Overdubbing bass on a completed track

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by sears, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. sears


    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    I'd love to hear stories and techniques. In my own project, I do it all the time because I play fretless. I leave a little room for the bass.

    Recently, however, I tried overdubbing on top of someone else's project and it's like there's no room, or my bass is poking its ugly head in. I know the guy is looking for something that's not what I'm doing. It's frustrating!
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    What do you mean by "no room"? Do You mean the other parts have too much going on? Then you need to simplify your playing to fit the needs of the song. Or do you mean that the other parts simply bleed over into the range the bass occupies? If that's the case then you need to either EQ the other parts differently to leave room for bass, or you need to EQ your bass track around what is already there.

    The way I approach EQing a track is to look at what different instruments are there: bass, drums, guitar, keys, vocals, whatever. Figure out which areas of the spectrum each track sounds best in and boost those while cutting that area in ALL other tracks. You should never have the same areas boosted in more than one track, unless you want those tracks to blend together (for example two seperate rythym guitar tracks blended to sound like one big guitar).

    So I might boost the kick drum from 20-30hz, the bass from 40-120hz, the guitars from 150-500, vox from 600-800, and keys atround 1k. I'm picking numbers completely arbitarily here, the exact ranges depend on what your EQ is capable of and what you are trying to acheive, but this should illustrate the idea.

    Also I like to do as little EQing as possible, which means I either try to get the sound exactly how I want it before it goes onto tape (using the EQ on my amp) or I record completely flat and shape using an EQ plugin. If I am forced to do both I try and be as sparing as possible with the EQ after the the track's been recorded. I just give small nudges to fine tune the sound that's already on tape as opposed to trying to radically reshape the tone.