Author Topic: Recording tricks?  (Read 3007 times)

Offline 1954bassman

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Recording tricks?
« on: November 09, 2006, 10:32:04 PM »
Our weekend Acoustic Gospel group is going into a small local studio to start recording a new CD project this Saturday. Don't worry, my chops are not anything like the stuff I hear you guys doing here on the forum.

My food for thought is this: I plan on taking my Navigator. The Studio dude said he normally runs the bass directly into in desk. I have done this before with my G&L, and it does sound great, but I am thinking the Navigator would push me into sweet sweet toneland. I will mainly be using my fretless L2500 with TI Jazz flats. Also I thought about running the left and right XLR outs into (2) channels on the mixer.

I thought some of you might share some wisdom/advice/exprience here. Any EQ/Compressor/enhance, etc setting that have really worked for you in the studio. We are all acoustic, Martin D28, Sheerhorn Dobro, Gibson Mandolin, old German fiddle, and no drums. Kinda Bluegrassy, without the banjo. I use the Navigator when we play out, and basically run it flat, Enhance 9 o'clock, light compression.

So help me out here, bounce some odeas off the old Eden sounding board!

Mark

Bass with Grace
quote:
The Older I Get,
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Bass with Grace
quote:
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Offline Rick Auricchio

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 10:43:54 PM »
I doubt it's important to record two channels of bass if there isn't any fancy panning or whatever. One channel would do it.

Of great importance is that you send the full range of the bass to the recorder. All of that fret noise and string buzz is necessary for proper note articulation to show in the mix. It can be EQ'd out during the mix as necessary; but if it doesn't get recorded, there's no way to bring those frequencies back.

Another good thing might be to record one track of direct (or cleanly preamped) bass. The second channel can be a miked small amplifier. They can be mixed to taste during the mixdown.

You should be very careful with compression; it's best to let the engineer apply a little smooth compression during tracking if necessary. His comp should be inaudible but keep the peaks in check nicely. Further compression might be applied during the mix if necessary.

Frets: '65 stock Precision, '94 Dave Maize ABG; Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '94 Maize ABG
Amp: WT550B, D112XLT & '92 Eden D210T (front port, silver tweeter)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 10:47:37 PM by Rick Auricchio »
Frets: '65 stock Precision, '02 MM Stingray, '09 MM Big Al
Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '94 Maize ABG, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '03 Lightwave Saber C
Amps: WTX260, TC RH450,  RS112 (x2) & BFM omni15TB

Offline Rocksolid

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2006, 04:44:36 AM »
I just posted my set up that I recorded with the other day. The thread is "You don't know how fat until you listen back."

Rocksolid
(Steve "cunno" Cunningham)

Rig: "The Bowel Trembler" WT800B, 410XLT8, 210XST8
WT400plus
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Rocksolid
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Musicman Stingray5, Fender CS Reggie Hamilton V, Fender CS '64 J NOS, Fender '89 P Bass, Fender '94 Fretless Jazz Bass.

Offline RockNRollAl

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006, 08:27:48 AM »
Rick pretty well covered it.

I've done OK with just the D.I. port directly into a digital recorder - turn the D.I. level all the way up, using a little compression from the amp itself (NC210), running the EQ flat. I didn't have to do anything to it during the re-mix, in fact, I used the bass track as the reference for the rest of the tracks - it was so solid.

Don't use the enhance - I've tried that before. You lose some mids that you need on lower end systems to hear the bass. The low end will be there...

Check out these tracks - the bass is in the right channel:
Badge
Nowhere Man
Smoke On The Water



www.RockNRollAl.com

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I'm not a bassist. I'm just a guitarist/singer who uses Eden gear!
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Roscoe LG3005 - Gretsch G2220 - Rogue VB100 - Ibanez GSRM20

Offline johnpbass

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2006, 08:30:24 AM »
Hey '54,

I would definitely use the Nav. I always run 2 tracks - one track is the bass itself and into a mic pre. The second track is thru a bass pre either the WT400 DI or if I'm looking for some extra grind I use a SansAmp RBI to add that. That gives you the option of mixing different levels of each depending on what the song requires.

