#1
Hey guys,

I'll start this off by saying I'm not really a bass player. I have a bass, and have played bass on and off over the years. I can get the job done. I've been playing guitar for 18 or so years though.

Anyway, I've been recording for a solo black metal album, and my first song is nearly completed -- I just need to revamp/finish my bass track. I know bass guitar isn't a prevalent sound in black metal, but I want the mix to sound halfway decent at least.

My question is this -- Say I'm playing a furious set of 16th note tremelo riffs on guitar. On the bass, do I need to match the 16th notes? Or should I just play 8th notes or even quarter notes? I just can't really hear what the bass players are actually doing on all the black metal songs I've studied, and without a deep knowledge base regarding the bass's role in songwriting, I'm not exactly sure how to incorporate it into my songwriting.

At least on this particular song, my bass line so far matches the 16th notes of my guitar parts -- but in other words, I'm asking if this is the most intelligent use of the bass? Or might it sound better to play 8th or quarter notes and let them ring out longer? This song in particular is a marathon to play...
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#2
Why do you want to sound like everyone else if you can't hear them in the first place? Play what sounds good to you man.
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#3
I don't want to sound like everyone else. I want it to sound good ...

Thank you for your time, though, I guess.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#4
Try both, do what sounds best.

If as you said in black metal the bass is not the focus of the song then it won't make a huge difference either way.

My instinct for fast tremolo riffs would be to have the bass match the guitar, because having the bass play 8th notes would reduce the impact. But I am not too familiar with black metal so I can't say what is standard, if there even is a standard.
#5
Quote by KailM
I want the mix to sound halfway decent at least.

This is your mistake. If you do this it won't be kvlt enough.

I'm pretty sure the 16ths would be the more necro/grim/brvtvl option, but it might be that you can get a better sound out of 8th notes; I'd just do what Random3 says and try it either way, letting your ears decide.
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#6
Quote by K33nbl4d3
This is your mistake. If you do this it won't be kvlt enough.

I'm pretty sure the 16ths would be the more necro/grim/brvtvl option, but it might be that you can get a better sound out of 8th notes; I'd just do what Random3 says and try it either way, letting your ears decide.


I know what you're saying, even if it's in jest. If it sounds too clean, it's not black metal, lol.

I'm aiming at "medium" production quality here. There are a lot of newer black metal bands that have a great sound, yet it's still in-line with the black metal aesthetic. Bands like Winterfylleth, Wodensthrone, Blut Aus Nord, and even later Immortal and Emperor.

I'm going for a step pretty far above Burzum or Darkthrone, production-wise. But not the likes of newer Dimmu Borgir or Cradle of Filth, who in my opinion have lost all credibility in the genre.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#7
I find 8ths work better in black metal. Even better is if you can come up with some sort of melodic line or counterpoint to whats going on with the guitar. Sometimes Ill also pedal notes while the guitar moves over top. Its really up to you theres a lot of freedom I find for bass in black metal.
#9
Chord roots are never a bad idea especially if the guitars are playing melodies.
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#10
i used to play death metal - not the same thing, but i often played 16ths with the guitarist while the drummer did blast beats. 8ths are good, too. and yeah, trying it both ways makes the most sense, so you can pick what works best for the song IYO.
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#11
you don't gotta be low-prod, high intensity to be kvlt

but yeah just do whatever you want, cause i've hung out with the kinda local scene guys who are really serious about black metal and most of them just regurgitate what they read on insert-edgy-metal-site.com and don't make decent music themselves
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#12
Thanks for all the suggestions guys -- but the song is done! I ended up just playing along with the guitar for the most part -- so straight-up tremelo picking. At the end of the song I saw a place to create more of a groove with the bass, so I didn't play 16ths there. Anyway, click on my signature and it will take you to the song. Bass is pretty low in the mix, but at least you can hear it. I'm going to remaster this song because I got too aggressive with the limiter -- it doesn't sound as good as it should. But anyway, let me know what you think of the bass playing (or the whole thing, really). Thanks again!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood