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Can i make studio quality tracks with a 600$ bass?
Old 3rd August 2014
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
Even with 3 excellent basses, it was easy to burn up 6 hours just figuring out which bass and which strings to use and if we were going D/I, amped or both and then to get the technique down to everyones satisfaction.

I didn't need to bring my Rick or my Hofner or even bring my SVT, because after that 6 hours, everyone agreed my jazz bass with nylon wraps sounded best, D/I through a $250,000.00 API Gold Seal Console.

6 hours paid out of pocket by the band with the band waiting to get rolling on their parts.

Getting a usable drum sound took another 8 hours before the 1st beat went to tape.

Just something to consider.

Yes you can record with a budget bass, but when your instrument costs everyone you are working with, time and money,
it may be better in the long run to hold out for a better instrument.
See, that's what producers are for. If burning a couple days dialing everything in is a budget breaker, I'd have the band do all of the experimentation in a practice room and work out tones there for a far lower cost. DI vs mic'ed amp is always a very different sound.

Often in the studio you go with simple and quick because the clock is running. There's nothing wrong with that, but which axe to record with probably should have been decided before studio time was booked.

That being said, I've gotten really great results with cheap stuff DI'ed. I'd go so far as to say DI bass is more forgiving than amped. Always dial the sound in on site.

I mean, better is obviously better, but at $600, you're in the realm of totally acceptable. Then it's all a matter of preference and taste.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #32
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You are spot on as far as pre-production, but without guidance, individual musicians in the band may be so focused on their own delivery that they don't really listen to recognize some of these details they've missed, till they hear the tracks in playback.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #33
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Early21 View Post
More important that you can play than the quality of the bass itself. There are inexpensive basses that are good enough to get the right sound if your fingers are hitting the notes clearly, and you are picking with your fingers.
I'm sort of repeating myself, but I agree with everything but the "picking with fingers" part.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #34
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Joe_K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm sort of repeating myself, but I agree with everything but the "picking with fingers" part.
Yeah. I play with my fingers or a pick. Just depends. (And no, its not because I can only play fast with a pick, it's more about a particular sound .. I can play everything I want to with my fingers alone). There are no absolute rules to how one must play an instrument ... variations are fine.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #35
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FFTT's Avatar
 

The structure of the bass part, tone, attack, fingers, thumb, soft pick, hard pick,
as appropriate for the song or composition.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you take a budget bass to a professional studio and burn up 6-8 hours on the clock just trying to dial in a usable bass tone, you haven't saved any money.
but getting good bass tone is as simple as plugging into a good micpre and DI. No matter what bass you use plugging into a decent Neve clone is going to give you a pro sound with no additional effort.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #37
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

How come whenever a guy asks about an instrument or a price point, there's always a few wise guys who jump in and say that you have to be able to play?

I mean, DUH.

I don't think that I've ever heard anyone ask how expensive an instrument he has to buy so he doesn't have to be able to play it.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #38
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
but getting good bass tone is as simple as plugging into a good micpre and DI. No matter what bass you use plugging into a decent Neve clone is going to give you a pro sound with no additional effort.
I was plugging into a $250,000.00 original Gold Seal hand built API console
The Jazz Bass with Black Nylon Flats was chosen hands down over the Rick 4001 or my Hofner going D/I
Old 3rd August 2014
  #39
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
How come whenever a guy asks about an instrument or a price point, there's always a few wise guys who jump in and say that you have to be able to play?

I mean, DUH.
In this thread, I was the first wise guy to say that. I said it because so many people seem to think that because they play some guitar and therefore know where the notes are on a bass, that's pretty much all there is to it. Get yourself a minimally decent bass and pre and you'll make "great bass tracks." All the OP was asking is how minimally decent he can get away with.

And when someone says, "… getting good bass tone is as simple as plugging into a good micpre and DI. No matter what bass you use plugging into a decent Neve clone is going to give you a pro sound with no additional effort," it's an insult to every good studio bass player who made all the necessary "additional effort" to get good.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
In this thread, I was the first wise guy to say that. I said it because so many people seem to think that because they play some guitar and therefore know where the notes are on a bass, that's pretty much all there is to it. Get yourself a minimally decent bass and pre and you'll make "great bass tracks." All the OP was asking is how minimally decent he can get away with.

