Tuning Nightmare

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by voxtroller, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    That's a fair enough policy, good on ya! If you want to play, you have to pay.

    Intonation: precisely.
  2. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Inactive

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Are the parts you played good? Then place them into Melodyne and fix the tuning. No time or money wasted. Then get the bass set up by a pro. :D
  3. voxtroller


    Aug 20, 2011
    The parts were good and we tried Melodyne but we didnt like the processing. It just didnt sound right to us.
  4. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Heh heh--yeah, new tires on the car, but DON'T ALIGN THEM!
    And just balance the driver's side...
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i actually have a workable version of that!

    my "bench check" consists of dialing in the truss rod, string height at the saddles, and intonation, all with the strings that the instrument has on it. i can do that in a few minutes (while the customer window shops in the store) and hand it back to them, charging less than for a real setup, which involves filing nut slots, polishing frets, all that sort of stuff.

    it's good for the "gotta gig tonight" people.

    i don't just "set intonation" for people, because that's worthless unless the rest of the adjustments are at least in the ballpark.
  6. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Inactive

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    What didn't sound "right"? That program is AMAZING!
  7. voxtroller


    Aug 20, 2011
    The engineer we're working with swore by it(Melodyne) but the tuning actually went sharper.
  8. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Inactive

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Then it's not being done correctly.

    Either the other instruments are out of tune, or Melodyne is not referenced to the other instruments tuning.

    If processed correctly Melodyne will 'fix' your tuning issuses.
  9. Gaius46


    Dec 15, 2010
    +100. There's no reason to take a bass to the shop to get the intonation done. It's a simple task that can easily be done at home.
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    + a billion, or easily done in a car, sidewalk, bathtub, even a studio by at least one of the many people around, especially the engineer who you are paying. No? This I just don't understand. The second most basic of things, after putting strings on properly. OP must learn how to intonate and then do his gui****s instruments too.
  11. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    +1 to what Walter said. If the bass was "in the ballpark" already, it should only take a few minutes to fix a small intonation issue. My guess, and only a guess, is that the tech set it up in standard tuning. For anyone saying auto-tune it, regardless of your software choice, I think that is kinda sad. I'd bet you cash money I can intonate a bass faster than you can make an auto-corrected bass part sonically invisible to a trained ear.

    Intonating a bass is a butt-simple process that ANY bass player with a good tuner should be able to do themselves in a matter of minutes, let alone what a "studio" staff should know.

    Is there that little respect for the art of just showing up prepared with a working instrument left?

    Pitch correction is for those that can't. It is the audio equivalent of silicon boobs. Maybe fine for you, but no thanks for me. I like my music, and my hooters, real.
  12. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    I generally agree with everything here, except in this case, the OP has already cut tracks in the studio, so fixing the intonation before they cut tracks is a moot point. While recutting tracks doesn't have to be a huge deal, if the performance is good and has "the vibe", then judicious use of pitch correction is the only viable option. Would you be willing to pay for a the whole band to go back into the studio to recut?

    I've seen a VERY HIGHLY respected, world-famous, double bass player use pitch correction in the studio for that very reason: an otherwise "perfect take" with one note that was off pitch just enough to distract the listener. Instead of redoing the whole piece, they put some pitch correction on it and you can't tell the difference.

    Granted, if it's on the whole track, that's different. But if it's one note here or there, it may be the only options short of scrapping the entire session and starting from scratch.

    And no, I'm not a fan of autotune or pitch correction of any kind. I record with a fretless and generally keep at it till I have the perfect feel AND intonation - something those are mutually exclusive, it seems...
  13. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Inactive

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Did you read the OP's original post? The tracks were already cut. He then asked for a remedy.

    As far as your cash-challenge? What's the point? Why not offer your dough for a re-tracking session for the OP - after you set up his bass? I don't need it.

    Pitch correction is best used for situations like the OP's and ones similar to what lowfreqgeek described.

    And no one is suggesting that you use it. Heck, with your self-described, staggering talents, you would never need it. :D
  14. voxtroller


    Aug 20, 2011
    I just left the shop that set up my bass. I was there with him and the tuner said it was in tune but the bass didn't sound in tune, even playing the R and octave of the low C# sounded out if tune with itself.
    The problem isn't getting the bass intonated.. the tune says it's in tune but the low C# is still sharp to my ears.
  15. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    I guess you only need new ears! I stinks when you can't trust yourself. LOL.
  16. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Inactive

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    My rule generally is that once a bass is "set up" for a certain kind of string and gauge and tuning, I can change strings at home and adjust the intonation the tiny bit it may or may not need. I certainly don't go every time I need a fresh re-string.

    I try at times messing w/ the string heights and truss rod and always seem to screw it up and can't get it back to normal so it's back to the tech... :(
  17. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician
    I can see the value in what you do. It's one of those things that keeps me awake at night. So often when I do a basic setup (as you describe) I find a high fret or two, or a badly cut nut, or a poor break angle at the bridge, or any of a number of other issues. It bugs me and I can't leave them alone.

    Then I feel bad about charging what I do for a setup. Then I feel good about the value for the client. Then I toss and turn at night. You get it....
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that can be an issue with strings, due to inharmonicity, where a bad string is out of tune with itself.

    you get this thing where the harmonics are sharper than the fundamental on the same string, so the tuner (tracking the fundamental) says it's right, but your ear (mostly hearing the harmonics) says it isn't. dealing with this is a big part of the voodoo art of tuning pianos.

    also, you can hit too hard, driving a note that reads in-tune to have a sharp attack transient. the ear tends to hear that transient more than the sustain, so again, things sound sharp.

    both of these things are more of a problem with low tunings, big strings, and too-short scales.
  19. DougD

    DougD Bassman7654

    Sep 19, 2002
    North Las Vegas NV
    +1 This:hyper:
  20. voxtroller


    Aug 20, 2011
    So far ive had no luck with the tuning, it doesnt seem to get better no matter what i do. I have a Schecter Stiletto Custom 5 in the same tuning that i set up myself and it has no issues but the tone doesnt sound nearly as good as the SR5. I think im going bass shopping for a 35" scale bass with comparable tone to the SR5. Any recommendations?
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