Importance of the Bass
I'm using pro tools because kurt balu used pro tools and I have just been slowly switching over the last three or four months, and I'm going for because I'm not going to let him down. Um, first, thank you guys for being here. I really appreciate it, and you make me less nervous than just an empty room with cameras first, I just wanted to talk about the way base effects, a mix I know we have one bass player and drummer you play guitar or what you do, and you're drew, right? Okay, yeah, I was talking to finn, and he made a very good point that and he even talked about it where bases ends up being like fifty percent or more of the guitar tone that you have in the mix, nobody really ever considers it it's, just like, ok, and my guitar tone kicks ass like that's cool guitar, tony, start playing with a band and maybe some people realize, like everything will get muddied up once you get in your practice space or whatever because you're trying to do too much with a guitar or not enough with ba...
se. And so the first thing I want to do is I'm gonna play through a song that I just recently did. And I'm gonna play it with base and I'm going to get rid of the base and we're going to just kind of here how it affects the overall just vibe of the song and you guys can tell me what you think and we can start discussing like what makes a good based on what the effect base has on a mix for you or a song or a record or anything at all like that? So here we go and protocols for us come on, little guy, he can do this and then go back that was obviously with base and the base in this song also is underdeveloped it's something that we're going to go into, mohr it's just very simple I tracked it yesterday just to have it in this session, but now I'm gonna go in and get rid of the base and starts a here where the song goes without it and I really think that actually proved my point enough when you take the bass out of the mix, everything falls apart and I think that's a huge common misconception with guitar players especially is that the base isn't meant to be heard. You're supposed to be the guy that's not as good or good looking even though I you and I know that's wrong but you're just like your the background guy and people discredit base all the time and don't really especially the younger you are in the less experienced you are you don't realize how important it is and without base like you could be the best guitar player have the best drummer in the world if you record yourself without base it's never going to sound like a record you know, another thing is like I hear a lot of kids online saying, you know you can hear the base on this record I can hear it clear as day so a lot of it is I think that people think the base is an audible because they don't know what to listen for but it's definitely in there, you know, like for example, the card effects record that mark lewis just did I read a review that said the base was inaudible the base is extremely loud in that mix if you know what to listen for, you know, they kind of blend together when you do a good job, especially yeah mark lewis in soup have that locked down as faras getting it to really be one texture, which is a band usually should be one texture and just like a good field but that's very accurate, so just because you can't just gets are down can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't there precisely I agree completely and I guess that even goes is now the time to talk about e q on guitar no we were discussing earlier to show cherica for a lot of guitar players don't consider this and is obviously this is still introduction stuff will get re go over this when I'm looking at my guitar bus he's showing up behind me. Yes, I have there's a lot of information that right here you'll see is just cut off everything below two hundred ten hertz is getting cut off so you might be recording guitar in your room and really boost the hell out of the lows, but in a real record situation, you know people don't do that that's not a thing you're in a lot of people don't cut this much, but I cut pretty aggressively to make sure maybe it's my own ego, but make sure bases really fitting in there without just sticking out like a sore thumb and that's to me that's very important. What do you do then? To the to the q on the on the actual base channel? I'm sure you're talking about this, but yeah, you know I can pull it up, but I can show you here's my basic you coming out a little bit of mid size and that's it okay, I treat this is also a mixture of a couple of different tracks and will go more and that once we get dealing with a cool amps and different effects on the base but yeah, I'm generally letting the base live where wants and moving guitar around that area to make sure that it fits because you obviously you have from tracking a record, I'll end up this has, I think six layers of guitars that have mixed down, but you have one bass track, so he's got one chance, so everything else I like to fit a lot of stuff around the base to make itjust mostly to have a constantly pummeling sound on record like this, and we'll get into other sounding genres that are less bass heavy and more have, like a more relaxed sound, but with guitar, I'm usually that's what I'm cutting and getting creative, and then I'm bassem just letting it take its space. So I guess from there, the best thing to go to is just the very basics. Basics. Um, not to me. Tuning is the most important tuning in strings and another base. Misconception is that it's has less strings. It should be a cheaper instrument to play and that's just not the case based rings as austin, right? You know based rings or thirty dollars a set and it's always the base plan and never wants to buy new strings, but I personally change strings if I'm playing, I change every single day. And if I'm recording, I'll change every two or three songs. So so identifying the bass sound you want in a mix, how do you identify what kind of bass sound you want? That's a question for everybody else more than it is for me. How do you know what you want your base to sound and cause bro's or I forgot how to say your guy's band name? Cascadia cascadia. I always tried to ah, just do a lot of listening before we before we actually like when we're doing preproduction on the tune. Well, just listen to a whole bunch of based sounds. If we if we know we're going to be tracking baseball, just listen, um, and then we try to get us close the goal for me, at least as a guitar player and lead the lead vocalist is to get it as close to that as we can hear the head of the band. Yeah, kind of in and so I know what it feels like to play with a solid base part and a solid base recording and it and it feels better for me to play guitar and sing on top of a solid foundation told makes a huge difference. Um I would say that you know, based kind of brings it all together it's kind of like the heart on dick and part I'd like to do it later on in the mix and then kind of fill in any spots that kind of seem I don't know maybe not as good as they could be and then you knowcause bases definitely like you were