Archives for: March 2017

Bass recording tips

Just realized today I have roughly 1 more song to write for my record.
So I was doing a bit of homework on tracking bass, which I’ll probably start doing in a couple of week’s time.

I came across this one by Stu Hamm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJaCuQHkYGs (Part 1).

Some tips:
– Varying pickups
– Pick vs no pick
– Funny: “If you’re a guitar and/or a mediocre bass player, [thinking] that you’d put in a plugin for Ampeg SVT and you’re going to sound like Billy Sheehan, it’s not (**shakes head**) going to happen.”
– Do not play the strings too hard. Play it with a light touch and even, with a nice controlled attack, so it doesn’t sound too “clacky”. Bass wouldn’t sound bigger or thicker the louder a player plays. He has the bass volume overly loud in the mix, to keep himself in check, making sure he does not overpower the playing to maintain the fat even sound.
– Tuning the bass just a hair flat to sit better with the guitars and make the overall song sound less edgy.

Part 2 is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYCjZfqFX1A, where he talks about arrangement/parts for a tune.

– Recording two takes from start to finish
– For example, one would be with a pick, another would be with fingers.
– Another example, one take would be driving 8s and another would be syncopated.
– Keep on playing even if there are mistakes

New record update: March 2017

Howdy. Long overdue relevant post, I suppose. Just thought I’d post a quick update on the status of a new record that I’ve been working on since November.

I took some time off here and there in November and December where I started most of my writing. Currently, I have roughly 7-8 demos done (rough demos) but I’m still in my writing phase. I truly, truly feel that this is going to be my strongest record yet. For the most part, it’s going to be more experimental in terms of harmony (- something which I had always dreamt of doing growing up, if I ever decided to do a record). For many reasons and other distractions over the years, I haven’t been able explore into that realm, but I’ve learnt a few tricks lately and realized some of things I’ve neglected in the past. Those together helped me navigate through much of the writing process and explore in things that I’ve never tried doing before.

The tunes are thoroughly composed, with a bit less of the “just wing it” mentality, although I’m strategically leaving spaces for those sections when it’s time to track. I say “thoroughly composed”, because I had to write down and transcribe much of the harmony – something I very rarely had to do previously, as I mostly relied everything by ear.

After all the writing’s done, I’ll need to remind myself how to play the guitar again. It’s been a while…

It’ll be a dark record and will have a common theme to it, likely some sort of a concept record.

Not sure who the drummer will be this time. Couple of months ago I was constantly worried about it. I was also a bit bummed out when I found out that Ronan would be moving his studio outside of Los Angeles, even though mastering could be done remotely, I suppose. But all the focus had since been shifted into the writing and the worrying became not knowing when the writing will ever be done. I always get that whenever working on a record. However, I’ll continue to try not to rush it as I truly feel that there’s something special about this one. (Well, special to me).

Like everyone who does this, there could be several days in a roll where no new ideas strike, due to lack of sleep, work life and other real-life events, so it’s going to be a process before all the tunes will be done. Some of the music’s getting a bit complex… but it’s always the greatest feeling whenever I find a solution to what I’ve been searching for.

Brick by brick. Note by note…

Getting into the mechanics of playing again and tracking, finding a drummer, mixing, mastering…
Still quite some ways to go, but I hope all the effort that have been placed into the songs will show in the final results.