#1
So I want to record some music (heavy metal), and I'd like to record bass tracks as well as guitar tracks.

Since I don't play bass regularly, I'm not interested in spending a lot of money on a bass guitar if I'm only going to use it for recording, maybe the odd jam here and there.

What's the minimum price you'd recommend paying for a bass guitar whilst still keeping a fairly decent sound? (I'm a complete nub with bass so I'm not sure how much audio quality matters). I was thinking between £60-100 ($90-$150).

Also, do you have any tips for recording bass tracks? Particularly if I decide to use distortion.
Last edited by sca.smith at May 11, 2013,
#2
I don't do metal but I have a Squier Jazz Bass I do all my recordings with I picked up for $200. Most people probably couldn't tell the difference between it and a $1000 Bass once its mixed in. Go used as you'll save a few bucks

I'm a little baked at the moment but my biggest tip is "less is more". Since the bass really only has to compete with the kick drum in terms of frequency space, little adjustments are easily heard. Throwing in too much distortion/overdrive will be very noticeable in the mix. Also, make sure you layer a clean bass behind your distorted bass. I find that it makes the bass sound more full.
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#3
Cheers for the advice. The kind of guitar/bass tone I'm going for is something like Dead But Rising by Volbeat, I love that really "full" sound.
#4
This probably belongs in the bass forum, but whatever. Over there our typical recommendations would be the Yamaha RBX series (I use these for all of my stuff, this was a Yamaha RBX375), the Squier Vintage Modified or Classic Vibe series, and the Ibanez SR series. Any of these should do metal just fine so it's more a matter of preference between Precision, Jazz, or Humbucker style pickups, and a preference of how it feels.
#5
My first bass was a $200 Squier Jaguar bass. It was actually really good for the price and sounded great on recordings. It even had active pickups.
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#6
I have a cheap Yamaha RBX 120 (I think) and it is good enough for what it is, could do with a pickup change though.
#7
Cheap basses that I know work:

Yamaha RBX 270
SGC Nanyo Bass Collection (It's my Uni bass cuz it cost all of £90 on ebay, needed a pup swap but was great stock apart from that. I recommend them if you can find them)
Most entry level Ibanez
If you can afford it, check out the Wawrick Rockbass series.

Honestly if you're using it to beef up the low end instead of having a great bass tone then any entry level bass from a known brand (apart from Gibson) should do you fine.
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#8
I got a Peavey Milestone III for about £40 on ebay a few years ago for the exact same reason you're thinking of getting one.

It's a really solid guitar, my mate who's a proper bassist rates it pretty highly.
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#9
Quote by lockwolf
Go used as you'll save a few bucks


+1

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#10
I'd pick up a used bass, as others said. I bought a Peavey Forum bass for $150 (including case, strap, and cables). The one thing that will be important is that it's in good condition. Then, get some of the exercises from the bass forum.

Oh, btw, a tip: you only use 3 fingers on bass (most of the time). On guitar, you typically use 4 fingers. On bass, a lot of people typically use their index finger, ring finger, and pinky. NEVER use your thumb, as this instantly marks you as a guitar player.
#11
Quote by crazysam23_Atax

Oh, btw, a tip: you only use 3 fingers on bass (most of the time). On guitar, you typically use 4 fingers. On bass, a lot of people typically use their index finger, ring finger, and pinky. NEVER use your thumb, as this instantly marks you as a guitar player.


Being formally a bass player for the last 7 years I have no idea what you're talking about.

I use 4 fingers on my fretting hand and have used a number of picking techniques, including 3 fingers in 4/4, pick and my thumb for low attack playing.

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Last edited by ChemicalFire at May 12, 2013,
#12
Quote by ChemicalFire
Being formally a bass player for the last 7 years I have no idea what you're talking about.

I use 4 fingers on my fretting hand and have used a number of picking techniques, including 3 fingers in 4/4, pick and my thumb for low attack playing.

A place for everything. There are no rules.
Yes, but I've been told by a few bass players to think of it as 3 positions. That said, I still use 4 fingers if it's comfortable. I think it helps a lot of guitar players early on, simply because the frets are larger on most basses than on most guitars.
#13
Try and find a used Peavey Fury, the one with the pickguard - NOT the Fury II. I got mine for $120 and it's a USA-made bass - Similar deals aren't hard to find. BLOWS away anything Fender makes for under $1500.

Other than that, the Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass is a great current-production bass that sounds better than Fenders 3-4 times its price.
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#14
there are loads of cheap basses that are excellent. Peavey, Cort, yamaha, Ibanez, Squier and endless clones of Jazz and Precision basses. Go over to the bass forum and look at the stickies then look second hand.

If you really have no interest other than recording I think I might look at either a precision or jazz clone. Precisions give the authentic satisfying bass thump of an awful lot of rock music and have fairly chunky necks. Jazzes have slimmer necks and dual pickups and so a wider range of sounds. They have more top and bottom too if the pups are decent. I have small hands so I play a jazz but old Leo managed to land the Precision's pup right in the sweet spot.

the point of a P or a J is that there are some great pups available for not much money so if you buy a bass that plays well you can upgrade the pickup for not much later on. You can get a Wilkinson for not much at all and something like a Kent Armstrong for £50 which is an upgrade for most MIA Fenders.