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Avoid sliding sound during recordings?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by zatan130, Dec 8, 2011.


  1. zatan130

    zatan130

    May 13, 2010
    CT
    I have been recording lately with my Gibson G3 bass. Nothing fancy. Just Monster bass cables and Audacity.

    Most of my recordings are great and I can usually avoid the sliding noise. But there are songs where sliding is required ("Ob-la-di Ob-la-da" comes to mind) and in those songs the sliding of my fingers on the metal strings is obnoxiously loud.

    Are my pickups to sensitive? Are roundwounds too noisy? Is my "gear" too low quality? Am I just not as godly as Paul McCartney? GAH! I need help!
     
  2. marcencabo

    marcencabo

    Jul 29, 2010
    Long Beach, CA
    I think flats are the way to go if you're looking for less string noise.
     
  3. McCartney had flats AND a short scale bass. Less shifting and no string noise.
     
  4. AmadeusXeno

    AmadeusXeno

    Mar 8, 2011
    Maine
    I's say try using flats or Elixer strings. The smoothness of flats helps, as does the coating of Elixer's. Elixer will keep the sound of rounds if that's what you perfer, but it does take some getting used to the feel of them. They are kinda slippery under the fretting hand.
     
  5. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I think that's a matter for the recording engineer.
     
  6. zatan130

    zatan130

    May 13, 2010
    CT
    Flats it is...
     
  7. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Flat would help, but an easier fix is just rolling off all frequencies above 1khz. That would eliminate a large amount of fret noise.
     
  8. winterburn69

    winterburn69

    Jan 27, 2008
    Saskatchewan
    Actually if we're specifically talking about Ob-Li-Di, Ob-Li-Da, it was the Rickenbacker by that time.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bass is a little noisy sometimes. Make it work to your advantage.
     
  10. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Braintree
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    All great points, also think along the lines of EQ, remember in recording the object is to get a strong bass signal, not SOUND. Once you have the signal then you EQ it and dress it to suit. As a rule a flat EQ is order of the day as you will EQ'd in the mix and in the master, so no point in dressing the original signal if it will be dressed even more at later stages. Think of the signal you record as dry and flat, like it would be on your amp BEFORE you EQ it.......same principal listen to the recorded track and EQ to your sound. This takes experience and the trust that know you will get the sound you hear in your head, not the sound being recorded, remember a recording is a work of art it takes imagination to 'hear' the final product, and a single train of thought not be be distracted from it, by that I mean do be seduced by new ideas or effects, stick to and complete your original idea.
     
  11. I think flatwound strings are the best solution for this particular matter.
     
  12. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Yes, flatwound strings.
    Also, technique. If you're talking about eliminating the noise while shifting positions, you can work on your muting. However, if you do want to hear the glissando -- the slide -- itself, but without extra noise, flatwounds are a good idea.

    I just have to add that I've had more than one producer tell me that these little extra noises add character, and that I was a bit too worried about eliminating them. And, it is true that EQing during the mix can eliminate some of that noise, if desired.
     
  13. niels125

    niels125

    Aug 11, 2011
    Turn your tone knob to less bright
     
  14. If you don't want flats, try rubbing lighty your roundwound strings with a scoth brite pad or 0000 steel wool, it'll help getting rid off the finger noise a little.
     
  15. dougjwray

    dougjwray

    Jul 20, 2005
    Not the best idea when recording.
     
  16. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Not true in my experience. You've got controls on your bass as well as on your amp or recording rig for a reason. If you get a sound that is working on a recording, no matter how achieve it, nothing else really matters.
     
  17. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    I would not worry about string noise if I were you. There is a great quote where someone said a good bass track will sound like there is someone working on a buick in the background. In other words all of the extra noises like fret buzz string noises etc add the the overall sound rather than take away. Also when you add in drums, 2 guitars, vocals, keyboards, and other instruments your sliding noises will be buried in the background.
     
  18. ishouldbeking

    ishouldbeking

    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    Also, finger noise can be pretty cool in a recording. Once you layer in the guitars, drums, vocals, and any other instruments it's usually not that noticeable. And if it's too noticeable or if it distracts from the song you can always do another take. For the record, most professional engineers can edit out extraneous without much trouble, but oftentimes it's just more interesting to leave it in.
     
  19. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
  20. Tupac

    Tupac

    May 5, 2011
    Those producers were smart people indeed. Can you imagine this without the sliding noises? It makes the song feel more intimate, somehow.
     

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