recording and mixing hints...

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Son of Bovril, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. is this the corect forum to be asking questions about different recording and mixing techniques?

    Anyways, here's my question:

    If any of you out there are professional musicians in the Hard Rock type genre that have had the opportunity to work with good studio engineers - how are they recording the bass track/s? and what sort of eq'ing are they doing to it? I know of several different bass recording techniques, but I would like to hear what the pros are doing?

    I'm looking for a mudvayne, 36 Crazyfists, Blindside or Taproot type tone... are they recording direct, through tube preamps, mic'ing cabs or what? how many tracks?

    The biggest problem I am having at the moment is getting the bass to sit nicely in the mix at lower volumes (is this a mastering problem) its fine when played loud on a dcent system, but at lower volumes it doesn't even sound like it's there?
  2. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well my advice is going to be in relation to your mixdown.

    Bass disappearing at lower volumes is always going to happen by nature of the Fletcher Munson phenomenon. There's heaps of info out there on this, but the quick version is that low frequencies require more watts than higher frequencies to achieve the same SPL. Basically EVERYTHING gets more bottom end when you turn it up, provided of course your speakers are up to the challenge. And of course bass disappears as the relative wattage applied drops. As an experiment, put your favourite CD on and gradually bring th volume down until it fades to nothing. The kick drum and bass will be the first this that disappears.

    The trick here is to mix your songs down at a volume which is representative of who the end listener is, and how loud they're going to play the songs. Mixing a mellow jazz piece at 120dB is pointless because the end user is more likely to listen to it at 90dB. Similarly, mixing harcore metal at 90dB is pointless because the end user is probably going to listen to it at a higher volume.

    Wrong genre for you, but the point was made in an interview I read with Jamiroquai's engineer. He basically released 2 mixes of all their singles - one for general consumers mixed for moderate levels, and another mixed through PA speakers turned up to 11 to ensure a good mix when the songs were played in a Disco/night club environment. Most of us don't have the resources to do this, but it illustrates the point I'm tryng to make.

    Another thing to be aware of is that mixing you bass sound for a pleasing tone when it's soloed rarely works. As soon as you introduce the other instruments, it's likely to get burried. I try to mix the bass tone with all instruments playing. Turn them down a tad if you have to, but leave them there so you can hear how the frequencies all the instruments are going to interact. This might result in some EQ-ing that might surprise you, so don't fall into the trap of EQ-ing with your eyes. Use you ears and don't be affraid try things you wouldn't normally try in your live sound.