Need advice for bass in the mix/the Geddy sound

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Arcy, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. Arcy


    Jul 4, 2003
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Hello all,

    I've been into the studio recording thing for maybe five years or so now, and I've always gotten good guitar and drum sounds but my bass sounds have lacked. I can usually get decent sounds if the person I'm recording has a nice amp rig, but for smaller scale things, it's been more difficult. Recently I bought a Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass for my my own personal recording stuff, and I'm using a Tech21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI straight into the input. At first I was getting a lot of muddy results. I don't want a real sub-bass type of sound, I want a midrangy sound that cuts through in a mix, much like the sound Geddy had on the Rush stuff (judging from the small amount I've heard).

    I keep trying new things, and I think I'm getting close; the other night I recorded a track in a mix, with the Sansamp set to full blend (all amp, no direct), and the knobs on the bass all dimed (including the tone), and here's the thing, I used a pick, whereas I normally play with fingers. It sounded really good and had excellent "cut". I'm wondering though, can I not get this same cut with fingers? Is my finger technique just poor? (i only have a couple years of experience on bass, but maybe 8 or 9 on guitar) Did Geddy or other progressive rock musicians use a pick during studio sessions? I know that using a pick is pretty frowned upon by experienced bassists, but so far its giving me that bright cut and attack that I need, but I'd prefer to get it with fingers... any advice on technique, whether it be finger technique or mixing/recording technique? (maybe i should ditch the sansamp and start really miking a cab, which works but I don't have my own at this time, which wouldn't help me much for my own recording)


  2. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    I don't have my amp near me, so I'm going off memory hear. You need to boost the low mids. I'm thinking the frequency is 250 hz....Again, going on memory here- here,I read an interview with Geddy, talking about his amp setup. He had a Trace Elliot with a graphic EQ. He left everything flat except the 250, which he boosted all the way up. It doesn't sound that great all by itself, but in a mix, it really cuts.
  3. HooBass


    May 27, 2003
    I don't have the answer to your questions, but will eagerly watch others reply to this thread. I, too, am in search of such tone. Getting Geddy's tone would be the ideal for me; I’ll be happy with anything in the direction of growl. I, too, am thinking I’ll eventually need to get a rig and mic it (to the dismay of my wife).

    You might check out the replies to the thread I started under Recording Gear and Equipment.

    Regarding did Geddy use a pick and would that help – I don’t think he did. Chris Squire (whose tone I like, and sometimes reminds me of Geddy’s) did. A pick has helped me and my tone, but still never gave me the “grinding, vibrating, not quite distorted but in that direction” sound I’m looking for. I’ve heard Geddy sometimes uses one of his fingernails as a pick (see the tune Animate off of Counterparts), but other than that he’s a plucker.

    I don't know, and indeed this is what I'm search for, but I'm suspecting tone like his is a combination of the fretboard wood, the pickups, amplication, and speaker noise. Finally, I don’t look down on using a pick. Whatever gets the job done well, in my book! I suspect that most others don’t care, either.
  4. chris4001asat


    Dec 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Warehouse Manager : Reverend Guitars
    Sorry about the hear/here mixup above. Really, no pun intended!
  5. Armchair Thief

    Armchair Thief Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    A lot of Geddy's sound comes from him playing *hard* to get that attack and clank... he's called his finger technique "slapping without slapping."
  6. I have read that Geddy does use a pick while recording. I play mostly finger style and use a fairly strong attack. I can get a pretty decent Geddy sound without the buzz sound that he has.
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