Use a pick. Use sticky foam rubber to dampen the strings at the bridge (vintage Fender trick). Run thru an active crossover and EQ/limit the highs and lows separately (or take the lows from an amp and the highs direct, or vice versa) Close-mike the body of the bass for added noises (or tape on a PZM). After the track is cut, key a ducker off the kick drum to hide the bass just a shade when the kick happens. Play a simpler bass part that locks with kick & snare. All of the above. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: Michael Sole 76300,3351 (X) << Boost the low end EQ, but not to low or your sound will get muddy. Possibly nothing below 100k. >> Indeed. Boost only above 100k but be careful of your ears. Fm: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) I have a GP8 and it's *not* a tube system. Are we talking about the same thing? A 1-space FX processor? Does Roland make two things called the GP8? Fm: Jeremy Roberts 72630,2350 To: Michael Sole 76300,3351 (X) > any suggestions on how to get good (not muddy) bass sounds to jump out in the mix? A little compression and don't be afraid to turn it up. If the part is right and well played, then the sound of the instrument should come through... We recorded about 60 hours of Will and we really didn't do anything to it... DI, a little compression a tiny bit of EQ.... nothing significant. His basses sound great... make sure the strings are fresh, etc... Other than that, I really don't have any tricks excpet to let the player make the sound when tracking. Fm: Barry F. Hall 71564,134 To: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 (X) >>I've used a Blue Tube with some success. Who makes that? Fm: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 To: Barry F. Hall 71564,134 (X) Mine says "B.K. Butler" and "Tube Works". Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 (X) Those are some great ideas on recording bass. I have been taking a heavy cut at about 350 Hz and boosting at 10k and 50 Hz if you can believe it. Everything I have done has been DI'd. I'll take a swing at miking the amp, and mix that with the DI to see what happens. sounds like fun. What kind of mike and placement. Perhaps a 421 or 441? I hope so, because that's all I have of dynamics. I also have pzm's and several condensers like the 414 which is my best. I also have a SAS P stereo mike but I guess any "room" is undesirable. Nice idea on sweeping upward to find the "honking". I'll let you know later. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 (X) Maybe I am wrong. The GP8 is a one rack space guitar processor with 8 banks each of 8 presets, each of which can have a chain of Distortion, Overdrive, Chorus, etc. I was told that the Roland GP8 is a tube based processor, and that is why it was much more popular than its successor, the GP16, which was digital??? I haven't opened it up for a "tube inspection". You think I won't find anything but a bunch of chips? Thanks for the comment. Maybe I am set straight. It does a pretty good job of sounding like a tube, don't you think? Fm: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) Yep, I still have my GP-8, but I wouldn't mind having the GP-16 also . I usually go through the GP-8 into a Boogie and mike that. I do think it's a bunch of chips--want to put up a small wager? ;-) Fm: Michael Wong 71141,256 To: Jeremy Roberts 72630,2350 (X) Was Will's bass a Sadowsky? That thing's preamp needs no EQ. On the other hand the Kubicki's preamp should also provide enough shaping to get a good sound DI. My '72 P-bass sounds great through a tube amp, but through a GK, Trace, or most mixing boards I've been through it sounds like crap (To me.. My producer loved the sound, and so forever was I immortilized.) Maybe it is in the perception? Fm: Michael Wong 71141,256 To: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 (X) I'd like to add I've used felt picks in those situations where a pick was called for. They seem to give a nice thick thump. Don't last long and make fuzzies all over the place. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) the answer on miking is: "whatever works and sounds good". The all-time killer bass osund has got to be on Public Image Ltd's METAL BOX. My understanding is that this was direct and also room miked (an Ampeg SVT). Moving the mic around to influence the blend of DI and amp is much preferred to trying to fix the blend with EQ. A 421 would probably sound good. I've never used a 441 on bass. Mainly SM57s and once in a while a Neumann (in the iso booth with the tiny fender amp: what a HUGE sound when the mic's positioned right). Oh, I gues McCartney used to run DI and Fender Bassman on their studio stuff. A PZM on a large flat surface (wall? 4x4 plywood?) might make a great mic. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: Michael Wong 71141,256 (X) Ahh. Last time I saw a felt pick was when I had an Autoharp (long since vanished). I have an aluminum (med) and brass (heavy) pick but if I need a pick I like thins. Of course they break but I play quite hard. Whatever happened to those fossilized stone picks? Fm: Christopher L. Callahan 72762,600 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) It may be analog rather than digital in the preamp, but not tubes certainly. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 (X) First, I am trying all kinds of DI to find the best, e.g., Direct Box with compression, a SansAmp DI, and the Roland GP8. Then I think I will take the best of those and mix it with my Peavy Mega Base, which I understand is not a tube amp, but it's all I've got. I'll try miking the Peavy with a 441 close and perhaps at the same time, I'll face it toward the wall with a PZM and see which mike sounds the best. Or maybe I should put the PZM on the floor?? Lastly, what about the Peavy preamp out or line level main out for another DI to try?? Thanks for the ideas. I've never been satisfied with my bass sound in ten years, and it is so important. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 (X) Let me have a close look at it, then I'll wager. Fm: K.K. Proffitt -Sysop 76711,555 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) No fair! Fm: Dave Nutzell 71422,2004 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) Plug that Factor into a Hartke 210 combo mike dwith an AKG D-112. I did, and you won't believe the results. it's a real fat, warm sound, and the combination of the Factor's crispness, the hartke's bite and the D-112's presence peak really let it cut through. (Even my band's horn section). Have fun. Fm: Barry F. Hall 71564,134 To: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 (X) >>Last time I saw a felt pick was when I had an Autoharp.. Yep, that's what they're made for. But they do work well with bass guitar. I also use them with violin...anything else will trash the strings. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) << Lastly, what about the Peavy preamp out or line level main out for another DI to try?? >> Try it . I usually use an old Ashly 4 channel mono keyboard mixer for my bass: it has a balanced DI output; and in the channel fx loop I patch a dbx 163x limiter. Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Dave Nutzell 71422,2004 (X) Thanks Dave, Unfortunately, I don't have access to that equipment, but I can put it on my much-too-long wish list. Fm: Michael Wong 71141,256 To: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 (X) >> I have an aluminum (med) and brass (heavy) pick but if I need a pick I like thins. Of course they break but I play quite hard. Whatever happened to those fossilized stone picks? << I can't afford to keep replacing strings with metal picks... I think those stone picks ended up being earrings on one of my old girlfriends. Either that or ended up embedded in the back wall at some of the old places I used to play. Fm: Michael Wong 71141,256 To: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 (X) >> Plug that Factor into a Hartke 210 combo mike dwith an AKG D-112. I did, and you won't believe the results. it's a real fat, warm sound, and the combination of the Factor's crispness, the hartke's bite and the D-112's presence peak really let it cut through. (Even my band's horn section). Have fun. << Hmm. I didn't realize it was a Factor. I seem to remember they were sort of cold when they came out. Then the guy in Power Station got a good sound out of his for that album they did. You might try a Trace Tube preamp DI. They would give that bass quite a bit of character and warmth. Trace Elliots work well with modern basses, they can get noisy so if you manage this, be careful. Also, I don't know about the Hartke combo, but the solid state SWRs have a good funky live sound. Can't vouch for it DI though. If you find a Goliath cabinet, play with the l-pad for that tweeter when you mike it. have fun! Fm: Jeremy Roberts 72630,2350 To: Michael Wong 71141,256 (X) Yeah, Will recorded the Sadowsky.... AND 10 other basses for the library... Here's the list: Sadowsky 4 Sadowsky 5 stock 1963 P-bass (red) Hofner Beatle bass Pedulla 8-string Hamer 12-string APX 4-string Martin acoustic 4-string (fretted) Yamaha 5 string acoustic (fretless) Fender Jazz (fretless) Spector 4-string etc.... Will has this cool rack of instruments on his wall.... Fm: BEEMAN STRONG 72777,1354 To: Michael Wong 71141,256 (X) Thanks for the ideas. Yes a Kubicki Bass is often known as a Factor -- maybe made by Factor, I don't know. Great Bass though. I'll try the Peavy Mega Bass first since it is what I've got. Beyond that, I'll go begging for more toys. Fm: Craig O'Donnell [ZMac] 72511,240 To: Michael Wong 71141,256 (X) yeh, the metal picks are just an historical footnote at this point. >< X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: The NIRVANAnet(tm) Seven & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Taipan Enigma 510/935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408/363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510/527-1662 Lies Unlimited Mick Freen 801/278-2699 The New Dork Sublime Biffnix 415/864-DORK The Shrine Rif Raf 206/794-6674 Planet Mirth Simon Jester 510/786-6560 "Raw Data for Raw Nerves" X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank