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Recording bass guitar like late 70s and early 80s Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 22nd October 2005
  #1
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Recording bass guitar like late 70s and early 80s

I listened to Lene Lovich's greatest hits today, and some of the old cure cds, like faith, and seventeen seconds..

all i can say is, man do i love the bass sounds. how in the hell do i get my geddy lee fender jazz bass to sound like those recordings? do i need a real la2a? what is it that makes the bass sound so good from that era of weird pop stuff?

is it an amp? is it mics? the pre? eq? comrpessor? what? I'm dying to figure it out. With my pod xt i get a decent metal high gain sim, not like the real thing, but it works for me now, i tried the bass pod and thought it was just plain horrid...

I think bass is really hard to get a decent sound out of with just my tg2 di, and my plugs in cubase... hrm... what hardware do i need? oh how... i'm a newbie at recording guitars.... don't laugh...
Old 22nd October 2005
  #2
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valver's Avatar
 

" is it an amp? is it mics? the pre? eq? comrpessor? . . . "

It's probably a little of all the above . . .
there's no secret formula, only starting points and I'd start with
a good player and a B15
Old 22nd October 2005
  #3
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the reddi helped me a lot - great tube di. plus now i run it through a pre (tab78) ... and am able to add some tube distorting thickness to the great clean tone of the reddi. no expert here...but this is the best i've gottern so far.
Old 22nd October 2005
  #4
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Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexfix93
I listened to Lene Lovich's greatest hits today, and some of the old cure cds, like faith, and seventeen seconds..

all i can say is, man do i love the bass sounds. how in the hell do i get my geddy lee fender jazz bass to sound like those recordings? do i need a real la2a? what is it that makes the bass sound so good from that era of weird pop stuff?

is it an amp? is it mics? the pre? eq? comrpessor? what? I'm dying to figure it out. With my pod xt i get a decent metal high gain sim, not like the real thing, but it works for me now, i tried the bass pod and thought it was just plain horrid...

I think bass is really hard to get a decent sound out of with just my tg2 di, and my plugs in cubase... hrm... what hardware do i need? oh how... i'm a newbie at recording guitars.... don't laugh...
Forget about the recording chain. Get the sound you want in the room (player-bass-amp-room) and it will be very easy to record.
Old 22nd October 2005
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
First off, what Rob said.

Next try a 421 or RE/PL20 and a 160VU or 1176, something "grabby."
Old 22nd October 2005
  #6
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Old 22nd October 2005
  #7
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Actually , the DI on the TG-2 is very, very good for bass, and definately have a 70's flavour.

Ofcourse you might need an amp.
B-15 was mentioned.
Tape
LA-2A

everything contributes.
But it is 99% about if the player is doing the right job.
The 70's sound has got a lot to do with dynamics and timing within the phrases.
Old 22nd October 2005
  #8
Registered User
 

so its tape, and a bass amp? no compression?

i cannot afford tape..

man i love how the highs on those old records sound so bright and slightly smeared and musical. there are no modern recordings with that sound, and i love it...
Old 22nd October 2005
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexfix93
so its tape, and a bass amp? no compression?
The dynamics is 99% in the players fingers. A little compression is ok, but you shouldn't need much with a good player. I.m.o. never use an rnc, not for bass.
Old 11th September 2010
  #10
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I use the UA6176 channel strip as a DI with a bit of comp and the iridescent's cranesong plugin to simulate tape...
Old 12th September 2010
  #11
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fuddfar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog View Post
Oh yea!
Old 12th September 2010
  #12
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fretless's Avatar
 

Geddy always blends in grit even live he has several split signals combined
Lets rock

Old 12th September 2010
  #13
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chout's Avatar
 

Awesome article about The Cure's A Forest with lots of recording info
(love the early cure!)
CLASSIC TRACKS: The Cure 'A Forest'
Old 12th September 2010
  #14
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexfix93 View Post
so its tape, and a bass amp? no compression?

i cannot afford tape..

man i love how the highs on those old records sound so bright and slightly smeared and musical. there are no modern recordings with that sound, and i love it...
You don't need tape. And the bass might have gone direct, but maybe had a fuzz pedal on a separate track. Limiter was probably 1176 (but you definitely don't need one). Other than that, the Lovich stuff sounds like a Fender or Ric played with a pick.
Old 12th September 2010
  #15
Umm!

Back in those days we generally only had 100 watts of tube amp to play with.
I think that trying to produce an even clean tone live at as high level as possible taught players a great deal about touch and dynamics.

