Recording Tone.

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by leftseptember, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. leftseptember


    Jun 26, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    My band is going back into the studio next week, and I want to change my tone on the cd. In practice, and live, my tone is usually quite bassy, to drive the songs, and make them sound fuller. In the studio, though..I want to be heard as well. I figured, I can just play the songs, with my normal tone, and then go back and play the songs all again, with a more trebly/mid ranged tone, to add some definition.

    Is this the usual approach?
  2. int


    Jan 21, 2002
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you play everything twice you'll most likely end up with a tone that sounds chorused and delayed. Not necessarily a bad thing, if that's what you're into, but I would take a different approach.

    Try running into a DI box, then into you amp with your regular tone. Then you can record as many channels (DI, direct from your amp, and 1 or 2 mics; or maybe just the DI and a mic) as you want. That way you'll have the "cleaner" DI tone and your "shaped" tone to mess around with. Also, you'll save recording time and money if you're paying for it. It's easier (and cheaper) to spend 10 minutes of setting up than it is to record every song twice.

    Are you tone shaping on your bass or is it all on the amp? Have you tried different strings? How about different picks (if you use them)? Can you get ahold of another amp and run the two of them?
    Can you bring up your mids without sacrificing a whole lot of the driving low end you like? How about playing closer (or further if your already as close as you can get) to the bridge?
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Int's advice is spot on. Do your regular thing and take a pre-eq Direct Feed, maybe a post EQ Direct Feed if you have the tracks to burn. Figure it all out during the mixing.

    If you and the band are 'self-mixing' - don't change much. Heresy I know but bass tone isn't the most important thing on *most* recordings. Finding the sonic spaces where the bass drum, low end guitar, key's and basses sit is way more important! Each individual instrument's tone may sufffer - or at least sound strange when examined as a solo track, but if they all work together - it's a winner.

    In general mixing is a series of compromises performed as art. This is why you pay folks to mix ... so if you are paying someone to mix ... let them do it. If they don't give the band what it is looking for - fire them.

    Often I record the bass dry and apply the EQ after the fact. Re-amping the signal. Put a POD and and EQ in the eff loop for the dry channel and play away after the track is down.

    That works for quite a few styles of musc - but not all. And the tone you hear while tracking can be, well, dry and un-inspiring. That affects different people in different ways. I like it because it gives me a lot of flexibility later.

    One place where I throw some of that out is when I want tubular warmth. So if I'm looking for the B-15 sound, I have a rig & mic dialed for that and I run with it.