Bass gtr vst

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Bass gtr vst

Post by dcb1978 »

Hi,

No idea which forum to put this in…sorry!

I’m trying to set up a template for “backing band” work, with a set of tracks I can go straight to to mock stuff up and have it sounding good as I track, before maybe changing sounds out later.

I’m having a real problem with getting any bass vst to sit in a mix. When I listen to accompanying bands on TV, etc., I’d describe the bass as being “just a standard bass” to mY ears….can’t really hear any string noise or buzz, etc., just an even sound which sits there and does its job.

It’s a naïve question in a way - I can only describe it as “standard pop/MT bass guitar”. Not much high end at all, no distortion, no massive attack to each note, no slap sound at all, etc…..

I’ve tried several bass sounds, within Logic and using Kontakt VSTs etc.

Does anybody know roughly what I mean, and how I could maybe achieve it?

Thanks

Daniel
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by adamburgess »

MODO Bass works for me for MIDI mock ups.

Used it live on backing under a live band, and even the very experienced guitarist asked who played bass on the tracks.

It's not amazing but, it does well without much work.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by Aled Hughes »

Could it be that you simply have the bass too loud? A lot of ‘typical’ recorded bass tones do have those sounds, but they often tend to disappear into the mix when set at an appropriate level.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by sonics »

dcb1978 wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 3:47 pm It’s a naïve question in a way - I can only describe it as “standard pop/MT bass guitar”. Not much high end at all, no distortion, no massive attack to each note, no slap sound at all, etc…..

I don't think there's a typical bass (guitar) sound these days, is there?
Can you post a link to an example?

A bass instrument (like IK's MODO Bass, or a typical Fender sample) through an amp (Ampeg etc.) would give a sound that's been used for fifty years, but on rock and funk as well as pop.
Distortion is often part of that sound, but not so much as to become obvious.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by Martin Walker »

Aled Hughes wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 4:27 pm Could it be that you simply have the bass too loud? A lot of ‘typical’ recorded bass tones do have those sounds, but they often tend to disappear into the mix when set at an appropriate level.

A good point from Aled here! :thumbup:

Getting any bass sound to 'sit' correctly into a mix is an art in itself (using compression, such as a dbx160, to squash the dynamics a little could help with a 'real' bass, although a VSTi probably smoothes note volumes out already). I find setting up a rough pink noise mix is the quickest way to get bass sounds in balance with everything else.

However, another aspect to consider is that a real bassist will inevitably interplay 'with' the drummer, to form the rhythm section, whereas if you're playing it from a keyboard you may be tempted to play too many notes.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by RichardT »

I use NI's MM and Rickenbacker basses a lot. The MM bass sound is very close to what you're looking for. The Rickenbacker is a bit more characterful.

I almost always EQ them to remove quite a lot of middle frequencies (from about 350Hz to 800Hz) otherwise they obscure a lot of what's going on in the mid range elsewhere. I sometimes take away quite a bit >2 kHz too if necessary and add a slight boost at about 1kHz to emphasise the transients a bit. But all this depends on the context of the mix.

Likewise, I remove some of the lower frequencies from mid range instruments so that they don't obscure the bass. It's surprising how much can be taken off the bottom of electric guitars without it being noticeable, for example.

Also make sure the bass sound is 'narrow' in a stereo sense - that will clarify midrange elements out to the sides.

I also use compression in the midi domain to keep the level even, and also automation to adjust the intensity and volume of the bass track.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by The Elf »

RichardT wrote: Sat Feb 04, 2023 7:13 pm Likewise, I remove some of the lower frequencies from mid range instruments so that they don't obscure the bass. It's surprising how much can be taken off the bottom of electric guitars without it being noticeable, for example.

But never let the guitarist catch you soloing his rhythm parts - they tend to stress, even though it sounded fine to them until that moment... ;)
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by dcb1978 »

Thanks for all the replies. Interesting point about having it too high in the mix.

Here's an example of roughly the kind of "generic" bass sound I'm looking for, which I've managed to get 80/90% of the way towards today by using a bass from the Kontakt factory library, and Bass Amp Designer in Logic.

It's a solo - so louder - but gets taken right down in the mix just after this clip ends and the vocal is back in. This is obviously live playing (from TV)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzaYSq ... sp=sharing
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by RichardT »

It's hard to tell what is the actual bass sound and what is down to the limitations of the recording! I think an NI MM bass sound would fit quite well with that though.

If you post a sample of your recording I'm sure people will be glad to help you get closer to that sound.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by sonics »

Your problem may simply be in the mixing. Your link is a typical "middly" Fender Jazz bass sound, with some amp character.
You'll need some compression (something slower like an LA-2A) and you should be there. Try adding some upper mids to add note clarity.
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Re: Bass gtr vst

Post by BigRedX »

Go and listen to some isolated bass guitar parts on YouTube. You will be surprised by just how much drive/distortion there is on parts that when in the mix sound "clean". A little bit of drive (or maybe even quite a lot) along with the right compression will allow the bass sit better in the mix. Also playing like a bassist will help.
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