Heard a lot of great music on this site, and love to kontribute. But what I don't get is a lot of the great stuff I hear already has bass on it . . . usually some poorly emulated tones generated by MIDI or computer programs. Still, these songs are posted under "Talent Wanted: Electric Bass." Wot's . . . Uh, the deal? Are these kompozers looking for someone to take the bassline and play it over so it doesn't sound so computer manufactured? And if so, why don't they post a mix without the bassline so there's some room to add it in? Am I the only one who wonders about this? I feel like I'm popping crazy pills . . .
Because because it's just a question of courage to make a new mix without the MIDI bass, and another one without the MIDI drums. The courage could come later... another day.... if if... if.. someone is interested to play on it.
Now it's on you to ask a mix without the MIDI bass if you are interested by a song...
Also, be sure to record your bass without any compression, reverb or any other FX that will suck the life out of your tone. There's many sound engineers on Kompoz that will give you exactly the same advice. The "bad" thing about bass is that unless you can record it cleanly, it won't translate well in a mix. This is where the MIDI keyboard will always win. Personally, I prefer a real bass 95% of the time, but will always use keyboards "clarity" if I have to make a choice between a "dirty" or unclear bass and a clean keyboard track with good note definition. Keep things very simple with electric bass and you won't run into too many issues.
@dogbizkits: that does help, actually. I haven't been entirely happy with the way my effects pedals translate onto the mixes I have tried to do. I thought it was just because I'm not very good at mixing . . . but maybe its something else . . . I've been going from my pedals (which includes pre-amp) direct to an interface. So, what's preferable? Going direct-out from the amp to an interface? And whats the best way to preserve some of the tone I get from the pedals (i.e.: fuzz, chorus, delay, envelope filter, etc.)
Any signal chain is only as good as the weakest component. I don't know if you're daisy-chaining several "boxes" on their way to the recording interface.. but if you are, you'll run into gain-staging issues that will introduce noise to your signal path. Don't use this method for recording bass. The way that tends to give the best results for bass guitar is usually the simplest one. My recommendation would be to plug your bass into a DI box and feed the balanced output into your recording device. Don't do anything with your tone controls either... keep them "flat". If you're running active pickups, you may need to turn down the volume control down a little on the bass - but if it's a passive pickup, turn the volume right up. Compression is almost always used on bass - but it's better to do that in the mixing stage. That's also true for other FX. If the tone's missing from a recorded track, there's no way you'll get it back in a mix. There are of course some exceptions to using compression and FX while recording - but it's more likely that the recording engineer will set this up in the studio for the bass player. Keeping your bass track free from anything to "shape" the sound is always the safest route to take when submitting tracks for a sound engineer.