Rockabilly bass

Discussion in 'Bass' started by GCPA845, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. GCPA845

    GCPA845 Guest

    I've been drafted to record a rockabilly band next month, but I've never recorded a live upright acoustic bass before. I've been shooting ideas around in my head, but haven't figured a good way to mic it. I want to run it in thirds (mic left panned hard left, mic right panned hard right, mic centered perfect stereo) but not sure what mics to use. I was thinking about using two Neumannn condensers on the outsides and a beta57 in the middle to round out a nice sound, but I'm recording onto two inch tape, then dubbing into Cubase for finalizing. I've already got a crazy idea to do it in a hollow room with some auralex on the walls and corners, but still have a slight echo just to add a little bit of an eery sound to the mix. They sound kinda like Reverend Horton Heat, so anything sounding like that would work. Let me know what you think.
  2. GCPA845

    GCPA845 Guest

    Also, I am doing the drums with a set of Earth Works... i was thinking of throwing a kick pad on the bass also to add a harder hit, but I'm afraid it would make the bass track to heavy... Let me know on that too.
  3. hellcat_77

    hellcat_77 Guest

    if the sound is like horton heat, then there will be a lot of bass slaps from the stings which are an important part of the music, so you will need something like a pencil condesor aimed around the 12th fret(well where it looks like it should be) and are you sure it's acoustic, because most rockabilly upright bases, have 1 to 3 pickups on them.
  4. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Sounds like fun. This might sound very stupid but it would be good to listen to a bunch of top selling rockabilly this week. There are certain trademark sounds people expect, i.e. that little slapback on the guitar, etc. I wouldn't go too hard on the kick, a lot of the top rockabilly drummers used very minimal kits and were very snare oriented. That crisp open snare sound is important though for sure. Just my opinion anyhow. :cool:

    Are you micing the upright live or isolated? Does he have a pickup on his bass? Many do... I know that many folks like U87s on uprights or a U87 and pickup combo. I've noticed a lot of upright bassists record by placing a large diaphragm condensor mic right in front of the f-hole (on the g string side). I think that's a safe bet if the guy isn't moving around too much. You can always point a second mic at the finger board if you need more finger noise. Two cents anyhow... :cool:
  5. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Wrapping a towel around a dynamic mic (I have used a 421, an AT825, and even a '58 ) and stuffing it behind the bridge works very well for that genre, especially if the bass has no pick-up..
    BTW, I have recorded a couple of rockabilly acts, and the ONE thing that they all had in common was.....the (upright) bass player moved A LOT! Those dudes like to spin that puppy around! That's why they do the towel thing and/or a that they can dance while they play!
  6. davedarling

    davedarling Guest

    I do kind of alot of r-billy, and have had good luck like this:

    RCA 44 ribbon 1 foot in front - right hand level pointed slightly down-
    a little vintage compression to tape. along w/ pick up split to di (for click) and amp (for meat/distortion)

    This is how we did the last Stray Cats stuff. For a more vintage feel (like Setzer's new Sun record) RCA 44 all by it's self2 or three inches from the
    bottom of the finger board - 6 inches out (of course mnoving the mic around 'till it sounds good is always a good idea)

    good luck/have fun - davedarling
  7. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Wow, you recorded the Stray cats last album? Excellent. That must have been muy fun, those guys are *seriously* rock solid. :cool:

    Did Lee Rocker use pickup only for their live stuff?
  8. dwoz

    dwoz Guest

    An RE-20 is a fairly classic choice as well.

  9. davedarling

    davedarling Guest

    hey Calgary -

    Runaway boys is a great record, but I didn't produce it. I produced Mystery Train on "live at Brixton.

    We used the pick up/amp /ribbon on Lee's bass.
    On "Rockabilly Riot" we used one RCA-44 on Mark Winchester's bass
    with everyone in the same room. (Castle studios-Nashville)
    and Dwoz is right about the RE-20 (or a d-12) both good choices.

    dave darling
  10. Calgary

    Calgary Active Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    Nice. I think you mean "Rumble In Brixton". If I weren't boycotting big label products I'd go pick it up actually. I heard some tracks off it on University radio when it first came out and I thought it rocked. I remember being pleasantly surprised with the quality and performance.
  11. davedarling

    davedarling Guest

    my bad - it was originaly called "live at Brixton academy" - and it's not exactly a major label's on Surfdog Records - 8 people in Encinitas who surf. you should buy it...I could use the 13 cents.

    peace - dave darling
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