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Recording Woes

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by StingrayKid21, Feb 13, 2004.


  1. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey all!

    First off, I apologize if this is in the wrong forum. I couldn't think of one particular forum to place it in so I defaulted to "Miscellaneous." ... and away we go...

    I was recording some pre-production tracks tonight preparing for recording a full-length album with my band. I was running my Stingray 5 directly to an Avalon preamp and then into Pro Tools and I was able to get a pretty decent tone, but I couldn't get rid of the "natural brightness" of my bass. Every time I slide or move from fret to fret I get this nasty squeaking noise. If that weren't bad enough I keep getting a lot of that wonderful "clicking" noise when I'm playing. I'm not slapping, nor am I playing that hard. I'm in standard 5 string tuning and I just can't seem to get rid of all the extra noise. I think it may just be how the bass is, in which case it may be time for a change. I'm seriously beginning to consider a Lakland Skyline JO5 (if I could find a way to afford it.) I don't know if this would be an upgrade from my SR5 or not, but I've been wanting a Jazz bass for a while and I've heard Lakland Skylines are good 5-stringers for a decent price.

    So more or less, this post is just a rant as I needed to vent a little. If anyone has any ideas for recording and getting rid of the clicks and clanks please let me know. The main thing that bugs me is every time I listen to most other bands' recordings that fretting noise isn't there. I know a lot can be done in the mixing process, but listening to my bass recorded is driving me insane... almost "chuck my bass into a wall" insane. Hopefully it is in fact the bass and not just me... Well, I must say I feel a little better getting this off my chest and if anyone has any advice or opinions or has gone through the same kind of thing feel free to say so.

    Thanks and keep rocking! :bassist:

    --Justin
     
  2. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    I'd say the correct forum would be......recording gear and equipment, or it might be basses......heck, it is probably technique......setup???????

    Nevermind, I'll just leave it here for now.

    Anyway, it probably comes from your techniqe. If you are recording with a lot of highs, this is going to be hard to lose. Try lightening your touch. If it is in the bass, it is a setup issue. It is possible your pickup is set too high. I've heard of pro's using electric tape over the pole pieces to help eliminate some of this for recording, but have never tried it. I don't believe simply buying a different bass will solve this.
     
  3. StingrayKid21, you might considering using Flat wound strings. A lot of Pro players use Flats when recording, it's not a must but it will help until your technique improves.


    Check out this song Dream Within A Dream I used TI's on my Sadowsky Vintage 5, if you like the tone, I can suggest a few things to help you get it.

    [​IMG]
    Treena
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I would tend to agree with Tim that it is a technique issue - a lot of people get this when they record after playing live a lot, where the extraneous noises are masked by the high volume of the rest of the band.

    So - you say :
    "Every time I slide or move from fret to fret I get this nasty squeaking noise. "

    That definitely sounds like a technique issue and something that needs to be addressed in your playing - so it will be apparent if you ever play in a quiet band situation - like "acoustic" volume small band Jazz.

    You can't just slide across frets without noise - you need a muting and better left-hand, technique.

    The "clicking" is is probably also related to left hand technique - if you are not accurately fretting or pressing down too hard - so you need to fret just behind the fret lines not in the middle, for example.

    Of course it is impossible to be "definitive" about this without actually seeing what you do - which is why people around here recommend getting a teacher.

    Just one or two face-to-face lessons with a good teacher could clear
    this up and sort out any technique issues - whereas we could go roudn and round here forever, arguing about what it is, without any definite answer - the limitations of an internet forum!! :meh:
     
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I've done a bit of recording in my day as well (not as much as Treena, but enough), and I worked for several years as a ProTools engineer. Those clanks and squeeks may seem horible when the track is soloed, but won't be distracting in a mix. In fact, many have found that they one of the factors that make a track come alive, and separate it from a synth bass. Of course, this is if those noises aren't distracting when the track is in a mix.
     
  6. StingrayKid21

    StingrayKid21 Holding down the low-end since 1996.

    Oct 7, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Hey everyone.

    Thanks for all the input. I figured it was probably something with my playing technique, which is what worried me most since I thought of myself as a pretty decent bassist. (I still may eventually get a Skyline JO5 though, haha.) Treena, I listend to the track and I like the tone. I'm not sure how well it would blend with my band though. I tried Rotosound TruBass Nylon flatwounds on my Ray5 but it had no sustain at all and really didn't fit with the music (although it did aleviate a lot of the fret noise.) My bass sounded a lot like an upright bass. Are most rounds known for having less sustain?

    I guess I'm just gonna have to practice a lot and see if I can fix my technique some before we record the actual album. Thanks again for all the help!

    --Justin
     
  7. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    Roll you highs down on your bass, depending on your recording equipment a lot of ditgital recorders have built in EQ's. You can do like Pac Man says and get a Steve Harris/Korn clicky tone going, or EQ out the fingers noise and clickyness in mixdown.
     
  8. I had that fret noise / plucking sound problem when I first bought my Peavey Cirrus (the string height was a lot lower than on my old bass). I got rid of most of it by adjusting my technique, and it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be.

    Anyway, a little of it is still there, especially as the Cirrus is a punchy bass (and a Stingray is even more so! I love their sound, by the way), but as Pacman said, it's not disturbing in the mix.

    I've got very little experience though, so listen to the pros here :).
     
  9. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Agreed. It's all about context and the overall mix. What's the point of a beautifully recorded perfect sounding bass soloed bass track if it doesn't blend with what the rest of the band is doing? As much as I believe this, I regret that I didn't make a big enough issue out of it when I was recording more regularly. As a result I hate the sound of 95% of the stuff I've recorded...............

    Heck I was listening to a song on the radio this morning that seemes to have the finger squeeks recorded on a seperate track and turned UP in the mix........(sings the chorus...badly.... "we used to be friends la la la la.......".
     
  10. secretdonkey

    secretdonkey

    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I remember reading an interview with or article on Chuck Rainey, and something was said about his tracks sounding like "somebody was working under the hood of an old Buick in the background" when soloed. :cool: