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Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Lesson 12 of 26

Bass Q&A

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

Toontrack presents: Studio Pass

Ulrich Wild, Brendon Small

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Lesson Info

12. Bass Q&A


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:06:20
4 Songwriting Q&A Duration:26:32
5 Tracking and Comping Drums Duration:27:24
6 Editing Drums Duration:16:25
7 Drums Q&A Duration:31:15
8 Micing an Amplifier Duration:25:09
9 Rhythm Guitar Tones Duration:18:52
10 Tracking Rhythm Guitars Duration:34:13
11 Tracking Bass Guitar Duration:23:34
12 Bass Q&A Duration:21:45
13 General Q&A Duration:16:30
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Tracking Vocals Duration:18:27
3 Vocal Mixing on Galaktikon Duration:24:37
4 Vocals Q&A Duration:17:50
5 Mix Prep Duration:34:45
6 Mixing in Logic Pro Duration:42:03
7 Mixing Blazing Star Part I Duration:27:14
10 Mixing Blazing Star Part 2 Duration:19:34
11 Mixing Blazing Star with EQ Duration:30:09
12 Final Q&A Duration:24:12
13 Closing Thoughts Duration:11:22

Lesson Info

Bass Q&A

I think maybe it's time for questions if there are some around sure ways somebody asked what mike was on the cab I can't see it from it's a kg for fifty one for sixty or four fifty two they're all basically essentially the same thing if you just don't get mad at me microphone, how far do you put that from the grill different on a base that's a little different because low end travels differently and you don't necessarily want to have it as as close miked vigor because it needs time to develop and build and so you'll you'll want to find a good spot for it by listening to it much like the guitar mike's but you know where's those usually moving sideways along them along to grill ok he's in the base world kind of uh moving on front and back and even in the base world is world as well. Very often we put a lot of dampening around it to keep extraneous noise out of it you know, like the packing blanket is still hanging out and, you know, spilled a little little mini ice of booth what's this f...