I've tried miking cabs but found that it didn't really add anything to what the DIs were giving me. And as Rick said, be careful with compression. I've found that it's best to start with a little and to add it later.

I would be careful with the fret noise though - you can't always eliminate it later. For me the trick is to try to really focus on playing very cleanly and evenly but still agressively (if that makes sense).

Hope that helps some. And good luck with your project!



John P.
WT400, WT550, D115XLT4, D210XLT4, D112XLT8 (X2)
John P.
WT400, D112XLT8
MM Sting Ray 5, G&L L2000, 74 Rickenbacker 4001, Michael Kelly Club Deluxe 5

Offline Fretlessboy

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2006, 08:37:39 AM »
I would not use much compression ( chances are the studio has a 3 million dollar compessor and he will compress it anyway) and wouldn't use enhance. That would give the engineer a reason to try to bring back the mids and screw them up in the process. I would however mic a cabinet with the horn off to get more wood in the sound.

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« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 08:38:35 AM by Fretlessboy »
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Offline FMJ

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 10:07:46 AM »
The only multitracking ive done was DI, Mic'd Cabinet and into the desk at the same time and there really isnt a huge difference in sound the engineer had only used the 1 track. Although it'd be intresting to see if there was a major difference in the overall sound with the Navigator to just a plain bass through the Desk... especially post production.

Still think my best studio recorded tone so far (Havent done any with the Eden) was Warwick Flashback (Which just sounds great on recordings) - DI - Desk - Focusrite Compressor. That track is on my myspace link, the RnB one if anyones intrested... just a simple backing line.


Eden 330 - 1x12XLT - 2x12 XLT

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Offline jmcgliss

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2006, 10:11:40 AM »
Since you'll be playing fretless with TI Flats (sweet!) that shows you have a definite tone in mind. Ask to lay down a short track during setup and compare with your live sound so the engineer knows what you're after. Some engineers in the quest for separation might use a default EQ that's deep without the singing qualities of your setup. Knowing your Nav and what frequency range defines your tone can be the start of a good working relationship.  Have fun!!


Jeff C Chicagoland | 04 Eden WT550 + D112XLT x3 | 70's Ampeg B15-N x2 |
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Offline Fretlessboy

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2006, 10:15:57 AM »
Have you ever recorded there before? If not I suggest taking your amp and letting him hear "Your" sound so he doesn't make you sound like the last guy that recorded there.

DennisMichaels Eden endorser    
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Offline Rick Auricchio

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2006, 11:42:44 AM »
John P makes a good point that I should clarify.

Don't try to EQ out all the string noise in your preamp/amp; those upper mids can help with articulation, so you want them recorded. They can be cut during mixdown. Be advised that when your bass track is soloed after recording that it will not sound pretty; all those upper mids will make you want to EQ it heavily to clean it up. Resist this temptation: during the mix, most of those sounds will disappear. A little EQ will go a long way during the mix to make it sound right at that time.

As John said, don't just make more string noise on purpose! Play smoothly and well! You may even want to play more subdued during the session. Don't dig in as much as you would in a live setting. This keeps the bass smoother for the recording. Of course, if part of your tone needs the hard attack, then that's different. (Playing calmly also helps avoid mistakes.)

A mixdown trick that engineers use is to add some tube and/or transformer saturation to the track. This can be done either with a second track or by re-amping later. Here's what that does. If you mix the fundamental (say low E at 41Hz), most consumer systems can't reproduce that frequency well. So you end up fighting to get decent bass in cars, boom-boxes, small home stereos, etc.

The tube/transformer distortion adds the second harmonic to the bass, which is the same note an octave higher. But to the ear, this harmonic isn't exactly the same as playing an octave up. Instead, the ear/brain fills in the missing fundamental! The listener thinks he's hearing the low E when, in fact, there's virtually no 41Hz fundamental being reproduced at all.

I've done this with the old Hughes & Kettner BATT tube preamp during a mix, but it can be done with tube mic preamps, tube bass preamps, or even re-amping; it can be magic.

