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Bass Related Question

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Voiceofallanger, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Ok so here's my dilemma.

    So I'm EQing things on my track and I tend to roll of a lot of the bassy muddy frequency ... Which is pretty standard as far as I'm aware.

    But I have one guy saying to me "Oh no don't roll off that much below 100hz on your bass guitar and kick drum, you'll lose all the subs"

    and another guy saying "Naw it's ok.. It'll clean up your sound if you do that."

    I tended to roll of QUITE a lot of bass below 100 hz very steeply but I'm not sure who to believe. I mean I'm reasonably happy with the sound I get out of the blow standard setup I have but I'm always looking to correct the things I'm doing wrong.. OBVIOUSLY

    Can anyone shed some light on this for me ? I still have a lot to learn in this department.

    Thanks guys, appreciated as always, don't know what I'd do without recording.org!
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Hello V
    It is quite amazing how much bass you have to take out of a bass recording to fit well in a mix.
    The bass track soloed sounds rather thinly, sometimes, by itself.
    But you have to tweak/EQ the sound of Bass Drum and Bass to give them their own little space in a mix, even if a 5-string goes down to almost 30 Hz.
    Otherwise it will sound muddy and boomy and... gives you trouble when finalizing or mastering. There would be too much energy in the low end that nobody needs. You can work the lower bass guitar sound with a multiband compressor to get some control over it, if necessary.
    As to the bass players, and I am one as well, .. He should listen to the complete mix and decide then, if there is low end missing from his instrument. Mostly not ;-)
    After all, it is the complete works that get on CD and not a single instrument. If you have a bass solo in the song you can always give it a fuller sound on an extra track with a nice fade in and out to soften the threshold.

    If they don't believe you, bend a little forewards to the bass player and tell him that you have so much experience and he is full of ... just a little bit nicer...
  3. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Hahahahaha ok thanks man :p Sounds good to me ;)
  4. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    George Martin once said "Roll off 100Hz on any instrument that doesn't have the word "bass" in it's name."

    So I roll of 100Hz on everything except bass guitar and bass drum. No 100hz or below on Vox, guitars, synth, organs, Rhodes, or anything else. It does clear up my mixes a lot because these instruments have nothing of value below 100Hz. There are exceptions: an instrument playing solo (say, in the song's introduction) may need all it's frequencies to sound right. In that case, I use automation to fade the 100Hz out when other instruments come in.

    Another exception may be when it's only a couple of instruments playing, say, an acoustic guitar and a voice, like The Beatles "Blackbird". I haven't recorded that song, but I'd say be careful about rolling off the guitar since there, basically, is no bass in the song. YMMV.

    Hope this helps!

    EDIT: Well, BigK said all of this another way. I should refresh the page more often!

    I find that if I take some some of the very-low freqs on bass guitar, I can turn the bass guitar up and hear it better in the mix. Works for me.
  5. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Hummm .... most interesting :) Thanks Jonn :)!

    Btw. Congratulations in making it into the next round of the ADL 600 comp. I'm stuck in the eliminations and I don't think I'm going to make it. Only Dave voted for me so far LOL :D

    Go team me. But yeah, props for writing such a cool tune ! :D
  6. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Thanks! It's thrilling and nerve racking! Go team me! If I win I'll publish numerous reports about it.

    And love it and squeeze it and call it George. ;)
  7. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    George is a good name for a pre-amp... or anything production related.. :p Apparently George Martin is proof to that ;) That guy is a genius!!! GENIUS!
  8. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Great idea! If I win I'll tape a photo of George Martin to it, take a photo of that and send it to him with my homage! NEATO!
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I tend to take care of this matter at tracking. I'm very much in the school of cut below 100hz if it aint called bass.....(hard to say with a clipped British accent). At mix, I'll use a parametric EQ on the bass and kick if they need a bit of propping up and will put a tiny, very tight bell in their boost a few hz apart below 100, The trick is to get these points harmonically correct for the key of the song and the need to get these to stick out as well as 'Who's on top'.
  10. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Well I'm quite thankful that this thread has basically said that ... All of you do it in similar ways to me.. So now things are much much clearer for me.

    Thank you everyone for your ever helpful responses .. This is a lot more easy for me to grasp now.

    Cheers a bunch! :)
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    That'll be 5 bucks.....
  12. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Oh Dave :p

    How about I pay you nothing.. and YOU teach me how to play banjo.. I think that's a better deal ;) :D

    For me of course.. muwahahaha..
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The other day I stopped by a bar to have a little drink after band practice. I had my banjo with me and didnt want to take it in so I left it in the car. After two or three rounds I decided it was time to go, so I went out to get in my car. I could see from several yards away that something was wrong, and when I got to it, I found that the back window had been broken out. This happened the last time I had stopped after band rehearsal only this time they had left THREE banjos instead of two.........

    Substitute: for banjo= accordian, trombone, bagpipe, bassoon, etc etc...
  14. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Paddle faster, Daddy, I hear banjo music!"
  15. jonbuilds

    jonbuilds Active Member

    The ultimate arbiter of what sounds good is you, your ears, your judgment, your aesthetic. Read a lot, hear a lot, learn a lot, try more. Roll it off lower. Roll it higher. Roll everything, roll one thing, step on the mic stand while rolled off and not...see what it all does...THE ONLY MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE IS LEAVING YOUR GEAR OUT IN THE RAIN!:tongue: (yup, I did it) Well, there may be others...ok getting serious again:

    Wynton Marsalis has spoken in the past about learning jazz. In essence he says "learn everything there is to learn, practice until technique is 2nd nature, then forget it all and play." I may be doing that very talented musician a disservice with my lame quoting, but you get the idea!
  16. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    Haha. I agree Jon. The main reason I asked this is because my monitors are not very good and so I have trouble hearing major differences at those frequencies. So I thought I'd ask for the "done thing" if you like :)

    Just looking to learn new stuff really !
  17. jonbuilds

    jonbuilds Active Member

    That reminds me of the whole idea that no matter what gear you own, you need to "learn" your gear. Generally, no matter how good or bad your gear is, it gives you the sound in some form that will give you enough information to know how your mix will sound everywhere else. I'm sure you know this already, but make sure you spend time listening to your mixes on many different sound systems, big and small. Adjust mix accordingly!

    Good luck!
  18. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    And listen to pro-made CD's on your system, too. Lots of engineers use "Abbey Road" because of it;s wide array of sounds, etc.
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Peter Gabriels "So"..Steely Dan's "AJA"...Led Zepplin's first....I prefer The Beatles " Rubber Soul" for the sound. Its a bit more raw. You can really hear the studio.
  20. Voiceofallanger

    Voiceofallanger Active Member

    I have learnt my system. But it doesn't have the frequency response that I need. That's the trouble. It's not that I'm not making the most of what I've got it's that the frequency isn't there for me to judge. Hehehehe so I just roll it off in case :p

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