Tele & Orange vs Bongo & Aguilar (Live mix)

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Veldar, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Hey everyone,

    I play in this band Diplazar, our sound consists of a vocalist (little bits of guitar also), drummer, myself on bass and our main guitarist.

    He runs a Tele reissue using the neck pickup with his tone down depending on the parts into an Orange 212 combo, great sound I love it. I mix our music and I find the bass sits better if I occupy the space above the low kick and just around the start of the guitar (around 100 to 200hz I believe) and I find myself dipping the guitars a bit above 1k hz and boosting my bass there so there's some higher mid range going on.

    I rock a EBMM Bongo 6 string into a Aguilar TLC comp into a Aguilar TH500, my sound is punchy and has a great mid range to it, however when left flat I tend to fall just into the low mid range. This is generally fine for bands put I do a lot of 'exotic' bass parts, tapping slapping and melodic playing but my tone isn't sitting right for these parts to be heard.

    My bongo's high mids are 2.5KHz I was mostly wondering everyone's thoughts on boosting that to cut through the guitar's tone.

    Cheers, Sam.
    shawn1288 likes this.
  2. shewhorn


    Jan 30, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Hi Sam,

    Can you post a link to a rough of the tune in question? I went to your FB page. I only listened to one clip but my suggestion is to work on the arrangement a bit. I hope you don't mind the critique... in this tune for example...

    The problem I hear is that the guitar player is too busy throughout. If you listen to a player like Stevie Ray Vaughan you'll hear that he plays more simple passages when singing and then plays more rhythmically complex material in the space between. John Mayer was influenced by that but implements it a bit differently. Mayer provides A LOT of space in between lyrics. You can work with that same concept here. So you have a basic 12 bar blues going on here. I'd suggest trading off a little. On bar one and two the guitar has the basic rhythm of quarter, dotted eighth, sixteenth. Most of the time after that I notice he often starts strumming sixteenths. That's a bit busy for the beginning of a tune. Let it breath. Beats 3 and 4 is a good place for you to play syncopated sixteenths leading your ear back to the I (until it's time to go to the IV). The guitar can still play in 3 an 4, but perhaps in the space between (and not too much in the beginning... build the song and save somewhere to go to). It'll take collaboration between the two of you to map out where you each have your fills and what you're playing so that the other can be heard easily. That's one idea. Another idea would be to pay attention to voicings. If the guitarist moves up the neck, you go down, and vice versa. That won't always work (nor is it always appropriate) but it's yet another strategy.

    So my first thought is to solve the problem through the arrangement. There are other technical solutions as well, but the arrangement needs to be solid and allow space for things to happen first. A great (busy) mix to listen to which has clearly defined bass and guitar fills is John Mayer's "Who Did You Think I Was". Listen to the version off of the "Where The Light Is" double CD. Pino's bass occupies the low end to the point where it's in the same space as the kick. It sounds to me like the engineer put a compressor on the bass but set it up as a ducker triggered by the kick drum (so when the kick plays, using a fast attack and release, it triggers the compressor which the bass is running through and brings its level down by maybe 5 or 6 dB to make some room). It's not always an appropriate solution. Often it's better to get the two to sit well with one another before recording but this was a live recording which has certain limitations.

    Pay attention at 1:30. Pino is filling the space in between John's comping (and John is intentionally leaving him space to do his thing), or he's playing fills when John is mostly sustaining a chord.
    SheeHAMM likes this.