Propellerhead Software
  #1  
Old 2012-10-21, 20:19
iriejams's Avatar
iriejams iriejams is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Question Help recording bass guitar in Reason

I'm a bass player in a reggae band and I'm trying to get a nice deep heavy bass tone in my Reason productions without it sounding too muddy. I've been searching videos and forums to see if there is anything out there with tips on recording good bass tone in Reason but haven't really found anything. Wondering if anyone on here has any good tips or would like to share what kind of chain they're running their bass thru to get a good sound.

I play a Fender Jazz bass running thru a Ampeg SVT-4 Pro amp and an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet. I have it EQ'd with heavy low end and very little highs and I have the compression pretty much cranked to 100%. I love the way my bass sounds live and I'm basically trying to emulate that tone in my Reason productions.

In Reason I'm running thru a Line 6 bass amp set to Clean Rock with the 1974 Rock Classic amp and the 8x10 Classic cabinet.
My settings for the Line 6 bass amp
Compressor: Off
Drive: 0
Bass: 86
Lo Mid: 87
Hi Mid: 75
Treble: 94

I then have the Line 6 bass amp running into a MClass Maximizer with the following settings
Input Gain: 2.2 dB
Attack: Fast
Release: Slow
Output Gain: 2.6 dB
Soft Clip: Enabled
Soft Clip Amount: 103

On the SSL board I have the compressor enabled but the settings are default. In the EQ section I have the highs and the high mids slightly cut and the low ever so slightly boosted.

I am far from an expert when it comes to EQ or effects like the compressor or maximizer. I basically just came to these settings thru experimentation. It sounds ok but I'm sure it could sound much better. If any one has any tips or tricks I'd love to hear em. Any other bass players out there recording reggae music with Reason???

Mac Pro - Reason 6.5 - MBox Pro - KRK Rokit 5's
  #2  
Old 2012-10-21, 21:27
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,517
You left out an important bit of info with your post - what interface are you using to get your bass into Reason?

If I was engineering a session and you were the bass player and were telling me what you say below, I'd start by putting a microphone on your amp (doesn't need to be ear-bleed loud, sometimes recording a bass amp a lower levels sounds better).

Next I'd look at the back of your amp, and find a gazillion jacks - surely ONE of these would be a good recording source? The reason I'd use the amp is because you are saying you like the existing tone, so why not start as close to the source as possible when trying to recreate it? Or to put it another way, why reinvent the wheel?

Finally, I'd remind myself that your studio monitors probably can't match your bass amp's power output, and also whatever is louder sounds better. So if your amp is louder than your studio monitors, you'll prefer it hands down. That makes recreating your live tone in the studio a bit difficult, because it will never actually 'feel' like your amp does.

So a little perspective is in order, and that can come from a recording you consider represents the tone you're going for (especially if there's a place where the bass plays by itself). Start by recording your bass flat through an interface that is designed to record direct bass/guitar (like Balance, for example). Also try recording your bass form a direct/recording output of your amp. See how close you are. Finally, start adding the distortion and compression you're looking for, if it's not already coming from your amp, seeing how close you can come to your reference/target. That ought to get you close, or at least closer than you've been able to get so far (hopefully!).

BTW, 90% of the time I want low tones from a bass track (assuming the bass and the player are up to the task), a direct signal works best for me. In the mix I add some serious filtering above 1 kHz, a bit of saturation (to help hear it on smaller speakers), and a bit of compression for sustain/largeness (LA-2a comes to mind here). That's it!

Without knowing more, that's all I got. Hope this helps. :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by iriejams View Post
I'm a bass player in a reggae band and I'm trying to get a nice deep heavy bass tone in my Reason productions without it sounding too muddy. I've been searching videos and forums to see if there is anything out there with tips on recording good bass tone in Reason but haven't really found anything. Wondering if anyone on here has any good tips or would like to share what kind of chain they're running their bass thru to get a good sound.

I play a Fender Jazz bass running thru a Ampeg SVT-4 Pro amp and an Ampeg 8x10 cabinet. I have it EQ'd with heavy low end and very little highs and I have the compression pretty much cranked to 100%. I love the way my bass sounds live and I'm basically trying to emulate that tone in my Reason productions.

