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Online bass stuff - fret/metal noise and clank


rmorris
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10 hours ago, rmorris said:

I don't know if this counts as "elephant in the room" territory but...is it just me (taking on a standup comedian pose) or do nearly all online bass demos/tutors/reviews etc simply have far too much fret noise and clank in their audio output ?

You are totally right and it's something I never understood.

 

I can play without having any extra fret noise, clank or any fingerboard fretless noise, so why can't they do it ?

 

Their answer is always the same : you can't hear it in the mix.

 

Maybe, but I can clearly hear it right now as there is no mix !

 

Jonas Hellborg has really been disappointing for this and Eric Johnson too as he's always talking about the fact that he can hear the brand of a battery in a pedal, but doesn't hear all his guitar and amps humming like hell in his tutorial videos ! 🤦🏻‍♂️

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Yes. And I fully appreciate that some of it is legitimate articulation that you may positively seek to feature - similar to putting a mic pointed toward the neck of an acoustic to get the noise of fingers on strings.

And there is always going to be some 'noise' associated with metal on metal contact. Very much depending on the elements involved - string type most obviously.

But it gets to the degree that the euphemistically named 'bite' at the front of a note is obscuring the real attack of the note and it becomes difficult to really hear the note itself.

What brought it to the fore of my thinking was that I was in a bass shop on Saturday (Bass Gallery in that London) and there were a few people plugged in and playing.

So no drums to mask things, no 'mix'. And everything sounded good - and not like a bag of spanners being shaken 🙂.

I appreciate that online stuff is likely DI into an audio interface and so not a mic'd amp but it shouldn't take much to turn out a decent sound if you're going to the trouble of making a demo'/lesson/review.

tbh it just sometimes seems that people have their actions set too low and are willing to keep a straight face while the note they've just hit a tad too hard continues to bothers the frets in an unmusical way.

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1 hour ago, paul_5 said:

In my experience it’s mostly down to how hard you’re plucking/picking. 
 

Playing softer helps me to eliminate some of the clank. Flats will help reduce fretting hand noise too.

Yes I get the technique aspect and strings can go all the way from packet fresh super zing SS roundwounds through to old flats and all points between.

But my real point was about online presentations where the player carries on apparently fine with, or oblivious to, the amount of 'non musical' noise that is audible.

And it's also noticeable that a lot of stuff doesn't really have much low errr...bass in it. And this isn't a case of listening on tinny speakers. It's generally going through decent sized monitors that I also use listen to recorded/streamed audio including my own DI bass.

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  • 5 months later...

I don’t mind the noise or ‘clankiness’ where online demos are concerned. I like the unprocessed aspect of it, as it reflects reality. If you’re using hollowbody instruments with roundwounds and room mics, any noise is impossible to eliminate.

 

I’ve listened to some online demos which are heavily processed (especially compression), which loses the vibe for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The reason you can hear the clanking in online tutorials is because the vocal mic is picking it up. It’s that simple! Try and record yourself playing with a mic near your bass and it will all make sense! 
 

When I make my bass tutorials I cut the vocal track out of the video in the sections where I’m playing during editing but sometimes I’m talking and playing so I can’t do this in these sections. 
 

Also, a lot of fret noise disappears in the mix. If you’ve ever been in the studio and listened to bass only on playback, you’ll hear a lot of noise! 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, greghagger said:

The reason you can hear the clanking in online tutorials is because the vocal mic is picking it up. It’s that simple! Try and record yourself playing with a mic near your bass and it will all make sense! 
 

When I make my bass tutorials I cut the vocal track out of the video in the sections where I’m playing during editing but sometimes I’m talking and playing so I can’t do this in these sections. 
 

Also, a lot of fret noise disappears in the mix. If you’ve ever been in the studio and listened to bass only on playback, you’ll hear a lot of noise! 

 

Good point on the vocal mic, although I'd have to say that it should be possible to minimise that with mic selection and technique.

Yes - I understand that a lot of noise and stuff 'disappears' in the mix as it is masked from being clearly heard. I've heard a lot of solo'd* bass tracks including DI tracks. The amount of 'noise' varies a lot.

But I'm really talking about generating what imo is an excessive amount of it from the off due to unrealistically low action and technique.

 

* apologies for the apostrophe here but I don't know how to "spell" this or a better term ?

Edited by rmorris
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