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El Barto
= Song DB Master =

USA
4020 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  09:26:31  Show Profile  Visit El Barto's Homepage
quote:
How do you record fat ass bass, anyone?


I love the bass sound I get out of my recordings, and I just record bass -> direct box -> mixer. Nothing else...great sound.


"I joined the Cult of Clops / If I were you, I'd sleep with one eye open."
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gr1bbly
- FB Fan -

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  13:13:08  Show Profile
Fat bass? You're recording on a computer (digitally) right? Here's some thoughts:

a) Make sure it's not clipping (distorting) when you record it.
b) Monitor on speakers at low volume. Reason 1: Unless they are really good (i.e., expensive), your speakers won't accurately reproduce bass at anything more than moderate volumes, so it'll be hard to tell what's going on if you're too loud.
c) Monitor on speakers at low volume. Reason 2: The louder you're monitoring, the more your room acoustics will come into play. Unless your room acoustics are really good (i.e., expensive), you con't get a clear picture of what's going on.
d) Monitor on speakers at low volume. Reason 3: Headphones give you a really skewed idea of what's going on. Things that sounds really clear in headphones can sound like mud through speakers. The reason is that headphones have a major advantage - they take the room acoustics out of the equation by firing directly into your ears. This is particularly misleading with bass response.
e) Don't forget the high frequency information in your bass sound. Through a club PA (or something similar, with good bass response) simple waveforms an make great bass sounds (e.g., an 808 kick drums is close to a simple sin curve, especially in its decay). But through a car stereo, or a home stereo, or other "small speaker" situation, simple low frequency waveforms will just disappear. Well, actually it's worse than that. You won't hear them, but the low frequency oscillation will interfere with the mid and high frequencies and make your song sound weird/muddy. The solution is to include some high frequency information in the bass sound. A bass guitar has this naturally - the string overtones and pick/finger noise give the bass sound some high frequency "tooth" that will make the bass audible in small speaker situations, and give the bass good shape in large speaker situations.
f) Don't use reverb or delay on bass sounds, unless you leave a *lot* space for it. It will usually just sound like mud.
g) The way the drums interact with the bass is crucial to a fat bass sound. In general synching up the bass with the bass drum is a good idea... this will give the bass really good punch, and give your song a tight bottom end that will keep it grooving along. Sloppy timing between bass and drums can really destabilize a track, so be careful! This is an underappreciated virtue of Kim Deal and Dave Lovering, in my opinion. Listen to U-Mass. That's a tight rhythm section, and hence the song rocks.
h) I often find it useful to compress the bass track. I use a fast attack (10-25ms), slow release, and usually about 5 or 6:1 ratio (in my opinion, 6:1 should be considered a high value =]). Threshold depends almost entirely on the situation. This can really lock it in with the drums.
i) Related to (g) and (h), monitor your song (through speakers, at low volume) with the drums and bass soloed. Make sure they're working as a unit, and one is not overpowering the other. If your tech supports it, you can make the drums and bass a sub-group and compress them together (but don'e overdo it, or your drums will lose their punch).

Anyway, there's some things to think about. It depends what you're after (e.g., are you using a bass guitar, or a synth, or what?) really. If you're recording a bass guitar, you might get good results just with a DI box (like Mr. Barto above), or you might want to use an amp sim, or *gasp!* a real amp.

Of course, YMMV, IMHO, and all that. In recording, as in music in general, there is no rule that cannot be broken =]

grib.
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mdisanto
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1140 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  16:59:23  Show Profile  Visit mdisanto's Homepage
the problem i heard with micing a bass amp cab is that the bass wav and all its harmonics dont fully develop for many feet so you have to mic far back in order to get a sound like what you hear out of the speaker. thats not to say you cant mic close if youre going for a certain sound, but in general people seem to DI bass for the above reason.

-miked
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Dave Noisy
Minister of Chaos

Canada
4496 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  18:34:13  Show Profile  Visit Dave Noisy's Homepage
miguel - i used to do the EXACT same thing 10+yrs ago, with an ancient 486SX33!! I used Cakewalk to program in some midi percussion as well, it kicked ass!!

I'd play the midi, play and sing along (AWE32 card had line and mic in), and catch all that in Sound Recorder, then play those, and sing and play along with that, and that would get recorded to a cassette deck..haha..

I would hook up two casette decks in line to work as an amp, since i was losing so much signal! In retrospect, that was not too shabby for a 15yr old..! I didn't know any of the technicalities, but i knew that i wasn't getting enough signal, and i could use the line in on a tape deck to boost it...hilarious.

