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Recording Regrets - Should have listened to those roundwounds!

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by DLVlad, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    Recently my band (Bourbon N Beer) recorded a cd. I always play with roundwounds and appropriately so since I'm not a thud kind of guy. (Well at least that circumstance hasn't arrived yet.) Since original-writing progress often seems to go at a snail's pace I laid down a track that is the foundation of the song and when mixed seemed to be pretty good. Still does... but. I may have rushed it. Now I can hear all of those slides over the roundwounds which I didn't hear before.
    In general, as a bass player I'm pretty proud of how everything else turned out but I'm having second thoughts about the song "Confession Efficiency." Take a listen and tell me what you think. Am I overthinking this? And how much time can a band waste getting recording done? What does a typical project take for everyone else?
    ♫ Bourbon N Beer - Bourbon N Beer. Listen @cdbaby
    Goatrope and Lobster11 like this.
  2. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    After reading your post I expected my response to be to not worry about it, that nobody will notice except you, etc. But after listening to the track I have to say that I do in fact hear a lot of string-squeak -- enough to distract me from the rest of the song (which otherwise I really liked). I haven't listened to the other tracks, but if this is the only one that has this issue I would consider re-recording it, using either flatwound strings or EQ to minimize the volume of the squeaking. IMO this dark-sounding song would sound great with the bass part played on flats instead of rounds anyway. FWIW.
    craig0316, Kukulkan61, DrMole and 5 others like this.
  3. Goatrope

    Goatrope Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Live and learn. Loved the track but not the squeaks. Did you guys use an engineer or anyone outside the band for production?
    DrayMiles and DLVlad like this.
  4. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I was kinda surprised at the prominence of the finger squeaks, too.

    I record mostly with a Mike Lull Jazz-style bass with Nord single-coils and Nord preamp through a REDDI tube DI and whatever plug-ins the engineer is playing with at the time. I use Ernie Ball Power Slinkies. He gets a great, open sound but without the finger squeaks.

    Could it be that the highs of the bass are emphasized in the tracking process? Might the strings be brand new? This engineer prefers that the round wound strings I use have a couple of weeks of playing on them, not brand-new, which is fine with me.

    Having said all I just did, the bass tone on that song doesn't bother me or distract from the total song. Perhaps you and the other guys could live with the track as is for a few days or couple of weeks and see how it sits with you after a while.
    DLVlad likes this.
  5. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    Yeah I was kind of hoping for the response to be not to worry about it also:) We're kind of beyond the rerecord point. The CD is out and most responses are positive. I think this will just be one of those lessons you learn early on. Yes this is the only song that bothers me with finger squeak. Since I tend to be hitting the low E with my thumb and play melody on the high strings I tend to amp up the treble on the high strings. That's part of the issue (and part of the style). But evidently I need to watch it a bit.
  6. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    Well at the track level we pretty much did it ourselves. Once it was mixed we had it mastered but the finger squeaks would be my problem to fix basically. Admittedly I'm using a rotary effect on the bass in that song which I think (although a cool effect for it- makes it sound a bit like an organ) emphasizes the squeaks.
    Goatrope likes this.
  7. nilebodgers


    Nov 25, 2017
    Oh yeah - that squeaking is really distracting. Can't leave it like that IMO.
    jmlee and Machiavelli like this.
  8. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Well, if it's too late to change it, then you just have to own it. If anyone asks, just tell them that the squeaks were part of the sound you were aiming for, and explain how you went through 10 different kinds of strings in order to achieve exactly that amount of squeak.
  9. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    Okay now you're making me feel better! I think to the average person it's not as much of a distraction as it is to me or to other bass players. There is no doubt that this and the other songs emphasize a regular bass tone at the low end and treble tones at the high end. I tend to thumb/slap the lows and play treble with the fingers on the highs. I think this one just got away from me a bit. And the damn recording process took so much time I never went back and really thought about it.
    Geri O likes this.
  10. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    LoL! Thanks Lobster11 Think I will!
    Lobster11 likes this.
  11. DLVlad


    Jan 17, 2009
    Next CD!
    Lobster11 likes this.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    OK: don't worry about it! i'm serious --- do not worry about it!

    i think there's a lot of it, but: in listening to the piece i was easily able to accept the string noise as part of the 'intimacy' of the track --- and i can also accept that a 'producer' left it that way...on purpose...just to convey that vibe!

    lots of tunes have string noise and it easily falls into the category of "part of the sound...on purpose!"

    don't let the detractors bring you down about your recording(s) --- your tunes sound great! good luck with your project/sales! :thumbsup:
    DLVlad, zon6c-f and Torrente Cro like this.
  13. TemplesOfSyrinx

    TemplesOfSyrinx Supporting Member

    Sep 8, 2013
    New Jersey
    Record with flats or tapewounds. Some tapewounds are almost as bright as roundwounds.

    Also, Steve Harris plays flats, and I would not say his sound is thumpy in any way.
    DLVlad and Tony In Philly like this.
  14. nilorius


    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    Why no ???
  15. aw man, notch it out next time!
    DLVlad, Dabndug and TemplesOfSyrinx like this.
  16. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Low pass filters are your friend in the studio.
    Iv@N, DLVlad, trevcda and 1 other person like this.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I’ve learned that if you can’t fix something, then next best thing to do is make it a feature. If someone takes issue with it just say it was a meant to be a down and dirty take where you were pushing for maximum emotion and raw energy with no post production sweetening to take away from the live feel.

    Do that and many would-be critics will suddenly find leaving those sounds in was inspired and “honest.” ;)
  18. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    That’s pretty prominent. If the goose is cooked, then just chalk it up to learning. Maybe folks will think it’s the guitarist :)

    Next time, hit it with EQ, LPF, and possibly an audio repair VST like Izotope RX7 or something from Waves.
  19. RyanOh

    RyanOh Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Holy squeaks Batman
  20. Don't worry about it! It's proof that you don't use flats - in some rooms, that is a make or break for acceptance by the group of bassists huddling around the beer fountain!
    DLVlad and ObsessiveArcher like this.

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