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Hi (again) :D

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by BIGFUT, Dec 22, 2016.


  1. BIGFUT

    BIGFUT

    Jan 13, 2016
    HI guys!
    My name is Clayton, i'm really looking forward to interact with all of you. I've just recently started doing YouTube covers and i'm still trying to figure out which tones suit with which type of music. Im currently just plugged straight to the interface without any amp whatsoever.
    I really dig those vintage, 60s sounding basses but i'm not sure why my bass sounds really "dry". Im hoping you guys can help me out because im also sort of new to the world of effects.




    Thanks!
    Clayton.
     
    NealBass likes this.
  2. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    Hey Clayton. Nice job. Sounds great!
    For the first vid, I think you are a little lost in the mix. I listened to the original track and it sounds very similar to yours. I would raise your bass in the mix, or lower the backing track a tad. For effects, you may want to check out some kind of Envelope Filter, or Auto Wah pedal. What program are you using to record? Some recording programs have built in effects, or effects you can download.
    On the second track I could hear you better in the mix, but the overall level was a bit low. I had to turn my stereo up.
    Other than that, great playing, cool songs and a job well done!
    Cheers,
    Neal.
     
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Did you record via DI or did you mic a cabinet in a room?
     
  4. BIGFUT

    BIGFUT

    Jan 13, 2016
    heyy man thank you! yeah that seems to be the hard part for me, to balance the volumes. if i roll back the backing track the whole song will sound something like the second video, really low. im using Fl studio to record the bass, i tried messing around with amplitube but i prefer the tone of my bass without any effects. its just that by doing so its really weak :/

    hello! yeah i recorder it straight to my computer. So its Bass - Maudio usb interface - PC(fl studio)
     
    NealBass likes this.
  5. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    That's why it sounds so dry. Now keep in mind that this assumes that when you say "dry" you're referring to the common studio parlance where "dry" more correctly means "lacking any room sound or reverberance."

    Not to worry. This is easily remedied. Contrary to popular belief, reverb on a bass track in the studio can be a very effective tool. The key is not getting carried away. You can do this in one of two ways:

    1. Use a convolver plug-in and an impulse response of a mic'd cabinet. Find one that utilizes a cabinet and a mic that you like, and ideally one that specifies the mic's position and distance from the cab. Back when I was using impulse responses I had good luck with Red Wire Impulse Responses (www.redwirez.com). Not free, but pretty darn good. There are probably other options that are lower cost/free, or possibly ones of higher quality, but I'm a little out of that world these days so I can't say for certain.

    2. Use a reverb plug-in, either an algorithmic one or an impulse response based one. I'm a big fan of Valhalla DSP's "Valhalla Room" algorithmic reverb plug-in. A common approach I use for bass guitar with Valhalla Room in a mix goes like this: First I setup a buss that begins with a high pass filter set to around 80hz at 12-18db/oct (depending on the sound I'm after). After the high pass filter I'll add an instance of Valhalla Room using one of the included studio "room" presets. I'm not normally a presets guy, but Valhalla did a REALLY nice job with these. Set the mix value to 100%. Now on the track where your bass guitar lives add an aux send to the buss you created in the previous steps. Set this to send around 24db below the source track. Now your bass tone is going to a buss, having everything below 80hz filtered out at 12-18db/oct and then what's left gets reverb applied to it 24db below your "dry" track. This results in a more three dimensional and "realistic" bass sound, but doesn't allow things to get muddy because no real low end ends up in the reverb plug-in. It's a subtle difference, but you'll notice it when you mute and un-mute the aux send on the bass channel.

    I use a process that's nearly the inverse of that for RnB tracks where I want that big 90s Mariah Carey album type bass sound that's sort of ill-defined, but absolutely envelopes the track. That's a story for another day... :p
     
    BIGFUT and NoiseNinja like this.
  6. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Denmark
    Sound pieces of advice...

    I would probably split up the effected and uneffected track though, instead of adding the effects via a buss, add a little chorus as well to the effected track (before the reverb), and pan out the effected and uneffected track just a tad to each side with the uneffected track being slightly closer at center position than the effected track.

    I might be giving a bad advice for adding this, since it sounds like you have much more grasp of what you are actually doing.

    I am just scratching the surface of learning how to record and mix properly and learned most of what I know now by trial/error and a little common sense.

    In fact I still use trial and error a lot, and just mess around till I hit something that sounds right to me.