Frets: '65 stock Precision, '94 Dave Maize ABG; Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '94 Maize ABG
Amp: WT550B, D112XLT & '92 Eden D210T (front port, silver tweeter)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2006, 11:52:04 AM by Rick Auricchio »
Frets: '65 stock Precision, '02 MM Stingray, '09 MM Big Al
Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '94 Maize ABG, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '03 Lightwave Saber C
Amps: WTX260, TC RH450,  RS112 (x2) & BFM omni15TB

Offline JTE

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2006, 11:43:05 AM »
My best recording experiences were running my WT-400 into a cabinet (once was my Hartke 210XL, the other was my D410XLT) in an isolation room.  They mic'd the cabinet and took a DI right off the bass.  I don't know if they recorded the two signals to different tracks, or they pre-mixed them to one track, but both times it sounded great.  I set the amp up to sound good in the room (and with me and my WT-400 that was essentially "flat" anyway).  The time with the Hartke cab we wound up using the ubiquitious AKG kick drum mic.  The time with the 4x10 the mic was a really fine Audio-Technica mic we used for kick drum as well.  We invested a fair amount of time with mic placement both times (that's the key to recording with a microphone anyway), and the board was pretty flat.  I'm not sure about compression, the first engineer used a fair amount, but I don't recall about the second time.

Pretty much, recording is best when your sound is good right from the start.  Good technique, a good set up (play your bass unamplified to see what the BASS sounds like, and use that as your starting point), clean electronics, and a willingness not NOT walk in with preconceived ideas about how to get "your" sound, but also having a good idea of what "your" sound needs to be on this project.

Also, acoustic guitars (rosewood dreaGene Poolughts especially) have some frequencies that are notorious for interfering with electric bass.  Be careful when listening to preliminary mixes about whehter it's a D-28 or a P bass that sounds funny, off-rhythm, or out of tune.

jte

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Offline Rick Auricchio

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2006, 11:56:09 AM »
Couple more tips. You've never heard tuning errors till you play back the track. The recorder shows the slightest out-of-tune string.

If possible, avoid walking around or turning much while playing. This avoids the possibility of electrical noise getting into the pickups. Even if the studio is well-shielded with non-noisy lighting, your amp has a big transformer. Keep a few feet away from the amp.

I've even heard my straplocks squeak on the Precision. I was playing seated, it was the last note of the song, and I was bending in some vibrato. The slack strap wobbled and the straplocks made little squeaking noises. Yikes. We punched in that last note.

Frets: '65 stock Precision, '94 Dave Maize ABG; Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '94 Maize ABG
Amp: WT550B, D112XLT & '92 Eden D210T (front port, silver tweeter)
Frets: '65 stock Precision, '02 MM Stingray, '09 MM Big Al
Fretless: '91 Pedulla Buzz, '94 Maize ABG, '95 PV Foundation, '02 Warwick Corvette, '03 Lightwave Saber C
Amps: WTX260, TC RH450,  RS112 (x2) & BFM omni15TB

Offline johnpbass

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2006, 01:05:43 PM »
Hey Rick,
Those are more really great points that you make!

It's amazing the types of noises that you don't need to worry about when you play live, but in the studio...

I like that "harmonic" idea!

John P.
WT400, WT550, D115XLT4, D210XLT4, D112XLT8 (X2)
John P.
WT400, D112XLT8
MM Sting Ray 5, G&L L2000, 74 Rickenbacker 4001, Michael Kelly Club Deluxe 5

Offline 1954bassman

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2006, 01:14:38 PM »
Thanks guys, and keep it coming, I hit the red light tomorrow around noon.

Mark


Bass with Grace
quote:
The Older I Get,
 The Less I Know

Bass with Grace
quote:
The Older I Get,

 The Less I Know


Offline johnpbass

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Recording tricks?
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2006, 01:15:50 PM »
Good luck!

John P.
WT400, WT550, D115XLT4, D210XLT4, D112XLT8 (X2)
John P.
WT400, D112XLT8
MM Sting Ray 5, G&L L2000, 74 Rickenbacker 4001, Michael Kelly Club Deluxe 5