Having Bass Tone (Mix EQ) Issues - Opinions Needed!

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
akg414
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Easton, PA

Having Bass Tone (Mix EQ) Issues - Opinions Needed!

Post by akg414 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:59 pm

Guys -

We're having some issues with getting bass sounds in our mix. We recorded the bass (Ibanez w/Active pickups) through a Sytek (non-burr-brwn) mic pre, no compression as well as miking the bass cabinet with a AKG D12 (also through a Sytek non-burr-brwn mic pre).

After the initial mixes were done, our bass player went in to get his bass-sound in the mix.

Here are two examples of what we came up with - one mix is where the bass player tweaked his sound - and the other is the intial mix.


Untweaked Tone:
Example 1.
http://www.thesecretsystemband.com/musi ... morrow.mp3

Example 2.
http://www.thesecretsystemband.com/musi ... araway.mp3


Tweaked Tone:
Example 1.
http://www.thesecretsystemband.com/musi ... /PuzPc.mp3

Example 2.
http://www.thesecretsystemband.com/musi ... NPaint.mp3

Really would appreciate some opinions on what is working, and what's not working.
- Brad

User avatar
decocco
pushin' record
Posts: 252
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:16 pm
Location: Elizabeth, NJ

Post by decocco » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:09 pm

I like the first example the best by far. The others just don't quite fit to me. The "tweaked" examples have some intense high end that really accentuates the string noise in an unnatural way. So overall, I think the un-tweaked stuff is more in the right direction.
-Chris D.

chips
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:32 am
Location: uk

Post by chips » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:53 pm

The first example does it for me too. Sounds more natural and full.

Nice sound overall on the tunes. "Dark side of the moon" springs to mind when I hear the vocals and harmonys.

User avatar
farview
tinnitus
Posts: 1204
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: St. Charles (chicago) IL
Contact:

Post by farview » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:52 pm

The first one is the best.

Add some 800hz (ish) and some 50hz and run that into a compressor like an LA2A and you should be good. If you want more brightness, try some 3k, but be gentle with it.

User avatar
akg414
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Easton, PA

Post by akg414 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:07 pm

The D12 captured almost no high end. And a whole LOT of low end. After the parts were created, he went in and re-EQed his bass by scooping out the mids and increasing the highs (5k - 9k area). I hear clicking sounds that are undesireable to my ear. But this is the sound he's after. Not sure what to do...
- Brad

User avatar
jgimbel
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1688
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:51 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Post by jgimbel » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:43 pm

I can understand wanting to hear a good amount of high end in the bass. I like to "hear the frets" as I've heard some people put it, when it fits. The "tweaked" examples are just very extreme. I think it'd be a lot better to take the first sounds and add some - and I repeat SOME - high end, around the frequencies you mentioned.

What kind of monitors is the bassist hearing these on? My guess is that the bass sound is perfect on what he's listening, but judging from what I and other people who have posted seem to hear, it's just too much. Has the bassist heard the sounds on other sources? Car stereo? I think he should hear the sound on small speakers, as that's what a lot of people hear music on. I listened to your samples with headphones and on small speakers. On the small speakers, I hear barely any of the actual bass notes, with an incredible amount of high end. I wasn't sure it was the bass I was hearing at first. So maybe the monitoring is an issue? Just a thought.

User avatar
farview
tinnitus
Posts: 1204
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: St. Charles (chicago) IL
Contact:

Post by farview » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:55 pm

bradjacob wrote:The D12 captured almost no high end. And a whole LOT of low end. After the parts were created, he went in and re-EQed his bass by scooping out the mids and increasing the highs (5k - 9k area). I hear clicking sounds that are undesireable to my ear. But this is the sound he's after. Not sure what to do...
The 5 to 9k area? For bass in this style of music? Either way there is just WAY too much of it.

First off, his bass sound is irrelevant. The sound the bass needs to have to make the song work is what is important. Like someone else said, your stuff has a Dark Side of the Moon vibe to it. Having an extra zingy, slap and pop type bass sound with no mids is just not appropriate for the song.

With how much super high end he is adding to the bass, I'm pretty sure his hearing is shot. That means he shouldn't be EQing anything. Sit him in the corner with a pack of gum while you make good mix decisions.