Perhaps you need a small tube amp, an old jbl 140 or Altec 418 in a decent cab, neumann u87 or similar and then drive a good 6386 tube compressor like an altec 436c or old gates sta-level with the result via one of the inserts.
Try to get an old tape machine if you can 7 1/5 ips 1/4 half track mono
like an old brennel or ferrograph are great for bass even a old grundig or tandberg will work for the saturation you want.
Old 12th September 2010
  #16
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buy a fender precision classic 50 (made in mexico, used around 400$)
Old 6th November 2010
  #17
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Wow. In that video Geddy looks like a perfect cross of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

Has anyone seen if Sean looks like Geddy now?
Old 6th November 2010
  #18
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A lot of players were using various amp combos (like Crowns) with Furman or Orban parametric eq front ends and 2x10 top cabinets with maybe gauss double 18 or Community Light and Sound bottoms. But the majority were into the SVT or the old Acoustic 360s. Generally the basses would have been Fenders, though Ricks and Alembics were also popular as were a few others that are mostly gone now. The Urie DI was popular though expensive. The 421 was likely the most popular mic for bass at that time. Though the comp might have been an 1176, it could just as easily have been a Gain Brain or 160.
Old 6th November 2010
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
buy a fender precision classic 50 (made in mexico, used around 400$)
I think the bass he has now would do the trick. I tend to agree with the Player -> Amp -> Mic situation. Maybe record both DI and an amp.
Old 7th November 2010
  #20
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I would say that the majority of "the sound" comes from the players themselves.

Every time Tony Levin picks up my Music Man bass it sounds like him... he hands it back to me and it sounds like me. Pretty cool.

I first noticed this with my brothers guitar playing. We had just met Al DeMiola (our drummer was very good friends with Al's drummer at the time) and Al hands my brother his guitar... well sure enough, now it sounds like my brother coming through Al's rig... I was like 18 at the time... it stuck with me then big time how much of the sound comes from the player themselves... and I've seen it through the years over and over.
Old 7th November 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charlus View Post
I use the UA6176 channel strip as a DI with a bit of comp and the iridescent's cranesong plugin to simulate tape...

6176 would work great. TG2 also. A cheap option would be the Sansamp bass driver.
Old 7th November 2010
  #22
Gear Nut
 

No-one's mentioned strings yet -
roundwound and pick for attack
flatwound and fingers for solid
massive difference.

AV
Old 7th November 2010
  #23
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As should be obvious, its not one single thing. But to me having an amp involved ia a bid part of it Have a B15 and an SXT here....that pretty much covers it although almost any amp will help.

If you don;t have that either a tube DI, preamp, or compressor will help. You need SOMEthing in there you can push to edge that still sounds good.

A Countryman DI into the console won't get there.
Old 7th November 2010
  #24
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ive always wondered how the bass player from Grand Funk Railroad got his sound, one of my favorite bass sounds of all time. Everytime i hear the bass on "Heartbreaker Live" i get goosebumps
Old 9th December 2014
  #25
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Re20 and at4033 and a good bass player.
Old 9th December 2014
  #26
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The LA2A is better for long notes (I guess)
The 1176 gives you a gritty signal or a gritty distorted parallel signal (to be mixed)
You should also get a hand onto a 2254 compressor, I think it grabs bass nicely.

My personal chain has become so far Jazz Bass, Fearn DI (VT-3) which feeds to the Amp and the Direct Signal. The Direct Signal goes into a 2254 (a Trakker in my case with 2254 settings) and is louder.. I did a lot of testing with various ideas around... but the truth is simple. High end player, high end instrument, high end amplifiers, some compression with the right curve for the bass.

I would say the main things are: the amp, the player and then use a DI and a amp signal. No plugins needed except maybe for phase fixing (these two tracks need to be correctly aligned). I would use compression too for enveloping the signal. You should also experiment with overdrive and distortion (maybe in parallel) to give the signal some presence in the mix. (in my case I get this from the amp, but I tried other things too like sansamp, etc.)

Just try.

(I want a vintage B15 :-( )
Old 10th December 2014
  #27
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FireMoon's Avatar
Two things from back in those days. Roland Dimension D and the MXR doubler flanger. From so subtle only notice it if you take it off to The Cure's more obvious use of either or or, maybe even both. Plus, one of the most common Bass amps back then was this beastie
Old 10th December 2014
  #28
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Old 10th December 2014
  #29
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Steele's Avatar
 

I use a tube DI. It's an Evil Twin. Made by Bruce Seifried. I throw a dbx 160 on the back. Some times I'll put a vitalizer in the chain.
Old 6 hours ago
  #30
Gear Nut
 

I’m after scorpions rock ballade electric bass sound
Any tricks thoughts using Urei, Lexicon (PCM70 programs I assume) and Tube tech please?
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