Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Desperately Need Bass Tone Help!
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 09:09 AM
Post #1


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



I have tried everything to get a good direct recorded bass tone and have failed.

I've been working on a song for a couple of months now, and the bass has been the thorn in my side the entire time.

I'm running direct into my computer to Logic Pro X. Going straight to a channel. The tone I am getting while playing is beautiful with nothing at all - just new Elixir strings a wire and a computer.

However, when played back the tone is ALL bottom end with no high end cut through.

I have the Ampeg SVT plug in for amplitude, as well as other great sounding bass tones. The bass track played alone with the drums sounds pretty good, but with everything else, there no definition. Even during a short bass solo, it's as if play-back alone is foiling the tone of my bass.

My signal in and WAV form look excellent. No clips, everything is perfect except the output of the tone.

It's driving me NUTS!!!

Can anyone offer any suggestions?

The sort of cut through bass tone I would like to get would be something like this. Great definition during the distorted parts, but clean distinguishable notes when the distortion on the guitar is cut back.

Mine just sounds low end.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirJamsalot
post Dec 14 2014, 09:23 AM
Post #2


Learning Rock Star
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.226
Joined: 4-May 10
From: Bay Area, California
Member No.: 10.312



Isolate the frequencies.
Here's a good read, I think. Bogdan will likely be your best resource for this question, but in the meantime, look this over.
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep12/arti...mixing-bass.htm


--------------------
The more I practice, the more I wish I had time to practice!
My Band Forum: http://passionfly.site/chat

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 09:32 AM
Post #3


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



Thanks for that I will read it now. I was hoping Bogdan could give me some insights too.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirJamsalot
post Dec 14 2014, 09:47 AM
Post #4


Learning Rock Star
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.226
Joined: 4-May 10
From: Bay Area, California
Member No.: 10.312



QUOTE (Spock @ Dec 14 2014, 12:32 AM) *
Thanks for that I will read it now. I was hoping Bogdan could give me some insights too.


And of course, Tony Miro - our mastering guru if he happens to be making his way through the forums as of late smile.gif


--------------------
The more I practice, the more I wish I had time to practice!
My Band Forum: http://passionfly.site/chat

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 09:56 AM
Post #5


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



Yes, Tony is working with me, he is doing the mastering, but I haven't been able to send him anything yet with a good bass mix.

I just read the article, and it was like trying to understand Chinese, no offense, I just mean that I don't understand how to do things in the hertz ranges the article talked about - however I have consider using midi notes in key areas to help boost what I am trying to achieve.

I was just hoping there was a fix I could accomplish easily in two short parts in particular. It doesn't have to be perfect, for what it is, and the bass tone while the song is obnoxiously loud is fine where it is, just when the bass parts are crucial and the main focus and the other guitars drop out is really where I need help.

Right now I have the exact same recording on 3 tracks.

One track is set to Amplitude Ampeg SVT with the highs cranked up.

Another set to Amplitude Ampeg SVT with focus on the mids

the other track is just direct bass eq'd for the low bottom end boost.

I was thinking maybe a 4th track for the two bass parts in which all the other tracks are cut out, and only that one track focusing on one specific tone is used so I can concentrate on just those two short parts as opposed to the entire song.

I noticed when one part sounds right, another part of the song sounds off. This is all because I am no sound engineer - and am learning everything "on the fly" and have never understood the mechanics of even EQing, other than dialing in what I like. But doing it in mixing is an entirely different animal.

This has been my constant message to Tony for the past month...

Attached Image

This post has been edited by Spock: Dec 14 2014, 10:01 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Socky42
post Dec 14 2014, 10:27 AM
Post #6


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 569
Joined: 3-July 10
From: Manchester, UK
Member No.: 10.762



I think Bogdan will be able to help more but i'll give it a shot.

QUOTE
One track is set to Amplitude Ampeg SVT with the highs cranked up.

Another set to Amplitude Ampeg SVT with focus on the mids

the other track is just direct bass eq'd for the low bottom end boost.


I use a 3 track method too; so when you say you 'direct bass eq'd for the low bottom end boost', you are cutting out everything else right?