User avatar
akg414
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Easton, PA

Post by akg414 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:03 pm

He really wants clarity and definition. Any suggestions for this situation - or future recordings (to get a clear defined sound with his particualr bass and EQ settings)?

Also want to say that I appreciate the feedback. (by the way - how's the rest of the mixes sounding?)
- Brad

nordberg
pushin' record
Posts: 274
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:05 pm
Location: scranton, pa
Contact:

Post by nordberg » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:25 pm

no offense to your bass player, but that's god awful and downright distracting. but then again, if it were me i'd probably have even less high end than the first two examples. good tunes!

-mike
A gaggle of geese? A tangle of cables!

User avatar
losthighway
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2040
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Post by losthighway » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:19 am

bradjacob wrote:He really wants clarity and definition. Any suggestions for this situation - or future recordings (to get a clear defined sound with his particualr bass and EQ settings)?
There is this very difficult to attain sound when the bass has a very defined low end that doesn't struggle with the kick drum. This is usually when I find basses have the best definition in the mix. When they have a really clear representation of their fundamental frequency and some of the low mids above that. Think of any records you love where you know what the bass player is playing but there is very little treble on the tone.

I also find this is one of the hardest things for me to achieve in mixing. I have been getting in to the technique of finding the sweet spot in the low end of the kick drum and then narrowly cutting that out of the bass eq. From there if it needs more bottom I just add a wide shelf and boost a db or two. Usually a ton of compression works, but I'm always cautious and drop in a little more with each pass I make on the mix before I let it overkill.

User avatar
darjama
tinnitus
Posts: 1000
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:11 pm
Location: East SF Bay

Post by darjama » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:21 am

Don't be afraid to high pass or low shelf the bass guitar. To quote Matmos, a chance to cut is a change to cure. Let's just assume he was referring to EQ. If you can manage your bass frequencies, the treble will come through more naturally than if you try to boost selected frequencies. And remember, if you high pass at 60 or 80hz, it doesn't mean everything below that frequency is gone, There's a slope to the curve that will vary based on what EQ you're using.

User avatar
farview
tinnitus
Posts: 1204
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:42 pm
Location: St. Charles (chicago) IL
Contact:

Post by farview » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:00 am

I tend to look for definition and clarity in the 800hz - 3k range. This is basically an octave below where he is EQing. There is more power and more of the note down there, so you won't have to boost as much. And stop cutting the mids, that's where you will hear the bass the most. If there is something godawful mudding in the 200 - 400 range, back it off a bit with a wide Q and add a little an octave up to make up for it.

User avatar
akg414
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am
Location: Easton, PA

Post by akg414 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:07 am

Thanks guys for the feedback up to this point. I didn't want to bias anyone's opinion by saying which I like or dislike. My only mention was that of debate... There is a consistent theme in the feedback I recieved - and I agree with it.

Here's my personal take -

To my ear, the bass guitar in the untweaked mixes sounds natural. The low end is strong and focused. There is plenty of definition and you can easily hear what my bass player is doing. Keeping in mind that it is a bass in a hard rock band.

In the untweaked examples, I used the direct signal and did a simple low cut at 50. I then gave it a 2db boost at 800 (for some definition). I finally I gave it a (2db) notch cut at 138 because it was rubbing against another element in the song.

The tweaked mixes has the bass with most mids almost totally cut, the low end boosted a little and the upper high frequencies boosted way up. This is in addition to doing this on the bass itself with onboard pickup EQ as it's being recorded.

I personally don't think that bass definition comes from high treble boosting. Instead, I think definition comes from the area around 800 (again to me...) and the low end should be strong, tight and focused. The bass should provide solid body underneath the rest of the instruments.

I also agree that the untweaked mixes definitely NEED some more reverb. I'm actually a recovering "reverb addict" from back in the 90's. So my approach is always that of caution. Obviously too much ;-)

And who thinks we sound like Floyd :shock:
You guys are smoking too much :wink:
- Brad

User avatar
Dakota
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:14 am
Location: West of Boston
Contact:

Post by Dakota » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:22 am

bradjacob wrote:He really wants clarity and definition.
Zingy high EQ on bass is usually a horrible thing. Another alternate is parallel distortion blended in moderately, low passing and probably hi passing the distortion component.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: vvv and 58 guests