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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,727 Member Since:26/01/2011

#42 [url]

Apr 30 17 6:52 AM

It's because of the bass sound I heard from various engineers in the studios we were working in that I became an engineer.

No friggin engineers I worked with knew how to record my bass and get it to sound like me. I would think, "you have got to be kidding me, it's a fuckin bass how hard should this be". First time I took control behind the console my bass finally sounded like my bass. I knew I found my calling.

For the price hard to beat a 57. They still have that going for them.

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#44 [url]

Apr 30 17 10:17 AM

It helps to be able to have some instinct for the type of change that might occur when you move said mic. That's all I was saying.

brad allen williams

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weedywet

Ruby Baby

Posts: 5,866 Member Since:20/01/2011

#45 [url]

Apr 30 17 11:25 AM

sure. we don't disagree.

I only take issue with the guys who have a long list of complicated steps they "have to" employ to make something as intrinsically artificial sounding as an electric guitar sound 'right' to them.

people have made good sounding records with everything from direct inject through to 20 mins on a single guitar part.

you don't "have to" do anything specific.

I find if I put the (good, fast, full range) mic where it pretty much picks up whatever is going on at the amp, then varying all of the other parameters (the guitar, the pickup, the playing, the amp settings, the eq, etc) is far more fruitful and effective use of time than fiddling with mics.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#46 [url]

Apr 30 17 4:21 PM

I think that's mostly what I do, too. What I do in practice has a lot in common with your approach.

But I do sometimes do different things depending what I'm after, including DI, sometimes. There was one track on the latest CeCe Winans record where I specifically requested DI for a particular sound with the Firebird I was using (the part I played was a bit Eddie Willis-inspired).

A lot of times, like you, I like a 67 on guitar (my organ trio record was a 67 and a 77DX in combination). Sometimes if I'm going for something else, I like a 421+121, or even a 57+421. The other day I got GREAT results with a single 47FET, about 6" back. 

Whatever gets it done, or seems intriguing/worth trying, I'll give it a shot.

brad allen williams

Last Edited By: soapfoot Apr 30 17 4:26 PM. Edited 3 times.

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,085 Member Since:02/03/2011

#47 [url]

Apr 30 17 4:44 PM

silvertone wrote:
It's because of the bass sound I heard from various engineers in the studios we were working in that I became an engineer.

No friggin engineers I worked with knew how to record my bass and get it to sound like me. I would think, "you have got to be kidding me, it's a fuckin bass how hard should this be". First time I took control behind the console my bass finally sounded like my bass. I knew I found my calling.
Bass, to me, is an interesting source. It can be both the easiest instrument to record and the most difficult. If the player has a great touch, it seems like the least I do the better it sounds and when the player is not producing a decent tone with their hands, all the gear in the world (and even a great instrument) can't save it. I'd say the player is easily 95% of the equation.

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maarvold

Aqua Marine

Posts: 3,093 Member Since:23/01/2011

#49 [url]

May 1 17 8:54 AM

weedywet wrote:
...I find if I put the (good, fast, full range) mic where it pretty much picks up whatever is going on at the amp, then varying all of the other parameters (the guitar, the pickup, the playing, the amp settings, the eq, etc) is far more fruitful and effective use of time than fiddling with mics.

 
One aspect of recording could certainly be referred to as data capture.  Although it's far from the only possible approach, I see a lot of benefit to taking the sound that's being produced before it hits the microphone and trying to get it to come out of the control room speakers.  That approach doesn't ignore, or obscure, the fact that the player might have spent countless hours, years, even decades crafting their sound.  

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,085 Member Since:02/03/2011

#50 [url]

May 1 17 10:38 AM

soapfoot wrote:
that's true of any instrument, IMO.
Of course. But I have some pretty effective band-aid techniques for a weak hitting drummer or a pitchy vocalist. Bass just seems to get worse the more it's messed with sometimes.

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#51 [url]

May 1 17 11:18 AM

One thing I will say-- bass is certainly one of the more high-stakes elements in a typical arrangement. If the bass is weak or wrong or unmusical... it's usually incredibly difficult to overcome that.

brad allen williams

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silvertone

Aqua Marine

Posts: 2,727 Member Since:26/01/2011

#52 [url]

May 1 17 12:03 PM

I will go on record to say that there are some inexpensive basses on the market that will just not give you what you need for the bass to be used effectively in the mix. Between how the pickups were designed and the wood material itself.

When it comes to bass tone... wood is very important. Any bass that I have bought over the years Inpicked out before I even plugged it in to hear the pickups.