In Reason I'm running thru a Line 6 bass amp set to Clean Rock with the 1974 Rock Classic amp and the 8x10 Classic cabinet.
My settings for the Line 6 bass amp
Compressor: Off
Drive: 0
Bass: 86
Lo Mid: 87
Hi Mid: 75
Treble: 94

I then have the Line 6 bass amp running into a MClass Maximizer with the following settings
Input Gain: 2.2 dB
Attack: Fast
Release: Slow
Output Gain: 2.6 dB
Soft Clip: Enabled
Soft Clip Amount: 103

On the SSL board I have the compressor enabled but the settings are default. In the EQ section I have the highs and the high mids slightly cut and the low ever so slightly boosted.

I am far from an expert when it comes to EQ or effects like the compressor or maximizer. I basically just came to these settings thru experimentation. It sounds ok but I'm sure it could sound much better. If any one has any tips or tricks I'd love to hear em. Any other bass players out there recording reggae music with Reason???

Mac Pro - Reason 6.5 - MBox Pro - KRK Rokit 5's
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
  #3  
Old 2012-10-21, 22:26
iriejams's Avatar
iriejams iriejams is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4
Thanks for the response Selig. I guess I should have been a little more clear. For starters the interface I'm using is an Mbox 2 Pro. The point I was trying to make is that I am trying to get a good tone from just recording direct in to my interface. The reason being is my amp stays in our rehearsal studio and I only transport it to gigs when necessary. The thing is a beast....it's like moving a refrigerator. So for that reason I don't bring it home to my little bedroom studio. Plus I don't have the greatest selection of mics for recording bass amp.

My issue really isn't a volume thing. I'm aware that my amp far exceeds the output capabilities of my little monitors. I guess I shouldn't of said I'm trying to emulate my live sound. Really I'm just trying to get a nice deep punchy low end from my bass without it sounding muddy. And like I said by only recording direct in to my inyerface and not actually using my amp. The tone I'm getting now is ok but still seems a little cloudy to me...just doesn't have that professional sound. I feel like improvements could be made thru EQ and compression but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm sure thru experimenting with micing my amp and using its outs I could get a better tone but that's just not a reasonable option for me. Any advice?
  #4  
Old 2012-10-26, 18:16
iriejams's Avatar
iriejams iriejams is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4
I guess there aren't many bass guitar players using reason :/
  #5  
Old 2012-10-26, 18:51
gwynebiau's Avatar
gwynebiau gwynebiau is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,377
The percentage of users who are active on the forum is probably pretty small, and the number of people who read your post in particular is even smaller. I'm sure that there are many people recording bass in Reason, and I've also seen a number of other people who are using it for Reggae (do a quick search for Reggae on here if you want to find them).

Unfortunately I don't have a bass guitar and haven't recorded one live, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer. I'm sure that someone out there has some good advice for you though.

Edit: Someone like selig up there! I think you're looking for more information about processing the sound once it's in Reason too, so hopefully someone will come up with some good advice there as well.

Last edited by gwynebiau; 2012-10-26 at 18:54.
  #6  
Old 2012-10-26, 19:23
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynebiau View Post
The percentage of users who are active on the forum is probably pretty small, and the number of people who read your post in particular is even smaller. I'm sure that there are many people recording bass in Reason, and I've also seen a number of other people who are using it for Reggae (do a quick search for Reggae on here if you want to find them).

Unfortunately I don't have a bass guitar and haven't recorded one live, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer. I'm sure that someone out there has some good advice for you though.

Edit: Someone like selig up there! I think you're looking for more information about processing the sound once it's in Reason too, so hopefully someone will come up with some good advice there as well.
Good point about processing in Reason - I only addressed the external part of the equation.

Not knowing exactly what you're looking for, allow me to detail my approach that I mentioned in my first post. For 'big fat' bass I do three things. Filter the highs. More than a few bass players I've worked with use flat wound strings for a 'bigger' sound. That makes it easier to get 'that' sound IMO. But for those "bright" bass tones (which seldom work for me, especially in a Reggae track), I filter the top end pretty brutally! Try the SSL LP filter set as high as 3-4 kHz and as low as 1 kHz.

Next I add some sort of saturation to help 'hear' the bass on smaller speakers. In Pro Tools I prefer Massey's Tape Head, and in Reason the Saturation Knob is my current favorite. Don't over-do this effect, and use the "keep low" button (which is actually a boost low function!).