    So please do correct me if this would add nothing good to what you already suggested.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
  7. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    Funny, I've only been recording for 2 months and what you described is exactly what I do. I record a clean track and an effect track at the same time. I pan the backing (MP3) track - on the clock face - about 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock (Left and right). I pan my clean bass track about 2 O'clock and 10 O'clock. I pan the bass track with effects about 11 O'clock and 1 O'clock. I keep my bass pedals panned dead center. I've done this on all 20 songs I've uploaded to my MixCloud so far and (to me), it sounds pretty good.
     
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  8. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Using an effect on the actual channel versus a buss really depends on the application. If you have multiple instruments you want going through the same type of reverb there's no reason to use channel specific reverbs when a single buss will accomplish the same task, will do it more consistently and with lower processing demands. For something like a chorus effect on a bass track I wouldn't use a buss. That said, if I'm only applying an effect to a single track and want a wet/dry mix I'll frequently use a buss rather than a duped track since it results in fewer regions within a session to manage and less processing demands which can be a big deal in a large session.
     
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  9. BIGFUT

    BIGFUT

    Jan 13, 2016
    Hey guys thanks for the input! Ill fiddle around with both reverb techniques however i'm really new to all of this so it'll take lots of trial and error.
    For the past few days I've been messing around with that split channel recording and it does sound better. I'm still recording clean, just duplicating the track and pan one at 9 o'clock and the other at 3 o'clock.
    So with what you guys are doing, are you saying you have 6 tracks? 2 for the mp3, 2 for clean and 2 for effects?
     
  10. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    Yep. I use Rick-O-Sound, so for me it's 2 tracks (my pedalboard is in stereo) for the neck pickup and 2 tracks (stereo) for the bridge pickup, then 2 tracks for the mp3. My MOOG bass pedals are in mono, so that's one more. Sometimes, I double track the bass part (play it twice - creates a nice delay), so that's 14 tracks. Seems a lot for a bass cover, but I like the sound.
     
  11. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    PS: FYI;

    Clipboard01 (2).
     
    BIGFUT likes this.
  12. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Everyone has to start somewhere. Don't sweat it. You'll learn and progress.

    You say "better" but really what you should be saying is "louder." When you have two identical tracks panned opposite one another you are creating EXACTLY the same thing as having a single track panned to the center, but will create amplitude differences based on your DAW's pan law settings. You can confirm this by bouncing the isolated "stereo-opposite-panned" bass tracks into a single stereo wave. Then do a null test between the new bounce, and a single track of the bass panned to the center with both tracks having been normalized previously. The result will always be silence, which will confirm what I'm saying. If you're not doing something different on one side there's exactly zero reason to do it this way unless you like having more regions to manage in a session, double the plugins to manage, double the automation to draw, double the editing, higher processor demands, etc.

    For me the answer is an adamant no. I would have one stereo track for the backing, and as few tracks for the actual bass as I could manage.

    What @CanadaNeal is doing is very different and the corresponding track count is well thought out and merited. You'll notice that routing explanation doesn't result in anything being duplicated and necessitates the higher track count.

    For what you're doing (i.e. plugging a bass directly into an interface) I would get it done with one stereo track for the backing, and one mono track for your bass. From there you can add plugins for any processing and effects that you want to occur in a serial state on the bass track (EQ, compression, post-EQ, distortion, modulation, convolution, etc.), and then use aux sends and busses for any effects you want to have happen in parallel to the bass track (parallel/NYC compression, delay, reverb, etc.). This will minimize processor demands, simplify editing and mixing, and will still leave you absolute control over everything possible with your bass track and how it corresponds to the arrangement and similarly the mix.
     
    BIGFUT and NealBass like this.
  13. NealBass

    NealBass Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2014
    Ontario
    Sound advice! ;) @silky smoove 's words are right on. Usually, the K.I.S.S. method is best (Keep It Simple, Stoopid!). My setup is more complicated, but I use it more as a 'sound laboratory'. I like to be able to dial my neck pickup down or up, after the fact (during mixdown, when I'm not concentrating on playing), to hear the sound changes. I like to add effects on the send and return again, during mixdown. I've learned a lot in the past 2 months since I started home recording. Not just about recording, but more importantly (for me) about playing the Bass itself. Playing with my sound after I've recorded it allows me room to test things out. I can hear when I'm digging in too much, or not enough, if my timing is off, etc, etc. Listening to a track I'm learning a day or two later gives me a lot of perspective on who I am as a Bassist. That's the main reason I record. Playing over the top of tracks also points out where I go Left and say, Tom Hamilton goes Right (I'm currently learning Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith). I can hear my mistakes better afterwords, then fix them. Or, as I like to say, I can hear how much I suck on this song! Lol!!! Recording is a great teacher.
     

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