Another tip with the bass recording is to make sure you aren't pumping out too much low-end...you'd be surprised how little 'bass' you need for your bass to sound good. As grib pointed out, the percussion is essential in getting a good bass sound, along with proper compression techniques.
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gr1bbly
- FB Fan -

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  22:34:12  Show Profile
Oh yes, thanks Mr. Noisy that should be (j) =] You probably leed less low end than you think. If I've got a big kick drum sound and a full bass sound, I'll often roll off all the frequencies below 60-70Hz. You're getting into more-or-less inaudible territory down there, and you'll find that EQing out some low end has the counter-intuitive effect of making the bass stronger, by helping it to be more defined.
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Dave Noisy
Minister of Chaos

Canada
4496 Posts

Posted - 12/07/2003 :  22:56:33  Show Profile  Visit Dave Noisy's Homepage
Aye, remember the EQ spectrum...sometimes less is really more.
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miguel
- FB Fan -

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  03:18:36  Show Profile  Visit miguel's Homepage
Damn, thanks... I'll try to digest all that. I have a 10x12 studio and these huge alesis M1 active mk2 speakers. The bass throws me off bigtime because they really thump. I've tried to burn a point of reference into my brain but after a long session I don't know what the hell is going on. On the last comp, everything sounded perfect (relatively) but, I burned my song and played it on our stereo system and it wasn't the same. I knew the bass was off when I recorded and I ended up over-compensating. How does one know what's truly accurate? You guys know a hell of a lot more than I.
BTW Dave, after sound recorder I graduated to N-track.. that didn't last too long but I did think it was the coolest program on the face of the planet there for awhile.. heh. Beat the hell out of the windows recorder.


"... it's a pill, that gives worms... to exgirlfriends.. you just don't get it"
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ivandivel
= Cult of Ray =

394 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  04:00:33  Show Profile

What about plug-in compressors? I know it's not the same, but for some stuff they do their work good, right? And now it is possible to use them while recording, in most soft-studios. Waves plugins are great, and so is T-Racks (the plugin). Find a decent audiowarez site (there are a couple) and try them out. Buy if you like (if you can afford...).
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Dave Noisy
Minister of Chaos

Canada
4496 Posts

Posted - 12/08/2003 :  11:09:34  Show Profile  Visit Dave Noisy's Homepage
hmm...i think the best thing to do is put up sound absorbing (and reflecting) materials to help deal with the nuances of the room....and proper speaker set-up is very important...

Never heard of N-Track...i'm sure anything is better than Sound Recorder. =)

Plug-in compressors are great for mastering, etc, but they can't do you too much justice while recording, since they affect the signal AFTER it's gone to tape (so to speak..)

So you're forced to record in a different way... But if you can't get a hardware compressor, don't hesitate to use the plugin's.
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miguel
- FB Fan -

USA
213 Posts

Posted - 12/16/2003 :  22:35:07  Show Profile  Visit miguel's Homepage
I actually think I got some studio foam for my little studio this x-mas. I think that'll help a bit with the exaggerrated bass I'm getting from the monitors.
I use the T-Racks standalone for mastering usually.

"... it's a pill, that gives worms... to exgirlfriends.. you just don't get it"
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ivandivel
= Cult of Ray =

394 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2003 :  05:15:57  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Noisy


Plug-in compressors are great for mastering, etc, but they can't do you too much justice while recording, since they affect the signal AFTER it's gone to tape (so to speak..)

So you're forced to record in a different way... But if you can't get a hardware compressor, don't hesitate to use the plugin's.



I am not sure that you are right about this one. When we recorded at a pro-tools studio, a lot of compression (while recording)was done with plug-ins. If i remember correctly, plug ins where favorable to hardware when recording drums because hardware can't compete when it comes to attack-time. I don't know how the new cubase SX or nuendo deals with audio, but i am pretty sure you can record and monitor your inserts while playing. You sure can do it in fruity loops, but i prefer to record audio into a dedicated audio sequencer.
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Dave Noisy
Minister of Chaos

Canada
4496 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2003 :  11:58:13  Show Profile  Visit Dave Noisy's Homepage
Well, you can't get as 'hot' a signal from a plugin..because the sound goes directly into the soundcard, and if it clips, you're stuck.

I'd agree for the bang for your buck, software compressors kick ass, but it's nothing like a 'real' one when it comes to recording.

At least that's my understanding/experience...can anyone else elaborate?
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bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  10:10:48  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address
okay, i'm back! been looking at mics, found this sm58, a good deal? it's the cheapest i've found so far, it seems the sm58 is better for vocals and the sm57 is better for guitar recording and so on? is that about right? i want the mic for vocals really... erm, not sure if this link will work, might have to go to riverproaudio.co.uk and do a search for the sm58

http://www.riverproaudio.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000001.pl?REFPAGE=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2eriverproaudio%2eco%2euk%2facatalog%2fCATALOGUE_HOME_Microphones_190%2ehtml&WD=sm58&SHOP=%20&PREVQUERY=SS%3dsm58%26PR%3d%2d1%26TB%3dA%26SHOP%3d%20&PN=CATALOGUE_HOME_SPECIAL_OFFERS_310%2ehtml%23a1157#a1157

~~~
I'm flat out, you're so beautiful to look at when you cry. Freeze, don't move, you've been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequal to your life. Shady Lane, everybody wants one, Shady Lane, everybody needs one.
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El Barto
= Song DB Master =

USA
4020 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  10:19:19  Show Profile  Visit El Barto's Homepage
The SM58 is the same exact mic + a windscreen, as far as I understand it. You might as well just get the 57 and get a windscreen for it.


"I joined the Cult of Clops / If I were you, I'd sleep with one eye open."
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  10:53:37  Show Profile
that's a bit stupid if that's true, because i'm sure the 58 is cheaper.
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Dave Noisy
Minister of Chaos

Canada
4496 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  11:02:52  Show Profile  Visit Dave Noisy's Homepage
Or you can get the Beta57.

=PppPpPp
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bumblebeeboy2
> Teenager of the Year <

United Kingdom
2638 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  11:03:07  Show Profile  Click to see bumblebeeboy2's MSN Messenger address
i was just about to point that out, certainly on the site i went on it had the 58 being cheaper? and it said it was better for vocals than the 57? so do i go for the 58?

~~~
I'm flat out, you're so beautiful to look at when you cry. Freeze, don't move, you've been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequal to your life. Shady Lane, everybody wants one, Shady Lane, everybody needs one.
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apl4eris
~ Abstract Brain ~

USA
4800 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  14:20:15  Show Profile  Visit apl4eris's Homepage
quote:
Originally posted by miguel

I started out with a 2 GB gateway computer, the windows sound recorder and the stock mic! ..... I literally recorded around a hundred songs that way until I realized there were better prorams.
I hope you don't mind I visited your website, miguel. I think you're holding out on us as to what equipment we really need for a home recording studio.

From you FAQ, I discovered that these items are indespensible:

"Equipment used:
Guitar, scalpel, hemostatic forceps, nerve root retractors, suction tubes, Amplifier, vessel clips, tissue twist hooks, Bass Guitar, skull traction tongs, pile clamps, sphincteroscope, cranial drill, keyboards, brain clip holding racks, mixer, goggles, digital interface."

I gotta ask, do you happen to like the band Matmos? Great website, BTW.

Swedish Chef's "Dumpling of Wisdom": Øder tis moodle in der noggin tu smacken der ouchey und vinger-slingers ur to smacken-backen und fix de morkin, yøobetcha!
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SpudBoy
= Cult of Ray =

Equatorial Guinea
649 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2003 :  15:45:22  Show Profile  Visit SpudBoy's Homepage
FWIW, I am really, really impressed with the Oktava MK 319 large diaphragm condenser mic - I use it in conjunction with the Presonus BlueTube (2 channel preamp) - it's a great sounding combination, but the only beef I have is that the Blutube has phantom power on both channels or none, so you can't run a mixed pair through it. These units run for about $100 US each, so very reasonable.

I looked for a cult to join, then decided to just play "Sink". Hey! I sank the LaBrea Tar Pits!
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mdisanto
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1140 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2003 :  00:04:14  Show Profile  Visit mdisanto's Homepage
the 58 is more expensive than the 57. Since they are basically the same mic, you can just unscrew the windscreen and use it as a guitar amp mic (with no windscreen you can put the capsule closer to the speaker)

-miked
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bflat
- FB Fan -

United Kingdom
69 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2004 :  16:48:01  Show Profile
I use Cakewalk Guitar Tracks (40) which is a software digital 8 track recorder, a strat copy (free), a line6 pod (100 off ebay), Yamaha psr170 for composing (70) and midi and guitar leads (20)

Plus software drum machines synths and sequencers a lot which can be downloaded.

That's a grand total of 220!
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prozacrat
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1184 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2004 :  19:55:30  Show Profile  Visit prozacrat's Homepage  Click to see prozacrat's MSN Messenger address
I just wanted to voice my love for BR8s. My band has been using one for a few years now and we've recorded literally hundreds of songs with it. Granted, we have dozens and dozens of zips lying around. But it has worked beautifully. One little glitch we've had recently is that sometimes the audio on the third track ghosts itself over to the seventh track. But other than that, it's great. I have a number of other cheap ways to record that I've been pretty lucky to discover. Just let me know if you want more info.

"And her head has no room."
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