Restringing and Intonation
So choosing a base, I brought three bases with me or two and rented one. I brought out warwick steamer, which is this front one on infinity, which is the back one in the love of my life. And then a fender jazz bass, the steamers passive so it's, more vented sound e the infinity has an active e q active pickups, and it's just offers a ton of control. And the jazz bass offers both. So I don't know I'm assuming everybody should I cover the difference. What activists active pickups in the queue give you a lot of benefits for, like canceling out some noise? Um, they give you a more controlled signal and you can have on board. Q. So you can really tweak your sound. Um, I end up. I use it a little bit, but I really just end up with all my knob set toe flat. And as I like to control base with any issue I like to do with an andthe. But as long as your sound is the bare bones of your sound or good, then you're good. And then here is a complex signal chain. And we'll go and tell your intonation b...
efore, yeah, can you maybe just, like, quickly talk through each piece is because I think this is a really, really concise way of presenting this that I don't think I've seen anywhere else, ok, should I do this now, or should I wait until we have a base in, too? Why don't we do both? Okay? Oh, yes, so we'll start a quick little overview now isn't going more deeply at this basically goes, I was talking your hands and your strings, and then after your hands and your strings, here's, where you're going, you're doing a base to a d I box like we have all over the desk to a pre empt die box routes to the ramp goes into the dog toe where you record, but it also splits out and goes to your amp, where you're sending more stuff into the done that's, where you get more complex tones and more layers and voicings. And what not of your base? I'm just gonna restoring real fast, which is, I guess, sort of boring, but it's, when I'm stressing the importance, I can't not do it, just try and talk through, talk us through it as much as you can, yeah, I when I restoring I string one string at a time to not mess with neff tension at all I've been told by multiple engineers that it doesn't matter, but I'm very superstitious of that things like that and if I'm going to be intimating and messing with anything, I'm gonna want to avoid any problems that I may encounter in the future a good time I used dunlop strengths there ah, very bright on base, which I'm a fan of and they have always treated me really well they're good people and I think the important thing when you find if you ever if you guys are lucky enough to deal with any companies like dealing with good people that really care about the artist is very important dunlop really all the companies that I work with they're so good to their people and the consumers as well like very companies like fender, they're the biggest company in the world for guitars, but they're just they treat their artists and their consumers and they really care and they offer products there good prices and great build quality as well. Warwick is ah the same thing for me I've heard stories, people send them bases with problems and they just fix him because they care so much about their instruments so I can't really sing the praises of the few companies that I'm here really supporting I support with my entire life question from rick in the chat room the gauge of the strength I use one o fives for e standard lows and I will use a one fifteen on the infinity low for ah lower tuning because I'll be tuning that two d standard um strain gauges obviously very important a lot of people you want to have a tight sound to control your base from the get go so I always ira on the side of caution and go a little bit thicker than I think I need to go when I'm given that luxury to do so actually just going to restoring two strings on this base for now just so we can get into intonation I'm not holding anybody up too far I'm going to do two different bases one I'm redoing the set up in the tune and completely also I should mention when I tracked based I tracked with picks ninety nine percent of the time which there's some dudes it really shred with their fingers but there's a lot of dudes that really don't tread with their fingers. So just because in the studio I understand like there's a lot of expression I used to play with my fingers as well, but when I'm recording based I want tightness one hundred percent of the time and I think unless you are really, really, really good, you're going to get better tightness fix because I just want a locked in rhythm section when ever given the opportunity, but I also don't record jazz, so is there a specific pick that she is? I'm guessing are whatever I used dunlop picks obviously with the strings, but I thicker is better for me, but I know some people go different ways with that right now I'm just sent in the queue on the base toe flat so that I get just a reading based on that not that it would affect the tuning whatsoever, but I'm gonna pull up a tune on pro tools so that we can see that on this screen and a j p wanted to know what distance are you cutting the strings? What distance I usually pulled to the peg just above the tuning paige, I'll skip one and that's where I'll cut it I don't have a real roll of film I was always thought if it can go around the peg one time I'm safe so I usually add a little extra, but I'm not don't have a ton of slack on my strings at all and then mark zero asked what is the average life span you get for bass strings from recording like our recording a day? Okay, usually I'll try and do three base songs a day if I'm tracking a record and then I will strip them off immediately after that andrew is that is that different