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Pedals in studio

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by thorplaysbass, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. I'm going to a studio soon and wanted to bring a chorus pedal I just got. I've recorded before, but I've never used pedals before now. I don't know much about recording so I was curious to whether or not it would bother the engineer if I was to use a pedal. Thanks

    (basically, will it piss off the engineer in a studio if a bass player brings a pedal..I'm asking just to be cautious and polite)
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Leave it at home.

    Once it's on a track you can't take it off, so a general rule is always record clean and then add effects.
  3. Chef FourString

    Chef FourString

    Feb 4, 2011
    +1 You can always route the pedal in the mix later.
  4. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
  5. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    How is it going to get on the track at all if it never sees the inside of a studio? Just take it.

    I know people with very little faith in their own creative instincts will tell you "you can always put it on later", which is true to an extent, but a lot of times a certain sound can affect the performance and really help things come together. If you were a guitarist trying to play a Gilmour style solo and all you had was the guitar plugged straight into the board, it would be nearly impossible to get into that headspace and perform the solo with the right feel.

    Not to mention, in a decent studio, it should be pretty easy to run a direct line (with nothing) in addition to whatever effects you might want to use. This way you get the best of both worlds. You get to play in the studio with the appropriate sound (which gets recorded for posterity) AND you get a "clean" track that you go in and apply plug ins or whatever to later.
  6. Staccato

    Staccato Low End Advocate

    Aug 14, 2009
    More than a little compression or color (dirt) can be too much. If you buy one pedal, you're going to end up buying, selling, or trading for many more. Pedals produce G.A.S., or more like an addiction-once you start! ;) You've been warned...
  7. It's standard practice to record clean and let the producer add effects as desired after the recording. They will likely use a rack unit or software...NOT a pedal. It doesn't have anything to do with faith in your creative instinct. It has more to do with understanding the idea of layering. Recording a track is like using photoshop; you keep the original image pure and put all the effects on layers. Those layers can then be added, removed, changed, etc. Some can be made stronger and others can be faded down so that the amout of effect can be controlled as well.

    If a player needs an effect to enhance performance, they can have a wet (effected) signal fed back to their monitors/headphones. You don't record a wet signal; you record a dry signal.

    That's just how it's done.
  8. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    +1 to wet and dry bass tracks. If they can't get both there's something amiss there.

    If it's part of the song or part of your tone then then 'producer' should want to capture that and have a backup if the texture doesn't jive with the mix. You will probably play differently with the pedal on if you're used to using it and that's crucial.

    it's unlikely there's a PRODUCER here since a PRODUCER would have let you in on his ground rules with gear if it's a big enough issue.
  9. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    That's one way it's done. Another way is to track a performance or record early pre-production tracks to hear what works and what doesn't.

    Without knowing anything about the project or situation here, jumping to the industry standard equation is just as inappropriate as bringing a bunch of noisy pedals to a studio even if they wind up being recorded to tape.
  10. calebbarton


    Aug 25, 2007
    I manufacture for several companies including but not limited to: Bridge City Sound, Catalinbread, more.

    I agree. We had a really good idea of what was going to work when we went into the studio to record our stuff. I brought one pedal. It was for dirt. It worked really well.
  11. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    There is no "way it's done". If it's an issue you can work it out with the engineer. Anytime I've let someone talk me into going direct and letting them decide for me what my tone should be the results have been less than stellar. Take the pedal.
  12. jungleheat

    jungleheat Banned

    Jun 19, 2011
    Do you think Doug Wimbish records his bass parts dry and then adds the whammy pedal later?

    Poor Jimi Hendrix, he died before he realized he was supposed to record all his parts dry and then add effects later. How his artistic legacy will suffer!


    Anyway, considering most recording situations these days are bands recording their own stuff, whatever YOU want to sound like is what you should sound like if that's the case.

    And pedals aren't necessarily any noisier than racks, in fact they may be quieter. I know my DeltaLab rack delay is WAY noisier than any Boss delay pedal (but it sounds way cooler).

