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gtoledo3

Aqua Marine

Posts: 4,239 Member Since:23/10/2013

#61 [url]

Jul 14 17 10:58 AM

Just seconding all of what Brad said.

It is probably worthwhile to pay attention to the duration/sustain of bass notes, and kick, because where the sound ends has a big impact on the feel and the perception of how they mix. The end of a note is part of the rhythm.

Sometimes compression can be used with a mindset to enhance that, as opposed to just making things louder.

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natenajar

Gold Finger

Posts: 867 Member Since:14/04/2011

#62 [url]

Jul 14 17 12:05 PM

Brad, I love how you understand and can articulate the timing relationship of the instruments as integral to what's happening. Of course you're in a major market and have a really strong and diverse playing background so you've honed in on all that stuff. It drives me nuts with many musicians our age that I meet or encounter who are really only interested in the content of what's played, but not how it's played. I come across it more often than I don't and it makes it difficult to find guys to hire. Time is such a deep and important part of what we do- the feeling of a performance is the first thing a random listener hears, whether than can verbally articulate it or not.

Now regarding the specific bass/drum relationship, I have my own preferences. Coming from a specific type of jazz background, when playing straight ahead jazz I prefer the bass player to drive the bus. I like the bass player to be ever so slightly on top and the drummer to basically be in the beat or just a little less on top than the bass player. And it drives me insane to have a drummer playing in the beat and you got a bass player who plays behind- I hate making music with people who wait to play! But it's the biggest difficulty for me in a Trio setting, it certainly does make you focus more on self reliance though!

Now for most contemporary type things, I like to hear a tight bass/drum relationship that's basically in the beat. A lot of "gospel chops" type drummers like to play slightly on top and that can be cool too but it's a different thing.

And for certain types of r&b sounds I love what you described above, about the drummer being in the beat and the bassist letting the drummer lead and the bass catches the release. But it does have to be consistent to work. Too many guys are definitely listening, but not reacting appropriately, so maybe the drummer begins to "wait" because he's trying to lock with the bass player who might instinctively have been waiting to let the drummer lead. Then you get a mess where the time itself suffers.

It's best to find guys who have experiences that allow them to naturally react in a way that feels good! But I find that sort of rare. Which is why so many of the iconic records we know all have the same small groups of session guys playing the ensemble beds. They're the ones who got it right!

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,512 Member Since:04/02/2011

#63 [url]

Jul 14 17 12:32 PM

GREAT point, Nate! And well-articulated yourself.

What you're talking about with walking double bass is PARTICULARLY true when the drummer is not "feathering" the bass drum. Because in that instance, the bass is the "lowest-pitched rhythm section instrument" playing the pulse-- an entirely different rhythm section concept! Equally valid.

And obviously, in a swinging context when the drummer isn't feathering, the "dance" is in the double bass + cymbal, as opposed to kick+snare. When I met Ray Brown I remember him talking about how he liked to play on the front side of the beat. He held up a business card, and said (paraphrasing) "if this card is the beat, and here [pointed to the left side] is the front of the beat, and here [pointed to the right side] is the back side of the beat... I like to play HERE [pointed to the air just to the left of the business card]."

I was sort of focusing on "bass guitar," but the point is no less valid, and it's interesting to note how this different concept impacts every little thing, too... right down to how the musicians prefer to set up on stage. Most straight-ahead bassists I know prefer to be on the ride cymbal side of the kit, whereas most pop/R&B/gospel bassists I know prefer to be on the hi-hat side!

.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Jul 14 17 12:37 PM. Edited 1 time.

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chrisj

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,008 Member Since:22/02/2011

#64 [url]

Jul 14 17 12:37 PM

I learned that from Fletcher! I'd played some bass on an internet jam Fletcher was mixing. He told me I was awful and I had sense to ask why (or at least what he did to fix it), and he'd used some of my playing but delayed it.

Again with Yes: Bruford (in his autobiography) lamented that Chris Squire liked slower tempos and dragging stuff out majestically, and when he meant to drag things out, nothing you did could pull him towards a faster tempo. You can hear the weightiness of this: a very heavy attack, but Squire would not rush slow notes in the least, and that's part of why Yes sounds the way it does. The bassist will not be stampeded into playing on top of the beat no matter what else is happening around him.

Another player like that? Dave Brown, bass player for early Santana. Those huge, heavy bass notes are earth-shaking, monumental, and a whole bunch of that sound is the timing relationship between where they sit, and the attack transient of the high percussion in the band.

I have a suspicion that the techno-folk who understand this, even dimly, have great power to make successful music. They're trained to hear very slight irregularities in tempo and sync, but I think that only refines the attention placed on what hits where (bass, treble, subs and so on). Effectively through voicing of instruments you determine what the timing relationship seems to be.

Did you know that on at least some rhythm boxes (I know this is true of my Tanzmaus) you can edit the attack speed of sampled sounds? There's a dedicated knob to fiddle with it. This is typically where your hats go, and I found things rarely sounded any good with the 'ticktickticktick' hammering away at full volume and attack. But if I slowed the attack of the same hi-hat (and especially off-beats) it quickly started to sound a lot better, even without any sort of swing or alteration of the straight-16ths rhythm. That's kind of like the opposite of slowing the bass guitar beats to give size and weightiness: in that case, it's slowing spikey hi-hats so the bass can be more on top of the beat and feel more forward and enveloping :)

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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trock.lucasmicrophone

Gold Finger

Posts: 411 Member Since:11/10/2013

#65 [url]

Jul 14 17 2:45 PM

amazing tips and info, thank you! I am starting a new song this weekend, it will combine all my normal elements: drums, bass, 2 acoustics, rhythm, 2 electrics rhythm, strings, the vocals and lead. I am going to really take my time and try and mix this, trying alot of whats been said here as I hear it and as I build it.

Can't wait to try it all

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#66 [url]

Jul 14 17 4:28 PM

Despite what a fletcher might say or think, bass guitar doesn't HAVE TO be behind the bass drum. In many combos it's better preceding. 
And in electronica, and much modern pop, the electronic bass is dead on. 

I'm very conscious in our show every night that some songs (notably the country album stuff) requires me to lay behind the drum while most of the night I'm leading it. 

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waltzmastering

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,695 Member Since:02/02/2011

#67 [url]

Jul 15 17 1:02 AM

weedywet wrote:
And in electronica, and much modern pop, the electronic bass is dead on. 

 

Including R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Latin etc
Lot of sub bass these days. Partially influenced by the 808 sine.

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chrisj

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,008 Member Since:22/02/2011

#68 [url]

Jul 15 17 7:05 AM

weedywet wrote:
Despite what a fletcher might say or think, bass guitar doesn't HAVE TO be behind the bass drum. In many combos it's better preceding. 
And in electronica, and much modern pop, the electronic bass is dead on. 

I'm very conscious in our show every night that some songs (notably the country album stuff) requires me to lay behind the drum while most of the night I'm leading it. 

Sure. Ska, reggae, a bunch of new wave… my problem back then was I kept trying to nail the attack transient down while locking up with a prerecorded drum track that wasn't at all stable, and I thought that if at least I nailed it super hard wherever it was, that would help. Uh nope ;) so in THAT case, Fletcher was quite correct in his assessment. Later I made the connection with bassists I liked who produced a huge weighty sound (in Squire's case, through lots of treble and distortion) and realized how much timing affected that.

There's a lot of stuff I absolutely love where the bass guitar, or comparable element, is completely up front and driving. Besides, you can't really have the bass lag AND have the kick drum lag, at least not without planning it out that way.

One of the things I love about the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper Reprise is how, in that slamming drum beat, the kick is WAY forward. At least that's how I've remembered it, and I've tried to do it. Heavy track.

Chris Johnson, airwindows.com

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barkleymckay

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Posts: 1,363 Member Since:22/01/2011

#69 [url]

Jul 15 17 7:31 AM

soapfoot wrote:
Most straight-ahead bassists I know prefer to be on the ride cymbal side of the kit, whereas most pop/R&B/gospel bassists I know prefer to be on the hi-hat side!

.
 

