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good bass recording

Member for

21 years 2 months
Hi,
I have finished tracking drums for a project recently with some really good results. In anticipation of recording the bass guitar tracks, I thought I might ask for some advice. In the past I've had some good results with recording the bass guitar, hit the solo button and it sounds great but at mixdown, It seems like I have to EQ the poop out of it to get rid of mud. I will be recording a Fender 70's Jazz bass, and will be tracking with my DAW. Any advice on recording and getting a good bass sound to tape{disk}. thanks

Comments

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 12/16/2001 - 07:37
I'm not an expert, but I am a bass player - so here's my 2 cents...

To me, the bass can really make or break a mix. When I have to make a lot of low cuts, it really starts to ruin the tone of the bass. I starting to error more on the side of less low end and add a little boost later if it's needed.

Personally I try to get my bass sitting nicely in the mix while I'm tracking, which is mainly a combination of compression and big cuts in the 200hz range.

If you get your bass "sound" while it's soloed, the temptation is to cover the entire freq spectrum, and to really feel things move, like it would from a bass amp - but that means mucho trouble later on, as they're be no room left for anything else.

:)

Member for

20 years 9 months

drumsound Sun, 12/16/2001 - 20:19
I like to mic the amp/cabinet and use a dirrect box. I usually compress both signals. There are many cool mics for bass: Beyer M380, AKG D112, AT 4050, Sennheiser 421. I just used an active DI that I forgot I had and it sounded very cool with the Drawmer 1969 pre/comp. Give each it's own track and you’ll have more to work with later.

Also, don't do major tone-shaping in solo! Listen in context. You and the artists are the only people who will ever hear the tracks soloed. Use solo to set levels and if you're having trouble finding an out of control frequency.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 12/17/2001 - 07:58
Fender Jazz? Roll off all the bottom on the bass, go into a passive direct box w/transformer adjust the volume on the bass to saturate the transformer, and voila' a grindy bass sound. Finger style only. If it is a slapping style this is not the way to go.

The DI / Amp thing is good with this as well.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Mon, 12/17/2001 - 11:36
Mic your cab & run a direct line onto 2 seperate tracks. I have had good luck miking in 2 places using an AKG D12 for bottom & a Senn 421 or 441 for clarity. Bus the 2 mics together & blend to taste as you go to "tape".
I compress to tape slightly and EQ so that all strings are full & clear. Active DIs work well on bass.

When you mix, you can adjust mix between Mic(s) track & DI track (or just pick one or the other). It really depends on the tune & the overall sound of the song how the bass will fit into the mix. If you want your bass to "growl" a little bit, add in some 800-1KHz.

*Remember! Whatever you do to it while recording can't be undone! It's best to get it sounding good soloed while recording, then EQ it to fit in the mix.

Member for

20 years 8 months

RecorderMan Mon, 12/17/2001 - 11:50
Record a DI and Amp if you can. Try NO compression when recording. SVT's for amp are great. Move cabinet around & change orientation of said cab. w/room untill it sounds. Close and ambient mics (ambient mic sounds good above cab. A good blend of DI and well recorded Amp/Cab/Room has controlled dynamics and air. When mixing try the ol' Geoff Emerick "trick" of mixing the track without the Bass, and HPF all things possible..then adding bass towards the end of mixdown.

Member for

20 years 6 months

faganking Wed, 12/19/2001 - 14:51
Hey,
Try this...c'mon...try it!

Bass drum EQ:
+9db 60hz 1.0Q
-12db 265hz 1.9Q
+2db 5.4khz 1.9Q

Bass guitar EQ:
+2db 80hz
+3db 200hz
-6db 1khz (this is the band to mess with. Boosting 6db will give you more twang).

I believe it is a mistake to cut the Bass guitar at 200hz. Cut all of the boxiness out of the bass drum between(250>600hz) and then fill that hole with the bass.
My .02cents as they say.
Benjy

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Wed, 12/19/2001 - 19:25
Originally posted by Benjy King:
Hey,
Try this...c'mon...try it!

Bass drum EQ:
+9db 60hz 1.0Q
-12db 265hz 1.9Q
+2db 5.4khz 1.9Q

Bass guitar EQ:
+2db 80hz
+3db 200hz
-6db 1khz (this is the band to mess with. Boosting 6db will give you more twang).

Benjy


Always seems curious when anyone can make such precise recommendations without regard to which specific EQ (brand of outboard, console, plug-in) on what kind of bass (specific axe, amp/DI?) and what micing scheme on the kick. And is this a recommendation for one particular style or all styles of music?

I know the way I mic stuff and with the gear i use, I could never get away with a 9 db bump at 60 hz. If I played it in my car, I wouldn't have windows left. I won't argue that it may work well with your particular set-up and equipment, but I'm curious if you find your mixes translate well with all that extra bottom when you take them off your nearfields to other places? Maybe you should think about getting a subwoofer! :)
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