Cheap bass for demo recordings in drop C

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Unleash The Fury, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    As the title says im recording scratch demos right now for myself and for possibly prospecting band mates. Im a guitar player who knows nothing about bass. So

    1. I want a dirt cheap bass. It doesnt even have to sound "good". Just ok. I really wouldnt even want to spend more than $100 on it. But forget about the money right now. Should i buy a used bass that can possibly have better pickups in it? Or should i get a brand new no named unknown pickup bass from my local music shop? I reckon a used one with decent pickups would theoretically be better. But a brand new one would have brand new strings on it. Which would be super convenient. Yes im cheap and lazy.

    2. Long story short, i have songs in two different tunings. I play in drop C and i also play in drop A (would need a 5 string for this). Should i buy a 5 string and use it for both tunings or is that not practical? I was hoping i could just buy a 5 string and tune the 4 strings for drop C for those songs, and then id already be set for the drop A songs.

    But i dont know if bass works in this way. Do the nuts definitly need to be cut or could i get away with not doing that? Can i just drop tune the set of strings that are on there like i would a guitar?

    I see used basses on craigslist for less than a hundred. I saw an ibanez 6 string for 100. Almost scooped it up. Theres a dean 4 string for 80. But could i do both tunings on a 5 without doing anything else?

    Actually a 3rd question if you would be so kind....i dont have a bass amp. So i can just record direct through my scarlett solo or theough my Peavey vypyr vip2 on the bass setting. If i were to go through the scarlett, i would need to download a bass vst plugun correct? How would i make that work? Would my pc speakers playback that bass?

    Again i just want to make bass tracks im not looking to release an album. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  2. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky SS.org Regular

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    You could use a 5 string for drop A. Then, tune up a half step to drop A# and put a capo on the 2nd fret for dropC stuff.
    Or drop C on the first 4 strings, but the spaghetti effect comes into play there. Sometimes works well anyway.
    Eventually I just bought a 2nd bass- one for dropC (Epi TBird) and a 5string for dropA.
     
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  3. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    If you're just looking for cheap, you can do what I do and just use the Kontakt free player because it comes with a couple sampled basses, run that through the free Ignite bass amp, and program all the MIDI.

    ...and I do have a bass, I too am just lazy about the thought of buying new strings every time I need to record, or laying down all the bass tracks at once for all the projects I'm working on just to take advantage of fresh new strings. :erk:

    edit: anyway, you can plug straight into your interface and use this free bass amp VST:
    https://www.kvraudio.com/product/shb-1-by-ignite-amps

    There's also this emulation of the Sansamp Bass Driver from TSE:
    https://www.tseaudio.com/software/tseBOD

    also, for those tunings, make sure you are getting a bass with a 35" scale length, not traditional 34"
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  4. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    A capo why didnt i think of that!?
     
  5. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    So i didnt even think of the possibility of free midi bass. That would be super super convenient. Though theres the learning curve of that in and of itself. As there is a learning curve on playing the actual bass
     
  6. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Will you be programming the drum parts? Programming the bass parts isn't any more difficult than that. If you have any familiarity with tab programs like GuitarPro/Powertab/TabIt it's pretty much the same, just on a piano roll instead. I can knock them out pretty fast for demos now, and I find that I like having them as a reference alongside drums to track guitars to, instead of just a click track. I can always go back in one day and re-record the parts with an actual bass too.

    It's a bit of a learning curve sure, but I think it's a handy skill to add to the recording toolbox.
     
  7. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Yes i program the drums, although im only on my second song now so not a ton of experience.

    For instance how would a hold a note on midi bass? If i wanted the play an open string and let it ring out for a couple measures, i wouldnt know how to do that. Because with drums the note rings out so long depending only on how hard you hit it/volume of said note.

    Thats just one example i can think of things i may run into that i wouldnt think of ahead of time.
     
  8. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    you would simply just extend the length of the note

    programming bass is super easy and honestly sounds so good that most people won't notice programmed bass. for example, Brian Hood (ERRA, Invent Animate, Gideon, Sworn In, Memphis May Fire) uses programmed bass for quite a few of his releases yet it's pretty hard to tell because metalcore bass is already so artificial sounding.
     
