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Tips on improving the quality of my recordings?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by mrWr0ng, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. Hey guys,

    I just got a G4 powerbook, and I'm mating it with my Digidesign MBox and Ernie Ball Stingray. I recorded this last night: http://www.jlboyce.com/music/30sex.mp3 (it's 30 seconds, 250k) and all I used was a little EQ and a hint of delay.

    What are some ways I could get better sound out of this? Is it all going to be in amp simulation or will proper EQing give me a better sounding direct? Right now the sound just feels sort of flat, kinda dead, so I'd just like to add a bit more life to it. I like the tone overall, but I want it to jump out at me a little bit more.
  2. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    What you want for bass tone is a purely subjective matter. Try until you find something better, if you're not happy with it. I CAN tell you that you should use a compressor, before or after you record. Some of the higher notes were overly soft, and some of the lower notes jumped out and pegged my admittedly wimpy computer speakers. A little compression would even that out. Keep us posted.
  3. Okay, I went in, compressed it and reuploaded it (same file). i can see what you mean about evening out the levels, although ultimately the only way those levels will come out perfect is if I play it perfectly (still got a ways to go on that)
  4. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    It takes a long time for players to get where they don't "need" compression, and most engineers throw some on in the mix any how. I would not beat yourself up over the quality of your recording, its actually pretty good. As said before tone is soooo subjective, so I won't even go there. As far a quality goes, a good DI/Pre-amp will do wonders. In your situation I say use whatever sounds good contextually, if you are sculpting songs on your own at home, there is no reason to just settle for some bass tone, get what fits the song.
  5. [font=comic sans ms,verdana,arial]If that’s compressed, it still sounds uneven, like some notes are not getting near the same strike force as the others. I know that can be difficult with a complex line, but a compressor can only do so much. If this were a “real” session and I were a “real” engineer, I’d suggest modifying your part so that you could give me something that you could play smoothly.

    You’re right, it does sound a little lifeless. I’d try some EQ. Sounds to me like it could use some boost in the 1 kHz range. If you have access to parametric equalization, try a 1/3-octave filter boosted about 6 dB. Try panning it back and forth between about 400 Hz – 2 kHz and see if you can find a spot where everything kinda “wakes up.” When you find that, re-adjust the boost – you’ll probably want to reduce it to 3-4 dB.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You need a DI box, that's all. The sound you got is typical of a bass that was recorded straight into the computer. I use the DI in the back of my SWR SM-500 amp and it sounds really good, so if you have an amp with a DI out, you should try that. Otherwise you can buy one. The more you spend, the better your sound will be, but I've gotten quite favorable results with a simple Whirlwind Imp 2 DI as well. It's not the greatest DI ever made, but for $50-60, it's really not bad at all. I carry one in my bag just in case there's a problem with the SWR or just in case I can't use my amp. I really didn't think it sounded too bad other than that. You're close, just not quite there yet.
  7. Jorge


    Jul 6, 2005
    a tube di such as the aguilar, ampeg, and demeter will definately do the trick

    they are quite expensive but they pop up on ebay every once in a while
  8. the never ending search begins: try different amps/cabs different techniques - mic'd cabs, DI out of amp or straight DI. Compression is a must ( but keep it subtle ) and Spend some time playing with EQ - that can change your sound the most, but at the end of the day, its gonna come down to your ears and how you play....
  9. Great ideas. I've got a WT400 somewhere in Storage that I can dig out and use to DI into my Mbox and see if that will get me some more warmth!