For the other two tracks, cut out all the low-end. That way you have a 'pure', unprocessed low-end with whatever you wanna do above it.

If you really need it to cut through, you can try putting more distortion on the mid track, crank it till it sounds like garbage then adjust the volume to blend with the other bass tracks. I'll attach an example of my mid/high tracks if it'll help.

QUOTE
I noticed when one part sounds right, another part of the song sounds off.


For that I think you just have to manually automate the volume of the distorted and clean DI tracks. So when the guitars drop out, you can lower the distorted bass etc.



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 10:34 AM
Post #7


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



Thanks Socky! I will try that. Right now I am getting a pretty good result by creating a 4th track with no EQ, deleting the part from the Hi and Mid track and leaving it on the low track.

The new 4th track is set up like this. It sounds pretty good in Logic coming through KRK 8s, but as you know, taking it to a car stereo system it will sound totally different.

But yes, my next step, if this is not enough, is to create a distorted track as you suggest and blend it.

And also that great "UNDERSTANDABLE" information on setting the EQ - Thank You!

Attached Image

This post has been edited by Spock: Dec 14 2014, 10:46 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 11:00 AM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



I created a new "Hi's" track to replace the other one and I'm getting there. This track will run through the entire song except through the 2 bass solo parts - but it seems to be adding the definition I need.

The only this is, there is a bit of annoying click to it. Any suggestion how to keep the definition but lose the click?

I have the amp setting as shown above

and the EQ set like this...

Attached Image

This post has been edited by Spock: Dec 14 2014, 11:10 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Socky42
post Dec 14 2014, 11:26 AM
Post #9


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 569
Joined: 3-July 10
From: Manchester, UK
Member No.: 10.762



QUOTE (Spock @ Dec 14 2014, 10:00 AM) *
I created a new "Hi's" track to replace the other one and I'm getting there. This track will run through the entire song except through the 2 bass solo parts - but it seems to be adding the definition I need.

The only this is, there is a bit of annoying click to it. Any suggestion how to keep the definition but lose the click?




Hard to say without any sound clips but -

Solo the track. Open up an EQ and create a single peak like in the picture. Then as it's playing, slowly move the peak left and right till you hear the 'click' then lower the volume on that peak and adjust to taste.

This is kinda what SirJamsalot was saying earlier about finding and isolating frequencies.

And if the track is providing the definition you need, personally, i'd still add a high-pass and cut out some low end. You've already got a 'low' track providing a clean low-end and you don't want this track 'getting in the way', if that makes sense.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 11:27 AM
Post #10


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



Here's what I'm getting right now - which is light years above where it was, at least on my computer - but it may have no bass whatsoever on my laptop or car stereo...

Attached File  Bass_Sample.mp3 ( 687.16K ) Number of downloads: 53
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 14 2014, 12:01 PM
Post #11


Bass & Beginner Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.612
Joined: 30-November 07
From: Belgrade, Serbia
Member No.: 3.410



QUOTE (Spock @ Dec 14 2014, 11:27 AM) *
Here's what I'm getting right now - which is light years above where it was, at least on my computer - but it may have no bass whatsoever on my laptop or car stereo...

Attached File  Bass_Sample.mp3 ( 687.16K ) Number of downloads: 53


I think this sample sounds pretty good, well done experimenting!

I'd like to suggest one think though, try focusing only on your DI bass track.
This is the completely clean bass guitar track, straight from bass to the recording interface.

Don't cut up this track, rather shape it using EQ and add a compressor to it.

In these tracks I only have 1 single DI bass track per song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vl5oEklBqw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5NFFQ5QL1g

This is how powerful DI sound is.

When it comes to shaping the bass track using EQ, it should be very subtle. Usually there is a high pass filter around 35-40hz to cut the extremely low end and make room for kick drum. I would give you exact frequencies and amounts to cut or boost but I really do it by ear completely and never digged deep into "science" part of it.

This article on mixing bass looks good though to provide you with starting points: http://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to...tar--audio-5663

My strong suggestion would be to tweak the great bass tone using DI track. Once you have that, as a foundation - you should turn on the Amplitube track(s) for added "coloring" of the tone but make sure they don't take away from the sound (in terms of making it muddy for example).

