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Homebrew bass recording question

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by miguel luis, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. miguel luis

    miguel luis

    Sep 19, 2008
    Hey Justin,
    I just got done watching your 1996 much music performance with beck, and I must say what went down there was music history. It's an honor to ask you a question.

    I've been working on my music and my barn for years now, and I finally have the right songs and my own studio to usher things into reality. I record upstairs in the barn which has a circular roof made out of western red cedar. Things sound pretty good, and I'm ready to add some bass into where it counts.

    I don't have a proper amp, but I do have an ART mpa gold tube preamp, with instrument jacks on the front. I plan on using my epiphone bass and let the 12ax7 tubes in the ART muscle the tone into my DAW. My question is during the editing process is their any frequencies that you would recommend rolling off to leave room for the rest of the mix? Also, if I bought my bass at a pawn shop 8 years ago and never replaced the strings, do I need to make that happen?

    Thanks for you time,

    miguel luis
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    aahhhh...good ol' Much Music '96. What a great night. Thank you much!

    Your barn sounds gorgeous! I'm jealous - I record in a basement room with a 6 1/2' ceiling.

    The gear sounds fine. I'm excited for you, actually. The game should be: how do I get the best basic sound I can possibly achieve with this decent preamp and decent bass. I wouldn't know what frequencies to roll off until I heard it, but usually I don't need to "cut" too many things out. Sometimes, especially with newer strings, I'll just roll off some treble.

    I would only change your strings if you feel your idealized bass sound should be a brighter thing than what you hear while playing the bass acoustically. If you like it dull and dark, well there's certainly no rule saying you have to change 'em! I have basses with strings that have been on them for 40 years. Truly.

    But if you're into more of a rock thing, you might be more satisfied with a nice new set.

    GOod luck!
  3. miguel luis

    miguel luis

    Sep 19, 2008
    Yo Justin, thanks for the strategic plan. Dial in my preamp and say a prayer in the name of circuitry and vacuum technology, and let the notes work themselves out some comfortable living quarters. Ya, not too much into that treble bass sound, but I know when I have my pickup selector switch in the up position, it feels like Lebron playing paper tiger in his woofed out H2. Not that I know if Lebron James listens to sea change, but you know what I'm saying.

    I guess my frequency question had to do with what I've read about cutting below 25hz during mastering. I understand that an engineer might apply an extreme cut like -12db's when things get down that low. So, I think I'll just cut db's on the extreme high end like you said, and relax about the low end.

    I do know that my ART mpa gold has an impedance knob that goes from 150 to 3000 ohms, and it has to do with getting different sounds out of microphones. Do you have any suggestion on an impedance setting, or should I just turn this thing until the desired tone is achieved.

    It's cool that my studio space got you pumped. My Barn and music construction has been in the works forever, and now I"m up here with my equipment that I pieced together over the years trying to make something happen.

    I'm a solo artist under the name Miguel Luis, looking to start my musical journey soon after these barn based demos get put together proper.

    Peace out, and thanks for the good luck! Positive affirmation is the bombtrack and I've got a timebomb..tick...tick...tick....tick

    Miguel Luis
  4. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Right on, dude. And yeah, you could do a high pass above 20 or 25, but usually it's something best left to mastering. Not really anything you need to worry about in a big way.

    Good luck with your studio and your musical journey.

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