Bass guitar dull (and a few more ?'s)

Discussion in 'Bass' started by z120129, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. z120129

    z120129 Guest

    I just got finished tracking a rock band. I recorded the bass guitar straight into a direct inject pre on my Firepod, into my computer. compared to other bassists i have recorded, his sound was really dull. i know his guitar wasn't top of the line, and his playing lacked some technique. I dont play any string instruments, so i couldnt really suggest anything to help him. First question: is there a book that i could buy/check out that is a "producers guide to popular instrument technique" that could give me just a little bit of technique understanding on a couple of the most popularly recorded instruments. Tuning drums, tuning guitars, coaxing a good vocal performance (i know there is quite a bit on this one) and stuff like that is what im looking for. Also, now that i am done recording him (and it wouldnt be possible to get him in to re-record) what kind of DSP can i perform to maybe make his sound more...bigger? It seems that his attack is really low, when i think there should be a definite start to the note. And last, are there any plugins/ effects that you regularly use to enhance the bass sound? (like should i compress the bass?) Thanks!
  2. Music_Junky

    Music_Junky Active Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Reykavik Iceland
    Browse the site! the best book I've found.
  3. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    If it’s muddy try cutting a bit around 250Hz
    If you want more bottom try a bit of a boost around 60-100 Hz
    I find nice definition comes out if you boost 500Hz,
    For attack add a bit 4-8KHz.

    Of course try compression; a nice Artifact compressor will work here. If you’re using Cubase-try the puncher plug.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    A couple of elementary things. He may need new strings, especially if he's using round wounds. Sometimes people with bad bass or guitar technique will roll off highs to "cover" their mistakes. Have him increase the highs on his tone control. Tell him it's easier for you to pull them out than to put them back in.
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Good advice on the strings, this may be the problem right there. Also, keep in mind that while compression is often used on bass (especially a less-than-smooth player), it is very easy for that to "dullen" the tone. This is more apparent on hardware compressors that aren't properly set regarding ratio and time constants.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I have recorded some really awful sounding bass guitars. I never found out whether it was bad strings or just awful pickups along with bad technique?

    When they sound like mud, without any balls, bounce or definition, I'll generally limit them heavily with quite a slow attack and quite a fast release. Then I will follow that with some dicey midrange boost and some high pass filtering. I found that this helps make the bass sound more aggressive and punchy with plenty of transients from the slow attack time and quite dense, from the fast release time.

    Now this won't necessarily give you a good sounding bass but it will give you a bass that can cut through the mix, stay where it needs to stay, if they can play worth a damn?

    Crunch crunch
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. The coolest plug-in for this in the world is the ampeg svx- I use this on ALL bass guitar recordings, regardless of how they came in (direct, mic, etc.) Go check it out. You will not be dissapointed.
  8. No surprise that Remyrad recorded awful sounding bass guitars- she doesn't know what the hell she's doing!! Just another wannabe.
  9. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    I generally track bass guitars with 2 paths: a klark-teknik direct box and into my Sebatron VMP2000VU.

    MC2000, PSP VW, LA2A and Q10 have provided me fine results even with dull sounds.

    with 2 tracks you may even make a crossovr where one track provides you with most low end and the other one, with the pick attack/air.

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