Recording Bass

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Member Since: Jul 21, 2004

Hi guys,

I am in the middle of recording my second album, but I am coming across one simple problem.

When I am recording my Bass guitar, or pretty much anything with a "bass" sound, my overall sound meter hits the RED (which means the overall sound is too loud). I went track by track and realized the bass is causing this problem.

Basically, the problem is when I bring the bass down, I cant hear it as clearly as the other tracks.

I guess my real question is:

How can I record the Bass guitar loud enough to be at the same level at the other tracks?

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

Dec 15, 2004 03:32 pm

compress it

Since: Jul 21, 2004

Dec 15, 2004 03:45 pm

dB my buddy, you always come through.

I am using Cubase SX. I have never compressed before...

Could I compress in Cubase SX? Do I compress by track or all together as a song?

Your favorite rockstar
Since: Feb 03, 2003

Dec 15, 2004 03:48 pm

compress the heck out of the bass by itself. As much as you can before it starts sounding dull. If you're dulling it up, back off a bit.

Since: Jul 21, 2004

Dec 15, 2004 03:56 pm

Do I need different software to compress, or can I compress in Cubase SX?

Prince CZAR-ming
Since: Apr 08, 2004

Dec 15, 2004 04:01 pm

I used the classic compressor plugin, and used it's bass guitar preset. I was much happier with the sound. Thickened it up, brought up the volume, etc, etc. I have a feeling I could be doing better by learning more about the art of compression, but am pretty happy with the preset for now.

Classic compressor also has settings for other stuff, like voice, etc. which I used with good results.

And, it's free.

I add the compressor to the bass track itself (and / or to vocal tracks). Then I may add compressor to a master channel, or in the pre-mastering step.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

Dec 15, 2004 04:19 pm

compress with hardware, before the signal even reaches the sound card...

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002

Dec 15, 2004 07:47 pm

Ya, you got two things going on here. One is a huge difference between volume levels at the bottom end and top end of the bass. That you could compress in Cubase. The VST dynamics compressor is a very good compressor. The other thing is the "hitting red". That means you are clipping or distorting the loud portions of the recording. To avoid this compression via a hardware compressor is necessary before the signal reaches the sound card. Red is bad.

Since: Jul 21, 2004

Dec 16, 2004 08:40 am

How much do compressers go for? I checked the "equipment" section on this site and didnt see any anywhere...Could someone direct me to a site so I can get an idea of the $$?


Since: Apr 03, 2002

Dec 16, 2004 08:41 am

I use the dbx266XL myself, it is currently selling for $150.

Pslam 34:8
Since: Dec 04, 2004

Dec 16, 2004 09:12 am

Have you tried recording at a lower volume level. I know when I record I can hardly hear it but when I playback, it's really loud. I'm really not sure what the cause of that is! :(

Since: Jul 25, 2004

Dec 16, 2004 03:24 pm

I had many issues with this myself in the learning curve. I have found two solutions that worked for me. The first was using a Tech21 Bass Driver. It does some limited compression and limiting. (Not the best though) The best option I have found is compression via a Bheringer Vamp. This is working well for me. Any outboard compression you use, will make a world of difference. Get what you can afford and upgrade as you improve. There is one last trick that I have found useful. Record the bass track within good limits. (No or Little Red). Then clone the track. This increases it's presence in the mix, and can really help.

Good luck.

Since: Jul 21, 2004

Dec 17, 2004 10:03 am

The track cloning is a very smart idea....never thought about that.

I will test that out first, if it doesnt work then i will try to find a cheap compressor.

Thanks to everyone for their help

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