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Tone knob settings while recording

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by basslust, Oct 20, 2017.


  1. basslust

    basslust

    Apr 18, 2011
    Mass
    I recently recorded (P bass with flats and a pick) with the tone knob rolled off about half way, which is how I usually play. The guy doing the recording/mixing/mastering didn't seem to like that and said that I should play with it fully open. I thought this seemed a bit strange as it sounds fine live and in live recordings when I use that setting. He pointed to some strange artifacts that were being picked up in the track and thought that might be caused by it since it wasn't happening in the takes with the tone fully on. Mainly though, he was saying that there was plenty of low end but not enough of everything else for sitting in the mix ideally. I'm going with his experience here as he's widely respected and puts out quality stuff, but I'm wondering other bassists' experiences with this?
     
  2. If you like stuff he's put out in the past, I'd trust his experience.
     
    basslust likes this.
  3. basslust

    basslust

    Apr 18, 2011
    Mass
    Yeah, it's not so much that I'm not trusting his experience... More just wondering if this is is a common thing in studios to prefer the tone to be fully on, especially when playing flats with a pick.
     
  4. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    I'd run it open like he wants. Give him the full frequency range to work with. He's the engineer, let him adjust frequencies as he sees fit.
     
    Atshen and Badwater like this.
  5. Badwater

    Badwater

    Jan 12, 2017
    As stated above, the full bass spectrum of frequency would provide the best digital recording to work with. This gives the engineers the ability to mix and add fx if needed. Better to have more and cut frequencies vs trying to boost.

    Back in the analog days of 2" tape recording, the goal was to get the recording frequencies perfect as possible. And every studio had their formula of what worked best. With Digital, there is a lot of headroom to boost and cut levels as well as frequencies without introducing a lot of noise and artifacts. Much more than what analog tape could do. But in both analog and digital, they can't boost or cut frequencies that are not there. That's likely why the studio wants the full bass tone on full. And tone knob all the way up also gives a little more grit, and growl, and snap crackle pop that can be manipulated to taste.

    Nevertheless, congratulations on the recording. I hope it's a success. And congratulations on learning how to record bass in a studio.
     
    basslust likes this.
  6. I agree that leave the tone knob on full will give him more to work with in terms of getting the bass the sit in the mix. He can always roll of what's there, but he can't boost what's not there.

    This statement, though, seems like nonsense: "He pointed to some strange artifacts that were being picked up in the track and thought that might be caused by it since it wasn't happening in the takes with the tone fully on."

    I can't imagine any instance where having the tone turned down would cause "artifacts." I could see there being things like more string clank, or finger noise, or electrical interference with the tone all the way on, but not the other way around.
     
    basslust likes this.
  7. Grumry

    Grumry

    Jul 6, 2016
    Nashville
    Go wide open. He can put on a high shelf if he wants to darken your tone, but would have much more trouble adding what isn't there on the top.
     
    Badwater, JGbassman and basslust like this.
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    What your tone sounds like to you, with a band And what it sounds like in the context of a recording mix can be very different.

    In mixing a recording the individual instruments are sculpted with EQ and other processing so each instrument has its own sonic space.

    If you listen to soloed bass tracks from a recording, they typically sound very different from how they sound in the full mix.
     
    Badwater, Grumry and basslust like this.
  9. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) mmm Woody! Supporting Member

    You can always subtract frequencies but you can't add what's not in the signal recorded.
     
  10. Trust the guy behind the desk, with full overview of the recording. What sounds good to your ear and what will make for a good final mix may be quite different.

    Of course, some engineers are hopeless but this guy deserves the benefit of the doubt, especially if you're being paid to play on someone else's track.
     
  11. I’ve always recorded p basses wide open. I’m fact my favorite p bass I record with only has volume controls, tone is wired wide open
     
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 13, 2021

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