Pro Audio Files

Music Production Techniques: Bass Guitar

Transcript
Hi, it’s Warren Huart here. Hope you’re doing marvelously well.

Today, what I’m going to do is open another Alexx Calise song. This song is called “Throwing Down.” It’s a song that’s still in a state of transition, but when we were writing this song, I was putting parts down with just DIs, etcetera, so what I’m going to do now is go back and rework the bass line, which was just a scratch, and put a, you know, a better sounding and a better played bass line.

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So let’s get started on here. I’m going to use my jazz bass on this one, because it’s a little bit throatier. I usually use my Peavey, which I love the T-40. It’s got a good, round, solid kind of low mid. But I want to make this a little bit rockier, so I want to use my jazz bass.

So let’s have a listen to the scratch bass, first of all.

It’s actually pretty cool, because I did just a DI, but it’s got a SansAmp on it. It’s got a guitar amp on it. This one’s called “Crush.” This is the Waves one. It’s also got a SansAmp and a pretty heavy Q there, taking off 74. There’s the R-Bass.

So all I’m going to do is replicate the part, and then — it’s because what I’m lacking is really the bottom end. Obviously, some of that could be the EQ, so let’s have a look at that EQ.

[mix]

[bass guitar]

Huh. Makes little or no difference. I mean, it’s a cool part. It’s very straight forward, just following the root notes. So let’s just keep that and we’ll do another bass. So we’re going to create two new inputs. The way I was doing that was just Shift+Command+N for new. Put two in here for the create. See, it’s got mono audio tracks. Press Return or Enter.

Okay, I’m going to set my inputs. My inputs are for bass, 21 and 22. So Bass DI. Let’s group those. So Command+G for group. And Bass. There we go. Okay, so my bass DI is the Radial. As you can see on the Radial, it’s actually a stereo one. So I use it for — it’s great to have it, because I use it for stereo keyboards, or I can use it for you know, bass or guitar, as you know, I run a DI on the guitar as well in case I want to reamp or use the plugins or anything like that. As far as the amp is concerned, we’re miking it with a Sontronics mic, which is fantastic. As you can see, the miking there, it’s pretty straight forward. Pretty central. Get some of the top from the cone, I can EQ that out if I want later. As you’ve seen in probably my other bass recording videos, I — that’s setup 99% of the time, and it barely ever gets touched.

You know, mostly the manipulation of the sound is done on the DI or the amp. You know, at the mix stage. Okay, so here we have the good old fashioned Fender Jazz Bass. This Fender Jazz Bass was made in Mexico. It probably cost about $179 when it was new, which was quite a few years ago. It’s great. I love it. It does the job.

[bass]

If we go in here on the DI…

[bass DI]

Great. Bass amp. The bass amp on its own.

[bass amp]

All bottom end.

This actually still has the standard pickups in it, believe it or not. It has the standard cheaper Mexico ones. However, Seymour Duncan, who are the kings of pickups, as we know, have given me the jazz bass pickups to put in here, so I’m really excited about putting that in. So when we do future videos, we’ll see what the difference is using the Seymour Duncan pickups.

Also has a bad ass bridge, which was probably the best investment I could make. I really feel like the extra sustain from this bass has got a lot to do with this high quality bridge taking off the cheaper components, and putting a really high quality one on like that. It’s really useful.

So let’s listen to the bass part.

[mix]

[bass guitar]

See, even though I wrote this song, I still have to go back and remember it.

Okay, so now, you might have noticed that went in and out of input. The way to go in and out of input is Option+K. It’s Option+K. Obviously this is only for Apple users on Macs, but yeah. Option+K gets you in and out of input so you can play along.

[mix]

That was pretty awesome. I really like those two bass sounds together. I made one mistake there. As you can see, when I went in, there’s just a weak hit. I take it out of option here, solo it, we can go into — if we go into grid, which we’re in at the moment, if we go down to eighth notes, listen.

[bass]

So I could just take one of these eighth notes here, highlight it, do Command+C or just C if you’ve got the A-Z button highlighted here. Then just drop it in here.

[bass guitar]

And obviously, you heard a little pop there. So let’s just put a fade in. Let’s go to a nice place somewhere in the middle. Relatively wide fade on it. Same here, this looks great right here. There you go. So that’s the edit.

