Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:17 pm

I'm working on an instrumental guitar record at the moment. Classical, Dobro and electric with an P Bass. It's all tracked live and sounds stellar. Unfortunately the band wants more definition on the bass track. I think it sounds beautiful and very true to what was happening in the room but they're paying the bill. The chain was a 70s PBass into a small GK amp mic'd with an M88 into a Neve clone. I think it's sounds rad at the moment. Big and pillowy bottom end without being boomy or muddy. The band wants more point. The problem is that that info isn't really in the track. An EQ alone approach is working a bit but not getting me where I want to be and it's adding too much noise.
What would you do? I'm thinking of something in parallel - band passed and a bit overdriven to create some harmonic content? Or a maybe transient designer?

Suggestions welcome. It's already tracked so any suggestions about recording approach are moot.
Last edited by A.David.MacKinnon on Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Adding Definision to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by kslight » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:15 pm

Parallel track band passed or high passed, into a clean amp modeler, maybe? Maybe set to a “Twin” or “JC120” ish amp? Try with and without cab sim?

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joninc
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Re: Adding Definision to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by joninc » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:34 pm

Maybe you need to work the opposite way and carve out some of the low thud so it can be pushed a little louder and not feel too “bassy”

Or try blending in a sans amp type thing for a bit of added grit in the 1-4K zone.

Or a brighter tone amp sim. Some of the waves ones aren’t too bad.
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losthighway
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Re: Adding Definision to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by losthighway » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Yeah, similar to some other ideas- I'd want to hear what would happen if it interacted with something else's gain structure- maybe a smaller guitar tube amp, or even through an overdrive pedal only semi-saturated. I'd blend that with the nice lows of the original track and see if any of the attack on the notes could come through with a subtle bit of saturation.

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Re: Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by drumsound » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:14 pm

Parallel compression driven hard might help. Re-amp to something small, maybe like a Pignose type thing, or a little practice amp. Decapitator in parallel. Duplicate (or even triplicate) the track, with different EQ settings.

A combination of all of those things.

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markjazzbassist
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Re: Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by markjazzbassist » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:25 am

GK amp? yikes. i digress.

i feel everything is in the mids. More definition and punch i would try looking at low mid regions of 200 or 500 Hz and see if a gentle bump there helps. Also a high pass or low cut can help bring out definition in tandem with more mids. If it was flatwounds on the bass you might want to try a little bump around 1k or 4k, that's about as high as they go with flats, if round wounds you can reach a little higher. if they had those switches engaged on the GK (mid scoop, low boost, high boost) then it could be SUPER scooped.

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Re: Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:45 am

markjazzbassist wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:25 am
GK amp? yikes. i digress.

i feel everything is in the mids. More definition and punch i would try looking at low mid regions of 200 or 500 Hz and see if a gentle bump there helps. Also a high pass or low cut can help bring out definition in tandem with more mids. If it was flatwounds on the bass you might want to try a little bump around 1k or 4k, that's about as high as they go with flats, if round wounds you can reach a little higher. if they had those switches engaged on the GK (mid scoop, low boost, high boost) then it could be SUPER scooped.
Thanks for this! Its gone a long way to sorting things out. I was looking for point too high. I've ended up HPF at 40 before a gentle comp and then after the comp I'm shelving at 40, boosting around 300 and again at 1k.

I may still do some parallel stuff but this has made a big difference already.

Also, I'd normally agree about the GK amp but this one sounds pretty good in context. It's one I haven't seen before. Its a small black Tolex one. No switches just gain treble, mid and bass. In the context of this session it's working really well. There are two acoustics, an electric and the bass. Everybody is set up in a circle and tracking without headphones. The bass amp is perfect because it's sounds pretty good mic'd (I hate DI bass) and it's contained enough that it's not getting in all the other mics.

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Re: Adding Definition to Mellow Bass Tracks

Post by losthighway » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:45 am

Galien Kruger is total secret weapon punk bass amp. I wouldn't scoop any mids, but if you want to hear a Fender bass picked with presence in a thick soup of overdriven Marshalls they can do it all day.

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