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playing along with CD

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by skidog, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Is there some gear or program I can use to pull the bass lines out of a CD? I only have a limited time I can play with others. Also when I pull that bass line out, is there a way I can keep it separate to see if I am doing it the way the original artist did?
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Not easily. Two ways you can often change the level of the bass relative to the other instruments are the Left-Right balance and equalisation:

    Balance: Assuming you've got a stereo recording, you will often find that different instruments are stronger on one side or the other (in order to take advantage of the positional illusion this creates to make it seem like the band is spread out rather than all coming from one source). You might not be able to isolate the bass, but there's a good chance you'll find places where it is stronger or weaker.

    EQ: Fiddle around to see what frequencies the bass is filling and either cut or boost them. In order to create a clear sound, producers will often assign each instrument to a range of frequencies where it will be strong and drop it in other areas so as not to create a muddy effect against the other components of the overall sound. Again, if you can find where the bass sits in a given recording you can use this to make it easier or harder to hear.

    Over the past few months, I've been using a shareware package called Transcribe! which has got balance and eq controls along with a whole bunch of other tricks (eg. looping sections and slowing things down but keeping the same pitch) - it might be useful for what you're after.

  3. leanne


    May 29, 2002
    Rochester, NY
    i downloaded this plugin for winamp called DeFX. it has karaoke, pan, pitch modulation, and reverb functions. the karaoke function cuts the center channel of the recording, which is where the vocals tend to be. so depending on how the song is recorded, it might let you hear the bass without the vocals or with less or no guitars, etc. it doesn't always work because the bass is often in the middle too, but it's worth trying.

    also, the korg px4b pandora thing has a bass canceller function which works pretty well. you connect it to the line out of your soundcard or stereo or whatever. i realize this is the opposite of what you want, but it can be a useful practice tool.


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