And when someone says, "… getting good bass tone is as simple as plugging into a good micpre and DI. No matter what bass you use plugging into a decent Neve clone is going to give you a pro sound with no additional effort," it's an insult to every good studio bass player who made all the necessary "additional effort" to get good.

Which is like going on a car forum and someone asking how much they have to spend to get a good car…and you telling them they have to be able to drive.


Seriously.


The OP was not asking for advice on technique, they were asking about gear…which is really funny because this forum is called Gearslutz.


It is pretty rude and condescending to assume that the OP doesn't know how to play, or that some gesture of technique may be required in order to produce quality bass tracks. The OP for one doesn't even specify if the bass is for them to play, they state that it is to be used in their studio.


A lot like if you told your doctor you're experiencing shortness of breath, and they ask if you are breathing.


That's why this side of the forum is such a negative place to be.


Do the people in the recording side of Gearslutz ask everyone that wants vocal microphone advice if they can sing?
Old 3rd August 2014
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post

If you take a budget bass to a professional studio and burn up 6-8 hours on the clock just trying to dial in a usable bass tone, you haven't saved any money.
Maybe I've just been really lucky, but if you go to a professional studio and burn up 6-8 hours dialing in a "usable" bass tone, you hired the wrong engineer for the job, LOL.

Same with 8 hours on drums… I mean I could get some new heads on there, tuned and damped the way I like it, place a dozen or so of my favorite mics, dress the cables all nice and pretty as I plug them in, run the patch bay, dial in the console, patch in some more outboard, clean up the tape machine, throw a new reel on there…etc…in much less time. What studio is this? Maybe they are hiring???
Old 3rd August 2014
  #42
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
It is pretty rude and condescending to assume that the OP doesn't know how to play...
You know... you're right! I guess I assumed that if the OP was a good bass player, he/she wouldn't have asked the question in the first place. My bad.

Quote:
… that some gesture of technique may be required in order to produce quality bass tracks.
I'm not sure what that means.

Quote:
The OP for one doesn't even specify if the bass is for them to play, they state that it is to be used in their studio.
Again, an unfair assumption on my part. Not that the bass was for the OP to play, but the assumption that any "real" bass player would have his or her own bass, so the OP's studio bass would be for "non-real" bass players. My apologies.
Old 4th August 2014
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
I was plugging into a $250,000.00 original Gold Seal hand built API console
The Jazz Bass with Black Nylon Flats was chosen hands down over the Rick 4001 or my Hofner going D/I
not sure what your point is here, Perhaps you could have plugged in an
ibanez sr400 into a $250,000.00 original Gold Seal hand built API console and it would have been chosen hands down over The Jazz Bass?
You'll never know. But chances are all the basses sounded good, just one worked better for the song. Ric 4001 basses are HUGE sounding. The maple is dominant
Old 4th August 2014
  #44
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Maybe I've just been really lucky, but if you go to a professional studio and burn up 6-8 hours dialing in a "usable" bass tone, you hired the wrong engineer for the job, LOL.

Same with 8 hours on drums… I mean I could get some new heads on there, tuned and damped the way I like it, place a dozen or so of my favorite mics, dress the cables all nice and pretty as I plug them in, run the patch bay, dial in the console, patch in some more outboard, clean up the tape machine, throw a new reel on there…etc…in much less time. What studio is this? Maybe they are hiring???
I wanted to use my Rick 4001 for that song, but going D/I the Rick strung with
Roto Sounds just wasn't getting it going D/I. too middy, kinda whiney and my execution was noisy too.

We tried my Hofner, nah, just not right for the song.

We brought in my SVT went through all the trouble setting it up and getting
mic'd levels and it sounded better, but the band and the engineers preferred
the '64 Jazz with Nylon Wraps, so I wasted a lot of time, not listening to him in the first place.

