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Recording session coming up, how to please my band's mixing wizards?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by phxlbrmpf, May 14, 2006.

  1. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    My band will be recording "album" versions of our songs in our home studio soonish. Our music has rather heavy guitars and synths and my band's singer and synth specialist consider themselves our mixing wizards.

    They like to EQ the hell out of every part so the song can have maximum "punch" (at least they think so), which I wouldn't really do, but that's just me.

    They seem to enjoy EQing the hell out of bass parts in particular, the other day they said with the right EQ and compressor they could get pretty much any bass sound they wanted. Uh, okay. :meh:
    When we recorded a few songs in our rehearsal room, I pissed them off by switching between sounds, plucking positions and PU blend settings in mid-song which made EQing me difficult.

    How would you recommend I go about the "studio" sessions in order not to cause them any problems?
    Should I go for a bassy sound or a neutral sound? I'll be using my Status Energy fiver with two soapbars which are pretty much in the P and J position and an active treble boost/cut pot and they'll plug me into a preamp. Should I favour the bridge or neck pickup and which one should I pluck over? When I pluck over the bridge pickup, I get a lot more overtones, but naturally, my sound will be missing a few lows, while plucking over the neck pickup sounds very fat but the danger of producing "clicks" is higher. Any advice from you recording experts?
  2. wwittman


    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    my REAL advice is don't "play" producer (them, not you).

    you might consider, if you're going to use radically different sounds for sections of the same song, splitting the sections to different tracks to be treated differently.

    But honestly this sounds a bit like they just enjoy the tweaking.
  3. fretless Bob

    fretless Bob If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.

    Nov 27, 2005
    Harrow, London, U.K
    I would tend to agree with wwittman, it sounds like they just like enjoy all the tweaking.

    If it where me i would explain to them that you are changing your hand positions and in turn tone for a reason and if they listened they might understand your point.

    If that didnt work i would get a sound that was to my tastes and try and stick with it, and just change dynamically.

    But a lot of guys that work with synths all of the time like things really consistant all of the time so try and do your best to make them happy while keeping your musical integrity.

  4. Or just play as you want, if they can't keep up, then they'll have to get some digital way to edit the tracks post-recording :D
  5. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Thanks for the suggestions, guys, I think I'll be going for a relatively bassy sound, as it's rather difficult to add low end later on (in my experience). What do you guys think?
  6. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    By now you have probably discovered that recording what sounds good in the room, might still need a lot of work, come mix down time.
    In my one room studio, a method that has worked for me is experimenting with overdubbing new bass tracks over old or non-keeper recordings of the rest of my band.

    Using this method with your mixers channel eq set flat, will get you a good idea if you have your entire rig adjusted to sound good on tape, instead of merely sounding good to you in the room. (thankfully this also makes me improve my playing)

    If this method is used for everyone in the band, there wont be such a big eq controversy, because everyone will have recorded there parts to sound good as a whole, instead of soloed.
    This makes mixing a pleasure because you have used microphone selection and placement, mic-pre selection and settings, and anything else available to you, to basically pre EQ your recording, instead of relying on a $20 EQ section to try and fix it later.

    If this is done correctly, your band recordings will only require slight eq tweaks, instead of extreme eq at mixdown.

    The eq section of most home mixers is not all that great. it just makes more sense to use every method within reach, than trying to fix it later.

    Figure the cost of your mixer when new.
    Then divide this, by the number of channels.
    Now figure about a quarter of that.
    Thats how much each, eq section in you mixer cost. Thats not much is it.

    Unless your using a high-end console, these basically low quality EQs tend to do a better job of reducing frequency's than boosting them. They cant be expected to preform like $1,000+ high end EQs.
  7. DanielleMuscato


    Jun 19, 2004
    Columbia, Missouri, USA
    Endorsing Artist, Schroeder Cabinets
    Don't forget profit margins for the manufacturer and dealer. The *cost* of the EQ section is maybe 1/3 of your final figure from above.
  8. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Thanks for the advice, guys, I just slapped on a set of Nickels, by the way. While I love the sound of Rotosound Swing Bass steels, they struck me as a bit more prone to finger noise and "clicks" than other strings. The nickels feel a bit stiffer and it looks like they'll make it easier to play cleanly.
  9. Ronan


    Jun 5, 2006
    Los Angeles
    You should really try and dial in the sound you want to hear in the end while you are recording and better yet do it with out any EQ. Just adjust the picksups, amps, mic placement etc.

    Its tough to give specifics without knowing the style of music. Rock music tends to need a little extra top end on the bass if its going to cut through big guitars.
  10. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Well, it's relatively heavy rock music, nu metal-ish in some parts, some songs are riff-based (I need to double those) and the guitar tuning is pretty low, i.e. dropped C tuning. I use a standard 5 string because I really don't like dropped tunings.
    The guitar sound is relatively bright and cutting, with not a lot of bass EQed in.
  11. Just get "your" sound (whatever that may be), go post EQ (straight DI and eq'd DI if you've got a good DI box) to the desk then let them tweak it afterwards...THEY should be trying to please YOU, not the other way round!
  12. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    In my 10 years as a recording/mixing engineer, I´d say go with a more trebley sound than you´re used to. When you add things during mixdown, high-frequency masking occurs, causing your bass to sound too dull... Low-frequency inconsistencies are easier to make up for... It´s okay to have a bassy sound though (if that´s definetely what you´re after...), but there´s only a fine line between bassy and boomy... Remember to check signal phases every step of the way.

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