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Double tracking bass-Any thoughts?

Discussion in 'Bass' started by jm2, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    I know that guitar is sometimes double tracked (what I understand as recording the same part twice) to fill out the sound or add a kind of chorus effect. Is this commonly done on bass as well?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I can tell you that I've regularly added some light stereo chorusing to bass tracks. Really makes it bigger & stereo. You'll probably also want some limiting before doing that since it can causes some real wide level excursions as the frequencies beat. So, limit, then chorusing on an effects send keeping the bass Mono centered & effects coming back left & right, with the mix control set to full wet. This is applicable in software or hardware applications. Doubling the bass? Why, sure, but put some time delay in the order of a few milliseconds and mix it in, so that it does not get "phasey" sounding. If you double the part too exactly it will just sound plain weird. If you do that? You may want to pan them hard left & right?

    And if the bass sounds like crap through an amplifier? Chances are it's a crappy sounding bass and you won't be able to make it much better sounding. It's amazing how many bass players have awful sounding bases. I even had a friend tell me her Paul Reid Smith active bass, had broken passive pickups.....???? I asked her if she ever changed the battery in her 10 years of ownership?....."battery?" Yup, you guessed it. Passive pickups don't break but active pickups do when the battery goes dead, 10 years earlier. Knowing that was a common occurrence with many, I was EVER READY with the DURACELL, after cleaning up the control room with the RAY-O-VAC. We toasted the completion of the album with a shot of NICKEL CADMIUM, but only after she took her LITHIUM, so as not to be over CARBONATED.

    Just my nickel hydride's worth.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    As Remy says, it's something you can try, but at least to my knowledge it's not all that common.

    Much more common is/was doubling a bass and guitar. "Tic-tac" bass - in which a bass a baritone guitar (usually a Dano) are doubled - was used a lot on country records in the 50's. For bass and guitar doubled check out Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn on Albert King's Born Under A Bad Sign.
  4. jm2

    jm2 Active Member

    Thanks again. I am recording the bass direct as I do not have a good amp at present. My first try was O.K., but perhaps lean on sonic character (direct to Firebox). I then rediscovered my ADA MP1 preamp, and it does a nice job of adding some meat to the bass. I think I'll single track the bass.

    RemyRAD, is that light stereo you mention true stereo from the bass, or a plug-in stereo effect? My CubaseLE4 has a stereo emulator, but I have not used it too much yet.
  5. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    ^^ If you read carefully, you'll see that she said a light stereo chorus. LE4 has the Choirus plugin, which will suit your needs, or you can use a tiny bit of pitch shift, which I always found to be the most satisfactory light chorus. Mono, in that case, of course.
  6. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Another tactic is to double the bass with delay and pan the dry and delay signals to taste, reduces the potential for frequency beating.
  7. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    I've done it a few times, nothing wrong with it, try it...

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