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Bass EQ Settings to cut through Heavy Music

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by rydin4lifebass, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. I'm currently using an Ibanez SRX300 to record a bass track into a Tascam DP008 multi-track recorder. I'm finding that the bass sounds too "rumbly" and gets lost underneath some of the heavier mp3s I'm playing along to (Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, etc.). I know some of this is obviously related to the fact that the mp3 includes the original bass track but my recording still sounds "muddy" at times. I only have EQ for bass and treble along with a pickup selector knob and I'm wondering if I should keep the bass even and boost the treble or if I should utilize the EQ on the Tascam unit (also a two-band EQ). Any suggestions for good starting points?
  2. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    Sorry no one's responded to this so far. You really should do what you can to boost the mids. I know you said you've just got a two band eq, but maybe get a pedal that gives you more options or something.

    I crank my mids with my band and I cut through VERY well. I have a clanky tone that helps penetrate through also, but cutting my treble a little and giving my mids a boost REALLY helps out since my guitarists are both high gain and scoop out their mids. So I step in and fill in the gap.

    For metal, it's a good starting point to try not to scoop your sound. It sounds great when your solo or with headphones, but in a band situation, you'll get lost easy.
  3. No need to apologize my man...but I appreciate the reply. I'm certainly finding that the tone I love with just my bass track is not necessarily the tone that's going to cut through the mix. I'm saving some money for a Zoom B3 to get some addition EQ and effect options so I'm hoping that will help as well, especially in shaping the tone and boosting some of the mids. Again, appreciate the reply!
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    For cutting through heavy music, I have good luck putting the pickup blend more toward the bridge pickup and/or picking closer to the bridge. Either of these adjustments will help you get a tighter sound with more midrange harmonic overtones.
  5. I have toyed with the pickup selector but like acidbath said, it's a mix between what sound good isolated and what sounds good in the mix. I've always favored the neck pickup when listening to the bass track isolated but I'll focus a little more on the bridge pickup and play around with that!
  6. Swipter


    Sep 7, 2009
    Listening to the bass track isolated is like listening to yourself next to your cab and 30 feet away from your cab. It will be different. That is why you can't tune to an environment, very easily, standing right in front of your rig. What you hear is not what they hear. Maybe flat wound strings would help too. Mids are the key. Bass causes boom with no depth. There is a happy medium.
  7. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Here's how I do it - YMMV:

    - Select the neck pickup only. Blending two pickups causes a loss in mids due to phase cancellation.
    - Use a pick. This is not optional.
    - Do not boost or cut the bass or treble using the on-board EQ - leave them flat at the center detents.
    - Boost the low-mids (250 - 400 Hz) using a pedal (Aguilar Tone Hammer, EWS BMC, Boss GEB-7, MXR M-109, MXR M081, Presonus EQ3B). I use the Tone Hammer. My second choice would be the EWS BMC. Sweepable mids control is desired.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    low mids boost, and then if you don't get there try brighter strings
  9. Thanks guys! I'll be ordering a Zoom B3 soon so I'll have additional options with that. I'm a big fan of Twiggy Ramirez (of Marilyn Manson) and he uses an MXR DI Plus to shape some of his tone. I suppose this is considered a DI box but how does that differ from a pre-amp (like the tone hammer)? would I use a pre-amp in front of the MXR DI or are they interchangeable?
  10. AciDBatH666


    Feb 13, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    It's pretty much a preamp. You'll like it if you like that tone. I run it for the clean boost and run the distortion when I want a heavy heavy grit. I use it in conjunction with my Sansamp but I could totally use just the MXR and be happy with it.

    We're recording right now and I could totally just walk in with my MXR di and be totally cool with the tone that comes out of it.
    If I can find the time I'll make a vid going over the tones
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  11. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Regarding the MXR DI Plus - if that is this one:


    The spec sheet shows that the mid freq is fixed at 850 Hz. That's not very useful (IMO, YMMV). Keep in mind that when someone like Twiggy uses this in the studio, there is a lot of processing that happens after the DI.

    I've never used the Zoom B3, but it probably has the ability to boost those important low-mids one way or another.
  12. davy4575


    Nov 4, 2009
    Denver, CO
    If Im reading the question right...Recording...sometimes it is the simple thing first. If youre hearing to much low and low-mid...for the purpose of recording, simply lower the low end or low mid of the eq. A little goes a long way. If you have drums and guitar, especially in heavy rock and metal, they will be pumping out low end down there as well. I generally cut areas before I start boosting other areas when recording. things pile up quickly
  13. ronlitz - Yes, that is the unit I'm speaking of. I'm sure there is a ton of processing going on in the studio, which I'll obviously never mimic, but I was hoping that using the same pedal with the same settings would at least be a good start.

    Acidbath - Thanks for the reply. I've heard good things about the B3's "imitation" of the mxr pedal, so I'm glad you have positive feelings for it...hopefully it will get me closer to what i'm looking for.

    davy4575 - I definitely hear what you're saying. My first thought is to boost the lows because I like that sound when just listening to the bass itself, but as has been said, that doesn't always equate to a good sound in the mix.

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