Bad studio tone with my new Warwick! PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Domino, Feb 19, 2001.

  1. Domino


    Dec 5, 2000
    First off know this - I have only been playing bass for a year or so, but I've played a lot and become pretty decent in that year and come from a music background (12 years piano / 4 years tenor saxophone). I rock out on stage and get good tone out of my amp on stage, and have been a part of a few self-recorded albums. Knowing that read on...

    I have a brand new Warwick Corvette Proline. I just got it and played it at a gig last Friday - seems to be good on stage. However today my band went into the studio for the first time...I went direct out from my ampeg head to the board. The tone was horrible. I recorded the whole album and then went back to listen to it and it just sounded "tin-like", with fret buzz on the E string (tuned to C#) and just wasn't fat or clear at all. I never notice this bad tone when playing through my amp. Sounded absolutely horrible and I had the EQ set to boost the bass and cut the treble. I now need to re-record the whole thing. Also the strings that came with the Warwick seem to be a little heavier than what I am used to.

    What can I do to get better studio tone out of this new Warwick? Help. I really don't want to have to use the Yamaha to record this album.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Set your EQ flat on the bass. Don't use your amp ... DI straight into the board. You can EQ after you record (on mix-down). The last time we recorded I went straight to the board with a SansAmp Bass Driver DI. Sounds bitchen. I used my Lakland and my Fender Jazz Deluxe V. Both sounded great.
  3. i have been recording with my thumb bass a lot and i have been keeping my tone knobs at zero. works great for me, nice bite when i dig in and nice and fat when i layback. i have been going straight into a 16 track w/no Di and also going thru a Roloand amp. using a Di is the nest step in my tone quest.
    i just picked up a SansAmp last week.
  4. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    I had the same exact problem with my warwick, my solution? I used my jazz when recording and am about to sell my warwick. Theres just something about those electronics and pickups, even when turning off the active electronics it still sounds like crap in the studio.
  5. maxoges


    Aug 23, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Did you go straight to the board from the amp or did you mic up the cabinett? I would recommend going direct and use a RE-20 mic and mic up the cabinett, and then blend the sounds. That's how all the pro's do it. You could change the mic to a U87 just to experiment.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Actually most studio pros record a Fender or Fender type(Sadowsky, Lakland, etc) straight into the desk or with a DI.
  7. I would suggest getting rid of the amp an either going direct, or try something like a Bass POD, a friend of mine had a similar problem recording and that did the trick......And if you don't like Line 6 there are many similar options.....
  8. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    My warwick sounded bad even through a bass pod (even though I love the pod still).
  9. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars

    I'm in a fairly well respected studio in Central FL (Parc Studios and working with an excellent producer/enginner, George Spatta (see ). We're recording a 12 song CD, not a demo, but an actual release quality recording, budget and the whole deal.

    The reason it's interesting is that George and I were sitting in the booth tonite while he was moving the basic tracks from analog to digital for mixing purposes, and started a discussion about basses and recording them.

    One of the very first things he said to me was "I hate recording Warwicks, no matter what I do, I can never get a good solid tone out of them". His prefered bass to record? Fender P. He said the only thing he was sad about was that Fender didn't make a 5 string one, and when I informed him that was no longer true, he was quite happy.

    Luckliy, he said that my fretless Guitar Factory (any pic you've seen of me is with that particular bass...) is going to tape like a dream, he's very pleased with it :D.

    Now if we could just get someone to actually play the darned thing well, we'd be getting somewhere..... :eek:
  10. Mo' bass

    Mo' bass

    May 4, 2000
    Well, I've just finished a CD with my Warwick and another one is soon to follow. We did the recording & mixing ourselves because we were not happy with the sound from the studio we went to in the past. I am very happy with my sound on the CD. So, it can be done....

    BTW, I went direct from my bass straight into the board. I can't remember whether I used a DI. Next time I will go through my Mo' Bass for some added spice...
  11. Domino


    Dec 5, 2000
    Well it looks like I've started an interesting discussion here...

