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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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Dirt or no dirt on bass?

So do you guys put any overdrive or distortion on your bass when recording metal/prog metal kind of stuff? What about punk stuff? I plan to record all my bass through DI, so I thought I'd ask about when you guys use distortion, when you don't, and what you use to achieve it (pedals, amp, plugins etc.).

Thanks!
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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I use LeCto and Redwirez.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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I'm on a Mac unfortunately so I can't use those plugins. Thanks though I'll look for similar plugins.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
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http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1393938/MAC%.../LeCto.vst.zip <-- LeCto for Mac

EDIT: sorry that was VST, AU is more suitable for mac use:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1393938/MAC%....component.zip
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Thanks so much! So you use this plugin with bass instead of guitar and it works alright?
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:19 PM   #6
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I actually just use CLA Bass which is magic by just applying it to the bass track, recently started putting "Decapitator" behind it which is a VERY aggressive distortion plugin :P
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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I actually just use CLA Bass which is magic by just applying it to the bass track, recently started putting "Decapitator" behind it which is a VERY aggressive distortion plugin :P
Cool, happen to have any mixes of it in action?
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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well, yea I do, but they're from a mix I did for a buddy's band and they haven't released the songs yet, I could send a link in pm though
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:42 PM   #9
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well, yea I do, but they're from a mix I did for a buddy's band and they haven't released the songs yet, I could send a link in pm though
Sure man that'd be great! Thanks!

What's a good impulse or cab sim to use with the LeCto plugin for Mac?
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #10
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I use both, I have a main punchy bass track, then a distorted one underneath for grit, then bus them both to a multi band comp and EQ.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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I've got no clue there, apparently LeCab isn't available for Mac
I believe you could just download some impulse responses from wherever and use pace Designer(if you're using Logic) as a cab sim
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #12
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but bass sounds pretty good just lined, no cab needed
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Unread 03-29-2012, 06:57 PM   #13
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yes definitely add some dirt to it and never mix bass alone, because when played alone it can sound pretty bad where in the mix it could sound great
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Unread 03-29-2012, 07:20 PM   #14
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Personally I like a very clean bass sound, no dirt whatsoever. If it's a punk song I make it sound real bright and plucky, but the opposite for metal. I don't really like the sound of a distorted bass, and I feel like it fuzzes out the bottom end too much. Can't help you with the plug ins, though, since I don't really do it.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 07:58 PM   #15
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The distortion adds upper harmonics to bass guitars making the perceived volume louder.

Go have a look at Sound on Sound magazine's website for more uses of distortion for powerful mixes, if your interested. They had a nice feature on the loudness wars recently.

Blend a DI, mic'd cab (or sim) and FX track (dirt, chorus, subharmonic enhancer etc.) together and apply parallel compression.

Monitors and room are important when judging how much bass to include in a mix. Try to mix on a system your audience may listen to and aim for a good sound on that.

TSE (The Serena Experiment) offer a bass sansamp VSTi for free.

http://www.theserinaexperiment.net/f...c.php?f=9&t=68

A review
TSE B.O.D, A Freeware Sansamp Bass Driver DI Emulation Bedroom Producers Blog

You can get a tubescreamer and ENGL 530 preamp for free there as well.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metal_sam14 View Post
I use both, I have a main punchy bass track, then a distorted one underneath for grit, then bus them both to a multi band comp and EQ.
^ This is exactly how I do it as well.

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Unread 03-29-2012, 08:16 PM   #17
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I feel like it fuzzes out the bottom end too much.
Definitely best to only apply it to the high end. I've been reading the mixing book that was just posted here the other night and was pleased to read I am already using his bass distortion method with slightly different frequencies as a starter

-Sending the bass to 3 different tracks
-Clean signal, low passed around 250Hz
-Slightly dirty signal, high passed around 500Hz and low passed around 5k
-Distorted signal, also high passed around 500Hz and low passed around 5k

That way you get none of the mess in the low end as that's covered by the clean

I highly recommend picking up that book!
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Unread 03-29-2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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I definitely like a bit of crunch in my bass tone, I think it really livens it up, especially when it's alongside heavy guitars. I use Guitar Rig 4 for my bass tone mainly because it's how I did it initially before using Lepou plugins and I liked it how it was so I didn't bother changing it.

However, seeing how much work people put into their bass sound has me slightly worried. I mean, all I do is record it with my bass preset, slap a high pass and Stillwell Rocket Compressor on it and I'm done
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Unread 03-29-2012, 09:01 PM   #19
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I really like that idea about keeping the lowest frequencies clean. Where the heck have I been? This is one of the many reasons I've never been the one to engineer anything my band or I have done, other than scratch tracks.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 09:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I really like that idea about keeping the lowest frequencies clean. Where the heck have I been? This is one of the many reasons I've never been the one to engineer anything my band or I have done, other than scratch tracks.
Try it sometime You're definitely right that distorted low frequencies sounds like ass!

Quote:
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However, seeing how much work people put into their bass sound has me slightly worried. I mean, all I do is record it with my bass preset, slap a high pass and Stillwell Rocket Compressor on it and I'm done
Worried? It should be us that are worried about your great results without putting any effort in
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Unread 03-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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Worried? It should be us that are worried about your great results without putting any effort in
Well, there are definitely more things to try for bass tone tweakage! No point resting on your laurels

Wish I had the money to spare to pick up Ermz's mixing book. It sounds so incredibly useful!
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Unread 03-29-2012, 10:28 PM   #22
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It's the best 13 you'll ever spend - the bass section blew me away. I've never seen such detail haha.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #23
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Id say a little distortion can help it mix well with the guitars or be good for solos bass runs. but adding to much is a bad idea IMO. I have a bass friend and i had him help me design a bass tone on my pod x3... he went for a really clean ampeg sound. spanky and clean. he told me in deapth why he likes to keep it clean and it made sense.

so all in all im a guy who prefers his bass nice fat, clean, and spanky.

theres really enough distrotion in the guitars and ecspecially if you have a screamer. it just helps to keep =the bass clean so you dont muck up the rest of the mix.
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Unread 03-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #24
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Thanks guys, again this is all helping me quite a bit so far, so thank you!! I also bought Ermz's book and it's also helping loads. Whoohoo!
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Unread 04-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #25
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@ BadStarWanderer

Well put contradiction of the general theme of the thread.

I'm in the for bass distortion camp.

What we're talking about is having a high pass filtered distortion on a duplicate of the original clean bass (DI/mic'd cab or simulated) and blending it with the original signal so that when the mix is played back on feeble speakers with no ability to reproduce bass there are some suitable/in context high tones being heard from the bass guitar. It also reinforces the guitars distorted low end.

I really like pure clean bass tones, with "hidden" distortion for reinforcement. Having the ability to blend in a distorted bass tone allows you to have more bass in the final mix. What you hear is a clean bass tone, the distortion increases the note definition, as most people remove a lot of bass after 1.2khz.
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