    The engineer's job is just to get whatever the party "in charge" of the session (typically a producer or the band itself) wants the sound to be. He might make suggestions if something really sucks or could be done in a better way, but it's not really his role to dictate what equipment you use (except in terms of actual limitations due to equipment compatibility and stuff like that, or if the intonation on your bass is completely unworkable, etc...).

    Bottom line, there's no "right way" to work in the studio. If that was true, every album would sound the same (or at least be trying to). That's where creative instincts come in. If you truly think the chorus pedal enhances the sound of the band/song/mix (not just your bass by itself), then go for it. If you still have reservations, hedge your bets and record a dry signal at the same time.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It would be so cool if we had some dry tracks today. There's a few, but not enough.

    Just imagine what he'd be doing if he were alive today, still pioneering music.

    Let's do more time travel. Imagine if Beethoven could have played a Steinway! :bag:
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You guys are pussies. Commit!


    OK, so you're not pussies...but here's what happens when you record clean tracks with the intent of adding effects later:


    I have recorded countless bass tracks with effects as it went down, with no safety track, no backup, no nothing. Amount of times it went wrong: 0. I have also recorded with no effects with the intent of adding them later, and they always find an excuse not to add them, usually by telling you that bass doesn't need effects. And besides, time is money in the studio, so the more time you can shave off mixing, the cheaper the session will be. So many people take the clean track approach on everything, and then you're left with a million decisions to make when you mix, and it adds a lot of time to the process. If you commit, then it's just a matter of setting levels in the mix.

    Guitarists don't cut safety tracks with and without effects...there's no reason you shouldn't do it with bass. If you really really want to, you can make a plain DI safety track, but be prepared for whoever's in charge of mixing to not add effects or let you reamp or whatever.
  15. Jimi Hendrix?
    This isn't the 1960's anymore. I'm not sorry to say that we don't record the way they did back then. If you want to sit around all night bouncing tapes, go for it. Most of the rest of the free world is going to be using software like Garage Band.

    A wah pedal is not the kind of effect that you can easily add later with good results. Chorus is an effect that you can add later. So is Reverb and many other effects.

    I don't know the OP well enough to compare him to Jimi Hendrix. That's a compliment he'd have to earn from me.

    Recording dry isn't how it's done sometimes...it's how it's done MOST of the time by people who know what they're doing.

    It's not a sin to use a chorus pedal in the studio so if the OP'er wants to do it, let him. If it sucks, it can't be removed and the whole track will have to be redone. If he wants to spend hours redoing things, that's up to him. I've been down that road myself until I learned to listen to the pros and more experienced artists. It will be easier to redo it nowadays anyway if he's using software. Personally, I've spend HOURS on a Saturday redoing tracks on a 1" tape back in the day. NOT WORTH IT! Do it the right way and save yourself time and frustration.
  16. vivifiction


    Jan 22, 2011
    We've done both ways, but generally prefer to track with the effect. Just talk to your producer and see what he wants to do. When I track, we normally track my uneffected parts first. Then, we work to getting the effected tone we're wanting for a part and track it, then move onto the next. We will almost always have a dry track, too- if we decide we want to blend, or if in post-pro the effect isn't working how we want and we decide to effect it in post pro.
    Again, ask your producer how he wants to do it. Make sure that at some point, here hears the chorus during the part so he at least has an idea of what you're going for sonically.
  17. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    If your idea of "the right way" to record involves garage band then you should stop giving advice right now.
  18. Garage Band was was example of readily available software that many people use. I'm sure you already knew that. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I don't use Garage Band but I know many people who do and it's not as bad as you seem to think. I've had to use worse.
    Try recording in SAW Plus or Cool Edit Pro. :meh:
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Printing/committing is always a tough decision. As a general rule, I will always print delays, distortion, and wah effects. Everything else that I run across (reverb, chorus, octave, etc) gets added via a plugin on the channel strip. If that's not getting it done I can always reamp through the hardware to capture what I was after in the first place.

    That said, I've been in plenty of situations where everything was printed, including reverb and it ended up just fine. Just use good judgement and you'll be fine.
  20. bassnj


    Sep 16, 2011
    Record onto 2 tracks; 1 dry, one with effects.

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