Discussion in 'Bass' started by ALAMASARESTONEHAND@YAHOO., Jul 11, 2004.

  1. I just finished a cd for a band. Every one in the group loved it except the bass player. The bass is right where it needs to be. The mix is great yet he wants more volume on the bass. He wants to hear every single note as if it were a solo track. The bass is clear and punchy, what should I tell the guy? Should I screw up the mix just to make a deaf guy happy? Do you get this crap often? I'v done about 12 albums this is a first.
  2. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    I think we know the drums can never be loud enough ;) . (Drummer here)

    I have a simular issue, and I think MY problem is getting the midrange definition that I need without overpowering the lows. My bass guitars always sound good with adequate low end, but on a bass-shy system, it dissapears. Sounds like you may have more experience than me, though.

    Tell him to compare it to one of his favorite "commercial CD'S", and see how "hot" the bass tracks are on that CD. Hopefully, he will wise up. Try to get his bandmates to assure him that the MIX is good for the BAND, and if he wants to ruin that so his bass will be a "Solo Instrument", then he needs to re-think his team-player attitude...

    Later :cool:
  3. musicalhair

    musicalhair Guest

    You can't really be expected to make everyone 100% happy, especially everyone in a band where so often they all want to hear themselves. I had to get used to the fact that when I played bass for someone that I'd not hear my bass out in front of everything and that depending on the mix I might end up buried in it.

    If I were you, I'd gauge how concerned I am about the bassist's reaction according to if he thought he was the producer, if he was the producer, or if he paid for the recording.

    If you really have to make him happy, see what is crowding the bass like the low end of the guitar or what ever is there, and cut him out of the guitar's low-mids area-- not that you can go and make all these changes now if you feel the project is done.

    If he hasn't been recorded often, then my bet is that he just has to learn to accept where the bass will end up sitting most times when he gets recorded.
  4. I think you hit the nail on the head. This was the guys second recording. The first one I did for them three years ago was a lot more over the top metal stuff. It was easy to put the bass up in the mix because it fit. The new stuff is much more mainstreem rock and a lot more vocal oriented. I revisited the mixes and tried to look for a place to scoop out of the guitars and pull him more to the front, but if just #@#$s up the overall mix. What about taking the bass and moving it left or right and the kick opposite, you know just off center a bit. I havn't tried this method before but I have read about it here several times. :cool:
  5. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    I like to do that....

    place the bass at -10 and the kick at 10...or 5..or whatever.

    Moves both from the center where the vocals lay and seperates them for clarity. You can also trigger the bass compressor with a copy of the it ducks everytime the kick hits.
  6. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I used to work for a great mix engineer in Boston years back (who happened to be a bassist). On one project, he put a doubling delay on the bass and panned each signal hard L&R. It brought it way out without having to boost levels. Hey, I'm a bassplayer too, but the music style dictates the mix, fercryinoutloud!
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I think it's a matter of deffinition, not loudness.. Did you compress the bass when tracking or mixing? Bass almost always needs compression / limiting to help it punch through the mix. I always carve a little notch arround 200 or 220 hz. with a narrow "Q", in the kick drum to make room for the bass ... I also boost a bit of the bass in that same area to make the bass stand out of small speakers. Sometimes just a touch of chorus(not enough that you can actually hear it in the mix) will add some edge to the bass and help it define well ...

    Soemtimes when bass is recorded only with a direct input, it can get lost in the mix ... if this is the case, reamp the bass through a speaker cab and mic it up with a Sennheiser 421 ... the 421 has a lot of mid punch and can help the bass define better in the mix ...

    Last, I hope you aren't one of those people who solos instruments by themselves to work on the tone .. Sometimes a really crappy tone is what works best in a mix .. Something can sound great on it's own but not define when placed in the mix .. all elements need to be listened to together. That's wht it's called "mixing" ...

    Hope that helps a bit ..
  8. No I don't work on things solo at all, well usually vocals a bit. I have allways recorded bass direct. A few years ago I tried using cabs but It didn't turn out well. Iv been a bit gun shy to go that way ever since, but Im starting to think I should record both amped and direct. It would give me a bit to play with. I read you get more punch with a cab, true or not true?
    Yes I compessed the bass slightly going in and at mixdown, not a lot but enough to tighten it up a bit and give it some punch.
    Im thinking about using a bass maximizer on the next Rock mix I do. A friend of mine has a the Waves version and It really puts the balls on the bass. What do ya'll think about those things good or bad? 8)
  9. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Do the right thing. Give them the very best mix you can obtain, then give them another $*^t ass mix the way the bass player wants it. Go on to the next project and let them argue and deal with it on their time.
  10. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Right on, AG! You can sure waste a lotta time nit picking things and not get paid. Been there many times...
  11. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    My input is this.

    Really great mixes usually have a lot of bass. Done right, it's usually up there in level right after the vocal. Small or large systems, bass should be easily heard.
  12. Recorderman Im all over that, thats the deal. The bass is right where it supose to be. He justs wants to be on top of the mix not in it. I sat and listened to each and every song and I can hear the bass as clear as a bell. He just wants it to punch holes in the mix.
    He is really into Chriss Squire, yet the band is nothing like Yes. I just cant go that way with a Hard rock style mix. I tried to put together something along those lines and it sounded like crap. Chriss Squire he isn't.
    I punched the bass up a bit and compressed the hell out of it and am sending it to them. I hope the rest of the band gives him what for and uses the original, if not well I did my job. Nuff said. 8)
  13. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Yeah, I've been there. Guys from a band sit in the control room after you mix something and get it perfect and want to change everything just a little bit and it drives you nuts, even if they are paying you for it. I guess that's the cost of doing business but you also have to learn to let it go and to say enough is enough...
  14. by

    by Guest

    The chorus thing or sometimes a touch of distortion can make it more defined without making it much louder.

    Another thing that has worked for me is double tracking it with an acoustic guitar or piano. sounds stupid I know, but adds a nice/interesting bit of texture to bring it out significantly.
  15. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    That's also what I ended up doing with the bass player in the band I was talking about. I copied his bass track to another track and doubled it and he was much happier...
  16. Thats a cool Idea, I never thought of doubling it with an acoustic guitar, what about a clasical. That would give you and interesting tone.
    I can see you guys get this crap all the time, I guess I better get use to it as Im sure it will happen again.
  17. Blisshead

    Blisshead Guest

    As a bass player, I think a lot of us confuse the terms volume with clarity. I have many a cd in which the bass is clearly audible, but I'd have a hard time picking out exactly what was going on due to the bassist's tone. Sometimes just tweaking the bass eq will make all the difference in terms of percieved volume. OTOH, lots of people do really bury the bass, especially in rock music. Maybe he just had a knee-jerk reaction to it because he was expecting to hear it a certain way?
  18. cruisemates

    cruisemates Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Home Page:
    "Tell him to compare it to one of his favorite "commercial CD'S", and see how "hot" the bass tracks are on that CD. Hopefully, he will wise up."

    I agree with this statement - mostly. I am guessing he is listening to it at home and hearing something completely different than you are in the control room. Have him bring in the sound he wants to hear from a commercial CD, and see if it works in your mix. It might not, or you might surprise yourself and find out he was right. Stranger things have happened.
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