saying guitarist don't see it that way but no basis that's awesome so that really both of what you guys were saying is having a compliment the songs and a lot of that is complimenting the guitar tone and that's a lot of what I will do when I'm working on a record as I take I mean it gets hard stone is honestly it's more fun like that's an exciting part of writing a record or recording a record and you can really you take the bass tone to complement the guitars into complement the drums and even sometimes the vocals depending on obviously with meadow stuff which is a lot of what I do you're not going toe care is much about complimenting the vocals because there should be brash and just ah brash and aggressive and doesn't matter as much with the instrumental aspects of the mix but totally identifying the base by relating to how the rest of the song goes is that's I agree completely unless as faras all rock music that is precisely how I would go about it um there's a lot of different methods of tracking base that will go into more depth, but we'll start with d I, which is the most simple basically you're going out of your base through a d I box like one of these by avalon or radio and then interior in her face and it's very just simple and then we'll start talking about going more with big rigs and like guess that's a little rig but it's starting dealing with more and more amps but there's all kinds of techniques I think the best way to start is by dealing with the most simple stuff and then it'll have a class to get more and more fun as we go on as well. This is my goal by the end of the class is for everybody whether you're a guitar player, bass player drummer if you're working in your bedroom or in a real studio, you'll have knowledge that you can go in and understand the roles that the base is playing and how to get a better sound then you would have before there's no life left the second you take that bass out there's no life and that is this actually kind of segways that's very well because we're dealing d at once we get through tuning a d a is going to be the first thing we're going to deal with and that's, all this session is is a bunch of different dies where I'll show you different sounds of different bases that I really enjoy, and this is what I think is important and based on myself, I mentioned strings already the player, if people don't think the players important, you have bigger problems than anything else. So the amp is only it's a pretty small component of this. I think a lot of people be surprised by that, yeah, it's, because what you see up in the top right is really all the exciting stuff is the least important, which I mean, I love amps, and I love cabs, and I really love microphones, especially that microphone right there. But it's, nothing is as important as the player, the strings, the tuning in the instrument, if you don't have any of that, you can have a three thousand dollars microphone, you can have a ten thousand dollars for all I care, but if you don't have new strings in a decent player in the basics, in tune, you're screwed is no getting out of that. I mean, I've seen this happen a lot with my own stuff, like, you know, some of our other instructors, like andrew wade and l levy, have come through and you know, I had to use my guitars and stuff like that to record little demo so like a lips have got to record the same for my class can I borrow your guitar into somebody that did that yesterday? Right? And the uh you know, it's kind of cool but also kind of kind of a bummer is that everything they do with my gear sounds literally like ten times better than anything I've ever done with it um and what's the what's the problem here so I wish I could blame my gear but it's but it's your house so part of your problem is you're dead string well, that but I mean in all seriousness, you know, it's really cool to see to see this in action, you know, when these guys like take my stuff the same stuff I've been you know, going on man I could told I could have done better with this if I had a better guitar just need to put this pick up in it and then in half an hour they record something that sounds great with it so you know, kind of on one hand it's a little bit humbling, but on the other hand it makes me go ok, well, I guess I do have everything opens doors for you I definitely think that that's an issue and with experience and with a gin once your parents don't help you out. Not that your parents were hoping you buy gear or anything but it's something you realize the cheaper stuff with the cheapest thing you can have is a baseball writers talent, so your talent is going to help you a lot more in your strings. They're going to help you, mohr and a good instrument is obviously crucial, but a decent instrument that set up well with good strings and a good player is going to get you really far where is you can have a bunch of junk and really nice everything else on the tail end of your signal chain and it's not going to improve anything if you don't have the very beginning. So everything to me starts from beginning to end its the hands to the guitar or the hands to the strings, to the instrument, to the amp, and then so on and everything by the time you get to the mic. Fram, ppe, it's not that important you, khun, were recording with a thousand dollars piece of gear right here, that's great, but I mean, I have channels that costs three times as much as this at home, and I could do a record with this with no problem if I had everything else from the beginning covered. You know, I think people at home may be surprised you know, for a class called advance based production we're talking about changing her strings and showing them how to tune a base and stuff but teaching how to town sure but but I mean that's the you know, just because it's advanced doesn't mean the basics you know go away right yeah, I think a lot of times the basics people jump in and passed the basics I know when I every instrument I've ever played I try and just skip the rudimentary stuff and just everybody wants to be a shredder and you can be a shredder with an attitude in guitar bass but you're gonna sound like a pretty shitty shredder right? And you have been really covered this why talk about tuning and set up do you guys know how to internet your guitars and do all set ups and stuff like that? You're going to learn your base is going to sound way better tonight when you go home um yeah it's people don't know howto internet a base and intimate a guitar and it's so crucial because you can play open and like you continue gets aren't like that's cool that sounds really good the second you hit your first fright you're at a tune and that's on issue and you can a lot of people like we'll just fix it in the mix or fixing the mix you khun tune base with auto tuner melody line you can to get our within that, too. But there's, why put yourself through extra effort when you constructed the very first step and just have a better instrument, better experience, and you intimate your base and your digs. They're going to be better. Everything that you do with that, qatar will be improved.