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Thread: Finally got a bass, woot. But where did the guitars go?

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    Finally got a bass, woot. But where did the guitars go?

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    had an interesting couple of takes the other day. new bass arrived, Squier VM Jazz bass. Immediately tried recording a couple tracks. Going DI with a compressor before the AI, I was getting some righteous bottom. Did a quick dub onto a cassette to listen in my car.

    Bass that sounds just like a record, hallelujah. But where did the guitars go? It doesn't seem as simple as turn the guitar tracks up, I don't want to overdrive the overall level.

    Do I want to low pass the bass track? I did high pass the guitar tracks around 250-300 Hz to make room for the bass, I just didn't expect them to fade away as much as they did. Is this where EQ and compressor plugins (or hardware if you have it) come into play to help the guitars have focus?

    I should mention that I didn't do any panning, these are just "how does it sound" tests.

    Sorry if these seem like dumbass questions, I'm in new uncharted waters here and learning to dog paddle.

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    Can you post a sample?
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    Can you post a sample?
    I've been advised by the powers that be there are international treaties against that sort of thing

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    eq frowny curve for guitars smiley curve for bass, sorta.
    Win 7 Ult Dell i7 4core 6700ghz 32 GB, 1,2x2, 4 Tb Barracuda HD's running Pro tools 2019 through Allen&Heath Qu-32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    eq frowny curve for guitars smiley curve for bass, sorta.
    would the smiley curve for bass be pulling the mids down vs raising the lo and hi, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    would the smiley curve for bass be pulling the mids down vs raising the lo and hi, right?
    Sometimes yes, cut mids up around 1k and the lower mids that guitars dont need and bass does but alot of times it means just boosting the bass around the tonic, second harmonic and then the fret area up around 2k slightly and pulling down wherever the mud is in the 2-400 hz area. It really depends on the arrangement and the genre. I might boost the crap out of 7-800hz if it's a featured bass run in a rock or metal type song, probably less boost and lower or higher for pop. The Pultec style eq bump and mid shift/high shelf are great on bass for just this kind of treatment.

    I like to do the "conversation" analogy as in "if the song is the conversation what, as the listener should i paying attention to at this particular moment" . Might be the bass or the guitar or a drum fill then i automate volume, eq, compression, ducking or whatever it takes as the arranger/engineer to make sure the "listener" doesn't struggle know what is the main character at any given moment.

    of course, at times you have to think of a song more as say a chord than a conversation when multiple instruments are working together as one "choral/chord" which is the easiest way to think of it for me to balance the eq/volume of each instrument as you would an actual chorus. Like this area is my bass this is my kick this is my guitar, snare, toms, keys equated to bass, baritone, tenor, alto ,soprano, etc.

    So basic balance by genre then automate to change the feature from part to part as needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    had an interesting couple of takes the other day. new bass arrived, Squier VM Jazz bass. Immediately tried recording a couple tracks. Going DI with a compressor before the AI, I was getting some righteous bottom. Did a quick dub onto a cassette to listen in my car.

    Bass that sounds just like a record, hallelujah. But where did the guitars go? It doesn't seem as simple as turn the guitar tracks up, I don't want to overdrive the overall level.

    Do I want to low pass the bass track? I did high pass the guitar tracks around 250-300 Hz to make room for the bass, I just didn't expect them to fade away as much as they did. Is this where EQ and compressor plugins (or hardware if you have it) come into play to help the guitars have focus?

    I should mention that I didn't do any panning, these are just "how does it sound" tests.

    Sorry if these seem like dumbass questions, I'm in new uncharted waters here and learning to dog paddle.

    Start by doing some panning...level balancing...etc.
    I wouldn't immediately start with LP/HP filters and EQ right out of the gate.
    Finish recording any other tracks...and then try to listen to it as a whole, and not just one track at a time as you did when recording them individually.

    With guitars and bass, you will have to eventually do a little separating...but it shouldn't be something crazy unless the guitars have a lot of LF boom.
    Always consider the whole mix, and sometimes it takes awhile for that to gel, and for your hearing to adjust to it, rather than always focusing on individual elements, which leads to endless tweaks, because you nudge one track, then you have to go nudge another, then another...and then you're back where you started.
    The goal is the mix...not the individual tracks...and sometimes you would think an individual tracks sounds a bit off or even weird on its own...but perfect for the mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesfordan View Post
    I've been advised by the powers that be there are international treaties against that sort of thing
    ????
    Just A Song Writer..........

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    Any idea what the low end of your cassette playback/recording system specs are? Maybe all you are really hearing are the bass harmonics (which would be in the guitar frequency range).
    Mike B My new album on CD Baby: Fact and Fiction
    My Bandcamp site: http://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickster View Post
    ????
    the humane thing to do is not put my 'music' out there

    mass hysteria, cats and dogs living together, milk curdling, that sort of stuff

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