How to achieve a Metal/Hard Rock "Band Sound"


PDA

View Full Version : How to achieve a Metal/Hard Rock "Band Sound"


Puppet_616
01-13-2010, 10:04 AM
Hey guys,
I usually only stick to the bass section of this forum, cos the rest of you mucisians scare the crap outta me! ( :p: )

Basically I'm in a band, consisiting of the following line-up:
Singer
2x Guitarists
Bassist (me)
Drummer

However there is a constant battle between me and the lead guitarist over our band sound. As a bass player I like to cut through a little bit, be as audible as the guitars (maybe not as prominent, due to distortion/overdrive on the guitars etc) but definatley as noticable and audible.
However, our lead guitar player seems to think that the bass should be less audible and just in the background to the rest of the music.
I just wanted to know your thoughts on this topic, how loud should the guitars be relative to each other, to the bass etc...
What are you general setups, how do you soundcheck etc...

(He seems to think it the souncheck should go: Drums -> Guitars -> Bass (to slide in between the 2 -> vox) :confused:

Answer away, thanks in advance ,
Josh :)

Vonny Groodies
01-13-2010, 10:07 AM
What do the other members of the band think about this?

EDIT: I don't think any one instrument should overwhelm the others in terms of volume;

Obviously your bass will be taking up the low end of the mix as opposed to the guitar's treble/middle frequencies.

MaXiMuse
01-13-2010, 10:10 AM
Euhm, you need to hear everything perfect though the vox should come more through the mix. I hate it when you barely can hear the bass or a solo on the guitar doesn`t cuts it all the way.

sacamano79
01-13-2010, 10:12 AM
Here is my take on it, not being a bassist and all.....

I think the bass should be less prominent in the mix. It should be at a level where it is not in-your-face but where you can still hear it if you are listening for it. I hate to say, but it is a somewhat glory-less job being a bassist, you add a large part to the full sound of the band but do not stand out very much.

edit:

drums>vox/lead>rhythm/bass
Not being able to hear vox happens entirely too much and is very annoying like the guy above said.

Demonikk
01-13-2010, 10:13 AM
Soundcheck is typically drums >> bass >> rhythm guitar >> lead guitar >> vocals, and that's how almost every venue's sound engineer will make you do it. Base your levels around this, the bass being slightly lower than the guitars but EQ in some mids to help you cut through. If you just crank your volume the bass will drown everything out

Puppet_616
01-13-2010, 10:16 AM
What do the other members of the band think about this?

EDIT: I don't think any one instrument should overwhelm the others in terms of volume;

Obviously your bass will be taking up the low end of the mix as opposed to the guitar's treble/middle frequencies.

Very simply the other band members seems to think it's about the overall sound, which is what I'm of the opinion of. I want to be heard, but the most important thing is not me being on the fore-front of things, but the band sounding whole and tight.
Thats what my opinion and the general feeling off the other band members.

It just seems our Lead guitarists idea of "the perfect" band sound is a Metallica "...And Justice For All" sound. (Great album, shit sound).

I was really wanting to see if people sorta agree'd with me, or if I was in the wrong really.

SilverchairFan
01-13-2010, 10:18 AM
I feel bass should be prominent. Its an instrument just like the others, and it will help the overall sound become more full.

Vonny Groodies
01-13-2010, 10:18 AM
EDIT: ^ username :five:

I would kick out the lead guitarist.

Puppet_616
01-13-2010, 10:20 AM
I would kick out the lead guitarist.
So would I, if I could, but they've all been mates for years and I've only known them for aobut 12 months. If anyone's ever gonna go, it'll be me lol! :haha:

Vonny Groodies
01-13-2010, 10:22 AM
In that case, I'd leave and start my own band if I were you.

inlovewithmusic
01-13-2010, 10:29 AM
Very simply the other band members seems to think it's about the overall sound, which is what I'm of the opinion of. I want to be heard, but the most important thing is not me being on the fore-front of things, but the band sounding whole and tight.
Thats what my opinion and the general feeling off the other band members.