The engineer was right, it was me who was stubborn.

Worse yet, we were covering the tab at the studio out of pocket, not working with someone else's money.

It turned out the 4001 had a rather serious intonation problem that two shops couldn't fix.

I sold it for $450.00.

Many years later I found out there was a batch or 4001's with defective bridge casts that caused that intonation issue.
It was an easy fix, but the bass was long gone.
Old 4th August 2014
  #45
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
In this thread, I was the first wise guy to say that. I said it because so many people seem to think that because they play some guitar and therefore know where the notes are on a bass, that's pretty much all there is to it. Get yourself a minimally decent bass and pre and you'll make "great bass tracks." All the OP was asking is how minimally decent he can get away with.
There's a valid point in there. I ran the board long ago for a band whose bass player was a recovering guitarist, and I did indeed watch him gradually transition from "guitar player playing a bass" to "bass player".
Old 4th August 2014
  #46
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FFTT's Avatar
 

I did it in reverse, starting out on bass at age 14, but not starting on guitar till
I was in my early 30's.

Since rhythm section is my happy place, I think starting out on bass helps make me a better rhythm player too.
Old 4th August 2014
  #47
e17
Gear Nut
 

Get a Sansamp DI and then spend the rest on a used Mex P-Bass. Classic bass tone.
Old 4th August 2014
  #48
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lame pseudonym View Post
... recovering guitarist,…
Well done.
Old 4th August 2014
  #49
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FFTT's Avatar
 

A new American Standard P-Bass or Jazz runs about $1250.00 but you also get better electronics, hardware, fit and finish, and they come with the Custom Shop
passive vintage pickups that are really nice.

Street if you are tight with the store may be cheaper.

Late model American Standards are about $900.00 without the new Custom Shop pickups. Guys are selling those to get the new pickups.

Only you can decide if maybe the smarter long term move would be to play about 30 basses.
Put the one that sings to you and plays effortlessly and rings clear acoustically on layaway if necessary, so you don't lose a good instrument.

It took me 6 months to take home my '93 Strat Plus, but several producers have told me it's the best sounding Strat they've worked with, quiet and records like a dream. A few more months and its still my go to guitar 21 years later.

It is also now worth more than I paid for it.
Old 4th August 2014
  #50
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microwave's Avatar
I regularly hire session musicians - I've heard top notch bassists and guitarists noodling with well set up £200 instruments through a good amp and they sounded, guess what, top notch - meaning that I would have had no problem using the outcome as a final recording. Obviously if you spend £1000 or more you'll get a better looking and feeling instrument that will have a good resale value the moment you decide to trade up. But its mainly the musician that makes the difference.
Old 4th August 2014
  #51
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
A new American Standard P-Bass or Jazz runs about $1250.00 but you also get better electronics, hardware, fit and finish, and they come with the Custom Shop
passive vintage pickups that are really nice.
That's a hoot. Does Custom Shop "Passive Vintage Pickups" mean the ordinary cost-effective generic-at-that-time pickups that Leo's workers were throwing into the ordinary cost-effective generic-at-that-time Precision Basses of that time?
Old 4th August 2014
  #52
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Just because you're content with a patched together and modified low end bass
does not mean other bass players would be.
Old 5th August 2014
  #53
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Luke17's Avatar
 

Read somewhere that the old Peavey T-60 & T-40 Basses are gonna be collectible...prices a few years ago were around 300 USD and the thing I read said they could fetch around 600-700...sounds like a pipe dream to me.
I never played one, but I remember peeps saying they were pretty hard on the shoulders cuz of their weight.
Old 5th August 2014
  #54
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monkeyxx's Avatar
I've gotten great bass out of a $120 SX (with Sheptone pickups, mind you), and a Mexican Fender Jazz. The key ingredients were good playing, good bass parts, good DI/mic preamp, good amps/mics, depending. The price of the bass is nearly irrelevant, the point you're looking at is does it sound good, and can it be played. Yeah I've recorded expensive vintage, and modern basses, too. The engineering part of it needs to be adequate, it's true, but that's hard to describe and situation dependent, and there's scores of gear that will work, I mean, just start naming all the gear, really, name all of it. Get a 4 page thread going on favorite bass preamps, all different.