when you're playing with a pick versus your fingers because I know with your fingers they definitely die faster and get that little bit of extra life, but I think in the studio I care less or I care more I guess and I will and of I'll change him regardless but live I usedto think my habit of changing strings live every day was because I played with fingers so long that I'd get grease on the string there's just nothing beats the brand new string sound though, so grab a pick okay and I getting a signal something ah so I'm gonna get this in tune just two standard what we would normally tio way ah, so we're pretty close on here um once I pull this way might even be close, tio correctly intimated because I tend to keep my stuff pretty well said but there we go as you can see we're going sharp right away when we're hitting twelve threat it's our bases out of tune I'm going to go through the rest of the strings and see also sharp, sharp and we have one string in too good for us so now is where the tedious stuff begins so main trick to intonation is ah shorter is sharper and longer is flatter, so what I'll do is I know that this my lowy was coming up sharp so I wanna lengthen the scale, and that will make it flatter on the twelfth threat, which will allow me to be flo, sir, took correctly in tune, loosen the string before I adjust the bridge so that I don't have any unnecessary tensions back a very it's a tedious, boring process, but it pays off very much. Oh, do you need to do this every time you change strings? Or is it just, you know, just the attention of this it's I think they got out of tune because they flew from l a with him and so the climate changes well, aziz, the elevation, I think not me out a little bit, it doesn't hurt such I would definitely check it every time, but usually you're going to get dead on most the time and the more often you doing tonight, you're going to be closer, tio in the right ball far if you guys look right now, we just got a dead on, so that shows now I know that all of my entire e string is going to be in tune as long as I don't play crap early, so that feels good and glad that my guessing of the string our attention on the bridge was correct today, what, are you okay, you know that one so two more strings and see it's something where I used to take hours and hours and then once that so would forget which way and once I just drilled it into my head that shorter made it sharper I can intimate a guitar and how long is it taking me so that ten minutes needs to be a little flatters? Well, can I ask a question of doing that? Okay mark zero had asked do you sometimes tune flat on purpose to avoid the natural flatness when picking hard or freddie was talking about the natural sharpness and I was going to go over that yes I do mark zero I ah I usually if I'll feel it out but if we start going a little sharp consistently on harder picking parts all tune like five or ten cents flat so that when you hit the string it's hitting into tune and I'll just play that by ear but I'm glad somebody asked that question because that's something that gets skipped over a lot if you guys missed it when you ah works on guitar too when you're really playing hard and rocking, the best thing you can do is tune a little bit flat so when you're really like beating the hell out of the string you're knocking it into tune instead of nothing it sharp so then yeah I learned that from engineer named chris rakestraw taught me that and he's worked on like dan z records and bring me the horizon records and he's really big stuff he had the coolest studio I've ever been to in l a which is now closed unfortunately but he taught me that and it was like I just felt like I was an idiot my whole life because I never even considered it e like mark is you're a lot yeah a lot of questions oh yeah we have regulars in here that they asked great questions and just another question from andrew from edmonton do you need the guitar to be in the position you're playing it when you tune in and are you doing this just for the camera I'm doing this primarily for the camp that usually I would internet in my laugh so so it doesn't need to be in the position they play in because you'd have it laying horizontal yeah as long as it's you're not putting it in some just a weird position but generally flat most text I know intimated flat just because it's easier to look over the instrument where you work and I think straight is giving me a lot worse time and the other strains probably because it's not new ready for us I'm calling that on it made it to the center for me so I'm still love back there right so I'm not just looking at this scream like an idiot and so yeah as you guys can see it took ten fifteen minutes and now we're all even less made and now we're intimated and if I sit down and everything I go up is in two and there's not a spot where I'm like kind of jumping and usually I guess once your ear becomes more sensitive to that especially you guys are a long term musicians, you know when you're like why's my eighth fret sound screwed up in your retuning and your retuning and your retuning ninety nine percent of time the reason you're returning over and over is because you could just get your little screwdriver out, fix your intonation and you're all set, so now I'm going to go for ah changing strings on a guitar and changing the gauges, which will effect obviously we're going to go to a completely different tuning on that could turn now so we get a question from any vh fifty one fifty kind of asking about trust rods on and, uh, asking about like trust rods like, do you ever messed with the trust of the interview mess was trust around it's just such a personal choice on where you want your action toe lie that ah and