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Where is Bass Attack!?! Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
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Where is Bass Attack!?!

Ok here is one:
Most of the bass players that I work with ask me for more
attack, so as for mi experience I try to pull between 1 and 3 k
depending on how the instrument sounds to see if I find the attack there we are all looking for!!
But even then I cannot achieve that sound , do you guys have any suggestions on how to achieve this!!
thanks
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
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camerondye's Avatar
 

I would think that it means you are compressing too much
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
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Obitheincredible's Avatar
 

Transient designer.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #4
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kennybro's Avatar
You might need to dig deeper into exactly what they mean by attack.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #5
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audiogeek's Avatar
 

Where is Bass Attack!?!

Fix it at the source. Dial in more treble on the amp, make sure the bass' tone knob(s) are up, give them a pick, etc...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
You might need to dig deeper into exactly what they mean by attack.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #7
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1. I agree to find out what they mean by "attack"

2. Try blending the DI and Mic'd tracks

3. Take what they're saying with a grain of salt...listen to the bass sound you're getting, and compare that to a commercial song of similar genre...if you yourself think it needs a bit more...THEN work on it, if it sounds about right, leave it...

4. It always hits at the source...if there's not enough attack at the source, there's not really a big amount you can do in the mix...sometimes this can come right down to the bass player's technique and unrealistic expectations...

Lastly i should probably also mention, compressing a bass with a fast attack on the compressor will get a pumping sound, using a slow attack, it will let the transient through and grab onto the rest of it...
Old 23rd December 2010
  #8
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The kick knocks you down, the bass rolls you over

If you're talking about tracking a bass player in the studio then I would look at his/her headphone mix. If they want more attack on the bass then take some attack off of the kick (in the headphone mix).

If you're talking about what the bass player wants in the final mix..... good luck.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #9
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In addition, and presuming by attack you mean shape, I've had some success with expansion.. with the down side that it is rather rather spotty if the thrack isn't fairly level.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #10
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If attack means more point to the note try boosting between 700-3k. Could also mean your compression is clamping down on the performance. Without being there, it's hard to really know what the problem is and what the player wants.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #11
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uncle duncan's Avatar
 

If he's talking about the mix, a transient designer plugin could add attack. However, if the guy's not a session player, he may be suffering what all noobs suffer in the studio - they're listening to their instrument without hearing it in the context of the mix - the "more me" deal. The most important thing is how the bass and kick fit together. If you add attack to the bass (for the benefit of the bass player's ego) how will that affect the attack of the kick drum?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

isn't the attack in the players fingers???
Old 23rd December 2010
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmik_debris View Post
isn't the attack in the players fingers???
Precisely.

This is what picks are for...I tell this to every bass player who hates using picks but then wonders why their tone is mushy and has no definition. Usually in metal bands, where the attack is quite important.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamsilent View Post
Precisely.

This is what picks are for...I tell this to every bass player who hates using picks but then wonders why their tone is mushy and has no definition. Usually in metal bands, where the attack is quite important.
Yeah, I usually play fretted bass with a pick if I want any sense of the note attack. Heck, it worked for Carol Kaye, so it's good enough for me. OTOH, for a track where the bass is just felt, I'll typically use a felt pick or play without a pick.

Cheers,

Otto
Old 23rd December 2010
  #15
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

if the bass is played well i find boosting 800 - 1k seems to work. if not, then it's probably the tone of the bass because there should be energy there for you to use. Flat wounds with a pick sound completely different than fingers on round wounds... but there should be energy there all the same unless they've rolled off all the highs at the source.

i would porbably compress before i add the high end.. it's one of those situations where it just makes sense to me to do that after so the compressor doesn't act on it.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #16
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RTFMPleez's Avatar
 

Here is a trick that I will use every once in a while. Plug the bass into a small guitar amp (usually a 1x12 combo) and mic it at a low level. Blend that with the DI singnal. The result is a very "attacky" percussive bass sound.
Old 23rd December 2010
  #17
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 

and try a longer attack time on the compressor?
Old 24th December 2010
  #18
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It'll be good to see what Sonorus comes back with, but it strikes a chord with me relating to appropriate playing –and by far not just the tone, but the subject of overtones and shape.
I'd did this here..
Bass players -with very light touch
It was initially about the inconsistencies' problems, but it is I believe part and parcel of this same problem and subject; 'Where is attack.
Old 24th December 2010
  #19
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John Nonjohn's Avatar
 

Use a metal pick!
Old 24th December 2010
  #20
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taturana's Avatar
i think attack comes from the player and instrument... last week i recorded, nema antunes who is an excelent bass player, using a fodera bass... and the sound simply had the attack and definition, no need for eq or even much compression... also no problems with muddy bass, simply perfect, fat and clear..
Old 24th December 2010
  #21
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AnthonyRochester's Avatar
 


see the end bit for my dodgy bass tip
Old 24th December 2010
  #22
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lord_bunny's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana View Post
i think attack comes from the player and instrument... last week i recorded, nema antunes who is an excelent bass player, using a fodera bass... and the sound simply had the attack and definition, no need for eq or even much compression... also no problems with muddy bass, simply perfect, fat and clear..

Oh yea, time and time again even with the same instrument it's clear that it's in the hands.... the real great players have such even control over the notes.
Old 24th December 2010
  #23
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lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

I assume he means where is most of the attack tone of the bass situated.

I would say all the way from around 600hz to 3k depending on the source mics amp etc.

I absolutely love the 700hz boost on my siemens W295b. Vintage bass butter!

Russell
Old 24th December 2010
  #24
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amishsixstringe's Avatar
 

Dude, it really is the fingers. It's almost a cliche, but it's fact. I recorded a band once where 5 guys all traded instruments on almost every song. Same bass, amp, mic, pre, comp...One guy was a bass player. No problems there. The other guy was a guitar player, and the bass sounded like ass.

Neil
Old 24th December 2010
  #25
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amishsixstringe's Avatar
 

And, yes I'm referring specifically to the attack of the instrument. The player creates the attack. If you're using a compressor to try to make things really pluck, it's too late.

Neil
Old 24th December 2010
  #26
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As I am a decent bass player, I think I can chime in and say that I agree that the attack could be considered an upper mid range thing, however, the lower mid on a bass in particular is crucial..sometimes boosting between 250-400 can yeild some very good results
Old 24th December 2010
  #27
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Quote:
isn't the attack in the players fingers???
30+ years bass player here.
Yes.
Old 24th December 2010
  #28
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Most of the bass players that I work with ask me for more attack...

If most of the players you work with are asking for the same thing, either they all suck, or you're the problem.

How is your room? Well treated, flat(ish), good rt60 at all freqs? What monitors?

How are you tracking? Are you printing with compression? Which converters? Do your mixes have the same bottom-end qualities as commercial releases with similar production styles? Do you think your bass management is up to par?

I say this with humor, but in all seriousness: "The one consistent feature in all of your failed relationships is you."


Gregory Scott - ubk
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