BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
eddiex
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BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:38 pm

just starting to record some bass guitar in LIVE. presently, i am just plugging my fender jazz into the apogee duet and rolling with it. which is cool, but i feel like it could be better, maybe fuller. so, just wondering how everyone else does it....DIRECT, USING A MIC. ON AN AMP, A COMBINATION OF THE TWO....USING A SANSAMP OR OTHER SUCH DEVICE?
i know such questions might be better asked on a bass forum, but i will still be using LIVE heavily...and doing mostly electronic music, so i figured i would start here. plus, i like you guys, so you know....hey! :wink:
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H20nly
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by H20nly » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:22 pm

I record direct into my interface into Live... it does sound a little cold though. so I usually end up tweaking it with EQ or a plug like BBE Sonic Maximizer after its recorded.

I just found my old Presonus BlueTube the other day so I'm planning on using that again to add the tube/analog warmth back a little on my next recording....

Tone Deft
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by Tone Deft » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:30 pm

turn all the controls to one extreme.
use a mic to record your voice.
I plug my bass right into my Edirol UA101.
play with the controls one at a time and say out loud what you're doing, what position the knobs are in, etc.
go through every permutation of control settings.
then go back and listen to which settings sound best.

when in doubt, record with the tone controls wide open then EQ the tone back later.

check for youtubes on proper playing position and technique.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

Dell Inspiron 15 7000, Live 10.1, Win10 Home, Edirol UA101, APC40, Remote SL, SPD-SX, mic, guitars, JX305, Nova
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eddiex
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:06 pm

thanks guys, yeah i did a youtube search last night and found a video where the guy just used EQ to roll off the really low end (25Hz) and notch out the nasaly frequencies. compression to smooth his playing out and a little saturation to liven things up. i started there, adjusted some settings more to my liking, and made a preset audio effects rack. still not completely happy (who ever is with their sound) but getting there.
H2O....how do you like the SONIC MAXIMIZER plug? i have a buddy who used to be a professional engineer, he swore by the older hardware version. he equated it to some kind of 100$ super secret weapon in the industry.... or something like that.
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H20nly
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by H20nly » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:28 pm

i like it... but it's an anomaly. you can read about what it does, but it doesn't really make any sense. it's like pushing the Phat button. there have been some threads through the years here on the forum where someone tried to discern what exactly it does... those of us that had it were like... er um warm... er um mo betta... er um... basically useless in terms of a description but the consensus was er um good (at least for guitars, not just anything). i don't recall anyone that had it having any thing negative to say. in a nutshell, it changes the tone of the instrument.

yeah, i know... another useless description. :wink:


would you mind posting that youtube link?

UncleAge
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by UncleAge » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:41 pm

I connect directly with a Radial Engineering direct box, J48 (I think. Its all packed away from my recent move.) So, bass>J48>Pro40 mic input>DAW. After that I massage it with different stuff like Studio Devil VBA or IK's Ampeg SVX/Fender. And sometimes I just use a bit of EQ and compression, depends on the tune.

eddiex
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:39 pm

H20nly wrote: would you mind posting that youtube link?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2RnIRgt73g
he's using protools, but you know, the concepts are the same.
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eddiex
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:52 pm

it is, as the guy says, subtle....just removing the nasaly sounding stuff made a difference for me....i cranked up the gain on the saturation a little too. thats just how i roll!
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eddiex
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:06 pm

sonic maximizer:my buddy told stories of guitarists hiding it in their rigs. in the studio, some guys would run the whole mix through it. ive always wanted to grab one up, just to see what the hype was about. they are super cheap...something like 75 for the older hardware version, but i don't have much of a hardware set up. didn't realize they had a plug in version.
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H20nly
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by H20nly » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:47 pm

I've heard the hardware version is better... Surprise surprise :wink:

Thanks for the link.

eyeknow
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eyeknow » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:46 am

I know it's not the most cost effective solution, but:

http://www.overloud.com/products/mark_studio2.php

I can't live w/o it.

Pasha
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by Pasha » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:33 am

I record directly into my Audio Interface via an hardware Mixer so I have zero latency and more control.
Over the years I have discovered that shaping the sound before recording (like I did on stage) to obtain 'your sound' can be a drawback at a later time when you mix. You can't restore what you left out in terms of frequencies. Because of that I often had to rerecord Bass lines because they sounded dull.
Today I record flat (no boosts, no cuts) and shape later at mix time with Compressor and EQ8.
Moreover, the input recording signal has to be as close to the undistorted maximum as possible. That's why I use a Mixer between the Bass Guitar and the Audio Interface (which is fed by submix controls) so I can use the gain control to adjust sensitivity (which my audio card does not have).

My 2 cents,
Pasha
Apple Desktop / Laptop
Live 9 Suite,Zebra 2.6,Guitar, Bass, VG99, JV1010 and some controllers
______________________________________
Music : http://alonetone.com/pasha

eddiex
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by eddiex » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:36 am

eyeknow wrote:I know it's not the most cost effective solution, but:

http://www.overloud.com/products/mark_studio2.php

I can't live w/o it.
dang!! crazy!! i saw markbass has some kind of modular bass system now....like you get this rack, then you get these preamp modules to shape up your sound. it's kind of crazy....check it:
http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=160
http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=169
http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=181
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bkg2018
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by bkg2018 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:49 am

Hello, when I record my bass I simply plug it directly into the interface, going through a pre-amp though. My interface has inputs with a pre-amp (m-audio fw 410) but I find the sound is better with my Mackie 1402-VLZ so I plug the bass on a track of the mixer, and get the L/R outputs of the mixer into line 1/2 of the interface.

I make the sound as neutral as possible: neutral EQ, no filtering, absolutely nothing special before the Ableton Live track. The only settings I adjust are the micro selectors on the bass itself, and possibly the EQ of the bass depending on which one I use. My active Cort A5 has very powerful lows so I let the EQ quite neutral, but on my Fender Precision I put the lows full on, because I like to have a very round sound. This is a musician choice. But this EQ can't be fixed afterwards so maybe it's not the right way for YOU and neutral EQ could be best in your case, you have to try to know, and it depends on your bass too. The important point to remember is that this bass setting will color your sound at first, and it's your choice to color a lot or not. If you cut the highs in your bass sound, you will never make them appear by magic afterwards. If you want to work on your sound in Live, you need to have lows, meds and highs in good quantity right into your recorded sound.

When recording the bass I put the Ableton Live track into mono so the signal is dispatched to both stereo outputs. If you keep the track into stereo mode you will only have signal on one side.

Then, after the clips are recorded, I adjust the sound using Live audio effects. The most important is EQ of course, but if you want to add a flanger or whatever, you can also do it into Live, without loosing your original recording so you can try different combinations and choose which one you find best.

All the sound engineers I've seen at work are recording basses this way - most use a DI to change the bass output to line level into the mixing table for passive basses but some mixing tables can do that with a button. Only once have I seen an engineer recording my bass amp with a mic, he was recording our whole group directly live in a studio, with specific mics for each instrument. Something quite complex for him, for us because a mistake from one musician can ruin the whole take, and also complex at mix/mastering time, but in the end you get a beautifully colored sound which sound like a real live session, and it is.

fishmonkey
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Re: BASS GUITAR recording techniques-how are you doing it?

Post by fishmonkey » Sun Sep 08, 2013 7:54 am

Pasha wrote: Moreover, the input recording signal has to be as close to the undistorted maximum as possible.
if you are talking about the input level to your audio interface, then as long as you are recording in 24 bit, then this "recording as hot as possible without clipping" approach is not necessary.

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