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Favorite Compressor for un-even bass player?
Old 11th July 2005
  #1
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Favorite Compressor for un-even bass player?

Hey everyone!
I'm working on a record with a bass player who is a bit un even with his playing. The Bass has already been recorded with minimal compression and it's time to mix. Music style is heavier rock stuff ala Tool , Chavell, ect..

What compressor either hardware or software would you use to keep the bass locked into the mix and help it sit right?
(mixing ITB).

ERic
Old 11th July 2005
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsinvelvet
Hey everyone!
I'm working on a record with a bass player who is a bit un even with his playing. The Bass has already been recorded with minimal compression and it's time to mix. Music style is heavier rock stuff ala Tool , Chavell, ect..

What compressor either hardware or software would you use to keep the bass locked into the mix and help it sit right?
(mixing ITB).

ERic

No compressor by itself will do it.

You will have to automate it to get right up there and consistent.

Think of it how you would mix a lead vocal.
Old 11th July 2005
  #3
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

i've laid the "smack" on an unruly bass player by running first through a tubetech cl1b, moderate ratio, maybe 2: or 3:1, medium attack and release, knocking 3-5 dB, then through a dbx165a with a bit higher ratio, say 4:1, and faster attack and release times. the tubetech does most of the work, with the dbx catching what gets past.

i've often simulated this type of thing in the box (though it doesn't work as well) with two renn comp's.

--jon
Old 11th July 2005
  #4
Gear Addict
 

This may be sacrilege, but I've found Steinberg's Magneto to be an usually useful plugin for precisely this purpose. It isn't much use on anything else, but as a bass compressor, it really kicks.
Old 11th July 2005
  #5
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsinvelvet
Hey everyone!
I'm working on a record with a bass player who is a bit un even with his playing. The Bass has already been recorded with minimal compression and it's time to mix. Music style is heavier rock stuff ala Tool , Chavell, ect..

What compressor either hardware or software would you use to keep the bass locked into the mix and help it sit right?
(mixing ITB).

ERic
Doing just that yesterday on a very problematic bass: Distressor on 1:6, attack something like 3-4, release on 5, Dist 2 on. Gain reduction ranging from 1-15dB . Not my normal routine, but it can work on a rock tune. You need to be very carefull (and able to hear) what the deep low end is doing. With that much compression, I rolled of some lowend (in fact it was a high-pass filter set around 60Hz )...

You can try to gain ride when the problem is "macro-dynamic". If it's "micro-dynamic" with lot's of jumpy notes, severe compression (in multiple stages) is often the only solution.

Not pretty...

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 11th July 2005
  #6
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doorknocker's Avatar
I'll second automating the bass.

In PT, what also works really well, and often much better than a comp, is the Sony Oxford Transient Modulator. It's great for bass-not for 'fixing' a player that has no concept of dynamics- but rather for making the bass more stable and say locking the attack of the kick and bass. With the TM, a little goes a long way.

I often Low Pass the bass quite heavily with the McDSP Filterbank. Often, this will also help with putting the bass in place.

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 11th July 2005
  #7
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Drumsound's Avatar
Some parallel compression might help too.
Old 11th July 2005
  #8
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I've found basses to be particularly compressor picky. Especialy picked bass. 1176's seem to eat low end a bit, LA3A's don't grab the sloppiness, distressor with hp in sidechain doesn't even things out much or eats low end without the hp, the API 525 distorts the low end though all of those compressors can sound good on bass. I think the daking comp is a nice balance though. It doesn't eat as much low end as the other FET compressor and has adjustable attack.
Old 11th July 2005
  #9
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RoundBadge's Avatar
ITB ..Automation.. with maybe a little UA 1176.
I find most plug comps tricky with bass, makes the track smaller,w/less dimension..
OTB ..Whole Different game....
I used a combination of an inserted DBX165, and a comp I don't usaully use for bass: an Alan smart C2 [ very Light ..1.5 ratio,high thresh,] the other day on a dynamically challenged bass player ..worked in the mix.
another day the Phoenix and Distressor w/high thresh 6:1..
I used an Atomic Squeeze[$] box to good effect a while back.
Sometimes just a DBX 160 lightly and Automation does it.
or sometimes no compression at all with just careful automation works well..
Old 11th July 2005
  #10
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T-fonk's Avatar
 

Dbx 163x! thumbsup
Old 11th July 2005
  #11
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The Drawmer 1968 Mercenary Edition gets my vote. It's got the "BIG" switch.

It works. I wasn't sure how to describe it given I got up too early to drive someone to the hospital so I'll rip something from the Drawmer site...

"Featured on both channels is a switchable ‘BIG’ mode which applies less processing to the fundamental low frequency but still disciplines the upward associated harmonics which if untamed can result in a ‘boomy’ or ‘boxy’ sound. The result - a solid bottom end with enhanced sub-bass and a smoother, wider frequency response overall."
Old 11th July 2005
  #12
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I know this doesn't help with this particular situation, but, of course, if you're tracking and you hear a bass player who's dynamic deficient, try compressing the bass before it gets to the amp. Gotta work with it a bit to retain tone, but it's possible.
Old 11th July 2005
  #13
84K
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84K's Avatar
Automation
Old 11th July 2005
  #14
I tend to use

SansAmp plug in
UA 1176SE plug in
and sometimes (with real problem signals) a Waves C4

I do feel deep in my bones that taking the time to automate bass rides is how the 'pros' probably do it... Seems like such a grim task though...
Old 11th July 2005
  #15
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
Thanks for all the replys!

The Bass player played with his fingers and went DI only figuring that we'de reamp the bass come mix time. I have a feeling a little bit of tube amp action might even things out. If we can't go that route trying the sansamp with some distortion might help evening things out (thank god no slap n' pop).

I have several decent outboard comps that I can insert while mixing..
Thinking of distressor 3:1 or 6:1 with a fairly high threshold and then into another EL8 doing the "brit mod" thing and just skimming the stuff that got away.

Keep it going. Any other tricks that have saved the day?

P.S. I'll post a song when it's all done and see what you think.
ERic
Old 11th July 2005
  #16
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Cornvalley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainsinvelvet
a bit un even with his playing
ERic
.... if your in a DAW, I think automation is the way to go. Drawing fader moves is really easy when you're practiced at it. Has the advantage of perserving dynamic envelopes (gee, if you want that sorta thing) while keeping every note sitting exactly where you want it.
Or Distressor with appropriate settings you lazy boy thumbsup
Old 11th July 2005
  #17
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David R.'s Avatar
 

DBX160 is my favorite for bass.

Depending on the track, you my have to automate. Kind of hard to tell from here.
Old 11th July 2005
  #18
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cashewcupcake's Avatar
 

automate.

yes, it sucks.


or just use a transient designer and a distressor.
Old 11th July 2005
  #19
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jpupo74's Avatar
Some times Gear is not the answer!

Hey,

Do you know the guys? Maybe you can explain that the bass line is really important on a mix. If they can listen, they´ll agree and maybe look for someone else to record the track.

Some times Gear is not the answer!

Just my 0,00000002

PUPO
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