Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

How is your sound in the studio?


JDL

Recommended Posts

In all of our worrying about our sound on stage and practicing with the band, how do you get your sound in the studio? I'm not talking about what cabs or any amp you use. I'm talking about what bass? do you use an effect processor or some other effect? Which ones, does it depend on the song?

 

My story in the studio:

I usually run my line from my Peavey dynabass to my toneworks BX effect processor. In that I use either the effect Pinky, 70's, or R&B effect.

 

JDL-peace to my bass brothers(and sisters)

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 16
  • Created
  • Last Reply
I have spent little time in the studio, but when I do, I use the same setup I would on stage. When my "on a hiatus" band made a demo, I did not like the board sound, so I set up the svt and Carvin fretless just like a gig and miked it. It sounded awsome. FOr recrding upright for Christian Brooks' album, I did the same. I don't use effects live, so I didn't use them in the studio.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

when I am in the studio, which is reasonably often, I bring a bass and a cord. The studio gives me a countryman direct box and I plug in.

 

I use a variety of basses and we always record the same way.

 

No effects, eq, or compression are used.

 

they seem to be happy in the studio.

 

go to

cd samples

or

more cd samples

and hear for yourself.

 

As far as I am concerned, the sound coming out of the studio monitors is the best my bass ever sounds and any gear I use in live performance is supposed to reproduce that sound.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What Jeremyc said.

Bass, cord, good DI.

 

Country mans are great, I like the DI from my SWR Grand Prix and although a little noisy, the back end of a gallion- kruger sounds really good.

 

It's not that uncommon for bass tone on basic tracks to sound crappy when soloed. Engineers tend to want big tones so they have plenty to work with in mix down. They also seem to like lots of high end so there's some sparkle left after they run it through pro tools a hundred times.

 

Studio really is a whole different world. IMHO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't recorded much since I've taken up bass (Thanks so much, methamphetine-fueled professional reptile thieves!), but I used to do the standard stuff we've all read in these basic threadguises for bass tracks: direct into the board, various DIs, outboard signal chains with compressors and tubey toys, cabs - sometimes several, close and distant micings and different rooms (I did veer a little farther into creative guitar recording techniques than some), etc.

 

But today, if I were recording (as I have for some band demos since being shedskin lizardized), I would use all the effects strategies I've been exploring as I've also concentrated on making my live effects use an integral part of the music, orchestration as it were...

 

Bigtime producers and engineers often look down there noses at any effects a musician might bring in because they just DON'T cost enough or have the right pedigrees (and musicians are so low on the food chain - what would they know anyway?) Rightfully so at times, because some of the effects are pretty noisy and don't always fit into tracks very well or preserve the envelope of the instrument.

 

Speaking of being on the bottom of the food chain, the bassist is THERE: not too many engineers at most tiers of The Industry give a crap what a bassist wants. They just want to take their ten minutes and dial in their P or J sound and get on to the important production techniques - you know, the ones involving gutarists or vocalists or drums... This generally holds true whether you are a purist tone monster or have a personal signal chain that's got an extra link or five in it.

 

Bassists, as a rule being the accomodating types they are have made this process smooth and streamlined ; }

 

...But I still think it's fun to try some new spins, and the wheels we can get these days for moderate dinar outlay can often perform well enough to not mar a track with too much noise or obvious lack of Mixerman-approved Designer tags.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

- Just as an example, sometimes Bassaddik and I shoot the breeze. He's decried the times he's gotten some awesome beautiful bass work of art - the most bassic and prime part of the signal chain; the bass speaks well and beautifully, supports the songs and tracks superbly - yet he feels the pressure to conform by falling back to an instrument that to him is not as interesting, often ending up doing it the same old way the producers/engineers are secure with. This involves playing the track on a bass that is "safe" - whether because of vintage familiarity, or because certain names of luthiers become for awhile coinage in the industry because of their association with "classic" basses or other artists.

 

This phenomena is not something one experiences first-hand if they are already bringing instruments to sessions that are considered rank-and-file. I wouldn't say its a problem - unless you happen to have your ear on a subtly different flavor ­... On another forum recently someone wondered who was buying and playing all those "different" basses since all bassists but a couple at a recent multi-day festival chose to play things with F on the headstock.

 

(Note: this is not an anti-F____ missive: simply an observance that as many choices as there might be we seem to have only a couple)

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by greenboy:

They just want to take their ten minutes and dial in their P or J sound and get on to the important production techniques...

