Has anyone recorded a metal song or album without bass?

Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
306
Reaction score
39
Location
Los Angeles, California
Not famous albums, anyone in the forum and how did it sound?

People suggest to roll off some low end to leave space for the bass, but what if you leave it the way it is and add 4 tracks and drums.
 

guitaardvark

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
532
Reaction score
408
Location
California


An old acquaintance of mine released this song without bass because he wanted to test a mix without bass by dialing in fat guitar tones. In my opinion, it doesn't sound awful, but it does sound incomplete and thin. Guitars do produce some frequencies in the bass and sub-bass territories, but not enough to fill out the mix. Basses are designed to do that, and they do it much better.
 

Mprinsje

st. anger ain't bad!
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
2,786
Reaction score
606
Location
Gouda, Netherlands
Well I usually record my guitars first and program drums at the same time, I quad track quite a lot of the time. I quite often send a draft of a song to my band like that, without bass and without any low end roll off on the guitars.

Never have I ever thought, after adding bass guitar and doing some decent production: "well the version without bass would have been fine too". Bass really adds a lot. Of course low end, but I always have a lot of clang that really completes a mix imo.
 

Gmork

SS.org Regular
Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
2,644
Reaction score
2,251
Location
B.C. Canada
@Willyjacksonjs22-7
I have many times and often no one would even notice. I like a shit ton of lowend on my guitars anyway so it helps.
I didnt use bass for this recording, think it sounds pretty decent.
As others have said though, if i were recording something for REALZIES id definitely add bass. It does add that extra bit of oomph and fills everything out nicely.
 

Der JD

SS.org Regular
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
295
Reaction score
30
Location
Illinois
Personally, I always prefer bass, especially when it's mixed so that you can hear it relatively well. Adds another dimension to the music and makes it more interesting IMO, especially if it's creative and doesn't follow the guitar 100% of the time. There are many instances in which doubling the guitar is appropriate and even necessary for overall impact, but there are other times in which independence from the guitar sounds better.
 

ixlramp

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
3,031
Reaction score
1,869
Location
UK
If a guitar tuned as low as a bass guitar was used without distortion and with a bass amplifier, and assuming flat on-board EQ, it would produce just as much 'bass frequencies' and 'low end' as a bass guitar, and possibly even more due to the lower string tension.
Guitars do not *inherently* have less 'bass frequencies' and 'low end', the actual difference at the instrument output jack is tonal character due to less scale length and less string tension.

For the 'traditional metal sound', no bass guitar will sound disappointing to many people, so there will be many comments about bass guitar being 'essential'. But for a new type of 'metal sound' it would of course be fine, as it would define that new sound.
Metal with no bass guitar is a concept that really interests me. I am interested in is the use of a low tuned guitar with a clean tone replacing the bass guitar.
 

Hollowway

Extended Ranger
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
16,357
Reaction score
11,803
Location
California
Metallica_-_...And_Justice_for_All_cover.jpg


(I came in here just to post this, and I can't tell you how excited I am that no one beat me to it. I know you said "not famous albums" but screw that, I still want to put this here, because in my mind it's funny, and my life is so banal that this is an exciting event for me.)
 

shiyu

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
11
Reaction score
5
I tried this with my 8-string when I didn't have my bass guitar on hand. I tried my best to dial in some low end and process it like a bass.

It sounded awful. Horribly thin and weak. An 8-string guitar in drop E is not a replacement for a bass in standard.
 

bostjan

MicroMetal
Contributor
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
19,932
Reaction score
11,069
Location
St. Johnsbury, VT USA
Totally not what you asked, but I've been in the situation numerous times when the bass player didn't show up for the gig, and I just used a splitter and an octave pedal into a combo bass amp, and it works okay as long as you don't make the octave-down guitar too prominent in the mix.
 

Choop

n______n
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
842
Location
Kentucky, US
Aside from the mix not sounding as full as it could, bass parts can be written to contribute to the composition in interesting ways. It just adds more to the sound overall. Animals As Leaders gets away with it because they play 8 String guitars, but they also are pretty unique. I def wouldn't want every band to sound like that even though they're rad.
 

ShredmasterD

Calls it like it is.
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Messages
410
Reaction score
451
Location
Texas
i recorded a bridge section without bass. I thought because it was odd meter and syncopated, the drums, double tracking and a keyboard pad would be full enough and interesting. when i completed the CD and this particular tune came up, someone who was listening to it said, "where'd the bass go?" i never forgot that.
 

teamSKDM

SS.org Regular
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
2,207
Reaction score
226
Location
Ocala , FL
Aside from the mix not sounding as full as it could, bass parts can be written to contribute to the composition in interesting ways. It just adds more to the sound overall. Animals As Leaders gets away with it because they play 8 String guitars, but they also are pretty unique. I def wouldn't want every band to sound like that even though they're rad.
they program midi bass in the studio
 

Choop

n______n
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
842
Location
Kentucky, US
they program midi bass in the studio

Ah you're right, disregard, I am an idiot. I can hear it pretty easy going back and listening again. I guess I was just thinking that because it isn't very forward or featured like, compositionally, but I can tell it fills out the sound a whole lot even still.
 

ixlramp

SS.org Regular
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
3,031
Reaction score
1,869
Location
UK
i recorded a bridge section without bass. I thought because it was odd meter and syncopated, the drums, double tracking and a keyboard pad would be full enough and interesting. when i completed the CD and this particular tune came up, someone who was listening to it said, "where'd the bass go?" i never forgot that.
Well, never mind that comment, you should not let it affect your creativity :)
 

gabito

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 1, 2010
Messages
273
Reaction score
257
Location
Argentina
Pig Destroyer used to be bass-less. I’m pretty sure they’re not famous, but idk.

You can record whatever you want however you want and that’s perfectly fine. If there’s no bass recorded it’ll sound like a bass is missing though, because we’re used to hear bass in most of the music we listen to.

Bass is usually not the most prominent instrument in heavy music, so probably most people (not musicians) will notice something is sounding weird or different, but won’t know why.

In my experience a cheap bass, MIDI bass, or even a downtuned guitar through a bass amp will sound better than no bass or any amount of studio trickery if you’re going for a standard heavy / rock sound.
 

elkoki

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,119
Reaction score
529
I think Pig Destroyer rarely if ever used bass, but I think I can recall hearing some of their live stuff had it.

EDIT : and I see the guy above me already mentioned them lol
 


Top