#1
Just thought I'd make a little topic to talk about bass.

I see alot of people dialling in a lot of low end on their guitars rather than letting the BASS guitar handle the BASS frequencies. The best recorded guitar sounds are actually a lot, lot thinner than you may think.

A good bass sound handles the low end but also blends in with the guitar midrange. This is usually done by doubling the bass track, maybe even tripling it or quadrupling it and processing each track differently before sending them all to one bus track and glueing the seperate tracks together with compression and eq.

The way I typically mix bass is with at least 3 tracks.
One subbass track (HEAVY HEAVYYY compression, literally a square wave, no dynamics AT ALL. EQ out anything except the sub bass.)
One twang track. (Cut the low end. mild overdrive to bring out twang of the string. Playing REALLY hard helps here. mild compression, but not much as distortion yields natural compression)
One all out distortion track (cut the low end again, lots of distortion, probably a fair amount of eq. I tend to mix the really distorted track really low, so it's nearly inaudible, but it adds SOMETHING.)

You can also go a bit crazy and add a "mid bass" track as well. Sub-bass is up to about 90-ish hz and midbass is 90-150 or so. You feel sub-bass more than you hear it and mid-bass is more audible, so sometimes you may want to process it differently, but its rarely required.

Finally, here's a comparison of a mix I'm working on currently. I constantly muted the bass track, and then un-muted it as the song played so you can hear the difference in real time. The bass is mixed fairly high in this track, all things considered, but you never really notice the bass is there until it's gone at which point you really really notice how much it adds.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/631208/bass%20comparison.mp3

You'll notice how thin the guitars when the bass is taken away.
Long story short: Let the bass handle the bass, full stop.

Hope this is of help to people!
Last edited by Dream Pin at Jan 1, 2010,
#2
Link isn't working, I would love to hear this, great topic!

edit: sorry, i didn't read what you said about the link
Last edited by ThemBones at Jan 1, 2010,
#4
So what you're saying is that the guitar can sound a little thin because the bass will "fill it out" because I cant think of better words.
Last edited by hobson111 at Jan 1, 2010,
#5
Great topic, I also really liked the song. Sounds good, I'm sure the final product will be awesome.
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#8
This is great. The main problem I have with my recordings is my low end. Perhaps you could do a little guide on the actual blending of the bass and guitars?

That would be freakin great.
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#9
Good guitar tone + processing of bass in that sort of way (splitting up into multiple tracks and bussing them) + TIGHT PLAYING (or stuff edited to be tight if the players suck) = pretty much it d00d.

Sitting there and spending a few minutes adjusting the balance of your seperate bass tracks to be perfect makes a shitton of difference.
#10
Ok and when you say double/triple/quad layering the bass, you mean playing the same stuff repeatedly, not copying and pasting correct? Also, just keep all of the tracks panned to the center or what? Thanks for the help
My Setup
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Line 6 Vetta
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Check my clips out

Click foar epic clipz
#11
@Disturbed, when you double/triple/quad track..you always record a new take for each track, never copy and paste it.

@Dream Pin, another great little article that is appreciated by all! :P

P.S. That recording sounds awesome. Are you in a band/have a site with recordings up?
#12
^ Yeah I knew that was true for guitars, just wasn' tsure for the bass. Do I keep all the tracks panned center?

Thats my last question
My Setup
Epiphone SG
Ibanez RG2EX1

Line 6 Vetta
Peavey Vypyr 15 for teh lulz

Check my clips out

Click foar epic clipz
#14
i literally just duplicate the track
and pan it all center
if youre cool like jens bogren you could experiment with a clean track centered and 2 overdriven tracks panned slightly out to the left and right but its not really needed
#15
Quote by CatharsisStudio
its not true for bass. you copy ans paste the bass, because bass is a mono instrument in the mix not a stereo like guitat there for you have no need to double track it.


DO NOT DOUBLE TRACK THE BASS


I use stereo bass all the time, it depends on what sort of sound you are going for, and what genre you are working in.

Also while the advice in this thread is great for stuff where the bass pretty much follows the guitar, it doesn't work quite as well if the bass is doing something completely different, in which case you may want to give the guitar a bit more low end, as the bass won't be filling it out in the same way, and any time the bass is playing in a higher register it will leave the guitar sounding flat. So while this is good advice for probably most of what people on here will be doing, it isn't universal.
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Jan 2, 2010,
#16
Very good thread, I am in the middle of recording my GCSE AOS1 piece and have just got the drums done. I may well try some of these techniques when recording the bass for it, so thank you ever so much (:
#17
As mentioned, this won't work for all genres of music, but letting the bass guitar & kick drum handle the bass frequencies will. Too much low end on guitars will lead to a less defined sound.
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#18
@Disturbed, sorry about the misinformation but we learn something new everyday :P

@Kid_Thorazine. What genre's are you working with atm that you are implementing stereo vs mono?

Could someone maybe put up a piece with stereo bass vs mono (pretty plzz!). Can turn this thread into an official "What are your options for recording bass" type of vibe :P
#19
Def a great place to start for sure. You can defiantly tell that when the Bass isn't there, there's something missing.

Its not the style I play (I play a lot of Punk) but for sure I can take some notes from it. I got a bass for my Birthday a few days ago and it kicks the crap out of all those cheesy synth basses I've got :p
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#20
Quote by Kid_Thorazine
I use stereo bass all the time, it depends on what sort of sound you are going for, and what genre you are working in.

Also while the advice in this thread is great for stuff where the bass pretty much follows the guitar, it doesn't work quite as well if the bass is doing something completely different, in which case you may want to give the guitar a bit more low end, as the bass won't be filling it out in the same way, and any time the bass is playing in a higher register it will leave the guitar sounding flat. So while this is good advice for probably most of what people on here will be doing, it isn't universal.


Yeah, for sure. It's safe to assume that most of my articles/tutorials will be fairly hard rock/metal/br00tulzzz-centric because that's what most of my work is, and write what you know 'n all that.
#21
Quote by 21Fretter


@Kid_Thorazine. What genre's are you working with atm that you are implementing stereo vs mono?

Could someone maybe put up a piece with stereo bass vs mono (pretty plzz!). Can turn this thread into an official "What are your options for recording bass" type of vibe :P


Well I do it most often in my electronic stuff (whether I'm using a synth bass or a real one) but I've also experimented with it in other things, it works really well if you sidechain the kick to one or both of the bass tracks (this creates a very cool almost glitchy sound if you do blast beats on the kick)
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Last edited by Kid_Thorazine at Jan 2, 2010,
#22
thanks for spreading the word man. People need to realise that the bass (and kick drum) is supposed to fill the bass freq, not a guitar. I also want to try some of the techniques your talking about. Usually i just get a bass tone and run with that, but maybe a few mixed together might not be such a bad idea. Anyways really sweet track, it was nice to add the bass in at parts to show how important it can be to a mix.
#25
Quote by muckypup
Also, a quick question, so I shouldn't actually record three separate tracks like I do when I track guitars? I can just copy and paste without any problems coming?


Yep,

Bass is a mono instrument anyway, and all you're wanting to do is to process the different frequency bands differently.
you're not trying to create "stereo width" or a false "double tracked" sound like the n00bs that copy/paste the guitar tracks