usually war with sends me stuff that I really like the way they set up, I like my action a little bit higher so that I'm not buzzing out too much and I fret pretty hard but yeah I'm often not to go into that as much, because action is such a personal choice where is intonation to me is just that's a necessity? And where if you like your action, hire low it's really dependent on how your left hand plays? Another thing I was warning is, what about pickup height? Do you adjust that at all or said something to think about it? It's kind of tend to believe him or they are just kind of go for it. I, uh, honestly, yeah, there's I think a lot of that depends on instruments and like we talked about you can if you're dealing with a lower quality, I don't want to say well or quality more consumer gray instrument stuff like that. I noticed that I worry about more, especially when I was younger and working with a other brand other than warwick, but usually they have when I deal with warwick, I've always dealt with great text there and they send stuff and it's just like this, I guess I'm goingto take this. I know and just like this to me is a work of art. It is without a doubt my prize possession of everything worldly that I own this is it for me, I don't give a shit about my car, my bed or tvs or whatever this is really kinda a crowning achievement my life when I got this in the mail you got it right before christmas and I felt like I was going to cry it was like I just gave birth to a son um they built this to spec for me and it was I wanted the perfect studio base and this was it and it's just like I was saying if you're using something like a I wanna sound gear or ah squire or even ah warwick uh the rock base which is they're like outsource to guitars still great guitars but you're gonna worry more about your stress rod and worry about your pickups but we knew order from a really good quality company or you order like an american made fender generally those we're coming to you and it's like this thing I almost said the effort rips this guitar riffs and that's how I feel about trust rods for ah I forgot the guy's user name fifty one fifty something so now you're going to cover this later on you know, we talked about like editing and stuff you know? I guess someone might ask well so what if it's a big what? So what if it's a quarter step flatter sharp will just fix it in melody it's just a way to go back first of all it's more work its way more where it is destructive to me doing the almelo, dinette later, I'll fix in the mix because everybody goes through that it's late at night, and you were here yesterday when I was retracting, so everybody goes through that phase because I tracked this song, I intrude the course with the day a flew out like we all just rushed for this, and I'll fix it with editing and tune it and it'll be perfect and it's generally it's easier to do it right the first time the same way it's easier not to tell your girlfriend she looks fat and then they're convinced her she didn't. Then it is to tell her that and then fix the problem lies. Well, just don't screw up at the beginning and you're going to be in a lot better shape and I'll say, what would you call me? I'll say that, like, for any recording for the recording, I know a lot about the one thing I would say holds true for all of them is is no cutting corners, you know every time you cut corners your whatever time you say by cutting corners, urine, they spend twice the time finish you can we fight you and me, fighting it in the x instead of bringing out a distant and that really that's for every aspect of music. If you have asked your writing process, you're going to be in the studio trying to come up with production tricks to make up for the fact that you have asked your writing process and if you record something out of tune you're going to be fighting it being vocals, airbase or guitar or drums I've done that countless times a snare drum goes out a tune in the middle of a song like we'll fix it later and when your sample replacing that snare drum majors why didn't I just take a five minute break and tune that so yes you can fix it with melody line be shouldn't you can fix it with melody line and maybe that's something that will go into tomorrow but I'll tell you this but I would much rather record something into in the first time thing going fix it in melody line tomorrow at the end of the day thiss face I'm going to restoring the whole thing is that bad do I have the time to do that you do for your class you do what you want to know I don't have like a dozen questions the questions was flowing in okay can you multi have that would be perfect thank you name and I go in in restoring well I do it okay let's see let's pick some good ones and if you guys have any questions for him go ahead and jump in how how old are those strings on that base right there do you know change them for a session they're a week old they've been used maybe four hours total okay, so would we be able to hear a difference just like if it if it's not recorded it if you just plugged it in yeah you think I'm missing a string so I'll show you my a string right now but that's I should have done that thank you you can really to me this doesn't sound like a bad string but they're not when you compare to what we just heard on that they're just there's that like sparkle to it and the metallic nous and it's ah you ever play anybody ever played flat wound strings at all they like that's flat land strings to me sound like dead strings so it's like this to me I'm like oh that would be nice if I was just if all I needed out of the base was lowland and that was it that's that's fine but I want to have options and strings or the number one source of options because