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Recording- I'm little excitied.... Advice?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Cúl-Báire, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. Well, this weekend is my first recording session... But first a little info .

    I have been playing bass for just over a year now- plodding along learning my own way for the most part, selt taught using books, and the internet as resorces. I work with alot of musicians, I'm actually a construction worker for lack of a better word- but the team I work with all play musical instruments. Anyways a new guy at work started at work a few weeks ago- after he say me reading bass player during lunch he got quiet excited...

    Turns out he is a singer / songwriter / guitarist - he's working on a folk / blues album, and he wants me to do some bass tracks for him in his home studio. So he gave us some of the music to listen to- and some of the writen music (both of which is quiet good) to see if I was interested- I am, figuring it's an experience.

    Now I cant say I'm into blues or folk music all that much- it's just not something I listen too. But I am taking this up as an experience, with working with other musicians and possably even some small gig's that may come of it. The guy is thinknig about putting in some demo's to a few smaller music / production companies.

    I was just wondering if anyone has any recording tips or hits- ideas of what not to do etc..? As I said I'm not expecting anything big from this- it's just playing experience that may look good or be of some use in the future. First song, this weekend hopefully.

  2. download some stuff that the songs sound like. Try to listen to what the bass is doing in the song...

    I was in your position 2 weeks ago, doing a hip-hop CD with a friend of a friend. He told me that I just wasn't jelling with the track. I took a break, listened to a rap track, and remembered what the bass was going on in the songs I knew, and that was it was just LOCKING in with the pocket. Just RIGHT on the kick drum.

    So download a few blues standerds and folk tunes and see how the bass is being placed in it.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Keep the tone on your bass and input device pretty flat. If you boost the bass, it'll be tough to tame it at mixdown.
  4. Thanx for the advice FunkyFender, I'll be sure to do that, especially since hehehe blues really aint my thing. I got another track today which is more slow rockish, already has a bass line, but my mate isn't happy with it, so I am spending tonite pulling that to pieces and seeing what I can do. All the songs certainly sound good, very well structured.

    Munjibunga: Thanx for the advice- but I generally keep my bass down a fair bit. I'm running a Gallien Krueger 800RB into a Ampeg SVT410He, and hoping to mic the cab, because it sounds great- the amp is too clean for my liking, and my be noisy as it's runnig off a step down transformer. May record both, and mix em, who knows how he wants do do things.

    I generally run my EQ as follows.
    Treble: 10 o'clock
    Hi Mid: 12 to 1 o'clock
    Low Mid: 12 to 1 o'clock
    Bass: 11 o'clock.

    Boost / GIVE: 12 to 3 o'clock.

    It seems to sound pretty good set like that for most situations. I will more than likely using my Fender MIA Jazz which sounds sweet though this setup, or my Essex Presision which is a totally different sound.

    Really wishing I had a Sansamp BDDI right now... I'm not looknig forward to lugging all this gear. Looking foward to recording though.
  5. oldfclefer

    oldfclefer low ended

    May 5, 2005
    Southern Ohio
    My experience is when you record with an amp, you get a lot of noise from other sources that are vibrating and cabinet rattle etc. Try to D.I. or just plug into the board to see what kind of sound you get.
    Other than that, know your parts and have fun!

    Good luck.
  6. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    Please, for the love of God... don't overplay! When I did my first recording session (87), I wanted to lay down some cool sounding stuff. It didn't work. Just remember, the bass should be felt and not heard. Groove your butt off, and you'll be fine. Think about the length of the notes and complementing everything. I personally don't think you lock with just the kick. The snare is where it's at as well if you have to be specific. (In the style you'll be playing anyway!) :D

    I would advise against using an amp. Use the direct out of the head, but avoid miking your cab. Better still, use a pod. I haven't used an amp more than 3 x's in the studio for the last 10 years.
  7. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I 100% agree with the advice about not overplaying. On a blues or folk recording, especially on a demo, people aren't listening to hear how hot the bass player is. You want to feature the song, not yourself. Every second you draw an A&R person's or a club owner's attention to yourself from the song is a disservice to the guy you're recording with.

    Now I'm not saying play only roots and fifths, but the old saying in Nashville was to think of the most simple line you could put under the song, then play half of that. A bit of an exaggeration, but perhaps not by much.
  8. I tend to make sure I dont over play in my playing, even while just improvising with my guitarist mate, I'll keep the playing to just enough... Usually comes out good.

    A few of the songs are busy, and make the song- one in particular has a nice walking line, but the song writer wants it to be "there" but a bit more subtle, I can do that; quiet a fun bassline too. Thats the first song he wants done, and it's the first really complete song- others are more in jam stage, trying to work out bass lines for them, putting our ideas together. He says he most certainly wants my input and ideas as well as I see things from a different perspective to him.

    RE Recording Cab, Direct or DI form Amp:... Direct would probably work actually- I'm using a passive Fender Jazz so should be ok there- I really prefered the idea of recording the cabinet at lowish volume, becaue 1) It has a decent sound when used with my amp that would easily fit the project warm yet not mushy (at low volume). 2) The DI to my amp may be noisy, as it's a 110vAC amp running off 240vAC using a transformer.

    Keep the ideas coming... I'm not sure if we'll be recording this weekend, I just noticed I dont have the guy's number, he's got mine- but If been off work for 3 days with a case of food poisining. :eyebrow:
  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    If there's enough channels, you should run one input straight to the board with no EQ. Use something like a Countryman Type 85. Plug your bass into that, run the XLR out to the board, and run the through output to your amp. Then mic the amp and run that to a separate channel. If you do this, you will thank me profusely later, because then almost all things will be possible, tone-wise, in the mixdown.
  10. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    take is slow
    learn all the parts back and forth
    new strings(every time we recorded, this was a huge thing)
    get a set up/intonation done
  11. dhadleyray

    dhadleyray Guest

    Dec 7, 2004
    I agree that having a direct line out plus miking the cabinet is a sweet combination, but most engineers tweak the bass so much when you're gone, it won't resemble what you heard anyway. If it's a session and the engineer wants to mike stuff, cool... If he doesn't I think the DI is the safest bet. Some engineers are knob twiddlers and can't leave stuff alone. :smug:
  12. I'd say patience is also a good thing to have when recording, be prepared to play some songs and parts over and over...
  13. Mr_McBride


    Oct 9, 2003
    Acworth, Ga
    xshawnxearthx listed most of the highpoints.

    But again, relax, know your lines, relax, and just try to stay in the pocket. I started out recording with the mindset that I am here to support the music, nothing more. I found this very helpful.

    As for recording, if you have a decent axe....go direct, at least at first to see how it sounds. If you need something more, then add a mic, but do so as a second channel. That way you can mix between the direct channel and the mic'd channel. You will find that the direct channel has a wider frequency response and will contain a fuller low end. The mic'd channel, on the other hand, will add punch and some presence (depending on the distance from the mic' to the cab, size of the room, etc. This is something that you have to experiment with. You can use this to bring the bass forward in the mix or set it back a bit in the mix. Both can sound good depending on the situation).

    Hope this helps,