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Good Bass for Recording Studio?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by woods, Sep 3, 2004.


  1. woods

    woods

    Sep 3, 2004
    I want to network for the purpose of finding out what I should buy for my recording studio?

    I'll be recording alot of Maritime Folk, Apalacian Folk, Light Bluegrass, Roots, Alt Country stuff. Also stuff similar to Bob Dylan's Love and Theft album and Mark Knopfler's solo work (Sailing to Philadelphia and Ragpicker's Dream).

    So I am looking for a good pro quality Upright that can handle that kind of thing - at a reasonable price ($400). Perhaps a second hand one would get me higher quality for a better price.

    If this forum is the wrong one for this inquiry please recommend a better one.

    Thanks,

    Woods
     
  2. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Is that 400k? I heard of a Gasparo going for 600K but you can get a nice Italian Bass for 100-150k all day long.

    If you mean $400.oo....... Then Pro Quality doesn't fit in the same sentence.

    For 2-4k you can get a good Plywood or hybrid to work but don't expect it to sound like the Pros' do on recordings without alot of 'studio majic'.
     
  3. woods

    woods

    Sep 3, 2004
    Whoaaaa........2 to 4k? I guess my initial question belies a little something doesn't it?

    Well how about this: what about a semi-pro model for under $1000.00 second hand?

    Could you recommend some makes and models?

    Thanks again,

    Woods
     
  4. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    I think you also have to look at the sound you are after before you rule out Plywood basses, a hell of a lot of the music woods listed has been cut just fine thankyouverymuch on KAYs and their ilk. I like my Plywood bass, I got it because it gets the pizz sound I like. Yes arco takes some [ok a lot] of that 'studio majic' to be usable. So most likely when I can get another bass it will be mostly for arco.
     
  5. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    Have you checked out the Newbie Links, if not check them out
    :D
     
  6. Why not just rent a pro bass-player for your sessions? It will cost a lost less than buying, and then learning to play a good double-bass.


    Just make sure that in the studio, you mic the bass with something like a Neumann KM-184 slung between the legs of the bridge. It will sound great. Money well spent. You'll be a hero.


    Next…


    - Wil
     
  7. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Good advice, IMO. If you can afford it, get a matched pair of the KM-184s and put one down by the bridge and one pointing at the fingerboard. Those things sound great on acoustic guitar too.

    -Scot
     
  8. Mudfuzz

    Mudfuzz

    Apr 3, 2004
    WA...
    To me a good tube mic pre is KEY [we use a Summit mpc-100 A] and it really makes a difference. Personally I don't like putting the mic that close, the sound is too direct to me. Right now my favorite mix for all things bass is a older AKG C-414 and a EV RE20; distances change depending on what we are going for.
     
  9. AMJBASS

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You aren't going to find anything under $1K worth playing IMO. You may find a used Engelhardt for around $800-1200 which would be decent. A good older carved bass is going to run you at least $5000. You can find new ones in the $2500-3500 range.
     
  10. greene

    greene

    Dec 19, 2003
    New York City
    Ideal Music
    Having owned a recording studio in New York City from the late 1970's until 2000 I saw plenty of double basses in my day .. having said that and from my own point of view the plywoods recorded best. However so much had to do with so many different variables .. the player, the recording engineer, the music etc ... but all in all almost all the bass players that came in for recording dates (most of them studio guys) had plywood basses.
     
  11. I second that, at least for Pizz. I use my non-descript Kay for recording Jazz and bluegrass and it sounds fantastic. It records a lot better than my carved bass except with the bow where the carved bass wins out. I would recommend a good plywood based on the type of music he plays.

    Jon
     
  12. If you've heard alot of recordings of Ray Brown or Eddie Gomez, to name just two, you have heard an ample share of plywood bass.
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I worked in and around the NY studios for about 20 years. I do not know of one single Pro, Real Double Bassist that would be seen alive with a Plywood Bass on a professional session.

    Please tell us the name of the studio and the Bassists and Basses you are referring to.

    Crappy, poorly set up factory German and Czeck Basses are no better than a plywood especially if it needs reparing or has open cracks. In that case the plywood may do a better job.

    But the real Studio Pros don't have or bring crappy 'out of repair' Basses to jobs. They make thier living at it and keep their Basses in working order.

    I used an old Italian Bass labeled Giacomo Rivolta 1822 but most said it was old in 1822. I recorded Jazz, Classical and R&B on it. Yes..... R&B. One recording was a Panasonic Jingle with BB King. It called for Electric ( Fender they called it then but I played a 'Smith'). I had my Italian Bass with me that day for other jobs I had and asked the producer if I could use it and see. The Italian Bass was recorded and liked.

    In 1972 I recorded about 2 Albums or so on Upright with Buddy DeFranco and the Glenn Miller band for the Columbia House Re-Issue Series (8 sessions). My Bass was a 1967(fairly new) Wenzel Wilfer (aka Juzek Master Art but labeled Wilfer) with a Mechanical Low 'C' Extension. I even used the Extension on a few notes and the Mixing engeneer thought it was a Fender Bass because of how clean it was. Not just on one tune, but the entire Glenn Miller Library !!

    Etc, etc....... In the Studios on Classical was Homer Mench and his Gagliano and also John Beal and his Bergonzi. They were the two top players to my knowledge and there were othersas well..... I once had the Pleasure of playing with both of them on an AT&T Jingle with a 60 piece Orchestra. You should have been there to hear 3 of the finest Italian Basses in NY in one room.

    Plywood?... Who used that?..... Ron Carter used a Juzek type carved Bass. Richard Davis had a beautiful German/Tryol Bass with a Lions head. Jack Lesberg used a Pallotta. Etc Etc etc......

    The lowest grade bass I would see then was a carved Juzek /german style factory Bass and that was only low compared to an Italian or French Bass.

    Buster Williams had a Hawks, Reggie Workman used a Seitz, Sam Jones had an old German Bass. Ray Brown used an old Italian French or German Orchestra sized Bass for his 'power house' sound.

    So where are the Plywoods you recorded that beat all of these Great Basses and who used them?

    Hey, only on occasion in a B'way pit would you see a Plywood Bass to get banged around but many guys including me use real carved Basses.

    Sorry to go off on this but you can't tell ME that a plywood Bass records better that a REAL Bass unless the player, engineer, studio and or Bass Ain't Happining !!!!!!
     
  14. Ditto
     
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Bob, maybe next post, you can write the book and I could come in and just do the "Ditto" thing?......lol
     
  16. I only use lots of words when I disagree with you ;)
     
  17. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Is that just with me or for everyone?
     
  18. Are we having a bad day today Ken?
     
  19. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    No, not at all....... I'm doing fine... How are you today Bob....

    Slow day, but not a bad day at all......I'm home...... TV on the left, computer on the right.... etc.....
     
  20. ditto
    :)