you get that full range of the tone instead of just the low in which dead strings were right and I think that's a lot of reasons live starting bands and more like I want to say bands that care less prevents that care less don't change their strings is often because it's like the base is the lowland ok got the lowland and check and it's like ok, I'm going to go they play our gig and it's just you're not your band's not going to sound is good you're not going to be able to like you can be a practice and start to just the way your band's mix sounds live by just you and your brothers just tweaking and you guys like you and your guitar player going off and like figuring out where do I fit like your band's going to sound better by that and strings are very important so there's times where it's like and my being a little oh cd of mastering training always but it's worth it and it's a fight I have with bands all the time about one of my favorite bands I've ever recorded made the comment well well you know what like we don't want to spend one hundred dollars on bass strings and you're going to spend one hundred dollars on basic well let's just program the base skrillex program that basically you guys are a metal band and uh they ended up getting bass strings but it was yeah a lot of people it's an easy it's expensive they're based rings and drum heads they're just things people don't want to pay money for my strangely confused there we go so we have questions online sale perfect okay a question came in from p frampton so peter frampton's in the s and p frampton says do you have any specific workflow for making sure base stays in the same tuning throughout a song and record, especially if it's recorded suburb from the guitars? I always recorded several from the guitar, so I checked tuning usually after every take or two I tune, I'm very meticulous about tuning and I'll make that usually I'll show the guitar player of the bass player, whoever is tracking where I want him tuning if we're doing like we spoke where you're heading a little hard, somebody always tuned this string a little bit flat and I've kind of made it uh I don't want to say a game, but a practice where every time I save the session, the bass player guitar players should be tuning, but I tuned in the course of a song, I would say we're tuning guitars and bay each instrument probably fifty to one hundred times and that all goes hand in hand with you could fix it later, but you may as well just take care of it now. All right, just talk us through what you're doing is much, yeah, right now I'm just re string per usual and like the person asked, I go a little if we can zoom in on this, I don't know go a little past the next peg where I make my cut this bridge hasn't been bored out for the one fifteen strings that amusing but I wanted to show you guys intimating something that wasn't just really close to what I was already doing because I don't think I really prove a point by saying you can intimidate a guitar to the tuning that it was before three days ago so this guitar is any standard we're going to put it down to d standard and it will be a little bit lower a little bit clunkier and then the cool thing is this will give us a really good reference telling for when we start screwing around with amps but if you hear a little bit of buzz from the nut that's the reason why I wasn't going to aa try and get a new nut shipped out in time teo for the class I realized what I was doing a couple days to wait to do so but that it's also something important for tone on guitar or bases you should have your like with the trust a ride you should have your not set up for the strings that you're using and it's generally a music shop will do it for ten bucks I think intonation and your ah action is what they charge the most warn it's the things that you could do easy yourself after five minutes of learning shorter sharper of longer flatter it's up a little do we have any more questions I can answer while I do this or we get no no, I just I'd rather have you talked through it ok, that would be better for people than me because I think I'm just disrupting you know your great okay, I just right now it's I've changed once during and I've kind of explained my string lengthening and I feel like now I'm just like looking at the guitar so if we have questions, I think people know what I'm doing at this point I have a question, teo I played to the guy bass player that would religiously he built this like pvc pipe to soak a strings and alcohol okay? And so he would, like get a longer life out of yeah, just rotate sets. Yeah, I mean, how close to a new strength obvious it's not going to sound like a new strain of this? I have no idea because I wasn't I went from when I was first starting out playing I was the guy that was too lazy to boil the strings and then as I developed, it was like, ok, it's worth it like I do, I want to be a professional bass player do I want to be a professional producer engineer? I'm going to change this strength yeah, I uh when I'm playing I'm not rich by any means that make enough where I can afford to spend the twenty dollars on the pakistan's thirty dollars on the pakistan rings to make it worth it so I'm sure there's some that's good if you're digging or whatever, I'm sure that you can get away with it and you can get four five shows out of the strings by building the pvc thing, but in recording if somebody came in and said, I just want to boil my strings or I just wanted to treat them and alcohol I would left and then I would give them the address to get our center and call my g c pro rep and say, hey, jesse, I got a guy coming for you is that your brother or somebody else you know is ah different guy that have played with for a