October 8th, 2003, 11:43 PM
... I've never done anything of the sort & haven't a clue.
Thinking about doing track #1 as usual:
P bass or G&L L-2000, direct.
Track #2 being exactly doubled on an Epiphone acoustic bass, mic'ed.
I'd have the option of using one or the other, of course... but what I'm really interested in is a mix of the two, with a bit of the acoustic flavor in there...
With the combined doubled tracks,
* what mic choice / placement would you choose to get the most out of the acoustic bass?
* at mixdown, which would you have be more prominent, electric or acoustic?
* also at mixdown - should both tracks be up the middle, or panned right & left ever so slightly? I guess that would have to depend on whether the two tracks were equal in volume...
Any thoughts? Feel free to tell me it's impractical if that's the deal. Thanks.
October 9th, 2003, 06:23 PM
I'd treat the acoustic bass guitar like an acoustic guitar, and position the mic about six inches away from it, right around the twelth fret. It can get kinda boomy down around the soundhole...
I'd also probably mix them panned to either side, either a little or a lot, depending on how it sounds. You might consider playing one of them with a pick and one with fingers, just to further emphasize their differences.
Have a good time!
October 9th, 2003, 09:26 PM
(But then we're the kind of geeks who get excited about things like double-tracking bass, right?) ;-)
Tim's right on about the mic placement: pointed at the area of the 12th fret, at a 45-degree angle should be about right. But you're experimenting anyway, so if the initial playback doesn't sound quite "right" somehow, move the mic around until you're happy with what you're hearing.
For mixing, I'd *guess* you'll probably use the electric track to get the fundamental, and the acoustic to add texture, overtones and high-end definition -- but that's just a guess. It really depends on the actual part you're playing and what else is happening in the soundscape. And again, don't be afraid to experiment. A little bit of chorus often does wonders for acoustic guitar; the same thing might sound very cool on the acoustic bass. And you can play around with EQ on both instruments until they start to blend well.
Bass usually gets panned in the center, but there are as many exceptions to that "rule" as there are examples. The more you pan them side to side, the more they'll come across as separate instruments. The more you center them, the more likely they'll be to sound like one instrument with some unusual tonal qualities.
So... play around! Have fun! (And then come back afterwards and tell us how wrong we were...) ;-) CS
October 10th, 2003, 03:33 AM
Yeah, I'm geek for double tracking in general... You guys described the way we record acoustic guitars, so that will make a good starting point. I'll probably try a condenser first... on the mic placement, I'm just going for a little bit of the room, & the acoustic nuances; I figure the electric will provide most of the punch. If there's any panning, I'm sure it will be slight. Good stuff guys, thanks.
October 10th, 2003, 02:21 PM
I'm using a Tacoma CB10 with Fishman on board pup, pre and eq. I take the on board to a channel, through a compressor and EQ. I hate the sound of those piezio pickups so I do a bunch of manipulating before I track it.
I then use an sm-57, just about pointing at the bridge. You get a lot off the top of this bass. Finally a condenser just about dead on the neck - body joint about 6 inches out.
... and mix to taste, no right or wrong answers there. I do find that the mic'd tracks tend to work well with time based effects (verb, chorus, flange ...) I generally keep the piezio centered and pan the mic's.
Easy enough to replace the direct line with a line from a solid body, or add that in as an additional track.
My recorder has lots and lots of virtual tracks so I tend to burn a lot more than I need. makes mixing more fun ...
I hear good things about a K&K interior mic setup for ABG. Some of my next mad-money is going there. I'd love to can that POS piezio toy ... I absolutely love everything else about that bass though. It is one of the most fun instruments to play that I'ver ever had!
November 2nd, 2003, 05:10 PM
Another recording option for the acoustic bass is to place the mic about 6" away from where the fretboard meets the soundhole but angle it toward your left hand, that way, the mic picks up a little of the attack of your fingers (or pick) plucking the string.
I've recorded harmony electric bass parts before and it really helped to put the harmony an octave above the melody....otherwise, mud city. This may be an option to try with recording an electric & acoustic bass, double the part an octave higher on the acoustic.
November 3rd, 2003, 12:55 AM
Due to FDS (flakey drummer syndrome), I've not yet cut the tune that I had in mind...
However, I did track the Epiphone acoustic on its own for a different tune. We ran our direct signal with a Demeter tube DI. We had tracks to spare on this tune, so we did as bluesy has suggested with mic placement, & just for grins, we aimed one near the bridge as well. We used a pair of MXL V77's (nice bang for the buck tube condenser). After cutting that, I also cut 3 tele tracks & a backing vocal... at the end of the day, I only had time for a quick board rough mix, so I just went with the direct tone. So I've not yet heard the combined tones... The Epi acoustic recorded very nice; warm & round, & should be a nice alternate texture to our P bass & G&L electric tracks on other tunes... since then, we've turned over our Mackie 24/96 machine to our engineer for a transfer to Pro Tools for mixing - I'll be certain to find out how he combines the mic'ed tracks with the direct signal, & post it here. Should give me a heads up for my original intention as well.
In the meantime, please feel free to turn this into a thread for drummer jokes... I'll even get the ball rolling:
Q: What do you call a guy that hangs out with musicians?
November 3rd, 2003, 12:57 AM
A: a drummer.
Sorry, please excuse.