Finally, smooth (and subtle) compression helps to increase sustain on the bass in many situations, making it sound larger and fatter IMO. An LA-2a or Tubetech CL-1b would be my choice in hardware or PT, but in Reason I've had good luck with the FET. The RoughRider could also be considered, since it cuts high end already (but I don't have direct experience with this approach).

The Line 6 bass amp is also potentially useful, but I wouldn't use JUST the amp. I like the old school approach of having a direct AND an amp track for bass during mix down, and often recreate that workflow in software. So I'd leave the direct bass on it's own track, and add a second track using the Line 6 Amp so I could blend the two as desired. You can split the output at the Insert "to devices" jack and send the signal to a second Mix Channel with the Line 6 Bass amp inserted (or any number of other ways to achieve the same effect).

As always, the context is important. What does the rest of the track sound like? What does the raw bass sound like on it's own (before processing)? In the context of an actual mix I may make very different decisions to end up at my destination. If you want to take this discussion further, maybe you could post audio examples of the bass sound you like, compared to audio examples (or Reason song files if you're feeling adventurous!) of the bass sound you're currently getting. Then we could offer more precise suggestions as to how to get from point a to point b! :-)
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
  #7  
Old 2012-10-26, 18:36
selig's Avatar
selig selig is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 10,517
Quote:
Originally Posted by iriejams View Post
Thanks for the response Selig. I guess I should have been a little more clear. For starters the interface I'm using is an Mbox 2 Pro. The point I was trying to make is that I am trying to get a good tone from just recording direct in to my interface. The reason being is my amp stays in our rehearsal studio and I only transport it to gigs when necessary. The thing is a beast....it's like moving a refrigerator. So for that reason I don't bring it home to my little bedroom studio. Plus I don't have the greatest selection of mics for recording bass amp.

My issue really isn't a volume thing. I'm aware that my amp far exceeds the output capabilities of my little monitors. I guess I shouldn't of said I'm trying to emulate my live sound. Really I'm just trying to get a nice deep punchy low end from my bass without it sounding muddy. And like I said by only recording direct in to my inyerface and not actually using my amp. The tone I'm getting now is ok but still seems a little cloudy to me...just doesn't have that professional sound. I feel like improvements could be made thru EQ and compression but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm sure thru experimenting with micing my amp and using its outs I could get a better tone but that's just not a reasonable option for me. Any advice?
OK, ignore the stuff about your amp - I've carried enough bass rigs to appreciate what you're talking about!

But this (from my original post) still applies IMO:
"Start by recording your bass flat through an interface that is designed to record direct bass/guitar (like Balance, for example)"

A line input isn't designed to perfectly handle an input from a pickup (bass, guitar, rhodes, etc). You need an input specifically designed for that purpose in my experience. I mention Balance because I switched from a MBox 2 Pro to Balance and noticed a difference when plugging a guitar directly into it. The Balance interface (and plenty of others, to be sure) has an input for guitar/bass that is impedance matched to accept an input from a magnetic pickup. Since this is the first thing that would affect the sound of your instrument, I mention it first. If the input is affecting the quality of your bass in any way, nothing you do in software is likely to 'fix' it IMO.

So I'm not 100% sure you would get the expected result by simply changing to an interface with an input designed for guitar/bass, but it is certainly worth looking into. If you could test the theory in any way before purchase, you could have a better idea of if it would give you the results you desire.

BTW, in the studio I often use an Avalon U5 on bass, or use the instrument input on my LA-210 interface if I prefer a tube preamp. Both are designed to handle high impedance instrument inputs and sound much better IMO than a 'line' input. Of course, you don't have to spend THAT much to get an instrument input - shop around and see what's out there.

But that's where I'd start - at the top of the chain and get it 'right' from the start! :-)
__________________
Giles Reaves, aka 'selig'
Audio Illusionist, Musical Technologist
Selig Audio, LLC
USA
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recording Advice Needed, Acoustic Guitar in Reason jdmreason Phead User Forum (read only) 15 2012-08-15 19:13
Recording guitar into Reason 6 ibanez88 Music Forum (read only) 25 2012-02-22 00:44
Recording Live Bass Guitar Moomin General Forum (read only) 9 2009-03-08 19:41
Newbie Reason Recording Project wesleycobb General Forum (read only) 15 2003-05-29 05:55
Reason = profesional tool... yes and now (very long ) miziq General Forum (read only) 10 2002-12-19 07:57


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:13.