while? How often did he actually change it's strange, I think he would he would get, like five gigs, ten gigs out of the streets, just a penny, but he was he was like you said it was mostly plane live yeah, and like little around town gigs, you know, I think he would probably change him I really have to experiment with it I I've heard about this charity, one of my engineers that I don't work with anymore, but awesome engineer named jeff dunn he was working at the studio for like six months he's like we should do this and we never did because we would forget but there's a charity, I'll look it up and mention it tomorrow because I think it's really cool they uh you send them all your old strings and they do the alcohol and they like re treat them and then they give them to kids in developing countries that got like they send instruments out there and then they send strings tio so that kids can like witness music and obviously like if they're good enough to get him to that standard like cleaning and stuff works, but I think that's an awesome cause in as much of the stick as I am about changing strings I really should be doing that because and a record we're going through twenty cents a guitar string, six sets of bass strings, but I always forget because of my bad human our andrew like we have a big picture question here from fred the third who wants to know? Why does the intonation change? Is that the variation in the strings that caused the octave to move away from the center of the length? Why don't acoustic guitars have intonation adjustment? I I've asked myself the acoustic guitar question as well I have no idea but my acoustic guitar I only have junk acoustic guitars and I was usually the artists that have acoustic zones will bring in a better instrument than I have. I have no idea, um, string gauge has a lot to do with intonation as well as changing your tuning so that's where the problems come from, especially like this won't be intimidated because I put on a gauge of string that's ten thicker than what came on the guitar before do you know you play folk music? Do you know why? There's no bridge set up for intimidating? And if you think I don't think enough people would actually know how to make the adjustment thank you see guitar and the, um I think it's probably like you're dealing with bigger measurements between string sizes on a base and then you would be on a plastic guitar, but I still deal with that the best thing I ever did that was just spend the money to get it set up just perfect and actually spent twice what the guitar was worth at that point because I like the instrument, but it was worth it there's still work that yet, you know, it plays like a a three thousand dollars, you know you can have they'll set it up at a music store, but they're obvious I'm a recording engineer I'm not guitar tech, but I know that they can intimidate him that's or do they just swap off the whole plastic bridge to get your new and yeah they just cut a new like bone not knowledge and just set it in and what goes under it is a big a crucial be teaching the class too because that was I'm glad to know that now but I'm never going to bring my fifty dollars walmart acoustic guitar every couple christmases I have a family member haiti won anything for prison yeah give me a shitty acoustic guitar and they just they really go all out got it went to the grocery store got you this so mark zero says I always hear a lot of famous engineers preferring stainless steel strings like pro steel or blue steel for rock and metal what's your preference I use nickel ah it's a superstition thing again guys same way I am with that tuning I use nickel because it's a little bit softer I know it doesn't last as long but because I'm going to be restoring anyway even if I had steel strings I would restoring base every two three sons guitar every song I blue steel makes cool streams he's right there but I've also heard that the steel strings if you're um saddles are made of a soft metal or you have like a plastic nut that it can start to like waste away at it and so that's why I use nickel because it's a softer strength but I'm sure there's everybody has a preference I'm not right and steel strings do sound good and I know I used to play steal because they would last longer, but it was the same thing was worth an extra show going to be worth whatever hassles that I felt like that put on me in the future. I can't believe you re string guitar after every song ever so that's a lot of string that's, you know, for anybody who is, you know, knew the channel it's their first time watching I think everybody I know does that absolutely mandatory some people even halfway through a song strings we're going to take a break done that I just I get worried that the song will feel like, ok, the song is getting a little dull oh my god it's there again, but I've definitely changed in the middle of the song before point being changing strings frequently is not optional I mean it's like it's got to be done it's a mandatory it's, expensive it's annoying but is absolutely mandatory do you want to get a nickel back, baby, you gotta change your strings so I'm taking this leave rolling break while I get down to a real business right now that everybody else talk about that when light andrew and kurt coming talk about changing strings I don't recall if kurt did, but, yeah, andrew cover that quite a bit. A ll covered it quite a bit, you know, with, like, drum heads and stuff. I mean, I think that's the, you know, I think we all wish it was possible to you get that kind of brightness and, you know, dynamics and stuff without spending the money and taking the time to slow down and change strings. But it's, just not how it worked. Worlds is just not that easy.