NOOB HOME RECORDING (005) - Recording Bass Tracks

I still haven't established a process on how I go about recording a song. However, it seems logical to start at pre-production and recording tracks. It's tempting to start mixing as I go, applying EQ and compressors, etc... as soon as I lay down a track but I try hard to avoid it. I keep reminding myself that mixing should start after the tracks have been cleaned, edited and when every piece of the puzzle is in place so that everything is mixed in context.

With drum programming out of the way, I started laying down bass tracks. As I mentioned in the previous post, I started with the sub-bass. It took me months before deciding to continue working on this cover song. I still needed additional bass tracks to complement the sub-bass.

There were two things I didn't have:
1. A dedicated room to do all my recordings.
2. I didn't have a bass amp.

So I had to make do with recording my bass plugged in direct to the UX2. After my experience with recording Make Me Crawl and Stereo, I thought it was wise to spend time picking an amp simulation and effects or pre-sets and record "wet" into the DAW.  I found that recording "dry" and applying effects later tended to make the process even slower because of indecision as to which amp simulation and effects to choose among the multitude of options.

After picking amp simulations and pre-sets I went to work. In retrospect, I should have taken notes on which ones I picked and at what settings. Anyway, I'll try to do that next time.

I already had the sub-bass down and I decided I needed two more bass tracks, one lower and one higher. Here is a sample of the soloed bass tracks in succession from sub, low to high.


Here's the resulting three bass tracks combined.



You will notice in the picture that the sub-bass is panned center, the lower one panned a little bit to the left, nudged about 1ms to create just a touch of a phase effect. The higher bass was panned a little bit to the right.

And here's the bass track in context, combined with the electric guitars (which I will discuss in NHR 006). Keep in mind that I haven't done any mixing here except adjusting levels to avoid clipping.