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In Bloom - just the bass

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I found this interesting

How many of you would have been happy with that take (assuming it was done in one)

I'd have been asking to punch in quite a few places, although to be fair it's not really noticeable on the full track.

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One of my favourite Nirvana tracks and a great bassline. I've listened to this song countless times and have never noticed anything really out once everything is mixed down, but obviously there's some out of time and bum notes on this version.

I don't think Krist will be losing any sleep, the band were never interested in technical perfection, just capturing the spirit of the moment. I'd much rather listen to this than some boring donkey trad jazz played perfectly in time 😀

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21 minutes ago, BreadBin said:

How many of you would have been happy with that take (assuming it was done in one)

I'd have been asking to punch in quite a few places, although to be fair it's not really noticeable on the full track.

If I had been one of the first grunge bands before the term, with low budget to record, and trying to get away from the polished professionalism of 80s/90s rock and come up with a slowed down punk, and capture the live energy of the band, I would have been more than happy with that.

 

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I would have had to be happy (not that I think there's much wrong with it) because bands I'm in never have time for the bass to set up or play. They need all those studio hours for the pri madonnas and their 50 takes per solo

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1 minute ago, stewblack said:

They need all those studio hours for the pri madonnas and their 50 takes per solo

I'm guessing in Nirvana, that didn't happen either!

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When you hear alot of these isolated tracks, there is alot more hums and buzzes, open strings ringing out etc than I would be happy with. But, I'm slowly beginning to get my head round over the years is that it's more to do with the performance, rather than technical perfection! Performance trumps technical perfection every time. 

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It's interesting, none of the bands I've played with would have left that alone. I've listened to the original hundreds of times and never considered that it needed any changes.

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Posted (edited)

I find it hilarious some folk think everything should be perfect. In most cases imperfections gives the track character.

I think Butch Vig is an excellent producer.

Edited by hooky_lowdown
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If it sounds right in the context of the overall song mix and production then it is fine.

Personally I thought the isolated bass track just sounded like a random selection of notes, the sort of thing that you play when you are trying out a bass and not playing anything fixed, just noodling to see how it feels.

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Absolutely nothing wrong with it! Do you think grunge was all about technical dexterity and accuracy?

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As interesting as these isolated tracks are, when the bass lines are taken out of context, all the fluffs, timing errors and miss-hits spring to the fore in a way that they don’t when there’s other instrumentation around them. Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with this at all. I’ve heard the backing track for this, on a “Classic Albums” TV program, I think and it sounds incredible- tight and powerful. I can’t agree with the comment that it sounds random- to me, it sounds incredibly focussed and is very much a “written” as opposed to an improvised bass part. 

Would I have fixed anything about that take? I doubt it.  

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I remember years ago we did a session in a studio to record our own material. I laid down the bass and after hearing it I said I'm gonna have to do that again it sounds terrible. The engineer said don't worry, leave it with me. He mucked about and cleaned it up. When we heard the finished article the bass sounded great.

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3 hours ago, stewblack said:

I would have had to be happy (not that I think there's much wrong with it) because bands I'm in never have time for the bass to set up or play. They need all those studio hours for the pri madonnas and their 50 takes per solo

I actually had to sit through a session once where the guitarist did 50 takes to get the solo right. I know because I counted...

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1 hour ago, ubit said:

I remember years ago we did a session in a studio to record our own material. I laid down the bass and after hearing it I said I'm gonna have to do that again it sounds terrible. The engineer said don't worry, leave it with me. He mucked about and cleaned it up. When we heard the finished article the bass sounded great.

Yeh, he went out the back and got his mate to redo it :D

 

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3 hours ago, hooky_lowdown said:

I find it hilarious some folk think everything should be perfect. In most cases imperfections gives the track character.

I think Butch Vig is an excellent producer.

 

2 hours ago, ubit said:

I remember years ago we did a session in a studio to record our own material. I laid down the bass and after hearing it I said I'm gonna have to do that again it sounds terrible. The engineer said don't worry, leave it with me. He mucked about and cleaned it up. When we heard the finished article the bass sounded great.

Def one of the many benefits of a good producer, that they can hear what will work in the overall mix, and that sometimes that might not necessarily be what would have been expected. 

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1 hour ago, ClassicVibes said:

I actually had to sit through a session once where the guitarist did 50 takes to get the solo right. I know because I counted...

C’mon, how many takes was it for the bass solo then?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

C’mon, how many takes was it for the bass solo then?

First time, playing along with the drums live. I will admit, my part wasn't that technical. 

Edited by ClassicVibes

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34 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Def one of the many benefits of a good producer, that they can hear what will work in the overall mix, and that sometimes that might not necessarily be what would have been expected. 

When mixing I only ever want to hear instruments solo'd when I can hear something wrong and want to know exactly what it is, so we can work out how to make it not sound wrong. 

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5 hours ago, ClassicVibes said:

I actually had to sit through a session once where the guitarist did 50 takes to get the solo right. I know because I counted...

Oh God. They'd have found me swinging from a roof beam 

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On 18/05/2020 at 19:21, stewblack said:

Oh God. They'd have found me swinging from a roof beam 

I find alcohol cures all manner of ills in these type of situations!

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During a recording session, if I'm not actually required to in the studio there for the purposes of either playing or to comment on the sound and/or performance, then AFAIAC there is no point me being there, so I'm not.

If someone requires numerous takes to get the right performance that's fine, but they shouldn't expect the rest of the band to witness it and IME they would probably perform better without an audience.

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Just now, BigRedX said:

During a recording session, if I'm not actually required to in the studio there for the purposes of either playing or to comment on the sound and/or performance, then AFAIAC there is no point me being there, so I'm not.

If someone requires numerous takes to get the right performance that's fine, but they shouldn't expect the rest of the band to witness it and IME they would probably perform better without an audience.

Why would you leave? It's your job has a band mate to support others and help get the best performance out of them. Even in the studio, encouraging creativity could produce a part which was better than the original. Mixing is also essential to get right; you can't just say, "Make sure the bass is audible.". It's about the whole mix and making sure everything is audible but tight and punchy. A band is only has strong has its weakest link. 

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8 minutes ago, ClassicVibes said:

Why would you leave? It's your job has a band mate to support others and help get the best performance out of them. Even in the studio, encouraging creativity could produce a part which was better than the original. Mixing is also essential to get right; you can't just say, "Make sure the bass is audible.". It's about the whole mix and making sure everything is audible but tight and punchy. A band is only has strong has its weakest link. 

I think this too. The bands you play with must all be very distant with each other. I played with mates or at least people I got on very well with and if one of us was struggling to get something right, we would all support him.

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Posted (edited)

We did a song in June last year - the bass pushes the tune - while it’s not an overly technical part, it’s one of those parts which if you lose the thread; you’re goosed...the rest of the band sat and watched me in the control room.

Obviously in the spirit of “banter” etc, they filmed me and were gooning off to wind me up...nailed it in two takes. And not for mistakes - just so he had two takes.

The guitarist (who’s now left) took 30 or so takes on a guitar part for the same song.

I listen back now and feel my part is a bit robotic and “going through the motions”.

in response to the OP - I was a huge Novoselic fan, I liked his gritty, rubbery bass sound.

Lounge Act from Nevermind is still one of my favourite basslines.

The isolated bass track makes very little or no sense without the other parts - the drum track and bassline sync together wonderfully - the Dave Grohl/Nevermind version much more than the “Bleach” sessions version.

Edited by AndyTravis
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