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Tracking Bass!...Can't get that warm, fat even sound!
Old 5th May 2012
  #421
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The best bass sound I've ever heard was a vintage Ampeg SVT head and their tall inline cab with an original Gibson "the ripper" bass with a SansAmp pedal for overdrive. It didn't matter what mic you put in front of it, they all picked up something pleasing. And don't forget the Neve 1073 style eq when you're mixing.
Old 6th May 2012 | Show parent
  #422
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matskull's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
The best bass sound I've ever heard was a vintage Ampeg SVT head and their tall inline cab with an original Gibson "the ripper" bass with a SansAmp pedal for overdrive. It didn't matter what mic you put in front of it, they all picked up something pleasing. And don't forget the Neve 1073 style eq when you're mixing.
Nice, I wish I had a ripper, they seem to be pretty good sounding.
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #423
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I plug my 1962 reissue P-bass with LaBella flat wounds into my 1965 Ampeg b-15 and mic it with either my Beez Nees Jade or my AEA R84 into either my UA 6176 or my Ward Beck M470. Can't speak for anyone else, but I like the results. One more thing...although I prefer to play without a pick from a playing standpoint, I most often prefer the recorded sound of the above chain with one.
Old 8th May 2012
  #424
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guavadude's Avatar
I haven't read the entire thread but in case no one mentioned it, try adding a push pull pot or mini switch on a jazz bass that wires the pickups in series. Amazing how good this sounds! I'm using Duncan Antiquity II's which sound great on their own but are a whole new thing in series.
It makes a jazz sound like the best P-bass ever.

You can try it without the switch, just google the schematic and have at it.
If you like it, get the switch so you can get both sounds.

Also on a bass with roundwounds, a little foam under the strings near the bridge, like the vintage jazz bridges, helps get rid of the excessive high harmonics without sounding as dark as flatwounds.

I'm using a Great river pre into the FMR PBC-6 compressor and it's huge and controlled.
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #425
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The Listener's Avatar
After all about the importance of a good source (player, instrument, good DI/amp) was said already - did anyone mention fader riding?

Riding the bass is essential - as with all other main elements that should be prominently heard but not overwhelming the mix... Some of the pop references mentioned have huge kick drums - and in the arrangement there's no bass on those spots or mixed very low - and when it should come out and add drive - there you go - fader up... How many times I noticed that the perception of punch and even the subjective audibility of bass line in the arrangement improved when I put the bass lower in the mix on certain spots (and I love it up front otherwise).
You should do several passes of fader riding and painstakingly put it in the picture - once with a very loud playback and once listening very softly, to hear how it purrs and drives at the low level. To everyone - don't be lazy with low cut, compression, side-chain compression, etc. to separate the elements - do what the name says - MIX - and it looks like the word says - up and down, up and down and around.

Editing (and/or good playing) is the key, too - the accents should fall tight as hell - cut the separate notes if needed and put them where they kick ass not muddy the picture. When nothing else helps I EQ separate cut splices if some notes jump out too much or don't jump out as they should - but that is rare. Riding the level is usually enough. That way you don't need to compress for even sound, but just for the desired effect and can compress less if it is not needed for the sound and get a more lively bass - and you take care of the "eveness" with fader riding...

Parallel compression can be very helpful, too - I used to overdo it, but now I almost forgot about it in my everyday "routine" - but it can really make space and punch at the same time... I guess I get good enough (for me) bass tones without that recently.
Among the compressors - I mostly use 1176 and CL1B (UAD and softube plug-ins) and they work as they should. I also got very nice compression on bass with Neve Portico 5043 - both HW and Steinberg plug-in. It is a great clean, but smooth compressor for bass - to make it sit nicely in the mix - my subjective feeling about that compressor is - that it is a POP compressor, whatever that means to anyone else.

Not for the pop references - but for the really excessively fat and round bass tone - Daniel Lanois gave out one of his approaches - cranking the amp and boost the low end and playing with a very soft touch - but that is more for huge soft purring bass...
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #426
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Silvertone's Avatar
bass is easy... if the source isn't right none of the magic voodoo bullsh*t suggested here will do a damn thing. You can't make ice cream out of horse sh*t (no matter what ANYONE tells you). All you are doing is putting lipstick on a pig.

Great bass, great bass player an engineer who half ass knows what they are doing... done.

now use your ears and listen...

The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #427
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The Listener's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
bass is easy... if the source isn't right none of the magic voodoo bullsh*t suggested here will do a damn thing. You can't make ice cream out of horse sh*t (no matter what ANYONE tells you). All you are doing is putting lipstick on a pig.

Great bass, great bass player an engineer who half ass knows what they are doing... done.

now use your ears and listen...

The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...
Now stop braggin' you, you Tony Levin's friend!
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
bass is easy... if the source isn't right none of the magic voodoo bullsh*t suggested here will do a damn thing. You can't make ice cream out of horse sh*t (no matter what ANYONE tells you). All you are doing is putting lipstick on a pig.

