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All bass recording mess

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by soontobedead, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Hey guys, I'm trying to start a post-rock / black metal / shoegaze solo project thing by myself using drumkit from hell and since I don't own a guitar (and frankly, can't afford one atm), I was thinking of making it all bass, but everytime I try to record anything, with more than one layer, say a rhythm track and a lead, it sounds like a mess.

    I usually play fingerstyle only, but for the sake of clarity and use and abuse of tremolo picking, I'm switching to a pick for this project. I find it improves the situation a bit.

    Now, I NOW I'm taking the wrong approach here, but I'm not recording a clean signal and then processing it, but using my pedals to achieve the sound I want (fuzz, overdrive/distortion, delay, reverb, synth), since my computer is rather crappy and can't use too many plugins or VSTs... is this the source of my problem? Do you have any tips to record?

    My gear is bass > Digitech BSW > Sansamp VT Bass > Way Huge Swollen Pickle > TC Electronic Flashback > Fast Track USB II > crappy HP laptop.

    If you need any extra info, let me know. Thanks in advance!
  2. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Oh, forgot to add one thing, all the chord strumming is done in the higher register. I own a 6 string, all chordal parts are on the higher 3 strings, above the 5th fret, so as to avoid muddiness. Still, no improvement apparent.

    :help:
  3. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa

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    It would perhaps be easier for the folks here to provide good advice if you posted a sample of something you have recorded that "sounds like a mess".
  4. danielfnj96

    danielfnj96

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    I've had this problem too and there's an easy solution; setup a dubby rhythm bass tone with almost nothing but low end, a lead tone with almost no low end, and then pan the tracks to two different sides. Another idea that i haven't tried yet is to use a piccolo bass (bass tuned an octave higher) for the leads. Also sometimes it can help to have a dirty lead tone and a clean rhythm tone or vice versa. Furthermore if you have multiple basses try using different basses on different tracks to help differentiate between tones. Effects can help alot too to help with creating different tones so you can try that too, but the main thing is to just have two very different tones so they don't meld together into one sloppy mess.
  5. ozzyismetal

    ozzyismetal

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    +1
    It could be any number of problems with the mix - we'd have to hear it to know what could be going on in there.
  6. My name is Mudd

    My name is Mudd

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    What DAW are you using, and is the laptop's soundcard config'd correctly for it?
  7. SidMau

    SidMau

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    Make sure to EQ correctly. It also helps to change which pickups you use. For instance, lower end stuff with neck pickup, higher range stuff soloing bridge.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd Supporting Member

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    we use the ibanez expressionator through a line6 guitar amp with all the treble, delay, od etc. and i play the L2k super deep and clean through my mesa d180, works pretty well, worked even better before the other guy refused to use his octave up effect
  9. Robus

    Robus

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    Depending on how soon you expect to be dead, it might not be a bad idea to learn some guitar.
  10. bkbirge

    bkbirge Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Nothing wrong with using your pedals if that's the sound you like. Without hearing your problem I would suggest look to your arrangement first, that's where clarity of mixes usually falls apart.
  11. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Thanks for the responses and suggestions, guys. I have been thinking about EQ´ing as an eventual solution, though I'm not that far into experimenting with it yet. I'll post some chord progression I'm working with in a while for you to analyze and get better feedback.

    Robus, I lol'd. Mudd, I'm using Reaper, since the Fast Track USB comes only with ProTools SE and it doesn't accept any 3rd party VSTs.
  12. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    Huh?
  13. Volpe25

    Volpe25

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    I dont know what you consider a mess, but a couple things you should do is think of the tone of the different layers, for the chords try playing with the knobs on your bass set in the middle, then for the bassline turn down the treble a bit and turn up the bass, then for the lead turn up the treble and the bass down a bit and pan towards the bridge pickup and play closer to the bridge. It may not be the tone you want but it'll give you some idea of how differentiating the tone affects the song. If you play every single layer with the same tone the overall track will sound too muddy or too thin and a mess.
  14. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Ok, guys, so I recorded this thing I got and I've been tinkering with tone and EQ for different tracks and I also created 2 tracks, one with reverb and one without and it seems to clear things up a bit.

    Still, I think it could be better. Please, check the track and shoot any kind of suggestion or criticism, constructive or not.

    http://www.filedropper.com/blackdemo1mp3

    Thanks a bunch!

    (Bonus if you spot the Emperor reference/rip off)
  15. zxcvbs

    zxcvbs

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    Hi the main problem is in the mix, you have to pan and separate the different tracks through the left and right channels to add more space. I would take the drums more to the front and put the bass on the center.
  16. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Noted, man. I see what I can do with the panning. Do you think I should hard pan, them or 75% to 50% should do?

    Thanks!
  17. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

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    I made some youtube video with all bass and it is easier to have a distinc note if the EQ is different for each track probably different effect too and of course pan them in different places. ( like one or two direct in the middle, one on the right and one on the left) and also different volume may help.

    you may also want to play in different area of the neck to be sure you don't have two different track that play in the same lowest register ... this is the best way to mud everything
  18. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player

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    No dynamics - other than ffff.

    Too much noise, not enough pitch. It's approaching a sound file of white noise.
  19. soontobedead

    soontobedead

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    Great, man. Will do.

    Stick_Player, that´s kinda the point ;)
  20. jay tay

    jay tay

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    You could try recording something really simple to help identify the problem frequencies. Stay in one key and pound some roots for the bass part. Then strum the same chord, and finally arpegio the lead. The less there is going on the easier it will be to hear the frequency spectrums that are conflicting.

    If it sounds clear in the mix with the basic one key recording, then maybe the issue is with the arrangement.

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