It just seems our Lead guitarists idea of "the perfect" band sound is a Metallica "...And Justice For All" sound. (Great album, shit sound).

I was really wanting to see if people sorta agree'd with me, or if I was in the wrong really.


well..first of all I agree with fact that the bass should be a background sound.
BUT.... I think the question over here is how much of it should be heard .
I personally hate songs where you cant hear the bass at all and most of the bass
is coming of the lower end of the distortion, like Justice for All as you pointed out.
In my opinion the the listener should be able to hear the bass if he tries to listen
carefully as to what is going. The Black album is a great example for this, it frikin'
well produced and the bass can be heard well on all the songs ....

pandora_grunt
01-13-2010, 10:42 AM
Bass should be there to hear if you listen for it, and when there is room i th emusic, play a little lick so people know you're out there.

But I think your lead guitarist is ur general guitar biatch thats wants all of the spotlight for himself. As long a syou dont go overboard with bass like Mortal Sin you should be fine :P

Northernmight
01-13-2010, 08:00 PM
Whatever fits the song, fits the song. Why can't everybody turn their need for attention and exposure aside and actually do it for the damn music?

A loud bass sound will of course be more fitting in some songs than other, for example loud bass in slow, sad songs usually works very well, because it has a low moody sound, where as for very fast music, the bass usually does best in the background, apart from certain thought-out parts for the bass.

All in all. What fits the music fits the music. You're a musician, you can hear what adds to the song and what pulls down. So don't argue.. just feel the bloody song.

Jeltz
01-14-2010, 06:17 PM
^

What this guy said.

However, if your guitarist want to pull a Jason Newsted on you and remove the bass completely you should make him change his mind or maybe start looking for another band or something. Bass is clearly an important part of the bands sound although usually not that audible until its gone, aslong as you're still in the mix it isnt really that much of a problem as you're still making a difference in the sound.

You should also talk the other guys in the band

The Kush
01-14-2010, 11:08 PM
In my band, we always joke about getting the perfect mix by turning the bassist's volume to 0 and stuff like that. But if anyone actually believes that bass should be inaudible, then they're an idiot. Too much bass is also bad, but you should be able to hear it if you listen for it.

kyle62
01-15-2010, 05:30 AM
Bass needs to be loud, but take out the upper mids to 'cut a hole' for the guitars to fit into.

Try and have one bright guitar, and one dark, so you're not pissing all over each other's sonic 'envelope'.

You need to apply most studio mixing techniques to live sound - in the studio, you'll arrange things so each instrument has its own 'space', a small band of frequencies that it has practically to itself.
Try and jam too much into the same space (vocals, keys and electric guitars particularly) and you'll end up with a muddy, mid-heavy, unfocused sound.

Put a little more thought into each individual instrument when setting up the amps and PA, you'll find everything sounds clearer without losing any of the rock 'thump':

http://dallashodgson.info/articles/moulton_spectum.gif

pandora_grunt
01-15-2010, 05:46 AM
Above post gave me an idea!

In studio's they remove the lowest frequencies from guitars. they usually cut it away from 50 to 100 hz. The bass is usually cut in the mids as previously mentioned. This way the abundant frequencies don't get in eachothers way. You cna try this out in your rehearsal room by adjusting the EQ's.

This way it won't be much of a volume thing anymore.

Puppet_616
01-15-2010, 09:40 AM
Rarther than quoting the last few posts which have talked largely about EQs i'll try to answer in one.

I've looked into EQs before and suggested this that we adjust are EQs to change from our "home alone, jamming" settings to new settings that compliment each other.
However, from both gutiarists this has been met with the response "oh but I like my EQ the way it is". It's a sad situation really, we are all best friends who can play are instruments well and want to make it in a band, but stick us in that room together every week and we become enemies only, seemingly, fighting for ourselves.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice, it's been taken on board and will be put to them tonight. Anyone with any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a reply :)


(Just for the record, I am already considering looking for another band because of all this hassle) :)