I have tried lots of plugins and I think I liked the Markbass produced one, can't remember it's name but I remember those plugins never sounding like I want them to smile.gif I'd use them only for coloring the overall bass tone and using DI bass as your main source of bass tone. I think Marcus Miller as well as tons of other musicians record bass this way - straight into the mixing console without amp and everything. This is something which makes bass much less hustle to record in relation to guitar and micing amps etc.

Please let me know how it goes and I'll be glad to help along the way?


--------------------
For GMC support please email support (at) guitarmasterclass.net
Check out my lessons and my instructor board.
Check out my beginner guitar lessons course! ; Take a bass course now!
My solo and band songs : Keep Going On, Night Vibe, Kad Te Vidim, Susret, Plava Silueta
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darius Wave
post Dec 14 2014, 12:19 PM
Post #12


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.294
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
Member No.: 17.069



I would not try to copy what has been mentioned already.

PErsonally I try to not get myself in to more than one track per bass. The more I go into, the more I feel I loose the control and get moire and more confusion. Natural bass tone has a lot to do with how it sits in the mix. I have found a bass that works great for my mixing but anyway...I feel like the bottom end war has never ends. Every single mix is another fight / issues / hours on getting it done.

Few things to consider first

1. Use pick or fingers? Try both....and see what happens with other instruments
2. Instruments overlay each other in some frequency ranges. Very often the key to get a good bass tone could be somewhere than the bass track eq itself wink.gif... Try to spot where's the natural attack zone of Your particular bass and try to cut those frequencies from guitars, overheads etc....instead of boosting them in bass guitar track

3. Make sure You use descent guitar chord - bad cables can cut off some treble end

4. Be a good father for all instruments - share wisely all the spectrum between them. Before doing any adjustment spent soem more time on listening to the mix and try to ask question from a different view - for example....

"Why do I not hear the bass attack = what do I hear does cover the bass attack in the mix....?"

For me crutial things are 1 dB cutoffs that do not affect the natural tone of instrument that much but can make miracles to a full mix


Example:

My bass has a nice punch around 2 kHz. When I listen to it in solo mode I like the tone but it doesn't work with other instruments so...I launch a -1dB filter at 2 kHz (in this case a bit smaller Q = wider cut) on guitars at first, then righ away on the overheads. Hardly ever do this on snare because it is not an instrument (unless You play speed metal) that is showing as dense as previously mentioned.

-1db cut on a few track makes a lot of space yet does not destroy the tone. Maybe it's worth to make that kind of experiment


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 14 2014, 12:47 PM
Post #13


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Dec 14 2014, 06:01 AM) *
I'd like to suggest one think though, try focusing only on your DI bass track...
This is the completely clean bass guitar track, straight from bass to the recording interface.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5NFFQ5QL1g



Great suggestions - this is what I will do. I kept thinking to myself while recording "if the bass would only sound exactly like this I will be happy!!"

But the idea of concentrating on the DI only, then simply coloring with amplitude is a great idea I have not tried and may be the answer for this and ALL future recordings.

Thanks and I will see what I can do now.

QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Dec 14 2014, 06:19 AM) *
I would not try to copy what has been mentioned already.

PErsonally I try to not get myself in to more than one track per bass. The more I go into, the more I feel I loose the control and get moire and more confusion. Natural bass tone has a lot to do with how it sits in the mix. I have found a bass that works great for my mixing but anyway...I feel like the bottom end war has never ends. Every single mix is another fight / issues / hours on getting it done.
....

Example:

My bass has a nice punch around 2 kHz. When I listen to it in solo mode I like the tone but it doesn't work with other instruments so...I launch a -1dB filter at 2 kHz (in this case a bit smaller Q = wider cut) on guitars at first, then righ away on the overheads. Hardly ever do this on snare because it is not an instrument (unless You play speed metal) that is showing as dense as previously mentioned.

