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How to get that nice thick sound W/O the mud

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Moxioron, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    Hi all.

    I am working on some songs that have a lot of high gain guitar tracks and I also want to bring out the bass. However, I am having some trouble getting around the muddy sound.

    Any ideas or techniques that bring out the bass guitar and high gain guitar with out them sounding to 'muddy' post recording?

    Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    roll of the lower frequiences on the guitars (everything below say 300hz ) but maybe post a clip.
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    To get more bass, you need less bass and some limiting. I generally don't add bass to bass guitars unless it's a crappy sounding bass. Of course if your chainsaw electric guitars are rich, too rich in bass, it's fighting the electric bass. So either choose one from column A or one from column B. I have a motorcycle, a van & a big truck. I can only drive one at a time. Although I can put the motorcycle in the big truck. I can't put the van in the big truck nor can I put the motorcycle in the van. Catch 22? Welcome to life and recordings.

    One of the things that does work to make the bass more obvious is to add second harmonic distortion to it. Don't have any second harmonic distortion handy? OK, try some third harmonic distortion. How? A little overload on an amplifier can go a long way. Not to the point where it sounds crunchy but just till it sounds a little more dense. Which is only a couple of percent of distortion not 90% distortion. But this might not be an option for you? In that respect, a little limiting and equalization might be the limit?

    One track mind.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  4. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    I totally agree Remy,
    I recently sold a late 60's Ampeg SVT with the 8x10 Cab. It was the bomb for tracking, or re micing the recorded direct signal. Depending on the amount of distortion I wanted to add, I would hot patch input 1 to input 2 and drive it a bit harder. Using a 421 or even a 57... and sometimes a large diaphram condenser ie; 87, 193, 414 etc.
    distortion is your friend when used the right way.

    Another note on your High Gain guitar tracks. Sometimes less is more with the amount of gain you use on your amp, try backing it off a bit. It can sometimes help increase the size of the guitar sound and it can sound a little less mucky.
    As for EQ, I find a lot of younger "engineers" boost to much in around 200hz, then again around 2 or 3k. If listen to bands like Queens of the Stone Age, or Clutch, and go back and listen to classic bands like Sabbath and Queen, there's a lot of info between 300 and 600hz that can make guitar tracks pop out and leave room for you Bass to be the real bottom end.

    Again,
    These are only my opinions and things I find work well for me.

    Cheers
     
  5. Halifaxsoundguy

    Halifaxsoundguy Active Member

    What about loudness? When my amps master is on 1 or 2 it sound ok, but when its on 3-5 it sounds thick and Monstrous. How would you mic the amp for capturing the later sound?

    Its weird how the same settings sound so different at different volumes.

    Also I have been listening to a metal band called soilwork lately. They have that monstrous metal sound figured out. When you examine it, you'll find its like 70% Bass and drums and 30% guitar. I find that the bass guitar sound it what makes or break this type of guitar sound.
     
  6. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    Thanks for the responses. I must admit when I read things about lower frequencies I am a little puzzled.

    Should I EQ the guitar and bass tracks and 1.) tweak the higher frequencies up a bit. 2.) make sure that the frequencies for each parameter are below 300?

    Sorry for my noobness, I have never really messed with that before.

    I just want a thick, rich sound from the bass and heavy guitar without the mud.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  7. Moxioron

    Moxioron Guest

    Thanks for the responses. I must admit when I read things about lower frequencies I am a little puzzled.

    Should I EQ the guitar and bass tracks and 1.) tweak the higher frequencies up a bit. 2.) make sure that the frequencies for each parameter are below 300?

    Sorry for my noobness, I have never really messed with that before.

    I just want a thick, rich sound from the bass and heavy guitar without the mud.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  8. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    i think the other posters covered it quite well

    1) you can cut some low frequencies from the guitars using either the eq on your amp or a hi pass filter

    2) put a little overdrive / limiter on the bass to give it more presence in the mix
     
  9. mobilelab

    mobilelab Active Member

    this is unrelated but... I checked your myspace Crankitup. I loved the tunes. If you recorded it yourselves you've done a great job.
     
  10. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Here's some disjoined comments that will hopefully confuse you all the more.

    Michealangelo is quoted as saying the sculptures were already in the marble, all he did was take away the unneeded bits. As already explained the way to get rid of the "mud" is to remove frequencies common to the guitars and bass, a case of "less is more".

    If you listen to the infamous Phil Spector "Wall of Sound" recordings each instrument and vocal part occupied its own part of the stereo and frequency spectrum.

    My personal mix method is to get the groove (drums and bass) happening. I then get the vocal(s) and leads sounding great. The rest of the parts are "supporting cast" and mixed in around the groove, vox and leads. During the entire process I bounce between two sets of monitors and between mono and stereo.

    Every talented engineer has his/her own way of working, and none of them are wrong as long as the final product is right. The key is finding the one that works for you, which can be a combination of other engineers methods or coming up with something uniquely yours.
     
  11. Crankitup

    Crankitup Guest

    hey thanks mobile. i did them all myself. i'm only a senior in highschool but music production is all i want to do
     
  12. BluesDimeBag

    BluesDimeBag Guest

    The bass guitar and the bass drum have to play off of each other.
    Listen to Eminem, he is a great producer of bass...maybe the best when it comes to piecing it together. You may have to get a midi controller and get a subwoofer type of midi sound to layer under the guitar bass. You want to retain the string sound and the punch.
    In hip hop or reggae the front of the bass sound, the attack, is taken out. All you hear is the fading, or the tail. It is classic and makes it sound as if the bass comes in at the middle of a note, the mystery lies in what is not there.
    Miles Davis' My Funny Valentine is an example of just what is needed, no more.
    Take out all you can and make use of when the bass does not sound.
     
  13. THeBLueROom

    THeBLueROom Guest

    sometimes a lot of the mud can be in the 150-400 hz range. try dipping that out ...sometimes drastically... in that realm. Make sure you don't cut it ALL though and use a mild Q when you do cut. If you recorded in a small and less than ideal environment ...this can certainly be the case. If you want that thick Soilwork tone ...don't cut everything off at 300hz, that could kill a lot of the meat of the guitar. I'd say start by cutting in the above range on the guitar and/or bass and try bus compressing the guitar and bass together... just kissing the comp tho. I'd had this work very well with some metal bands I've produced. This may not work though if the bass is doing something totally different than the guitarist though.
     

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