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In the studio for the first time. question.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    so i go in the studio to do some recording on our first album. it's a pretty shabby looking place but i've heard his work and the cds that come out of there sound GREAT.

    so instead of using my amp he recommends i use this bass pod he has. he said he gets much better results with it than an amp. so i go through the settings and find a tone i like.

    through the headphones a find a really sick tone. big, meaty, punchy, great slap and finger tone.

    now on the cd i get at the end of the session (which isn't EQ'd or mixed) it sounds like doody. i can't even tell when i'm slapping or using my fingers.

    so i'm hoping when it get's mixed and eq'd it will sound like i thought it would.

    any thoughts? advice?
  2. DaveMcLain


    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    What did the bass track sound like when soloed on playback? It is certainly possible that what you are hearing on your CD is the result of the bass coming down a channel with the EQ set wacky, just a rough mix..
  3. Also what headphones are you using? It's hard to find a good pair that reproduces accurate sound. Always listen to your tracks afterwards. :)
  4. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    Yeah man its just a rough mix. I'm sure the guy knows what he is doing. I bet the rest of the instruments sound iffy too. Wait untill he throws some EQ and compression on there, you'll be happy. It takes a little finnesse to get bass sitting right in the mix and the mix you guys got was probobly just a faders up quicky. Coming from an engineers perspective, give him some room and then critique.
  5. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    cool. will do.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm going to disagree with the general run of this thread. If it sounds like doody now, chances are it's because the engineer likes it sounding that way. And there's just as much chance they'll fix it in the mix as they're is they'll make it even worse.

    You need to open the lines of communication, something I regret not doing myself sooner. Too often I've trusted someone elses ears and I've been disappointed 100% of the time.

    If you know what you like, then say so. Even better still is if you know how to get it. Specific requests work a lot better than wishy-washy ones. "Please cut 80Hz" works much better than "please make it less bassy", if that makes sense?
  7. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I agree with Petebass. Half of the art of recording, is, well, recording. If it's tracked right in the first place, mixing down is a breeze, often needing little to no compression and eq. If your ears aren't happy, tell him, and see what he plans to do to your bass tone. ESPECIALLY if you're forking over cash--you don't want to spend your hard-earned dough, and bet your career, on a crappy bass tone, or sub-par recording. If the guy can pull it off, fine, the end results are all that matter, but I'd be suspicious. Any time I haven't been happy with the bass right after recording, it's come out sounding horrible in the end, not better.
  8. my .02 is this......

    I agree with Petebass and Jabberwock777....I have been a professional engineer and musician for over 25 years now and I can tell you that in that time I have learned that it is far better to ask a musician what sound he/she likes or listen to the sound they are playing and make a judgement about "their sound" than it is to say hey use this, trust me!! I tend to use a couple of techniques to get sounds I "like" while incorporating a way to get the sound the player likes.....

    I ALWAYS use a direct box which will capture the essence of the bass itself (be aware that extreme settings will however, yield extreme results, meaning I always make sure that the preamp on an active bass is not too bass or treble heavy and that the "fundamental" sound is bassically what the bassist likes)

    I ALWAYS ask if they are satisfied with the bass sounds in the cans and let them listen to their sound in the control room....I do the same for ALL the musicians on the project, I agree that this takes a few minutes to get the tones happening on the "rough mix" but a competent engineer should be able to do this in less than 10 minutes with a 6 piece or so band......IT IS WORTH THE 10 minutes you are paying for because if the muscians feel that their sound will come through they will play better and be more likely to trust the engineer when he asks them to try other things.

    The bottom line is this....ASK the engineer to let you hear what your track will sound like MIXED (EQ, Balance, and compression if necessary are all things that take a GOOD engineer about a minute to get ESPECIALLY on bass) before you really get started doing a lot of tracking....if they are unwilling or unable to do that kindly remind them that if you are not satisifed with the sound you are PAYING for, then perhaps you should be somewhere more accomodating......I don't know a SINGLE engineer worth their salt who would be surprised by a request like this and I know none that would not accomodate you......YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR is only true IF you know what exactly you are paying for....

    I would not be surprised if it sounded "better" at mixdown, BUT I would not be surprised if it was not "the sound" you are looking for either.....Make sure you get "your sound" to tape and don't rely on someone else to mold it in the mix because if it is not "there" to start with, you will not get it "there" no matter how much time you spend mixing it!! Best of luck to you.....



    PS - you may find this thread helpful to.......

  9. I don't think it would be out of line to discuss your concerns with the dude. Just see what he's got planned for your track, and try to give him some feedback - not criticism. If he says it'll change, and not to worry about it, just tell him what you'd like and maybe ask him to show it to you - it IS your money.
  10. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Like the man said, it's your money. I never care for that "this always works" attitude. Seriously, don't feel bad for speaking up because he's the "pro", and you're new to recording or whatever. It's most likely amateur bands that keep this guy in business. Telling you this is how I do it isn't acting like a pro.
    In my own limited experience, the sound in the headphones is not what is going to tape, good or bad. In my experience, I can't stand the sound of the headphones, but liked the end result.
    Like anything else you pay for, you're the customer, it's ok to voice your opinion, ask questions, etc. That's how we all learn.
  11. If you have a concern, ask the guy. If he's not a jerk, he'll explain.

    That said, I don't think it's freak-out time yet. The suggestion to listen to what your track sounds like by itself is good IMO. You really can't judge what the final product, with everybody playing, is gonna sound like from the roughs. Occasionally, Ive gotten crappy sound on interim roughs, but ended up with a great sound on the final mix. Conversely, I've occasionally gotten great sound on the roughs but gotten killed on the final mix.