-1db cut on a few track makes a lot of space yet does not destroy the tone. Maybe it's worth to make that kind of experiment


Ideally, I would love to only use 1 track for bass, I've just never been able to get the instrument to sound right all the way through a song.

Like you said about confusion - YES, very much. I get to where I cannot hear anything but mush after a while of mixing. I've driven myself close to insanity on this mix

My main problem is I don't understand the "launch -1dB filter at 2kHz". I guess I need to see a you-tube video on an explanation for something like that. I've never understood "low cut filter" or what that means - is that done inside the track EQ?

This post has been edited by Spock: Dec 14 2014, 12:49 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Kristofer Dahl
post Dec 14 2014, 02:26 PM
Post #14


GMC Founder & Rocker
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.180
Joined: 15-August 05
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Member No.: 2



I absolutely suck at this, but since I also struggle with this I find the topic very interesting, some key points:

* You don't really hear what is going on down there unless you have a treated room.

* therefore, I think your best bet is probably to compare with other mixes, and it really doesn't matter if they are finished pro products. Pick refernces from similar styles/genres and just adjust the volume so that you are comparing on the same levels. Also try to listen to both your mix and the reference mix on different places in the room, and on different sound systems (car stereo etc).

* When comparing, you might be tempted to think "hey my bass is not heard as loud as my reference, let's turn my bass up". However this will most likely land you in the most common pitfall: a too bass heavy mix which clutters everything and makes it impossible to get competitive levels (= loudness). The trick is to give your bass a boost in the high frequencies (2,5khz and up). This can be done with exciters, distortion or tone knobs on your virtual amplifiers. When this is done correctly, you should be able to turn the bass frequencies of the bass guitar down - while still hearing the bass instrument (ie the higher frequencies of the bass) - and this will give you a more balanced mix.

If all this is Greek to you, then you best bet is probably to try different vsti presets while comparing to your reference song, until you find something balanced. Remember the function of the bass guitar in rock music is pretty much never to make a mix sound bombastic/boomy/subby, but rather to make the mix sound balanced.

If you need more heaviness, look at your guitar sound instead or consider adding dubs (ie more guitars or vsti).


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darius Wave
post Dec 14 2014, 02:26 PM
Post #15


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.294
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
Member No.: 17.069



It's just a simple eq setting on the bass track. You cut 2 kHz with value of -1dB smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Spock
post Dec 15 2014, 03:38 AM
Post #16


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.277
Joined: 26-December 12
From: South Carolina, U.S.A.
Member No.: 17.265



Attached Image




This is what I ended up with and I'm happy with it enough to consider this project "COMPLETE" from my end.

Attached File  Bass_Sample_2.mp3 ( 516.75K ) Number of downloads: 43




BTW - this is the song "Shout" Todd and I have worked on with the help of his vocalist friend. I've sent it to Tony as he was nice enough to offer to master it for us.

It's been a learning experience for sure.


Attached Image

This post has been edited by Spock: Dec 15 2014, 03:40 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bogdan Radovic
post Dec 15 2014, 10:04 AM
Post #17


Bass & Beginner Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.612
Joined: 30-November 07
From: Belgrade, Serbia
Member No.: 3.410



This is a pretty cool mix on my speakers. I like the bass color and part where it plays solo smile.gif
I'm not sure how "technically" it is sound as there seems to be a bit of mud/rumble in the low end but I can't really hear it clearly as my monitoring system doesn't have big speakers or subwoofers.


--------------------
For GMC support please email support (at) guitarmasterclass.net
Check out my lessons and my instructor board.
Check out my beginner guitar lessons course! ; Take a bass course now!
My solo and band songs : Keep Going On, Night Vibe, Kad Te Vidim, Susret, Plava Silueta
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Dec 15 2014, 12:26 PM
Post #18


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



Just some general comments rather than anything specific to TrEy's bass mix (I don't comment publically on work I'm involved without the expressed agreement of the producer).

1/ A lot of pro mix engineers mix bass by focusing their attention more on the harmonics than the fundamental.
2/ Punch, snap etc has a lot to do with time ratios in compression. It's not all about the Eq.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 26th May 2017 - 04:13 PM