I have a video of Tony Levin on my iPhone playing my '62 Fender jazz bass going, "Wow, this bass really sounds great, I mean just the wood has a great tone, not even plugged in". I agreed and we went on to talk about how important is is that a bass must sound great in its natural state, etc...

I could never by a bass without touching, feeling, holding and playing it. How would I know how it "resonates" with me otherwise. Ha ha

Silvertone Mastering, celebrating 28 years in business.

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podgorny

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,328 Member Since:27/01/2011

#53 [url]

May 1 17 12:20 PM

silvertone wrote:

I have a video of Tony Levin on my iPhone playing my '62 Fender jazz bass going, "Wow, this bass really sounds great, I mean just the wood has a great tone, not even plugged in". I agreed and we went on to talk about how important is is that a bass must sound great in its natural state, etc...

 

 
You've worked with Tony Levin?

Kyle Mann :: www.kylemann.com

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

Posts: 7,312 Member Since:04/02/2011

#54 [url]

May 1 17 12:22 PM

silvertone wrote:
I will go on record to say that there are some inexpensive basses on the market that will just not give you what you need for the bass to be used effectively in the mix. 

I've had even worse luck with very EXPENSIVE basses, of the "active pickup, exotic wood construction" flavor. For whatever reason, those sorts of basses so rarely do what I need them to do. And if the player can be convinced to put down that expenive piece of sculpture and pick up a decent P or J, all of a sudden things just get easier.

brad allen williams

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jesse decarlo

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,510 Member Since:24/03/2013

#55 [url]

May 1 17 1:18 PM

For electric bass and guitar I totally agree that the unplugged sound/feel is what it's all about. There are many reliably great pickup options available so you can always drop in electronics that will do the job, but if the instrument isn't great unplugged it will never be great.

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zakco

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,085 Member Since:02/03/2011

#56 [url]

May 1 17 1:45 PM

soapfoot wrote:
I've had even worse luck with very EXPENSIVE basses, of the "active pickup, exotic wood construction" flavor. For whatever reason, those sorts of basses so rarely do what I need them to do. And if the player can be convinced to put down that expenive piece of sculpture and pick up a decent P or J, all of a sudden things just get easier.
Same here. I've come to expect that there is direct correlation between the level of bling and the level of disappointment when it comes to electric bass. Give me a P, J or a Ricky anyday. Stingrays can be good too, but also a bit hit and miss for me - not a huge fan of active pickups in general.

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morespaceecho

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 2,299 Member Since:29/01/2011

#57 [url]

May 1 17 2:31 PM

i don't have a ton of experience with expensive basses, but that's been my impression as well. i'll stick with my plain ol' p bass.

def agree about the unplugged sound of guitars/basses. and i gotta say that my stupid pointy headstock jackson dinky sounds quite nice unplugged, surprisingly enough.

www.oldcolonymastering.com

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John Eppstein

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,219 Member Since:31/05/2015

#58 [url]

May 1 17 5:24 PM

weedywet wrote:
sure. we don't disagree.

I only take issue with the guys who have a long list of complicated steps they "have to" employ to make something as intrinsically artificial sounding as an electric guitar sound 'right' to them.

people have made good sounding records with everything from direct inject through to 20 mins on a single guitar part.

you don't "have to" do anything specific.

I find if I put the (good, fast, full range) mic where it pretty much picks up whatever is going on at the amp, then varying all of the other parameters (the guitar, the pickup, the playing, the amp settings, the eq, etc) is far more fruitful and effective use of time than fiddling with mics.
 

The better the mic the less screwing around.
Some speakers can require a bit more screwing around than others, unless you know the speaker (aluminum domed JBLs, for example).
I also generally set the mic where I set the mic and don't spend a lot of time messing with it unless there's something really weird going on. My explaining the logic behind my placement sounds a lot more complicated ("theory" usually does) than actually doing it. And I tend to be an excessively verbose son of a bitch.

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scullyfan

Platinum Blonde

Posts: 1,590 Member Since:27/07/2011

#59 [url]

May 1 17 6:49 PM

For my part, I was just saying that I angle the mic from the surround toward the cone instead of aiming head on (as did John E). I wasn't trying to say that it was magical and mysterious, just that there are other ways of doing common things. I will say that I don't find the need to use any EQ with this technique, either laying it down or during mixing, although one could justifiably say that using the SM57 is in and of itself a choice that is far from neutral. I tried experimenting with other dynamics (MD421, RE20, D1000E) but I always come back to the SM57 because it works for me and I am always happy with what I hear on playback. I like the sound of either a U67, U47 or C37a on electric guitar amps when the room is a bigger influence by more distant mic technique, but I think you can get a very usable recording of an electric guitar with a plain old SM57 up close.

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