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Separation when multi-tracking

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Zerozeddy, May 3, 2006.

  1. I fear this might be a silly silly silly question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

    Would two overdubbed tracks in the same "register" on the bass always sound muddy pants? I'm talking standardly-tuned 4 string bass here, below 7th fret.
  2. well, my guess would be that it would sound chorused...
  3. Sorry, didn't make self clear. I mean in the Lawson style of looping a rhythm/chord passage and soloing over it.
  4. Alun


    Jun 6, 2004
    Endorsing Artist - Elixir strings,Markbass amplification
    Hi ZZ, traditional wisdom says "Yes, it'll be horrible" but to me it depends on the tones of the basses and the choice of notes. Two basses with deep subby tones are likely to sound pretty muddy but if at least one has a trebly tone you may get away with it. Or try one clean and one distorted or filtered. Or two entirely different basses - eg an Ashbory and a slapped electric can co-exist quite happily in the same register as the tones are so different.

    Also, if one is playing sustained notes and one is doing notier stuff, it'll probably sound clear than if both are moving around a lot.

    The best advice is really to try it and fiddle about with different tones to see what you find acceptable.

  5. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    There are no hard and fast rules other than 'does it sound good?' but I usually look to have parts more separate than that... you can increase the sense of separation by EQing the two lines differently, or by palm muting the bass line and playing the melody part with your nails, or back by the bridge...

    and it all comes back to the first question - does it sound good?

  6. probably one of the easiest things you can do is switch pickups or play with the tone knob...i find that you can get a non-muddy sound sound if you do the bassline and chords with the neck pickup and solo with the bridge pickup...or the other way around...you can set the tone knob on full, halfway, fully back too, add that in with the pickup selection, and you will have a pretty wide tonal palatte...also like steve said, switch up your technique, and you've got even more tones to choose from

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