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  9. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Check this video out. This is exactly what I do lol. Only difference is now i use a second bass track thats just clean sine-wave sub-bass to bolster the bass fundamental.
    I used it in this recording I did a couple weeks ago.

    https://soundcloud.com/incasinoout-1/misery-signals-5-years-instrumental-cover

    I've even experimented with turning off the cabinet, EQ, and reverb in the Kontakt sample and treating that dry bass signal like a DI track, then running that through those other bass amp VSTs I posted above. Totally works in a pinch for metal.
     
  10. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    As someone who really enjoys playing bass I hate to say this, but the programming idea sounds like it might be a good solution for you. You won't have to worry about finding a cheap bass that sounds even ok down to A, you won't have to worry about finding strings suitable for your tunings (or the expense of bass strings in general), and you won't have to learn how to adapt your technique to a larger instrument. Yeah, there would be a learning curve associated with programming, but it's going to be smaller than learning how to play an actual bass, which you don't seem super invested in. There's nothing wrong with that, by the way - we each only have so much time.

    Were you to get an actual bass, I would definitely go used (even thoroughly used) - the increase in overall quality over a comparably priced new bass could be considerable, and more than offset the price of a new set of strings. For your tunings, I would probably get a 5 string bass and a four string pack that's a little heavy for standard. That would probably go down to drop C decently... Then get a single .145 for the low A (or heavier if available) and tune the others back up. The thought of trying to make this work even decently for ~$100 makes me nervous though... :lol:
     
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  11. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    I cant wait to try this! Thanks for the reccomendation
     
  12. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Fantastic advice, thank you!
     
  13. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    No prob dude, happy to help with a free solution! As the video mentioned though, the Kontakt samples only go down to B, so you'd have to go around that by programming everything transposed up to B, then render that as a wav so you can pitch shift it back down to A. There should be no problem with any drop C stuff, but as far as I know that's the only workaround for drop A with this option.
     
  14. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    "Programming everything transposed up to B"

    What do you mean by that exactly? Do you to change the pitch of the guitar up to B using the DAW?
     
  15. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    By that I mean the Kontakt bass samples can't play a note lower than the B on a 5 string bass, so if you're working on the bass lines for a drop A song, you'd have to program the whole bass line up by 2 semitones to make up for that shortcoming. Once you have the whole thing sequenced, you can then take that MIDI track and render it as a .wav file, where you can then pitch that rendered bass line file 2 semitones back down, putting it in A. For drop C songs, Kontakt can go as low as C, so you don't have to do that.

    You can, and should record your drop A songs with the guitars already in that tuning, but to get the Kontakt bass to go that low, you have to work around it.

    Or you can can just switch to B so you don't have to do any of that :p
     
  16. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Lol. Pardon my ignorance. I understand it doesnt go lower than B. I just dont know how exactly to program the bassline up by semitones. How would i go about doing that? Thanks.
     
  17. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    i downloaded the kontakt player and the the factory selection download but im having trouble getting it to show up in the reaper vst plugins. i dont even know where to start trying to explaing everything as it seemed i downloaded and installed multiple things, made an account for native instruments, ran all these "installer" programs, created numerous folders, dragged what i could where i thought it belonged, had multiple folders open simulatneously which got very confusing, and i just dont know if everyone had to do all these steps. basically it just seems that after the intial download of these programs, i had to do all these installations and account ccreating and unzipping files and im just very lost.

    i have to go to work now so ill have to explain more later of this agonizing process. i follwed the instructions on the youtube videos provided and videos alike to try and get this going buti can only get so far!

    but basically im asking, what do i have to do to get this program to show up in the vst folder so i can use it already? lol thanks in advanced for anyone who may help
     
  18. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Did you scan for new vsts?
     
  19. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Yes i did, and the loading screen came up for like half a second.......so fast, which tells me that they didnt even get loaded.

    You are refering to the scan and clear cache button right?
     
  20. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    Weird, because the loading screen popping up for a second means it was found and installed. You're not seeing it under VSTi?

    [​IMG]
     

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