Recording Electro-Acoustic Bass

Discussion in 'Bass' started by Feverdream, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. Feverdream

    Feverdream Guest

    I'm having some problems recording my bass guitar.

    It's one of these:

    It's an electro acoustic, and I'm recording it with direct input via this pre-amp:

    I'm recording into Cubase SX3, and I generally use Waves plugins.

    My problem is getting a decent sound. The sound I get is full of clicks from the strings, both from sliding, pressing on the fretboard, and striking them with my fingers.

    Now I'm guessing that this problem is largely due to it being an acoustic bass, so those imperfections are picked up because of the nature of the intrument.

    I've recorded electric bass and it sounds fine.

    I've been experimenting with EQ, Multiband Compression, and even a De-Esser to try and get rid of the clicks, but this nearly always takes either far too much out, or doesn't reduce the noise enough.

    What I'm wondering is, would it be possible to somehow pad the soundhole of the bass, to get a sound that is more similar to an electric bass, without all the offending noises?

    I'm sure I recall seeing something similar done to an electro-acoustic guitar.

    I know that the simple answer would be "buy an electric bass", but the electro-acoustic was a gift from someone special, so I want to make the best of it! I'm also too poor to buy another.
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    If the bass has roundwound strings and your technique isnt flawless then you are going to get these string noises.

    There are a couple of solutions.

    Change the strings to flatwounds or half-wounds. The sound will be different overall with the flats, deeper,less harmonic content, purer notes,and a noticeable lack of string noise. The halfs will be similar to both sets and the string noise, while muted, will be back somewhat.

    Another solution is to get a piece of thin flexible foam padding and roll up a piece and fit it under the strings at the bridge. Use a thick heavy pick and attack below the soundhole. This will give you that time-honored 'thunk' sound you have heard on so many recordings throughout rock history and will quiet the string noise, though it will not remove it.

    The best solution if you like the sound of the round-wound strings is to perfect your fretting and plucking technique.

    In short, become a better player.

    It takes time and patience. It takes dedication and practice and while there may be a short-term solution to this, all are compromises compared to becoming a player with quality technique and chops.

    They also make a rubber damper which goes in the soundhole. It may stop a bit of the noise but everything thats coming from the fretting is all about you and how you play.
  3. Feverdream

    Feverdream Guest

    Thanks for the reply mate. I'll definitely give the flat-wound strings a try next time I need a change.

    And obviously, I'll work on the technique too.


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