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Do you play the bass you recorded with live depending on the song?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Woody1999, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Woody1999


    Dec 13, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    I'm not a gigging bass player, I do a few concerts a year filling in gaps for various school ensembles and groups but nothing more than that. So I was wondering, those of you with many basses, do you record with all of them, and if so, when you play a song live, do you play the same bass you recorded it with?

    I have the means of carrying one bass around with me at a time. I don't have anything other than the gig bag I got with my first bass. I now have three basses and, although I don't do gigs as of now, I would like to in the future. I'm bound to use the different basses for different tones when recording for the rest of the band (I record from home and add the bassline in so moving them isn't a problem). If you use a majority of the basses you own on a regular basis, how do you ship them all around if you do play the same ones live?

  2. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    No. I play the bass I'm liking most at the time before I head out the door :). Lately that's been my Rickenbacker. For all shows.
  3. Woody1999


    Dec 13, 2015
    Birmingham, UK
    Interesting. Do you not tend to use a huge variety of different tones and different basses in your recordings? Or is your Rick pretty versatile?

  4. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm not too picky when it comes to recorded tone. These days I'm usually doing someone else's music, so I go with a basic tone and let them do what they want with it. Most my recordings have been done with Musicman basses, but I've also recorded with a Jazz and a Warwick. Haven't yet recorded anything with my Ric.

    I'm realizing lately that I'm not a tone crazy guy when it comes to gigging either. I use lots of different basses, and somehow just get them all to work in the mix. I've been getting lots of compliments the past few years so something's working for me :).
  5. JIO

    JIO Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 30, 2010
    Oceana (Pacifica) CA
    musician/artist/owner - Gildaxe
    In the past I've brought a few and let the engineer decide which one sounds best to him. Live is a different story depending on the room, the crowd, and the house PA. Most any bass can work but I do use certain basses for certain bands/projects to get a certain tone which fits that style of music.
    TrevorOfDoom likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    @Woody1999 don't sweat that so much. Experiment in the studio if you have the time. But live, just take a bass with a good solid tone that will sandwich itself into pretty much any mix. For some that is a versatile bass with more than one pickup and active/passive options. For some that a good P or J. You figure that out as you go. Then take your second favorite bass as a backup in case the other one breaks in two. :thumbsup:

    Best of luck with your quest.
    marmadaddy likes this.
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    That would require remembering which bass I played on the recording. And only using one bass per song. On my band's last album there was one song I used 4 basses on.
    Esoge and Sartori like this.
  8. bass32


    Jan 30, 2012
    I'll use which ever sounds best, recording or live. Ninety percent of the time it's my Am Stnd p-5.
    However, I will change it up on stage sometimes just because.........:woot:
    dtsamples likes this.
  9. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 God of Thunder and Rock and Roll Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    FB_IMG_1441155420078. I have quite a few basses, 99% of the time I use a beat up nonreverse Gibson Thunderbird. 20160124_072030.
  10. Rocinante_x1

    Rocinante_x1 Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

    Aug 22, 2004
    Washington State
    Depends on the day. The Ric gets most love out live because i live in a small town that has one music store and they don't carry much else than fenders and ibanez and nobody has ever seen or even heard a Ric in real life.
    Mantis Tobaggan and Sartori like this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Sartori likes this.
  12. twinjet

    twinjet Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    Depending on my tonal mood. What I wanna hear is what I use. Other people don't care about what I use. Maybe the engineer.
    bassfran likes this.
  13. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    I do not.
    My go-to recording bass is one that has very even output string to string, and a strong fundamental tone, though not high-output. It's passive, one P pickup, and the string action is just a tad higher than some of my other basses to totally avoid and fret rattles. Its also pretty heavy.
    My "playing out" basses usually have more output/range in the electronics, lighter weight, very low action, and I can manipulate the electronics/amp to whatever the ROOM needs. Comfort and versatility is primary.
  14. I don't even use the same effects as I recorded with.
  15. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    No, I play whichever bass is speaking to me at the moment.
    lfmn16, BlueAliceOasis and Fxpmusic like this.
  16. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    In the studio, where you can actually hear the most minute tonal differences, feel free to knock yourself out and drag your whole collection along if you like.

    In a live situation, that all goes out the window. So for stage just bring a bass (plus a backup) and play. Nobody will ever notice the difference.

    Note: Many times you'll also have to play something different when playing live as opposed to when you're recording a song. Master bassist Meshell N'degeocello said it best when she said that making a record and playing live are two completely different things. A record is just a sketch of a song. And there are things you can do in the studio that just don't work when you're playing live. Her philosophy is that you mostly have to take things out, and then decide which parts of your recorded lines to put back in, in order to to make a live song performance open up and keep the groove.

    Something to think about.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  17. mikeyjm2

    mikeyjm2 Keepin' it simple.

    Dec 31, 2014
    Houston, TX
    I do record with all of them (or most of them anyway) but no, I don't make it a point to play the one live I recorded with. Most of mine have hardshell cases so that's not a big concern for me, but I switch my "favorite" bass to play fairly often. I'm a bit fickle like that I admit.
  18. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    You use the tool best suited for the job. As others have said, some basses may record better, others may offer more comfort or versatility required for a live gig. Me, I always used one bass, the best one I had at the moment. I once took a beater bass to an acoustic gig, because it happened to be a P with flats, and it fit better than jazz with rounds (though in the mix, no-one could probably tell).
    Benny the Finger likes this.
  19. I tend to stick with a single bass for gigs. I take a back up, but in a live situation, once you are mixed with the band you don't want to switch around to much or you can spoil the sound. Recording is fine you are tweaking each song individually to be the best it can be, but live you are trying to get the best overall sound for the room. You wont have time to properly mix every bass and apply different EQ's every time. find a solid middle ground for you sound, same with any effects if you run them. set them up for the room on that occasion. you wont be able to adjust every knob between songs, much as it would be nice too.
    mikeyjm2 and Nephilymbass like this.
  20. Mantis Tobaggan

    Mantis Tobaggan Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2015
    Tampa, FL
    I only have two basses but i recorded my demo before i got my Rick and I only play my Rick now and WISH I recorded my demo with it.
    Sartori likes this.

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