Sampling the fleet

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by VroomVroom, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. A few months back I bought a USB audio interface, and since then I've been meaning to record all of my instruments in an objective, as-few-variables-as-possible setting. Nothing overly scientific, but hopefully a means of capturing the strengths (and weaknesses) of each bass. Well, last night the opportunity presented itself. The Mrs. was off at a girls-night shindig, and it was just me and the dog (and cats) at home. Bada boom...

    Using my Stinkpad and M-Audio's Session software, I set up a 24-bar drum pattern. I then plugged in a bass (my Lull, arbitrarily) and came up with a medley of common riffs that would work on each instrument. I happened into the key of 'A', although there is some back & forth between major and minor. Here's the physical layout...

    Bass > Radial JDI > M-Audio Fastrack USB > Laptop via 'Session' software.

    Each instrument was EQ'd completely flat, with the blend pot centered (pickup volume controls balanced on the Lull). Volume was set as close to max as possible while monitoring the 'peak' light on the M-Audio interface to only appear during aggressive slapping. Batteries (Duracell) and strings (as noted) are all fresh-ish (overall time measured in one or two weeks, playing time less than five hours).

    The files were recorded within the 'Session' app, and then "mixed" to emphasize the level of the bass track. I then exported to .wav within Session, and normalized and converted to .mp3 using Audacity.

    The results? Try as I might, there is a bit of variation from one file to the next with respect to bass & drum levels. However, I think the character of each instrument still comes through. If you're so inclined, please let me know your thoughts. On to the carnage... :D

    Lakland Joe Osborn
    Alder body. Maple neck, ebony board. Fralin pickups and Bart NTMB preamp. Cleartone nickel strings.

    Mike Lull M5V
    Alder body. Maple neck, rosewood board. Duncan pickups and Bart NTMB preamp. Cleartone nickel strings.

    MTD 535
    Ash body, walnut top. Maple neck & board. MTD stainless strings.

    MTD 635
    Ash body, walnut top. Ash neck, maple board. MTD stainless strings.

    Roscoe SKB 3006
    Ash body, myrtle top. Maple/purpleheart/maple (standard) neck, spalted purpleheart board. Bartolini pickups & preamp. MTD stainless strings.

    Roscoe SKB 3006
    Ash body, maple top. Wenge wedge neck, maple board. Nord DC pickups and Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. MTD stainless strings.

    Sadowsky M5-24
    Ash body. Maple neck & board. DR MM Fat Beams strings.

    I enjoyed the process, and hopefully the files are at least a bit useful in distinguishing between the woods, electronics, and other individual characteristics of each instrument. Thanks for your time!
  2. grifff


    Jan 5, 2009
    Nevermind the basses, that drum loop sounds so real!

    The basses sound great too. :D I always wondered what these basses sounded like with the same recording methods.
  3. mgrier1


    Dec 28, 2005
    Santa Fe, NM

    Very clean playing - sounds great.

    I kept going back and forth between the MTD's and there is a bit of a difference (tho I did my tests on my computer speakers and not my Barefoot MM27's). To my ears the 635 has a bit more gel to it across the tonal spectrum, slightly bigger low-mids, and clean, airy slap tone. The 535 has a bit more grit & burp on the attack and bit more pronounced upper-mids.

    Given, the only difference being the maple vs. ash neck woods and an extra string, they really do have distinct personalities.

    Thanks for these clips and the effort!


  4. Thanks, folks! Mike, despite how similar they look, the difference in "personality" between the MTD's is amazing to me. Your observations are definitely interesting, and I have to admit that I hear some of that as well. The funny thing, live they're pretty much the opposite. The 535 is just massive down low, while the upper mids and highs on the 635 are really strong. I find myself using the sixer more often, if only because a moderate boost of the lows gets it in the same sonic ballpark as the five-string, and those upper mids are so "chewy" and just make the instrument bark and bite. :)
  5. reitedasc


    Jun 23, 2005
    Good job! Very nice playing. What was the bass line before Boogie Wonderland?
  6. Thanks! I assume you actually mean, "Let's Groove"? Before that was "Got To Be Real".
  7. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    I like the Lakland and MTD 635 a lot. I imagine the 635 will sit in a band mix really great...
  8. reitedasc


    Jun 23, 2005
    Of course. Thanks!
  9. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Only listened to a few so far, severly suprised at how much I like the Sadowsky, usually don't like both pickups so far back like that, but it works! The slapped section is just the bidness! :bassist:

    Bet it'd roar with a pick.:cool:
  10. Great recordings! your playing is very clean.

    I like the Lakland most.
    MTD 535 sounds better than the 635 to me.

    You should post the drum loop alone so that others can show their tone