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Do I need a new Bass or tweak this one?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tuBass, Sep 30, 2003.


  1. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Here's a short recording of the band I play with at church. (I know, not a great recording mix), I would like to get your opinion on if there is anything I can do to my tone to get more of a "pro" sound. You know, full, clear with lots of body. If it was your tone, what would you do?

    Is it the bass, me, or an EQ adjustment?

    I am playing a Yamaha BBG5S with EMG DC pickups, running 18V. I go direct to the board with a radial 48V direct box. I also use slowound strings.
     
  2. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    I think you're being way too hard on yourself - that doesn't sound bad at all, and supports the band fairly well.

    If you're looking for more clarity, turn down the bass - don't be afraid of that nasty bit of string noise you hear. It gets lost in the mix, but adds a lot of note definition. How were the controls on your bass set?
     
  3. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    If I remember right, The neck pickup was full on and the bridge was probably 1/2 to 3/4 the way up. I probably had my EXB turned about halfway up, which would have made a smiley face EQ. I am thinking of ditching that in favor of a more traditional EQ, or just adding an EQ before the Direct box. I have a fishman Pro-EQ I could ues to boost the mid low's (or is it low-mid's):confused:

    Thanks for the positve comments. I just get really intimidated when I hear these monster tomes out there on the radio and on CD's, and I say "I want to sound like THAT!"

    By the way, it was a recording mix, not a recording of the live mix, I bet I wasn't that loud on the live mix. The guy doing the recording is a bass player too, and turned me up just for that song.
    Mark
     
  4. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Honestly, I think the bass tone is of least concern in that recording. To my ears, your tone was better than the rest of the band's. It is rather harsh to judge your tone against big name artists out there because you simply don't have the resources they do. Their tone has been doctored, EQ'd and reworked by professional sound engineers in multi-million dollar studios.
     
  5. tyson

    tyson

    Feb 9, 2000
    Dallas, TX
    how about adding some percussion to that mix? heh heh.

    18V? that's two tounge shocker's, yes? IMHO, active PUs tend to have a sharper sound and may be better suited for jazz and metal and are not always be appropriate for that kind of folk-type music. maybe turn your tone down some and/or switch to nickel/nickel strings if you're using stainless steel currently. otherwise, i think you playing's great.
     
  6. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    yeah i'd strongly suggest NO eq on the bass itself. do it flat until you hear the mix, then you can add eq if needed in post production. in my experience yamaha basses are pretty dark sounding, so i wouldn't think that the sharp sound or stainless strings are going to matter that much in this case. You want mids man, MIDS!
     
  7. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    The DC's are the top line, as far as I know.

    I guess I need to clarify something for everybody, we are not in a studio or have any thoughts about making a recording. THe recording mix is just an aux out mix that is different from the masterout on the mixing board. The recording was done live just for review and archive purposes. We have drums, but they are an acoustic set and you really can't hear them on the recording mix.

    Thanks for all the comments though, you've made me feel a lot better. I'm still pretty new about this bass thing, and much as I love it, I'll probably never be as good a bass player as I am a tuba player, which is a shame because I actually love it much more. Oh, If I hadn't waited until I was 31 before I picked it up!
     
  8. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Here is a sound clip of a bass payer who's sound I admire. To me, this is the perfect bass tone. Sorry for the MP3 quality, I wish we could uplaod Wav files, the sound is so much better.
    Any thoughts on how he (or she) gets such an incredible sound?

    Mark
     
  9. EMG's can over load some systems. Passive is the way to go if you are going direct!

    ;) Treena
     
  10. Doctoring during recording.
    Notice the dead highs and the low mids.
    Are you picking? You might consider a Pre of some kind.... if you REALLY want something that sounds like that, you MAY want a new bass. Something less rockish? and more alembicy? I don't know about basses outside the rock world.
     
  11. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    no picking, all fingers. What about a stingray? they always seem to have that full, broad sound.

    Mark
     
  12. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Like I said before - lots of mids. There's not much boomy lows in this sound, that's why it sounds so tight. Most starting bassists hate this sound when it's soloed (including myself), but over time you learn that's what cuts through. Sounds like dual bartolini soaps would be a good fit for you - have you ever gone to your local music store and tried out different basses? What did you think?

    Stingrays are very nice, going to have a way more aggressive sound than you probably think - and way more brightness than your current bass. But that, ultimately, is a good thing.
     
  13. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Before I picked the EMG's, I listened to two modulis basses, one with Barts, and the other with EMG DC-40's. I liked the sound of the EMG's better, but that was a bass playing by itself, I fi had had a chance to record my self playing both of them with my band, I might have chosen differently. That's the hardest thing about trying new basses.
    for this week, I'll leave my EQ flat, and boost the low mids on the board, and cut the highs a little. If we get a decent recording sunday I'll post a short clip to compare them.
     
  14. TRU

    TRU

    Apr 12, 2002
    Northern Europe
    Some compression would make your sound more full and give it the kind of body that is on all studio recordings. Your sound is not bad at all for a direct non-processed take. It might actually sound horrible to use a bassy sound like the one in your other sample in church.
     
  15. to me that sounds like the player is plucking close to or over the bridge p/up to get that tight sound, with either both p/ups on full or bridge on full, neck backed off slightly, maybe with some bass boost to add depth, treble backed off a bit.
     
  16. Yes, yes, love them 'Rays.

    You can also tame them a little bit. Lately, I've been fooling around a lot with the tone controls on my 'Ray, and found that if you cut the mids and treble way back, to about 2 or 3 and play towards the end of the neck, you can get a very mellow tone. The signature Stingray tone is still there, but it's much smoother. ;)

    Tubass, I think you'd really like the sound and feel of a Stingray.

    Mike
     
  17. rickreyn

    rickreyn

    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    Your sound is good to me. If I were to play that song, I would sing it a little more. Then the tone would be more of a factor. However, it sounds as if you are not using drums and you are providing both rhythm and bass. If that's the case, I understand the more active bass line. I have EMG soaps on my Modulus and they are very rich. For a fuller tone I boost the bass a bit. I always keep the PU selection straight up and use the tone controls to tweak. I also play over the neck PU for a fatter sound. Good sounding bass.
     
  18. fingering towards the bridge should help a lot, especially if you can get a fingernail to click against the string a little.