#1
I've been messing around recording for a while now, and I finally have a solid grip on Reaper and a good number of songs ready to go. The problem is bass. Drums are easy enough to program and my brothers electronic kit makes coming up with parts a lot more natural, vocals and guitar I can handle.

As it is I'm not even very good at writing bass parts, usually it just follows guitar, and I feel like I'm wasting an instrument. I play and write a lot of stoner/sludge/doom, so replacing bass with more low end on guitar isn't unheard of, but I;m not sure it's the way to go.

So basically, should I just have a simple vsti bass or skip it entirely and just add some massive low end to the guitars and drums? I guess I would quad track guitars, 2 through a guitar amp and 2 through a bass amp, if I don't program bass. Thoughts?
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#2
Just continue using a real bass.

The bass doesn't have to do anything fancy, it's there to reinforce the guitar and give you a huge sound, you don't need to be flying all around the fretboard. If you don't understand its purpose, and want to replace it with more lowend on the guitar, then you don't understand its true purpose.
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#3
Give a VSTi a shot. Find you a decent free one, see how you like it and if it adds to your mixes then start looking at better options. After getting my hands on Trilian I'm addicted to VSTi bass.
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#4
Quote by MatrixClaw
Just continue using a real bass.

The bass doesn't have to do anything fancy, it's there to reinforce the guitar and give you a huge sound, you don't need to be flying all around the fretboard. If you don't understand its purpose, and want to replace it with more lowend on the guitar, then you don't understand its true purpose.

I don't have a real bass to continue using, nor the funds to acquire one.

I feel like bass could add a lot of depth under more minimalist guitar lines, but I'm not sure how to do that. I'm not a bassist, forgive me for not being the best at writing bass lines. Were I in a band it wouldn't be an issue, but as a one man project I have a lot of instrumentation to try and juggle.

I'd love trillion but it's insanely expensive.

Edit: I'd still love to hear more opinions but I think I'm going to try both. I'll record and program everything as usual, but one version will have bass, the other, extra guitars and a different mix. I'll give both a listen, perhaps post them here, and decide which is best. A bit time consuming but worth the effort I think.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
Last edited by robertito696 at Aug 28, 2011,
#6
if you're doing sludge stuff you could get away with a guitar pitchshifted an octave down if you have a VST amp set up intelligently.
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#7
Never liked pitch shifter guitars. I have a decent sounding VSTi bass, I'm more concerned with whether I should bother with it as I struggle to write bass lines that do more than follow the guitar.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#8
Even if it just follows the guitar, it will sound better than more low end guitars. But you did say you're doing some sludge/doom type stuff, so maybe it won't matter as much. Trial and error is your best shot.
#9
Quote by robertito696
Never liked pitch shifter guitars. I have a decent sounding VSTi bass, I'm more concerned with whether I should bother with it as I struggle to write bass lines that do more than follow the guitar.


Just "struggle harder". Listen to your favorite bands and copy what they play on bass. There are tabs galore out there and you can just steal a few riffs/tricks here and there and suddenly you have a style (exactly like you once did when learning guitar). Learning to write bass parts will make you a better musician. And there's no rule that bass parts have to be complicated or anything but root-note eights. Hell, a simple root-note part with the occasional fill (just copy anything from Geezer Butler) can do the trick.
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#10
Quote by ebon00
Just "struggle harder".

Not the best advice, but I know what you mean. I'll try learning a few bass parts and see if that helps.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.
#11
VSTi bass is better than no bass. just following the guitar with root notes and the occasional fill will add low end and depth you cant get by downtuning a guitar or pitch shifting. and then once you get that down, you can start to write borderline mediocre bass lines, which isnt all that tough. you just keep following the guitar, but add in other chord tones and try to add motion that follows the guitar.

heck, even doing that with an oscillator vst like someone mentioned above is going to add something depth-wise. just keep it simple so it stays in the background and fills in the sonic space without really taking any attention to itself.
#12
See if you can acquisition an oscillator vsti. You can get a appealing acceptable bass/sub-bass complete with just a basal sine beachcomber.beachcomber.
#13
So, since most of the sensible advice has been covered already, I'd like to say one thing.

You write a lot of stoner/sludge/doom?

Alright, here's what the bass does in most of that music:

*follow guitar*
*play implied chord progression under riff*
*pentatonic fill*
*follow guitar more*
#15
Quote by brain-hammer
A bass is irreplaceable


This is what we call an "over-simplification".
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#16
Quote by DiveRightIn63
This is what we call an "over-simplification".


Over simplification or not, it's still true regardless if you agree or not.
#17
Quote by brain-hammer
Over simplification or not, it's still true regardless if you agree or not.


It's not true. A bass is easily replaceable with a synth. The actual low frequencies that bass gives you are however largely needed for a mix to sound good.
#18
Quote by brain-hammer
Over simplification or not, it's still true regardless if you agree or not.

It is completely not true. I have seen quite a few bands that use a keyboard player playing the bass line instead of a bass player. While you do need something that fills in that sonic space, it does not have to be a bass.

Now, a bass guitar is the most common thing used in rock music for that low end. And works well for it. Which is why most people recording on this forum recomend either a bass or a bass synth. But there are other ways to do it.
#19
^It can't be replaced by more low end on the guitar though. I believe that was the point, however poorly worded.
For Frodo!
Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
No because a world full of marbles silly man is just as real as a half empty glass of microwaved nesquik.