I really do think in the case of bass, that the playing part of it is huge. If you're going to make assumptions, make the assumption that any damn fool trying to record bass has a decent signal path going on and decent engineering chops. And focus on getting a good performance, and a good part, to tape. After that, it's easy. It's smooth sailing. Picking the bass tone can be a lot of fun, too, just going through the options of what you have on hand.

A few of my favorite bass items have been, SCA N72 preamp, Radial JDI Duplex, API 312 DI input, jazz style basses, SWR 15" bass cabinet with Eminence Kappa 15LFA speaker, Fender Dual Showman amplifier, Behringer DI 100, Waves/Softube/UAD Pultec EQ, Ampeg SVT head, Shure SM57, ElectroVoice RE20, Beyer M88TG, Symetrix 501 compressor, the Rickenbacker, various synthesizers. But my favorite thing has always been someone playing a really good part.

To answer the original question, if you can't get a good bass sound using a $600 bass, you've got other problems, and it's not the price of the bass.

I think expensive basses are mainly designed for the comfort and luxury of experienced and discerning bass players. $600 is plenty enough of a budget to get something good, if you're smart about it. The rest of the recording equipment will probably cost even more than that, ideally.
Old 5th August 2014
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
yes definitely, in general Squires and Epiphones are good basses . You should have to spend no more than $200-$300 for a good bass. I have a $150 ibanez bass, it sounds great. Bass tone is pretty much all in the fingers, electric bass doesn't matter like it does with acoustic guitars for instance.

Does a $5000 specter or alembic bass sound better than a $1000 Fender? not necessarily, So then what rational is there to think a $1000 bass sounds any better than a $200 one??? This is providing it stays in tune and the frets and bridge are decent, a $200 bass is going to do just as good of job as a $1000 one in most cases. But you have to try them out first.

I do find it kind of funny you go on and on about getting the best converters but then insist on the cheapest mics, instruments etc.

A $200 bass is going to be using the cheapest materials--tuners, bridges, pots, pickups, and wood--and the craftsmanship and attention to detail in putting it together the most base and rudimentary.

There is a certain point in the price of a instrument where it becomes mostly about cosmetics imo and is where you can probably say there isn't much difference between a $1000 and $3000 instrument in terms of sound, the extra premium going to things like 5a flame/quilts.
Old 5th August 2014
  #56
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Joe_K's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Animus View Post
A $200 bass is going to be using the cheapest materials--tuners, bridges, pots, pickups, and wood--and the craftsmanship and attention to detail in putting it together the most base and rudimentary.
+1. I've also found that basses built super cheap might play okay the day you get them, but time and the stresses subjected to it by the strings starts to take its toll, even in the first year. Dead notes that weren't there initially start to develop and other neck related issues. There is only so much you can do to correct that in a cheap instrument. A quality built instrument (not for cosmetics) is something that will last a very long time with proper maintenance.

If buying a sub $200 bass works for an immediate need, then good. I wouldn't do it for a long term need.

Anyway, as others have said, the biggest determination between a pro and amateur bass recording is the pro or amateur wielding the instrument. A pro will avoid doing things that sound bad .. they'll work around the instrument IF THEY CAN. But then, a pro will likely have their own bass anyway.
Old 5th August 2014
  #57
Lives for gear
Those Vintage Vibe Squiers are a pretty good bet. Yamaha give a very sensible tone for the money.
Old 5th August 2014
  #58
Here for the gear
 

you'll need something in the 700 dollar range. 700 and up is studio quality. maybe you could start some threads on here about how great your 600 dollar bass is and the prices will go up though? then you'd be in business.
Old 5th August 2014
  #59
You could make studio quality bass tracks with a 200 dollar bass!

Shielding will go so far. Im really shocked how few people shield.

Id definitely go used.
Old 5th August 2014
  #60
Gear Nut
short answer: yes
Topic:
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