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Hearing back recordings... I have no sense of rhythm!

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by COLDGLU, Jun 29, 2017.



    Aug 29, 2016
    Okay, I've been playing for 9 years, but this year I decided to get serious about bass. I've been recording myself to actually listen to what I'm playing and god, it's horrible!

    I have no sense of rhythm and I'm playing everything off-beat. I've been in multiple bands and everybody has told me I was fine, when asked for feedback. However, listening back to myself, I sound dreadful.

    An example:

    Anybody else find this?

    Note: I used Focusrite and played this through Audacity.
  2. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    Hmm, it sounds a bit as if the bass track wasn't in sync with the audio. If that's not the case, try increasing/decreasing the volume of your bass vs the audio so that you hear both comfortably.

    (btw judging from the avatar and music choice I have no other option than to assume you're my twin)
  3. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    hmmm....the thing is, although the note velocities in your delivery are up and down (compressor would help here), the timing between them seems fine, just not in sync with the track......you may want to check the latency on your recording interface/software....Look at the actual bass track and see if they are all falling roughly in the same spot in relationship to the bar-line. If all the notes are doing this, you may have a latency issue -- you can either (A) move the entire track or (B) try to adjust the latency in the software
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Yes, you're sloppy as **** - and it's a very good thing that you're aware of this! It's the first step to overcoming your limitations.

    I used to record myself playing a few years ago, and I felt just like you do now. It's a horrible experience, but with it comes motivation and improvement.

    Have you ever recorded something, not a full length necessarily, but maybe a demo or EP? That's where your skills get put to the test for everyone to hear. When the red light is on and it's your time to shine, here's the click now do your thing, I actually found that kind of scary when I was recording last year. I was shaking in my boots the whole time (but still delivered 20 minute long first takes :bag:)

    You know the saying, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Are you sure you don't have recording latency issues? Definitely some variability in your playing that needs work (mine too), but it sure sounds like there's a consistent base delay on the bass compared to the track.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I'm finding that just trying to record some low quality demos to put up on my soundcloud page - not really looking for anyone to listen, just doing it to "keep myself honest" with my practicing and progress. Yeah, I thought I was a lot better than I was and then I started trying to record and overdub myself. A wakeup call indeed.
    Nashrakh likes this.
  7. Flippy


    Jun 9, 2017
    On top of what everyone else has said, I think that being able to record a track is a skill (just like knowing the notes on the fretboard or slap or tapping), that you develop by practicing that particular skill.
    Playing live won't give you the amount of feedback you get when listening to yourself on a recording. Just keep recording and you'll get better :)
    Maureen M and Nashrakh like this.
  8. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Could very well be a latency issue. Record yourself to a metronome using your phone or some similar device and see if it sounds just as off.
  9. Best thing I ever did to help with this was slow down and get a metronome. I've also been using a phone app called Loopz lately that is great. I can run it through my Rumble so I have an actual drum beat to play with and it has all kinds of different styles of drumbeats.
    Whousedtoplay, Johnny Crab and Oddly like this.
  10. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    +1 to the latency comments. I had this issue recently when my band was recording on my keyboardist's computer. When I heard myself, I was really shocked, until he said "wait a minute", nudged the entire track a few clicks, and then played it again. It was fine. Make sure that's not the issue before you beat yourself up too badly. ;)
  11. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Bring into audio into your amp in the aux in input if you have one and record the output of the amp. This will tell you if it's latency or not.
  12. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Your rhythm may be OK. I have seen players whose timing was off because of technique; hands/wrists too tense, pressing on the fretboard too hard, plucking strings too hard, etc.

    You might want to visit a bass teacher and get an opinion on your technique be you decide that you ain't got rhythm.
  13. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    It could definitely be lag/latency. I went through this. Got an interface. Played a bassline. Thought I was locked. Listened back and it wasn't locked. Found ways to reduce the latency. Sanity restored. It really might not be you at all.
    BooDoggie and Technicality like this.
  14. You may very well have crap rhythm, and that would have been my first guess if that was me playing, but I think the above posters are right. Check for latency issues.
    BooDoggie likes this.
  15. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    since your rhymn throughout is pretty consistent, i, too, am guessing this is a latency issue.
    HEADbass and BooDoggie like this.
  16. BINGO! Although I didn't listen to the audio. A common problem. Has been for years...think that's bad? When I started out, all we had was tape - if it was a cheap tape machine you got a lot of "lag"....really sucked.
    Lvjoebass likes this.
  17. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    You don't necessarily need low latency, just predictable latency. Then you can measure it and configure audacity to automatically shift the track by the right amount. Googling for "audacity latency compensation" should get you instructions.
    BooDoggie and SpazzTheBassist like this.
  18. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco/HELIX user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Spend a few weeks with these, take your pick.
    Free Drums single tracks | wikiloops.com

    In your case, play the tracks via your PC, play along with them via an amp(or Behringer V-Amp3, etc.), and record room sound or the headphone out of the Behringer(or similar).

    I use Zoom recorders that had first use when I had come off of "being a Dad" retirement of 15 years to make sure the drummer and I were tight AND that my timing was right. Kept recording every show. The H2N is very good, I use an old H4 and the H4N seemed to be needed to be placed in a "good spot". The H2 and H4 pickup well most any place you put them.
    Maureen M and Lvjoebass like this.
  19. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Would like to hear this pulled down in the track where you'd reasonably expect it to be mixed, maybe slightly louder. Probably would sound fine once you did that.
    smeet likes this.
  20. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Easy fix.

    Play slowly to a metronome concentrating on making every note dead on. The important part is to do it slowly, very slowly, for a few minutes, rest - then up it a notch, and repeat.

    As soon as you're getting sloppy, go back a few notches and start again.

    Working at playing fast and in the pocket doesn't work. Working at playing slowly, you muscles memorize what's happening and then the speed comes naturally.

    DO WHAT I SAY!!!!!!!

    I promise you'll see results within a few days, and a month from now (if you work on this daily) you'll come back and post a dead on track.


    Good luck! And I agree that it's great that you recognize your problem. A lot of bass players don't.

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