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Which Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by tonesponge, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. tonesponge


    Oct 31, 2010
    I've noticed that my bass guitar track drops out on some equipment, like on laptop speakers, for example. I've also been getting some feedback about my recordings that the bass sounds "too deep" or "overcooked," and I'm trying to decide what to do. If you want to hear it, you can check out my latest mix "nonnomluvyurmom" at http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1095297

    I'm playing an Ibanez bass and it seems to me that the bridge pickup sounds awful, so I just dial it to the neck pickup. Then I record direct from a GK 700RB. Things I'm considering doing are:

    upgrade the bridge pickup;

    use an octave pedal;

    run the mix through one of these units or something like it:



    What is my best option at this point, besides a new bass guitar? This one was a gift from my spouse and I can't upgrade to a new instrument without causing problems.
  2. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    That feedback sounds like it's more about your mixing, than your axe. What's your monitoring setup for mixing your recordings?
  3. touji


    Feb 12, 2009
    Williamsburg, VA
    It also sounds like a lot of the tracks are too concentrated at the center point of the mix. Spread some of the tracks around to the left and to the right and instruments shouldn't be dropping out or becoming "inaudible" at points. I think a lot of it can be fixed with mixing.

    Edit: I don't know what I'm talking about.
  4. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    To me the problem was apparent from the first note. The bass sounds good by itself, but you need more focus on the mids, less on the lows, and more attack in the sound.
    You have Huge amounts of extreme low end which you don't need, and an overall scooped eq. I can hear the bass fine, but I have pretty good headphones/speakers. Also your bass has a lot of sustain, which also translates to less apparent attack.

    If you are using the Contour control on your GK, turn it off immediately. That may do the trick right there. maybe turn up the Boost to get more growl. A little bit of distortion or overdrive can make the sound more articulate in the mix. Try hitting the strings a bit harder to bring out the attack more (turn down the recording level to compensate), or pluck closer to the bridge, or play with a pick, or play with a less sustained articulation, leaving more space in the bass.

    And don't be afraid of the bridge pickup, it may sound better than you think in the mix.

    Those two units you mention will make the problem worse by increasing the scoop and the sub-lows... Don't do it!

    Oh, and sacrilege... You may want to try using flatwound strings, they might bring out the character you are looking for, at least on songs like this. They have a lot more mid focus and attack, and more highs than you might think, especially if you get Chromes.

    And yes, you should look at your monitoring setup, it sounds like your monitors don't let you hear the low frequencies that well, so you are pumping them up to compensate.
  5. the answer is in the mix - all the components are there they are mixed / balanced badly.
    Was it mixed by the guitarist? cos the guitar is WAAY too loud, the drums sound 2 dimensional and the bass comes and goes.
    get it remixed before spending big bucks on snake oil boxes.
  6. tonesponge


    Oct 31, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I recorded all the parts except the drums, which are loops I purchased and put together.

    And yeah, I'm a guitarist first, and I know it's louder than average. I even had to put a sidechain compression on the guitar from the vocals to make the vocals audible, but I know I can turn down the guitar and the bass a couple of dB each without them disappearing, so I probably should do that.

    I'm mixing on headphones right now, because I lost my monitor power cables in a move. But I just bought some more power cables, and I can hook the monitors up again soon.

    I'll give it a listen on my monitors when I get them up, and turn those guitar parts down as much as I can stand. I'm not really a bass player, so I do need to learn how to set my knobs on the GK. I appreciate the suggestions there. Got any more?

    ADDED: I remixed to enhance the attack on the bass, lower the bass and lead guitar volume, and reduce the predelay on the solo guitar reverb. The result is posted on my soundclick account as a new version. I think it might be a bit better. I certainly agree that the lead guitar part during the vocals was too loud, and it needed to come down. The bass seems likes it is more consistent and less obtrusive. I think I might still need to do something about the solo guitar reverb though.

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