Great bass, great bass player an engineer who half ass knows what they are doing... done.

now use your ears and listen...

The ultimate comparitive bass DI test...
.

As a matter of fact, I'll take it one step further. ...Bass doesn't matter at all - how about that?

Thanks for all the feedback here, guys. A lot of great stuff.

Listener, I appreciate all your detailed input here, despite what Larry says heh

And yes, for pop stuff, I do always always raise entire rhythm section levels for choruses, bridges, tags, etc.

You guys all rock!

.
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #429
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waxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by walth View Post
The Fender P Bass and Custom Shop basses out of LA are great
... Helios (i would like to try this one, i heard bob marley used it on bass...
Marley used Helios console in Jamaica and the UK next to many others. In Harry J's studio where he recorded between 1974 and 1976 they used a green Helios console and in Island's Basing st. studio they had a big red Helios. But he recorded also in the Compass studio's on an MCI 500 series, just like in his own Tuff Gong where he also used an MCI. Before that he recorded in many Jamaican studio's like Federal (Altec Lansing), Studio One (RCA 5 channel mixer), JBC (also RCA), Black Ark (Soundcraft series I), Randy's 17 (MCI), Joe Gibbs (MCI 400 i thought), Supreme (some say Electrodyne, but i'm not sure), ... And jamaicans never worked with outboard pre's, they did not have the money for that next to the console containing pre's and so... But if you want a Marley bass, think a good player (Aston Barrett) on an Jazzbass and an ampeg svt and any console or pre will do it i think.
Old 8th May 2012
  #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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I'm trying to get a more focused and consistent live, direct bass sound.


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I have used differing pres and approaches to DI bass. I am currently happy using the ADL 600 as a DI for bass. We use a Prism overkill barrel at the pre output to prevent overtures into the Radar. At mix we patch a 1176 into the Neotek. The best results are seen with a P bass and flat wounds.

You may like an Evil Twin DI if you can find one.

Go here and listen to differing DI and pres.

basstasters.com || welcome
Old 8th May 2012 | Show parent
  #431
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Thanks, Peacock! Good stuff, man!

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Old 1st July 2012 | Show parent
  #432
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Man, reading through this thread again.

So much great stuff. Tons of great ideas!

Thanks a million, slutz!


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Old 1st July 2012 | Show parent
  #433
mixmixmix
Guest
To understand the range of bass tones, and what is it that you want from DI, you must record bass thru a bass amp at least once and listen / compare to DI sound. (Reamping would work as well). And to hear difference beetween DI an bass cab you don't need high end bass amp. Even practice bass amp will give an idea. Good luck
Old 1st July 2012 | Show parent
  #434
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Thanks, mixmixmix.

As you may have seen, I've already solved the problem of this OP.

Of course, every day and every new mix is a challenge, but I'm way happier with my current bass signal chain.

Still great to re-visit and see all the great ideas, techniques and perspective.

Cheers!


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Old 1st July 2012
  #435
Lives for gear
 

I know this is an old and this isn't an opinion on how to get a great DI bass sound, but if you do DI a sound and use the mic'ed amp track as well, keeping these two signals in PHASE is very important.

The other part of a great bass track is that the groove between the drummer and the bass part itself goes a long way. So without a good drummer and a good bass player (and equipment/tracking properly), a great bass track is hard to come by.

JK
Old 1st July 2012 | Show parent
  #436
Old 1st July 2012 | Show parent
  #437
Gear Nut
 
sswenk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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Thanks, Nathan - which "quality DI's" do you use, personally?

Joseph

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Not sure if this was mentioned...

I have always loved the results I get from the Avalon U5 with direct bass. I have a Fender Jaguar Bass with active pickups and flatwounds. I sometimes split the signal and run into the U5 and into a channel of the UA 2-610. FAT!
Old 2nd July 2012 | Show parent
  #438
Quote:
Originally Posted by sswenk View Post
Not sure if this was mentioned...

I have always loved the results I get from the Avalon U5 with direct bass. I have a Fender Jaguar Bass with active pickups and flatwounds. I sometimes split the signal and run into the U5 and into a channel of the UA 2-610. FAT!
.

Yes, it has. I've had mixed results with the U5. The last time I used it (tracking my friend Janek Gwizdala playing a custom bass made for him, on a record of mine at my studio NY), I was very disappointed, unfortunately. There could have been something wrong with his bass output, or his U5, as well.

I'm having WAY better results with my Buzz Audio ARC 1.1 Channel, and my $250 ESP 5-string bass - with ME playing, and I suck.

I know a lot of players who keep U5s in their live racks. I don't know if Janek still does.

Here's a video of him playing his Fedora.
http://janekgwizdala.com/home/videos...roup_159%5D/0/

Here's Janek from a session with John Mayer earlier this year (at the end with glasses). He's on tour with Mike Stern now.

He's a monster bassist - great keyboard player, composer, arranger, and not a bad guitarist and singer, as well:



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