Okay. So there’s a pre-chorus idea. Let’s have a listen to the chorus. I like these two basses together. It’s giving us a really great sound. This is just the new bass. Add the scratch.

[bass guitars]

That’s awesome. I went a little longer on this. You know, you could do a number of things. You could copy this here and just put it on here. You know. Do that.

[bass]

Yeah. That works. Put a fade. If you’ve got the A-Z button highlighted there, you can put the fade by just literally pressing G only. Just the G on the keyboard. So you don’t have to highlight the whole region. Just put G. Anywhere from the right, it will put a fade. If the front here, for instance, let’s just say we trim to the front here. Trim here. Hit B. Highlight, delete, or you can highlight and delete anyway.

So if I just want to do that and hit D, it will put a fade from the left. So that’s pretty good quick keys to know. Okay, great, so yeah, those two basses together work great. Let’s have a quick listen.

[bass guitars]

That’s a nice touch. Okay, so — and it sounds like I did it in the middle as well, so. Okay, let’s try just putting that down and see what we get.

[drums]

Now, if you’re on your own, what you can do is you see there, I try to put it into record then jump to the bass quickly. You know, go to — get your transport, which if you’re turning it on and off is Command+1 that brings it up. We’ll go along — see, it’s got a pre-roll here set to 10. We’ll make it two bars like so.

Make life a lot easier.

[mix]

Cool. So what it’s doing there, unbeknownst to me, is it’s doing that F sharp, E flat part there. So I can punch in and fix that. So we can come back here.

[full mix]

Cool. There it is. I mean, that’s — you know, like I said, I just open up these songs and we work on them, and that trashy bass sound that I had put down in the scratch is great, but it’s also kind of cool against this new slightly better — you know, better recorded bass, where I’ve got an amp going. Two together is just…

[bass guitars]

Take it out. Sort of one-legged. It’s only got one. Put them together. There’s a mistake in the original scratch. Now that we’re going to keep it, we can do a quick repair. We’ll listen to the scratch only. You know what we’re going to do? We’re going to take off the pre-roll. Because every time I’m listening back, I don’t want to have to listen to the pre-roll. So Command+K turns the pre-roll on and off.

[bass guitars]

I’ll just take those two. So Command+C and — or just C and V, copy and paste.

[bass]

Perfect. What I do sometimes if I’m moving quickly for editing — I know a lot of people do this — I’ll highlight the region really quickly, especially if there’s tons and tons of edits, I’ll go Command+8 and I’ll bring up the Beat Detective, and fill and crossfade. And just hit smooth.

So when I’ve done a ton of edits and I’m trying to move quickly, like tons and tons of edits all over the place, I might just highlight the whole region and have it put the fades in for me. It’s a really quick way of moving around when you’re doing a lot of work.

So that’s those two bass amps together. What I did was as we were writing the song, because we were writing and building the song, this is the song that Greg D’Angelo played drums on. You can download those drum files and edit them as well. But we built a really basic demo. I played electric guitar through a DI, and I played bass through a DI, and created that fuzzy distorted sound.

Now, going back and revisiting it, I was just going to replace that distorted sound with a better bass tone, but the two together sounds fantastic. I mean, they compete a little bit here and there, but that kind of messed up sound I think is really, really cool, and it adds to the sort of trashy kind of aspect.

This song I wanted to sort of be like — not Muse, but like, you know, orchestral, big drums, big distorted guitars, you know, synths, etcetera, and I love these two sends together.

Anyway, thank you ever so much for watching. Please go to producelikeapro.com and sign up for the email list. You’ll get the drum files for this song actually that you can edit. Also, you can get the drum samples that I use on every song. You can download those, and of course, there’s all the behind the scenes stuff, and there’s always giveaways. As we were recording this, there’s a mic giveaway, Yamaha guitar giveaway, Artura Keyboards, there’s tons of different giveaways.

Obviously in a year’s time, there’ll be different ones, but we’re continually doing it. So please go to producelikeapro.com and sign up on the email list, and thank you for watching!

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Warren Huart

Warren Huart

Warren Huart is an English record producer/musician/composer and recording engineer based in Los Angeles, California. Learn more at producelikeapro.com.


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