Tracking Bass with Scholz Bass Rockman

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by FFTT, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    I understand the challenges of trying to get a live bass tone recording Quietly!

    You can go D/I straight up through your interface or through a preamp or using a rack processor.

    Back around '93, I worked on a solo project and while my Jazz Bass sounded pretty good going D/I, I wanted to add more of a live feel to it, like going through an SVT mic'd up, but you can't do that when the littles are sleeping.

    The Bass Rockman also has a headphone out, so you can just noodle or rehearse without disturbing the neighbors.


    This was the novice home recording signal chain from Hell!
    Of course track limitations meant tracking wet as you hoped to hear the part in the mix.

    Mackie 1604
    Alesis 3630
    Tascam 488 8 track Cassette
    Pioneer Dual cassette for bounces
    Power amp for monitors and Pioneer was my Marantz 2252-B
    Monitors Infinity SM-82s
    Ensoniq EPS 8 bit for Kit and Sax section.
    Strat Plus through Scholz Sustainor through '93 Tweed Blues Deluxe
    '64 Jazz Bass through Scholz Bass Rockman, into the Mackie then to cassette.

    Vocals AKG C-1000 patched through the clean channel of my
    Digitech Valve FX guitar processor. :D

    The Scholz was known to get a fairly cool SVT sound with built in comp and chorus.

    These were my first attempts at trying to wear all the hats.

    I really wanted a sort of Savoy Truffle Big Sax Sound.

    Since I was tracking wet, the built in compression of the Rockman helped smooth
    the input volume playing Blue Steel Round Wounds fairly aggressively.

    Just cleaned up this one in Soundtrack Pro.
    Demo built around drum machine.
    Was supposed to be my pop millennium song.

    Also Jazz Bass into Scholz before going into the board.
    I liked the walking lines in this part.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  2. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Here's the Jazz just D/I but I'm patched through the clean tube setting on my Digitech Valve FX Tube guitar preamp.

    Voice, Sears Gut String Acoustic, EPS sequenced kit & strings and tambourine.

    '93 Strat plus also going through the Valve FX on that Spy Surfer setting.

    My Demented Lil' Critter ERA vocal is supposed to be demented. :)

    I used to do this song solo with just the Sears Gut String at open mics.

    It's weird that teaching myself to play guitar to perform the parts in my head, I ended up also learning how to arrange each part so I could handle the vocal live if necessary playing bass. That meant the bass part had to be written with live vocals in mind. Less is more.

    Also you learn where you can go up-neck without those middy frequencies fighting the vocal or turning the mix to mush.
    Where to hold the line and where you can add a few grace notes. Timing & placement.

    Also most important of all, I learned to use effective, deliberate panning and placement of each part on a virtual stage.

    In my head I had to be the conductor and place musicians at the right distance for the best overall balance coming off the stage.

    In my head, I'm using a mental reference to an oriental fan.


    The spines are fader position, and you place the parts not just right and left, but actually placed closer or farther away
    from what would be the conductors ears.

    My most difficult task was Katie B.

    120 hours easy, 21 tracks bounced down to 4 sub groups, down to stereo. Using the Pioneer as the bounce deck.

    Vocals on all tracks are into a searing hot mic signal.
    i had to gate background noise.

    You could literally hear the cat walking across the floor upstairs. Tracked +3 as far as I could push it without "audible" distortion.

    This was a salute to my mentors and me wearing all the hats.


    Seeing the Beatles take on more and more instruments inspired me to do more than just play bass.
    To be more versatile, a more well rounded musician.
    I may have played keys like a bad typist, but the Ensoniq 8 channel sequencing helped me build sections.
    So a 5 piece Sax group would just take up one track on the Tascam.
    Same for Strings and Kit was split with kick and bass together hats and snares mixed into the upper mids.

    Playing full time with a 5 piece, 5 vocal band also taught me about knowing your place in a busy mix.
    Allowing places to shine, but always with the whole band mix in mind.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  3. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    This was all flying by the seat of yer pants recording just trying to get the best out of what I had to work with.

    It was a great learning experience going direct to tape and figuring out how to make it come together.

    A friend helped with the sync between the EPS and the Tascam
    with a Midi Man. Over my head stuff.
  4. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    Even though I may cringe hearing my early vocal attempts, and
    cheesy drums on Something Big, I'm right proud of that bass part
    and how it is arranged around the vocal.

    Where to hold and where to walk and when.

    Structuring a bass part and lead vocal together so they can be performed live is more challenging than you might think.
  5. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    This is what happens when a p-whipped bass player slips into stage character and vents complete with vocal that sounds like she's got you by the balls.

    This is my '79 Schecter PJ, on the P-pickup. Scholz Bass Rockman.

    More springy than my jazz.

    157 pounds of fury!

    My attack is aggressive and punchy, but the Rockman evens out the response that could make going straight D/I difficult without
    a lot of tweaking.

    I now sing in a much lower register, but those were the AC/DC, Smashing Pumpkins vocal era.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  6. FFTT


    Mar 15, 2009
    There was no such thing as an affordable DAW when I was doing this stuff.
    I made due best I could with what was available, but those track limitations also forced me to get creative .

    The Tascam 488 had 8 ins, but only 4 outs, that's why the first sub mixes were placed into 4 sub-groups before I did the final mix to stereo. I used my Pioneer dual cassette deck for bounces and mastering.

    The road to digital recording has been far more frustrating and expensive until I upgraded to my MBP Quad.

    I need more mics but overall now have a solid workstation .