1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Progrock bass sound?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by ThingsAbove, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    I think I'm honing in on how to get a Progrock style bass sound.

    I recorded the bass dry then copied to a second track and used a VST guitar amp plugin and then LPF around 200. I ran a bassmanager plugin on both tracks for some grind.

    Excuse my poor guitar work... I wanted something something over the top to hear how the bass soundd under it.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  2. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    For my own taste, I think there's too much of a mid-range bump and not enough higher treble cut. But perhaps my problem is that when I think 'prog' tone, I pretty much think Rush/Yes/Crimson.

    Even John Wetton (the only guy in that bunch not to use a Rick!) with his P-Bass had a pretty snarly tone.

    All that said, you are definitely in the right ball park for the sound/style you are going for!
  3. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    Ok. Thanks for the feedback. I'll try EQ'ing differently and move that bump from mids up to the higher end. What frequency and Q do you think the bump should be at for the "prog bass tone" magic?
  4. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    Ok... based on "sloppy_phil's" suggestion I changed the frequency and Q of where I boosted the bass frequency for that prog'a'delicious sound. He was right... This is much better compared to the previous.

    Frequency is now around 5200Hz a Q of 1 bumped 8db

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I liked the first one better but I thought both would benefit from cutting some mid around 800-1000. And while I'm getting plenty of bottom, the clang element is missing and is replaced by dirt. If you're talking about trying for that Yes/ELP/Crimson thing, I'd say back off the dirt and blend in some more clanky clean as well.


    If you're going for your own thing, you're well on your way. I'd still reduce at 800hz a little, but I liked those tones. The second tone didn't work for me in this example, but it would work for some stuff for sure. And nice playing!
    jfh2112 likes this.
  6. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    Ok. I follow you. I don't have enough to work with in the raw recording to get that "bright metallic" sort of sound that I hear from C.Squire or G.Lee. I was just creating the top end with distortion but I see your point. It's not the "right" kinda bright tone. Sounds too much like sawing through cardboard.

    I'll go back and re-record it with my Jazz rather than my BigAl and play it aggressively enough to get the strings clanking.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If it means that much to you to get that sound, that's cool, but I wouldn't erase the first track because you may end up liking it more. It's a very good sound that works in that example.
  8. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    A bit too much mid-range and distortion for my prog taste. I lean toward this sound by Gentle Giant. There is a section in the middle of this song that highlights the bass sound.

    McFarlin likes this.
  9. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I thought the first clip sounded pretty darn good, personally :)

    On the second one, the 5.2k thing might've been ok, but maybe just 2-3 db up as opposed to 8db...?

    Keep it up, man!
  10. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Always loved Ray Shulman's bass tone, and John Wetton was a huge early influence for me...maybe just the difference between the Pbass thing as opposed to the Ric sound that dominated that era...though I loved that too!
  11. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    There really is no singe greatest "prog tone." As long as you can make the bass cut through the mix enough to be heard clearly, then it's good. Hell, Dave LaRue and John Myung keep their tones totally clean most of the time, but they work really well in the mix. Get yourself a tone that sounds good to you, and use it. I've found that the harder I try to sound like someone else, the more frustrated I get. Clips sound cool, though!
    Jeff Scott and jfh2112 like this.
  12. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    I agree. I'm not really looking for "someone else's" tone per se. If you listen to some of the SoundCloud clips I've posted in the past month I don't think I have two where the bass tone sounds anything alike.


    At this time I'm just playing with recording and seeing what it takes to achieve a particular sound. Not just prog rock. For instance there is a certain super clean yet meaty (to my ears) "Nashville produced" bass tone that is very elusive to me. On Jars of Clay tracks like this one


    Jars of Clay don't even have a bass player. They use studio musicians and contractors on tours.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  13. Osztertag2112


    Jan 27, 2013
    Just found this thread and the first soundclip post you made had an awesome tone! I get what they mean by not bright and clanky enough for classic prog but I think it works really well. Really liked it!
  14. I vote the first one as well. Nice.
  15. bchim


    Dec 9, 2013
    Richmond, VA
    Nice work, it sounds good! I will have to lean towards the 1st clip also. Regardless of what tone you're going for, it should sit well in the mix and complement/enhance the other instruments - though I'm sure you know that! I know you were trying to put the bass forward in the mix, but I personally enjoyed your guitar playing and wish it was more balanced with the bass.. like Jimmy said, I think a bit of a cut around 1000hz will help it all blend a bit better!

    Like in this clip for example.. Geddy's bass cuts through like a knife but still gives ample sonic space for Alex Lifeson's swirly guitar texturing:

    Good luck and keep it up!
  16. 10cc

    10cc SUSPENDED

    Oct 28, 2013
    This is what I was expecting to hear something kinda like:
  17. Jeremykeys


    Nov 6, 2016
    This is something that I've been working on.

    I'm probably going to change the lyrics. I'm okay with the bass sound but I do know the mix needs adjusting. The drums are played by me on my Korg Nanopad2. A few different guitars, my cheapo Ibanez 5 string and most keyboard sounds come from my Korg Kronos. Hope you like it and feel free to comment and listen to my other songs too.
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    5.2K with a Q of 1.

    Is that an actual Q of 1 (which is 1.39 octaves), or a Q value equal to 1 octave?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016

Share This Page