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Studio Bass Vs. Live Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kwesi, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. I see a lot of people on the forums that they would use such and such bass for recording and a separate one for live playing. Does it really matter and why? And just so i have something to look at, pics of both basses are appreciated :)
  2. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    Some dudes have old vintage basses that sound great, especially recorded, but for either value reasons (Who wants a bass worth 10k in a seedy bar?) or functionality reasons (not 100% true neck, tuning gets whacked, it buzzes too much under the stage lights, etc) don't play it live.
  3. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    There are a lot of reasons. As has been said, who wants to risk taking a $10,000 Fodera to a seedy bar?

    Some things, like Warwick Thumbs, can sound great on record, but can be a pain to play live due to their weight.
  4. jackcregg

    jackcregg Guest

    Feb 25, 2007
    those last 2 posts answer the question perfectly
  5. Fnord Explorer

    Fnord Explorer

    Feb 3, 2008
    Yeah, this is why I don't own a boutique bass. . . I could never bring myself to take it out of the house. I'd be sweating and paranoid.
  6. Have to agree with the other posts.
  7. I have 2 main basses that I use both live and in the studio. My Pre-Fender Kubicki has a great live sound and cuts through the mix at any venue with ease, where my Lakland 55-01 that I've modded with Nordstrand Big Single pups and a Bart 18v preamp sounds awesome recorded. The preamp is more versatile so I can get pretty much any tone out of the bass, whether it be a hot modern slap tone or a warm vintage fingerstyle tone. I tried my Kubicki in the studio and it does a great job but I think I like the versatility of the Lakland better.


  8. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    I think Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick said it best: "Live, Subtlety goes out the window".

    In the studio, to me, it actually matters what you're using to track as you can get your sound right to track.

    Live, again, to me, unless you are with me on stage, it makes not a dime of difference if I'm playing a Ric, a Jazz a P, or a Sting Ray (which I use all the time live), you can't tell the difference, the audience will get the fundamental but very little tone.

    I'm just trying to be heard above the Marshalls, Voxs, drums and hope to hell the soundman has my direct box plugged in!

  9. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    When I record (not much these days) tone and articulation are the most important things to me. I recorded a few demos with my band this morning with a new EBMM SR4 and the tone is great. My 1974 Fender is also great to record with.

    Live I prefer basses that really cut, so that means active basses generally and my Sadowsky NYC cuts better than any bass I have. If I am playing a dump, I will leave the Sadowsky at home and play a less expensive bass such as my older Fender 5ers (also active).
  10. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    I think you need a better soundman...
  11. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    i think it has alot to do with your lung capacity as well.
  12. Bassmunnky


    Jul 3, 2004
    New York and Philadelphia
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball MusicMan Guitars
    You bet...that's why I use the SR4HH...and my own direct box...I have a
    small amount of control over my sound...but, I'll pay good money to anyone who can tell the difference between a P or J in the back of a club.
  13. I've got 2 Warwick Corvette Standard 5s, one in bubinga pommelle, and one in swamp ash. I use the swamp ash one live, as its a lot lighter, and the bubinga one in the studio as it has a great cutting tone, and lots of sustain. Seems to work for me!
  14. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    Typically my stingray takes more work than its worth to track really well, but man does that thing cut through in the mix live. Its not that its a bad sounding bass, but I typically prefer my p bass or thumb recording wise. It totally comes down to preference. In the studio I like a more tubby sound, live I like a bass that cuts alot harder.
  15. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    Also, I look for basses with different tones for recording.
    Jerry Jones
    Washburn AB20
    Gibson EB-O

    I mainly use these to record.

    But, Play live with my Fenders, or Laklands.
  16. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    It really depends on the music you play and your style. I am not that picky when playing live as long as the bass I am using is quality but I can play most of my current setlists on a P, J, EBMM or a Sadowsky. I used to play a Warwick and a Lakland 55-02 for the same songs and I'm sure there are dozens of others that would sound fine as well.

    A good example (in my case) of why certain basses work better than others would be me trying to play most RHCP songs that involve slapping on one of my Precisions strung with flats or even a Gibson SG bass. It would sound terrible.

    But I agree that at the back of the bar few people could tell the difference between a P and a J. For fingerstyle rock music I would agree to a point but the bassist would (should) know the difference.
  17. basadam


    Nov 29, 2005
    Recording, you need a bass that has the 'tone'. It can be a boat anchor, it can be ugly, it can be barely holding itself together.

    Live you need a bass that has a passable tone but great playability (none-tiresome, light, little or no neck-dive and such). It has to look good in my standards but I also shouldn't worry about hitting the headstock or such.
  18. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    For recording, I emphasize tone, but for stage I emphasize playability as long as the tone works. I like the tone and playability of all my basses, so use (or would use) all for both, but to varying degrees. My DiPinto Belvedere has incredible tone, but somewhat awkward ergonomics when standing due to the long reach to first position -- strap button at fret 15 or 16 -- so I don't use it much live. But it's frequently been first in line for recording.

    My G&L L-1500 is my best player, so I love it on stage, but for most stuff I'm likely to record, I'd prefer the fatter tone of the DiPinto, my Fenders, or my SB-2. Thinking back over the dozen or so tracks I've recorded in any serious way, only one may have called for the L-1500.

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