1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

All bass recording mess

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

  1. soontobedead


    Jul 14, 2005
    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


    Jul 14, 2005
    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.

  3. eyvindwa

    eyvindwa Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    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


    Jan 29, 2012
    NJ, USA
    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. +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. What DAW are you using, and is the laptop's soundcard config'd correctly for it?
  7. SidMau


    Sep 3, 2012
    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 neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    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


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Depending on how soon you expect to be dead, it might not be a bad idea to learn some guitar.
  10. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    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


    Jul 14, 2005
    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. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
  13. Volpe25


    May 5, 2012
    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


    Jul 14, 2005
    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.


    Thanks a bunch!

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


    Mar 8, 2009
    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


    Jul 14, 2005
    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?

  17. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    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 Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    No dynamics - other than ffff.

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


    Jul 14, 2005
    Great, man. Will do.

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

    jay tay

    Aug 12, 2009
    Manchester UK
    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.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.