    I think we are going to try a direct out feed and mic the cabinet and mix the sounds. Hopefully that will get good tone out of that. I get good tone out of my ampeg rig. I was so suprised that the tone just sucked going direct out with the warwick in the studio.

    I have a Yamaha RBX460 (PJ Passive) as my old bass. Should I just use that and say heck with the Warwick in the studio? Jeez I was so looking forward to having the 'sound of wood' on our CD.

    How do all of these pro-bands out there with the tons of bass players that play Warwick get such killer tone out of it (Incubus, Dave Matthews, Limp Bizkit, Alice in Chains, etc.). I mean SO many pro-bass players use Warwicks, how do they get the good studio tone? What's the secret?
  12. Domino


    Dec 5, 2000
    Another you think it could be the strings? I think it comes with Warwick Black Label strings...never tried them before...maybe that's it?

    I normally play DAddario strings...
  13. FunkmastaJ


    Feb 1, 2001
    Seattle WA
    I know a Nashville steel guitarist and right before I bought my warwick he told me that he cant stand the sound of them recorded. Well, I really should have listened to him.
  14. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    You mentioned that you were recording with your E string tuned to a C#? The very first thing I'd check, at least to get rid of some of the fret buzz is to make sure the action isn't set too low. Tuning an E string to C# can yield some very interesting tones, for sure! But, it also produces quite a bit less tension on the neck than your neck might be set for.

    These buzzes, as you hear them through the studio mix, may not be present when played live through your Ampeg, due to the way it's eq'ed, but those nuances that are not coming through live may, in fact still be there. These nuances come through a little too well for some people's tastes when recording direct.

    Another thing you might consider using in the studio is heavier gauge strings. This can help to fatten up your sound some.

    Aside from that, I'm a new fan of the Sans Amp Bass Driver DI box. You might consider trying this or some other direct box for recording purposes. The Sans Amp, by the way, also produces some incredible live sounds!:cool:

    I'm not much of a Fender fan, myself, so recording with one isn't one of my favorite options. But, it may end up suiting you particularly well.
  15. MohawkHarry


    May 21, 2000
    I had the same problem with my FNA! rickity tickity
    pop pop pop... I had to set my pickup as low as it would go, and raise my action till it was very uncozy to play to get a noiseless sound. Buy a Fender Jazz for the studio.
  16. this may sound odd but i alway wore my warwick real high, when i started wearing it a little lower i didn't get as much pickup noise from my plucking hand. just a little change in position helps sometimes.
  17. virtual.ray


    Oct 25, 2000
    The haters of Warwick recorded tone sound like the great grandchildren of those who shouted "Get a horse!" at the sight of the 1st automobiles to me.I get really nice tone with little if any EQ when recording with either of my Warwicks.But it's a different tone than any Fender.Thank God!
  18. "Get a horse" thats funny v.r

    the guy that i record with doesn't like working with the sound of my jazz bass. i guess its what makes the world go round
  19. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
  20. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    WHOA!!! Hold your horses there Ray!!! ;)

    I never said I hated those basses, nor did George say that. He said he had a tough time getting a good tone on tape with them ("I hate recording Warwicks..."). I've heard some wonderful sounds on tape out of them, but I can imagine that it may be difficult to get that tone happening for an engineer that isn't familiar with them. You're somewhat right, it's a comfort/convienence thing for engineers to work with a Fender tone, they've always done it, so they KNOW how right away, no twiddling for them.

    Be aware that I use a very modern, custom made, boutique bass myself, and George got a KILLER tone from it, with little or no effort. He didn't make one negative comment about it when I took it out of the gig bag at the start of the session.

    All that said, I haven't played many Warwicks that I cared for (don't dig the baseball bat necks :rolleyes: ), but hey, if it works for you or someone else, then that's a great thing!! :D