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Old 6th September 2019
Here for the gear
Nightmare Circus's Avatar

Originally Posted by Aa63 View Post
The "problem" with those statements is that words like "massive" are too fluffy.

As is the term "heavy metal" for that matter.

Is what you are doing progressive (like Tool) type metal - or - more commercial like Metallica type metal - or Korn like metal - or is it like garage recorded Swedish death metal where it really doesn't matter how you are recording because it is so fast and redundant that at some point you end up vomiting from a motion migraine? Or somewhere in between?

I would suggest that well done (composed/recorded/mixed/mastered) metal has plenty of room for good sounding instrumentation - again bands like those I mentioned above have fantastic sounding bass parts and sounds - even though they are playing along with double bass drums and 7 string guitars.

There are a few of us here that are pro bass players turned engineers who could help you - best if you link to a sample of what you are after.

Finally, I forgot to mention in my first post - a good and common technique I've used to get some weight and grit, is to tune your bass down a half-or-full-step. The loosening of the strings has a distinctive effect on the width of the sound - again as we've all suggested, it is more obvious and effective when amplified.

Hope this helps.
I linked a google drive full of my current mixes Im working on in the OP if you want to get a taste for what im doing. I just mixed down everything to a higher sample rate MP3 yesterday. It varies in range from iron maiden-esq stuff to the borderline "oh my god its too many notes" type of metal. I'm not looking for feedback on my song structure or riffs, that's a massive personal preference rabbit hole and i'm writing music i enjoy playing not that I care about selling.

The problem i've found with the metal I specifically like is a lot of time the bass is midi replaced or barely distinguishable from the low end of the guitars. One of those "more felt than heard" kind of things. Examples of this are Symphony X, Lamb of God, older Trivium, Arch Enemy. Stuff of that nature. I want the bass to be fairly clanky and aggressive without being overbearing or too bottom heavy. Especially considering my amp of choice is the 5150, which is known to be quite aggressive sounding (or harsh as some people put it) Most of the stuff I listen to is also played with a pick, while I'm a fingerstyle bassist which of course already adds a ton of warmth to the tone. My thoughts right now is I need to try out something single coil and passive rather than these active EMGs. The warmth of the EMGs sounded great live when I was touring playing country music but they just don't seem to sit well in a very busy metal mix. I've watched quite a few "dialing in a metal bass tone" videos from producers on youtube and 9/10 times its a fender p-bass into either a sansamp or just splitting the DI signal and distorting the top end. Which as I mentioned I've tried several different split bass techniques on my DIs.