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Please Help This Audio Engineer Out


RobT

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Here's the link:

 

http://www.musicgearnetwork.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=004549

 

This engineer posted his initial query here in Low Down Land. Let's change some ideas about tracking multi-stringed basses. Why not start with the folks who sit in front of the board.

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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Well, RobT,

 

Mooseman starts out with "I posted this over at the bass forum and mostly got told most disco was synth bass. yeah...."

 

If that's all he got from the thread after I wasted a bunch of frickin' time on that poor mess, I could care less. And he keeps introducing HIS preconceptions; he doesn't seem to be very good at listening to people OR music/mixes.

 

I read the thread over there and it is still all over the map. Nail it down to a couple of specific cuts and THEN discuss the sound. Or forget it. Because there was NO ONE SOUND, and the answers that have come back reflect that (and some pretty funny guessing games).

 

But sometimes one has to focus mind and ears and then find the sound with the tools they have in front of them, and not think that scattershot armchair quarterbacking is going to do all the heavy lifting.

 

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    did i say DISCUSS CERTAIN KEY TRACKS or it's just wasted breath?

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greenboy - once again your amazing clarity has laser-like precision. :D

 

I guess I'm trying to win a small battle here. I'm getting a bit fed up with the modern sounding bass slams. I have a guitar playing buddy at work who made a back-handed compliment about multi-string basses. :mad:

RobT

 

Famous Musical Quotes: "I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve" - Xavier Cugat

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Yep...

 

Sure ticks me off when someone starts a post with a statement like that, when it's their own failure to listen which is the root cause for them not hearing a wealth of suggestions regarding the question that they posted.

 

I suggest that he will not be well-respected by those on the Low Down forum when he asks questions here in future.

 

Jeeze Tom...you sure make it hard for someone to express themselves naturally. (Good thing, too)

 

:D

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I see nobody over there has yet made a point of nailing down what period and genre should actually be sonically discussed. As I thought... that's led to lots of meandering toward the earlier Motown - and guessing without doing research.

 

I too don't wish to research. So far the thread has just seemed a splattershot excuse to show ignorance of more recent recordings that exhibit many, many varieties of Old School Tone (lots of Old Schools have come and gone and then been resurrected), and seems as much to be a soapbox to show disrespect for anything outside of a never-declared perimeter ; }.

 

But over and over again the discussion has veered to mic'ing a B15 (which mic, what distance, what angle, what settings, etc etc?) and DI'ing (what outboard gear fercrutchsake? - a Pultec or mixer channel or settings has lots to do with what a DI track will sound like). Yet I read either in BassPlayer mag or on a forum (I don't know if what follows is true, but the author believed so and found it ironic) that James Jamerson and many others who supposedly used the B15 had it there mainly to hear themselves - and that the actual tracks used on those records were more often than not derived from only the DI chain (as one person mentioned, DI-only tracks are way more plentiful in hit music of the past than the casual observer would ever realize). Anyway, the author of that bit thought it rather odd that people didn't seem to notice that mic'ing their B15 was not delivering approximately the same results ; }  I'd research this matter further, but for me standing in the shadows {!} is enough effort at this point, with no genre parameters actually properly defined (can anybody say either classic R&B, Soul or Funk ferinstance?)...

 

The persons mentioning [vintage] compression and tape saturation had points - actually though, those're points for much of the recorded music of several periods preceding and following whichever one it is that is [supposedly] being discussed ; }

 

But from some of the cheesecloth-over-a-lantern focus thus far displayed, if Disco is at all actually the target genre, one should then note that in its time disco bass was arguably considered as embody modern electric bass tonality (just as once Jamerson was once a proponent of a the modern tone, and since then Entwhistle with his roundwounds, then the first players of Alembics - and with rigs, the scooped SWR sound which to many is considered the modern sound still today, etc etc etc).

 

Another pertinent point about Disco is that it was not especially a band- or player-oriented form (with some key exceptions including the quality work of Bernard Edwards, Earth Wind & Fire etc). It was was a producer-driven phenomena in the studio - with players mostly unlisted and anonymous. If anyone else other than the vocal entertainer was the star it was the producer...

 

And it was a club-oriented phenomena. I never played much attention to Disco as a music during its heyday, only as a foreign social aberration. Clubowners saw the $ sign too, which seemed to diminish opportunities to book actual live bands/musicians - instead establishing a DJ/playback bias. This made severe inroads on what clubs were available for a working musician. If it were to happen again I'd likely be more aware of how savvy peeps like Earth Wind & Fire or Chic ensured their popularity. Before Disco, ferinstance, EW&F had already established a sonic personality and enjoyed some success. But they saw a juggernaut coming, and thus changed their tack - without, I think, diminishing their growth as musicians.

 

<-- greenboy ---<<<<    disco: it had an illegitimate child and named it karaoke

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...Looks like NickT gave a few clues over in that thread that ran away from home . Seems he also read the article that mentioned how Jamerson was engineered - through the DI chain and not a B-15 (or maybe he's just passing along what I said above).

 

Good stuff, NickT, if you are reading here these days : }

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