Mixing motorhead

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
What does the bass chain look like you use now? Didn't he use Marshall guitar heads. That's what I heard, anyway. You can do it. Not ideal.

Sounds like a heavy low cut is going on. A distortion effect to thicken and lofi. Not the best example of great bass tone. It works for him, though.
 

Farview

Well-known member
He used Marshall bass heads cranked and a 4001 bass, which tend to be midrangey.
Back when these albums were made there was a lot more dynamic range to play with. You could separate instruments with panning and volume a little easier than now. There also wasn't as much extended low end and highs. Everything below 300hz was mono on records because of the limitations of vinyl.
 

TalismanRich

Well-known member
He used Marshall bass heads cranked and a 4001 bass, which tend to be midrangey.
Back when these albums were made there was a lot more dynamic range to play with. You could separate instruments with panning and volume a little easier than now. There also wasn't as much extended low end and highs. Everything below 300hz was mono on records because of the limitations of vinyl.

How was there "more dynamic range" to play with in the vinyl record, which was typically about 65dB. There's no reason you couldn't mix and master to have the same range as a record. Just don't try to match all the folks squashing their CDs to have no dynamic range. There ARE CDs that don't have a LUFS of -5dB and a max of -0.0 dB. That's a choice of the mastering engineer.
 

Farview

Well-known member
True, but the norm of the day was to actually use the dynamic range available to you. Since everyone was doing it and you couldn't press a record as limited as most cds became in the 2000s, the standard was to use that dynamic range. For example, The vocals tended to be more up front, so you didn't have to carve out a place for them with eq, you just turned them up until they were heard. The mixes were less dense.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
Im 6 min in to that video, they arent going to show how its done are they?

Not into his story telling
 
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Farview

Well-known member
What range do laptop DAWs have in comparison?
16 bit has 96db of range. 24 bit has 144db.

The 144db dynamic range of 24 bit is a little misleading, since any analog signal that you would be feeding it or listening to will really struggle to have 120db of dynamic range.
 

Farview

Well-known member
Back to the original question, listen to the old albums. The low end of the kick was closer to 100hz, nearly an octave above where it tends to be now. The attack of the kick is closer to 1k instead of 4k and up that everyone does now.

Both the bass and guitar have a similar sound, but the definition of the bass is around 800hz and the definition of the guitar is around 1.5k, which makes sense because the guitar is an octave higher.

All the guitar lead stuff is an overdub that is simply louder than the rhythm, you can hear that when it comes in and feel how empty it sounds after the solo. The vocals are just louder than the rhythm track.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Not the best example of great bass tone
I disagree. Lemmy's bass sound, in my opinion, was fantastic.
I tend to be one of those people that finds that the bass guitar has many different tones. Some of them are a bit standard, but particularly until that point in recording history, when there became a standardized way of recording bass, there were plenty of great bass tones, say, from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. So many different players had distinctive bass sounds of their own.
 
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grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Back when these albums were made....You could separate instruments with panning and volume a little easier than now
That's an interesting view.
Do you find that the use of panning and volume over the last 25 or so years, has lessened in terms of instrument separation ?
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
I disagree. Lemmy's bass sound, in my opinion, was fantastic.
My tube rig is a Marshall VBA. Weighing in at a healthy $8,000. If you like the VHT, check one of those out. Marshall tube amps have amazing tone. What Lemmy did takes advantage of none of it. Get a proper Fender bass. Dump that Ric in the garbage.

My SS rig is ADA MB-1 with ADA cabs. The crossover with compression horn drivers makes the modern bass sounds the VBA cant.
 

Farview

Well-known member
That's an interesting view.
Do you find that the use of panning and volume over the last 25 or so years, has lessened in terms of instrument separation ?
Yes and no. First off, it's hard to find anything in that genre that only has 1 rhythm guitar track and 1 bass track. Most of the time, there is at least two rhythm guitars, if not more all piled up on top of each other. That uses up a lot of dynamic space that used to be used for other instruments.

Also, when you try to get your master to -4 lufs, the only way to accomplish that is to make sure that all the instruments can exist at the same time, at the same volume. (everything louder than everything else)

When you do that, it uses up all the available space, so you end up having to do things like carve out EQ space for other instruments. This wasn't necessary before the mid 90s, unless you were doing something with a boatload of instruments that all take the same space. (which didn't happen much) Even bands like Chicago, that had a bunch of different instruments, didn't have this problem because all of the different instruments naturally take up a different sonic space. (The horn section will never fight with the bass). With something like that, the arrangement was also key to everything fitting together.
 

Farview

Well-known member
My tube rig is a Marshall VBA. Weighing in at a healthy $8,000. If you like the VHT, check one of those out. Marshall tube amps have amazing tone. What Lemmy did takes advantage of none of it. Get a proper Fender bass. Dump that Ric in the garbage.
As if there is a singular 'good' bass tone. Fender basses have their place, but I tend to prefer Spector basses.
 

Bulls Hit

Well-known member
You could separate instruments with panning and volume a little easier than now.
For rock/metal do you see any advantage in trying to pan different elements across the spectrum or should everything either be hard panned or down the middle?
 

Farview

Well-known member
It always depends on the arrangement of the song. I tend to have two rhythm guitars panned wide and the bass centered for the backing tracks. But everything else is up for interpretation.

One of the things I try to do is get the mix balanced from left to right. So if one rhythm guitar has more 'weight' than the other, I will find some way to balance it. Sometimes that means collapsing the stereo image a bit. Another time I don't pan wide us when the two guitars are doing harmony runs with each other. If you have them completely isolated from each other, they don't interact and the harmony doesn't work very well.

It's really an artistic choice. My personal thing is left-right-center for the main tracks and all the ear candy can go where ever it fits.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
Marshall tube amps have amazing tone. What Lemmy did takes advantage of none of it. Get a proper Fender bass. Dump that Ric in the garbage.

My SS rig is ADA MB-1 with ADA cabs. The crossover with compression horn drivers makes the modern bass sounds the VBA cant.
It is, of course, your opinion.
The gear means absolutely nothing to me. I'm motivated by the sound that he got. And I think his bass sound was incredible. It wouldn't have been if he was a session guy at Motown. It wouldn't have been if he played with Kansas or reggae with the Wailing Souls. But for Motorhead, especially in the Fast Eddie/Philthy Animal period, it was a great and hugely complimentary sound. No one's bass that I was listening to sounded like Lemmy's.

But in that period, there were and had been some bass players that had great sounds. Bass playing had gone from being a generic thud when the first electric basses were made in the early 50s to a highly creative and vital part of songs of a number of genres ~ and with that came lots of great tones. Although EZ Willis used to point out that the tone of the bass wasn't a dealbreaker in whether or not a song was great, loved or a hit, because basses weren't recorded in a standard way until the mid 70s, it meant that many bassists were free to find and utilize different tones. And many were unique. Lemmy's was one of them.
 

LazerBeakShiek

AKA Optimus Prime LEGO Vampire
. No one's bass that I was listening to sounded like Lemmy's.
Agreed. It worked for him.
But in that period, there were and had been some bass players that had great sounds. Bass playing had gone from being a generic thud when the first electric basses were made in the early 50s to a highly creative and vital part of songs of a number of genres ~ and with that came lots of great tones.
That thud evolved to incorporate the click of horns. The horns made the slap sound, more...It wasn't the treble knob that needed up. It was the addition of horns placed in the crossover correctly. Gotta work that crossover.

And many were unique. Lemmy's was one of them.
yep.
 
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