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[Help me]Trying to get this bass timbre

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Bertrand Batz, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Bertrand Batz

    Bertrand Batz Active Member

    May 20, 2010
    Hey guys...

    When we have lotta bass heavy guitars, how to find some space for the bass? In a songs like this REVOCATION - "Dismantle The Dictator" - YouTube , I see bass is really lacking bass, to make room for guitar to be the big boss, then it gets some more trebly metallic/stringy sound...

    Should I look for some presence range boost, and then compressing it to death? Well that's what the bass in this song sounds to me. Listen to it @ 01:15, and you get a good idea.

    The bassist wants to record it already EQ'd, so I need some background before hiting record, I'm thinking about EQ'ing it with my Yamaha 01V's built in EQ.
  2. Mirrormix

    Mirrormix Active Member

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    That song has a low tuned bass and in that mix they've decided to emphasize the ultra low frequencies of the bass guitar's tone. It's not the sort of thing that is completely audible if you're listening through speakers that don't extend very low, which might explain how it might get "lost" to some people listening. They also have recurring moments where they let the kick drum be over-emphasized for effect. At those particularly prominent kick drum parts it's very difficult to hear the bass at all. I wouldn't be surprised if they also had some kind of special processor fiddling going on with the harmonics of the bass artificially to give the impression of a deeper tone. The more treble sound that you occasionally hear is probably not much more than the sound of a pick being used to play the bass and the particular notes that are being played, as well as perhaps the addition of some extra mic-ing focused on capturing the attack of the strings (which isn't strange if you're going for that particular sound).

    Contrary to what some might have you believe there is no recipe for mixing or achieving a particular tone in diverse circumstances. You have to listen to the source you're working with and adjust towards the direction you want it to go. Should you add a boost in the "presence" range? Well that depends. What is the "presence" range for your source, in your room, with your mics and your player? That's ultimately how to effectively evaluate things. It's not like there is a universal "presence" range. The term "presence" can mean different things to different ears and even different things to the same ears on different instruments or the same instruments under different circumstances. You just need to listen and compare to the finished sound you're going for. If this song's bass guitar is what you want then I'd suggest that you play this song through your tracking monitors, in your control room space and listen closely to approximate your source with it. That could mean any type of EQ. It's impossible for anyone to accurately say based on a general description and no source to tweak.

    I think that particular EQ is digital so technically it wouldn't be getting recorded pre conversion. I tend to think that when people are talking about tracking in EQ they are referring to pre A-D conversion equalization. I can't say for certain in your case what your bassist wants. But I do know that there is something about getting things right before the converters that sounds more pleasing in the end. So if you're going to EQ on the way in you might want to add one as an insert or use an outboard channel strip that has an EQ that sounds good. You could also have EQ placed in your bass player's effects loop (if he uses one).

    Besides when the EQ would come into play the most important thing is using one that adds the kind of sound you want to hear. Honestly, I always lean towards tracking a bass through a transformer based outboard pre or D.I. that has some character to it. Then I'll actually compress the bass on the way in as well. I don't really bother too much with the EQ with the bass on the way in because I like to hear everything in context before I do that. But doing any of that stuff is all about knowing how to use your ears and outboard gear and knowing which units to choose for the sound you're looking for. There's also the topic of whether or not to track from the bass cab or line in or both and if the cab, which mic to use and all of that. It's kind of a broad topic that can't be summed up in a simple "Do this, do that and you're done" answer if we're being honest.

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