Just a point, as a Jazz pianist myself working with double bassists many times in an acoustic environment, this arrangement is bourne out of necessity due to the logistics of a piano shape and design with orientation for sightlines.
The bassist has to be between the piano and the drums in order to hear articualtion in the piano and vice versa for the pianist, so due to the fact the majority of drummers are right handed the ride invariably is on the bassists side.
If the drummer was in the middle you'd not hear a thing!

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#70 [url]

Jul 15 17 9:19 AM

I'd hear whatever is in my in-ear monitors 😎

Visually i prefer being on stage right; although Cyndi prefers bass guitar stage left. 
So i've certainly become used to it. 

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,209 Member Since:23/01/2011

#71 [url]

Jul 15 17 11:24 AM

weedywet wrote:
Visually i prefer being on stage right; although Cyndi prefers bass guitar stage left. 
So i've certainly become used to it. 

 
This is thought-provoking when 'vewed' in both the context of artist and audience as it relates to left/right brain stuff.  Unless nobody ever hears your sound coming off the stage.  Then maybe it's more like "I don't want to run into that headstock".  

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#72 [url]

Jul 15 17 12:21 PM

For her it's just that she's used to seeing the guitar player on her right. 

For ME it has something to do with not preferring to have to turn, essentially, to see the drummer. 

But, as I said, i have become adjusted. 
Or is it assimilated?
Resistance is futile. 

Last Edited By: weedywet Jul 17 17 12:56 PM. Edited 1 time.

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extrememixing

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,369 Member Since:02/02/2011

#73 [url]

Jul 15 17 6:43 PM

I always preferred to have the drummer on my right when I played bass in bands. That way, I'm on the hat side and not the ride. Just easier to feel things that way. And easier to hear the top end of my bass without all those cymbals. For me.

Steve

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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,750 Member Since:30/01/2011

#74 [url]

Jul 15 17 6:51 PM

extrememixing wrote:
I always preferred to have the drummer on my right when I played bass in bands. That way, I'm on the hat side and not the ride. Just easier to feel things that way. And easier to hear the top end of my bass without all those cymbals. For me.

Steve

I was the same way. Better feel. Playing bass close to the HH also gave better direct eye contact. There were occasions where I had to be on the other side and I hated it.

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#76 [url]

Jul 17 17 12:49 PM

He can't see my right hand probably 85% of the time because I am either 15 feet in front of him or moving across the front of the stage or both. 

And as as I said, i hear what's in my in- ears. In the modern world, where I am standing has nearly no effect on what I'm hearing. 
A major PLUS for modern monitoring. 

 

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extrememixing

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,369 Member Since:02/02/2011

#78 [url]

Jul 17 17 1:12 PM

Working the large stages that you do makes things MUCH different.  The big stages that I worked on were tiny in comparison to where you play!  So that's my bad.


My preference was for working a small room where you're actually hearing each other on stage without any monitors for the band, let alone in ear monitors!  We had vocals in the monitors, and really nothing else.  It was a bit more like Terry's comments when  he says he prefers no headphones on sessions, I suppose.  We did our own band mix from the stage.  The PA was for vocals and maybe a bit of the Kick.  Light years away from what you're talking about!  But music, none the less.  I never really worked a big stage where all the music was in the floor monitors that sounded better than a small club.  I'll defer to you on the present day big rooms.

But by the way, Paul is a leftie.  It made perfect sense for him to be where he was, sharing the mic with George!  Now days, I think he's pretty much in the center of the stage.

Steve


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chance

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,750 Member Since:30/01/2011

#79 [url]

Jul 17 17 2:09 PM

weedywet wrote:

And as as I said, i hear what's in my in- ears. In the modern world, where I am standing has nearly no effect on what I'm hearing. 
A major PLUS for modern monitoring. 


 

I often wished I was still playing just to experience hearing/carrying the stage mix whereever you are on stage. Just curious,, the very "first" time you used IEM's on a live gig, what was your first impression? Did it feel odd?, Strange? Or just WOW! This is cool?

Chance Pataki The Musicians Workshop www.the-musicians-workshop.com musicians.workshop@gte.net

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 6,007 Member Since:20/01/2011

#80 [url]

Jul 17 17 11:08 PM

Bit of both. 
It tkaes a little getting used to. 
AND the quality of your in- ears and the talent of the monitor engineer matter a lot. 

 

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