Midi bass vs real

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by CLAYSHAPER, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. CLAYSHAPER

    CLAYSHAPER SS.org Regular

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    I find myself letting the bass guitar gather dust more and more in my recording. I'm starting to think that well programmed midi bass sounds better than a cheaper recorded bass. If I throw more money and time on a really good bass, sure, the quality would be better.

    Midi bass, yay or nay?
     
  2. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    Some pretty good bass VSTs came out recently but it depends on the application really. If you're going with a strictly quantized sound (see Born of Osiris) for example, a VST bass can work pretty well. If you need something more dynamic, you#re better off playing the bass yourself.
    Some of those plugins are really cheap though so doesn't hurt to buy them just in case.
     
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  3. CLAYSHAPER

    CLAYSHAPER SS.org Regular

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    You got a good point there. My music is pretty "mechanical" and doesn't leave much room for floaty bass. But now that you mention it, it would probably sound really weird in some music.
     
  4. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I find that the midi bass plugins being pimped on youtube have a great tone, but sound super fake in solo. It's not really noticeable when in a mix though.
    If I didn't already have a decent bass, I'd probably just get a good sounding midi bass plugin.
     
  5. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I only use them for demo for my bass player. I can get some reasonably realistic sounds from them, but I prefer the human touch. Sometimes, I just need the Midi performance to communicate the vibe that I am looking for, or how I hope that the bass will interact with the drums.

    I might be able to get the right notes for the performance, but I am a guitar player, and I don't think like a bass player, so I will likely always err to the side of the human touch.
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    David Micic is a good example. His music is extremely dynamic and the bass is full of character. Granted the bass is still pretty similar at all times, but it works well
     
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  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    I would prefer to use, and listen to, a good synthesiser bass sound than something trying to sound like a bass guitar.
     
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  8. Esp Griffyn

    Esp Griffyn Play more music

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    If you're just playing chunga chunga metal then it probably doesn't matter if you just use programmed bass.
     
  9. SteveFireland

    SteveFireland SS.org Regular

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    In the mix, I agree the difference between MIDI and real bass isn't that big. It's just much faster to play it than to program it though!

    I'm actually on holiday without a guitar right now and I'm writing stuff in ProTools, doing all the acoustic guitar parts with MIDI and it's so arduous... and it sounds terrible, tbh. Can't wait to get a real guitar in my hands I can record it properly in a fraction of the time!
     
  10. ChugThisBoy

    ChugThisBoy SS.org Regular

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    I think Anup Sastry is using midi bass too.
     
  11. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    Interesting how many people are on board with bass vst when more often than not they get up in arms when you use a guitar vst. Whatever gets people the sound they want is good to me.
     
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  12. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

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    Guitar VSTs sound nowhere near what a guitar "should" sound like, where as bass VSTs these days are pretty damn close to a well tracked and edited bass for strictly metal purposes

    The nuances of VST basses (ie: harsh differences when switching notes) get lost in the mix and processing where as they stick out when using double tracked guitar VSTs

    Trust me, if any guitar VST got good enough to use I'd be on it 100%
     
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  13. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    ^ Re. above two posts;
    Yeah, guitar is a bit more detailed than bass in general which makes it harder. Guitar VSTs may not really be in use yet but the heavily edited/programmed technique that is common is practically the same in terms of moral authenticity, if we're bringing that up.

    I think the issue is that guitar is the focus and guitarists are the bulk of the community. Programmed drums have long been accepted and bass is really going the same way. I think for the bulk of listeners drums+bass serve as a backbone to show off technical skills on guitar. That's why people get all offended when guitar is heavily edited/programmed - because for better or worse, their musical taste is partially based on skill
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  14. Nlelith

    Nlelith Motion Designer

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    Huh, this thread has shifted closely to something I was about to post. Kind of funny how perfect the timing is. Might as well post it right here:



    ^Here's a track that I've composed 5 years ago, but can't play, since I'm still pretty bad at guitar, and don't practice that much anyway due to time/health issues. It might not have the best flow, but I still like it enough to let it 'collect dust' on my hard drive. I have several complete songs like that.

    So, I made a fully VST version of it for fun/to improve my mixing skills. But I don't know what to do with it now. I'm certainly not going to properly release it in this state, and I don't know where to find a capable guitar player who would be interested in recording it. Any advice on what should I do in this situation? Besides practicing more, since it's going to take at least another 5 years...
     
  15. I play music

    I play music SS.org Regular

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    I think it's not just the focus but actually the ear being more sensitive for higher frequencies

    Also I wouldn't go midi because for me playing the instrument is actually the most fun part of it.
     
  16. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Personally I use midi bass in my music. I was fully against it until I heard David Maxim Micic's music and was blown away when I found out it was Scarabee bass. Right now I use Loki bass, but personally I'm really not a fan of it. It sounds decent in a mix, but when soloed it sounds like garbage. For my music I really need a more realistic sounding bass. I tried to get a good bass tone with a real bass but sadly nothing beats the midi bass. Personally as a one man shop guitar player, I'm all for using midi bass. Now if I had an actual bass player/band, I would do everything in my power to get a good, recorded tone from them.
     
  17. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    IMO a lot of songs aren't built upon showcasing the bass, nor do those songs audience really care about the "integrity" of the performance, for lack of a better way to put it. I've been a bassist for a long time, so in my eyes programmed bass is a bit disappointing in a way (or I guess it would be more fair to say that a real bass performance is just more impressive to me) - but if it gets what you're aiming for there's no good reason not to. Just like programmed and sampled drums. Use what you've got. Its not like we're going to start frowning on people for not hiring orchestras instead of using synth pads while we're at it. :lol:
     
  18. Scarlett

    Scarlett SS.org Regular

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    In my little experience, the bass i record always sound better than the midi basses i own (iK Multimedia Modobass and Scarbee basses). Even tough i'm not a great player. Even tough sometimes i have to put the bass so low you can't even hear it because i'm too sloppy (but it tends to get better). But i'm probably just not good at setting and piloting them.
     
  19. nightlight

    nightlight SS.org Regular

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    I haven't ever tried using midi bass for recording, sounds like it might be fun.

    Playing on the bass is definitely fun too, though I'm far too sloppy playing finger style than I like.
     
  20. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    That was my problem. I'm a guitar player, not a bass player. My bass playing was far too sloppy for my kind of music. Midi bass is pretty great, but real bass definitely sounds slightly better. Personally the trade off for tight and easy playing is worth it over real bass.
     
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