Bingo! I couldn't agree more and the worst part of it is, they have bassists everywhere thinking that's the way they have to sound. If you do something different like use a Bass Pod live, you'll hear a collective gasp and comments like..."but, but, that sucks. It doesn't sound warm and woody like it's supposed to!" Heh, you're damned right it doesn't. :D
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I thought the original question is how do you get your sound in the studio...meaning what do you have to do to get your bass sounding good. My answer was that if your bass sounds good (which has way more to do with your playing then the kind of bass you are using), then you don't have to do anything to get your sound in the studio other then plug in.

 

If you have some very specific sound based on effects and signal chains that you would like to use, be prepared to fight for it. Probably the most diplomatic way is to ask for two tracks..one with your effects on it and the other through the direct box. Then they can make the decision later.

 

However when I've done that, they have NEVER chosen the effects track.

 

When I recorded my own album, I made all the decisions about what effects and processing to use on the bass tracks and mixed the cd myself. There were no alternate tracks...all the effects (which really was only a little chorusing and exciting and various eq changes from track to track) were recorded on the tape...actually everyone in the band did the same thing so there was no tonal manipulation during mixing at all. We all had our own outboard gear to get what we wanted and that's the way it worked.

 

You only get away with that if you are the one paying for the session. If someone else is, well then you are an employee.

 

Just give 'em your best sound and hope they don't mix you into oblivion.

 

My cd samples can now be found here:

 

Jazz Express page at cdbaby

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I heard the mixdown from our studio work two weeks ago. Frankly I expected to hear something different, but instead there were almost no mids, and kind of a boomy EQ. The recording setup was the aforementioned bass-into-DI box. The engineer didn't ask to try different tones or anything, the bass track took only a few minutes. The rest of the time went to guitars and drums.

 

Oh well, if I only had $900 to buy that Fostex 160 digital recorder at American Musical...and a couple thou more for studio mikes...and time to do this myself...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill C, if it sounds bad it isn't because DI was used. It's because the guy either doesn't know what he is doing or has a decidely different idea about what your music sounds like. Not that I'ma advocating DI or any other particular approach (which I've tried to make clear before).

 

But having your own recording gear or lots of trade-for studio time where you can actually experiment with your own production techniques (along with the educational reading like EQ mag one really needs). I've always noticed that lots of people think its one particular method or even certain brand names of gear that do the job (not saying that about you). But if one really gets the chance to find out they will KNOW HOW TO FISH. Thinking there is one way teaches you only to go to the supermarket and buy some fish.

 

Mags like EQ are instructive in another way: reading interviews with engineers whove worked tracks you've heard will break down preconceptions about what bass, what amp, what rig, how different the gear a bassist might be pumped through in the studio is than what you think you saw and heard on stage at a concert (there's a real big illusion there too: by the time it gets through FOH it doesn't neccesarily have anything to do with what the backline seems to represent).

 

Yeah, engineers and producers can be brand whores too, and have certain cherished illusions. But most of them have done things enough different ways that get desired results that they don't risk stunting their growth having preconceptions too early in the game.

.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

(It sounds like many of you already have enough studio "life experience" to know this already, but just so we don't neglect to throw this particular flavor of thought into the mix):

Remember that the most gorgeous, luscious sound when a single track is soloed, is not always the sound that will best support the mix in general. For rock, pop, soul, etc., this is especially an issue with bass, kick, snare, & guitars. Since in recent years I produce my own stuff, I often smile about this as I'm savagely scooping my own bass & guitar parts - which I probably would have screamed bloody murder about in many of my newbie studio experiences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

mmmmmmmmm, Yeah. Best to keep in mind what suits the song at hand. Generally speaking the engineer or producer is not out to get you.

 

Sad fact is....8 times out of ten once all the layering and tracking is done the frequency range containing yer killer tone has long since been eaten. What's left is the low end stuff that gets the job done. So you better have gotten the job done.

 

That said - recording set ups -

 

Either a P or a J, both mid-seventies with schaler bridges and re-issue fender class pick ups.

 

Almost always two tracks. Recently it's been an ancient B-15 and with an equally ancient tube mike on it. The DI is variable. Countryman's OK or I've used a few tube numbers. There is usually some limiting going on in the booth as well.

 

D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my recorded bass tone makes people crap their pants. in laymens terms, it is astounding. right now your asking "bastid, you get such a great tone, what's your secret?" the recipe is as follows: 2 parts ampeg, 1 part in-house DI. i mic the speakers for one track, go live off the preamp for a second, and then direct off the instrument for a third. generally the engineer gives me a thumbs up after three notes or so.
Eeeeeehhhhhhhhh.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...