Studio Project: Pre-production & Recording – Double Bass

Before our studio session (on 9/4/15), we hadn’t had much time to liaise with Matt (the xDSC_0002bassist) about his double bass and equipment we might need to record him playing it. For example, we knew it had a pick-up in the body as we’d seen him play it live, but we didn’t realise there was also one in the neck. The rough plan we’d put together with what little time we had was to DI (the body pick-up) as well as mic the neck to get that plucking sound so prominent in his performances. Once he arrived and started unpacking the double bass he then informed us of the neck pick-up so we changed our plan from using just the body pickup and a C414 for the neck to using the neck pick-up and the body pick-up as well as two condenser mics (Rode NTK and a C414) placed approximately 50cm away from the instrument (just so we had options when it came to mixing).

xDSC_0007

Unfortunately, due to the late notice we’d received for Matt’s availability that Thursday night, we were too late to book the Neve as it had been booked out. We decided to use the Raven which was available for just an hour and a half that evening. We decided that if setup went smoothly we’d be able to get the bass recordings done in that time and with the trouble we were having getting the band members to find time to come into uni we had to take this opportunity. A major set back for this session was the fact that the person using the Raven before us ran ten minutes over time. This along with the inconvenience of missing audio files from our Pro Tools session as well as the late change in miking/DI technique delayed the actual recording by about an hour. As mentioned, we only had an hour and a half. Luckily Matt is so talented that he was able to smash out the five songs in that time. He played double bass for the first three songs and bass guitar for the other two (we DI’d this in the usual fashion). xDSC_0010

It was a slightly more stressful studio session due to the time constraints and I definitely feel we could have been more prepared for it if we’d had more group communication prior to that day. Though I suppose we got everything done that we needed to and that’s the main thing considering we’ve only a few weeks left till the project is due.

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