aras you would ever put a mic away from a base cab to get a close miking in the metal world that would stay pretty close, okay, but you know, if if you're if you're looking for some kind of like really wild and crazy sound that's kind of washington it's really open there's not there's only one guitar there and it's kind of like, you know, lenny kravitz a kind of rock or something you could you could really like have it come out a little bit have to base be wilder and crazy or sounding because you're picking up more of the room that's around and you know, that's again that's a taste thing although all this all the metal stuff basis almost you know, we called an afterthought because some some people do very, very exciting things with it, but there's not a lot of room for it, so you have to be very deliberate in the sound so you can really make out what's going on with it, okay, yeah, base doesn't get as much of a time to shine in a lot of heavy metal stuff, maybe a breakdown or something maybe yeah, but but most the time and this is an interesting, a raging thing that I think gene was telling me about in the early days of death clock because I I like the idea when you can put a counter melody and or you can do something or you can go up and active, you can hear that when we do that in death clock, but there's another thing that happens when you have, like, hauling double kicks you don't need to play that much to support that and basing this on arranging trick where you can play whole note underneath that and something happens where it sounds like it's a bass player going like this like going crazy little little little little you could just play whole notes and trial and kind of de clutter that area too by just having that tone if you're for basis compressed if it's set up nice enough you can have those sounds just kind of like his big fat whole notes just sit there underneath that's that's a heavy metal arranging thing and I think he would do that stuff in strapping young lad and all that stuff too with byron and and then every once in a while you can find a little pocket where a base can really do something cool and add to the harmony and move this song along as a basis supposed to in music, you know? So it's it's always a struggle to find the right pocket for base now I notice my preference when we're doing the mixing and we're going to hear this later on tomorrow when we get into the mixing of blazing star in the galactic on stuff is I like that nice warm low end just happening and not too much of the clank unless we're going crazier on like a fast partner is aggressive but I like that warm almost like uh foo fighters style kind of like fatness underneath it which I don't always hear I was here you know we listen to old metal from the early eighties or there early nineties and eighties and we hear kind of were scooped out thing was just a clingy top end way know that sound that you are not here to base it all were not here the basis especially on just vinyl releases were you know when when when people started tuned down and start playing fast kick drums and is still going out on vinyl yeah people didn't really know how to treat that right yeah you know well with it in the nineties when you scooped all the the mids out of the guitars and you have this high poppy double kicks the bases is like where we go have anyplace to go now so so putting a little bit more of the mids back in the guitars gives the base a little bit more of a place to be warm and low so that's that's a personal preference and again we'll have more example of that in the future put win playing bass one tracking base um it's not going to be as involved as that as the duel guitars as the rhythm guitars but there are a lot of moments where you can really add to your song and it's and it's like I was saying earlier it's it's harmonic choices it's having cored knowledge and knowing that you have more than one option you don't just have to play the route and the fifth and and you're gluing the drums to the guitars with the base yes, a base is very much to glue right for the whole thing for a whole rhythm section yes, like a well played bass is a beautiful thing it really is and there are times where I've done it but not not often I really have to sit there and become a bass player and really have to think like one. But the truth is that I still think that, um all bass players or people who were going to track based should really think, um melodically and harmonically you really can travel through a group of cords you could almost think like a walking bass player and and and move the base along in a nice way. I think even the first song we did the first song that gene and myself in all erected it was a song off of death on one and this is a song that we had to get done in one day because I was giving it to like the saw three soundtrack in europe or something like that said that they would put a song of mine on there and I said, ok, so there's a song called hatred copter off the first album but the song was written probably the day before very quickly and it was recording tracked the rest of the in one day and I remember there was a moment where you suggested on I was playing bass and uh there was the chorus happens then we modulate up I think that full stuff and then I think there's a walking baseline that turned out not to do that it would be good at it and you do that and do that people do do do do do do do it going bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam pumping their ways to like think like think like paul mccartney would again like if any time you can put like it like like I was saying earlier like a melody that just goes off the actual diatonic scale is sometimes a really satisfying thing finding ways to walk a baseline in heavy metal is sometimes surprising and melodic and we may not expect it but it makes your song or interesting in a lot of ways and and then again like I said earlier is you don't always have to play the route sometimes if the guitar players got the route you can put it you can put the third in the base you can put the fifth in the base or you can travel third fourth to the fifth as long as you're extra notes or on the week beats you can do all that stuff, but but no your cords know your options of notes it's an experiment a cz much as you can because especially in pro tools you've got a million tries to do something so you means we'll take advantage of all that stuff um but no no the three notes of every court it sounds really simple, but it will make your song sounds different or it'll make it something my music I don't know one of the few so that's just arranging thing again playing the whole notes instead of the clink clanking along because he may cause a little bit more traffic inside of your thing by having mohr clanging kind of like sounds or whatever picking sounds when you're tryingto match with be your thing to you know and that that really works for fielding from corn that's half of his based on his clank the rest of it is just like twenty hertz I'm in a lot of things here uh an actual note anymore but some of those two innings but since signature things, if you were to go in and try to take that away from him, they really want having to corn what happened, you know and I will not sound the same right now on dso you know, like you that's the whole thing about finding finding ah your identity as an artist and a musician and you know what is your what is it that you do? What is your what makes you unique? Why should I buy your record? You know, um yeah, so so those were some of the things I think another thing I like to d'oh because pretty much at this point in the recording we have nailed down the drums and the guitars and we may even have a couple gets hard harmonies and we know where the big phil's are. We know where all this stuff is. We know the important musical piece, we don't necessarily know what the vocals are, and I don't know them at this point of the song, and I'll only figure that at the very end, normally it's very rare that I come in with a vocal line first or melody, but you'll have bits and pieces from the tv show yeah, but like let's say, like on a song that I don't know like like let's say, for example, this song I don't know what this is, this could be something from a future solo album or something. I don't know how this is going to turn out, I don't know, I don't think it's going to be a solo guitar song and rather have those all the vocal lines into how the base can support that, but some of my favorite bands don't repeat they repeat notions of sections, but they don't repeat them identically, so if you go back and listen, old queen, every turn around is def front, like on the profits song every time they get to a turnaround that it thrust us into a new key or is it different vibe from the last time? And you can kind of pay tribute to that through the base if you don't, you don't need the base to repeat the same way every single time. In fact, if your guitar line is similar for maybe eight bars, the base can advance the importance of that through doing than, you know, the second half a knocked of higher. Um, so think about things in that way and all right and or re harmonized I re harmonize everything in every song you'll hear tons of re harm and replacing still raising star there's a lot of really harm going on there, so consider that stuff when when wouldn't you don't have to just sit there and playing through playing for you? Yeah, you can really, although that can be very satisfying to win okay really can't can't but you don't have to feel once you you can t unicenter, I think it just gave a lot of freedom to a lot of bass players, too. Raise hell in their bands well, they could be musical that wouldn't hurt there's nothing wrong with a musical bass player I think that really actually helps as opposed to like you hey put that thing down I want to play bass which sometimes happens in heavy metal so so that's that's I think what I would leave with is that you really can't advance the song you khun you don't need to be out in the open to really push a song into ah cool direction that it needs to be pushed in and you don't have to play the same thing the whole time you can advance and change and you khun you could just make the song feel different through the lower frequencies um so there you go and like I said earlier, if you want to go back to those of you who joined late checkout section one because I give you an example of not playing the route or if the guitars playing an inversion cord like I talked about earlier you can play the room so we do know but um it's ah it's all over death clock it's all over galactic on it's all over the dune star stuff so that style of base plane and if you don't have a guitar teacher or a base teacher and you haven't learned basic court harmony, it will make you your music better I think I think you're going to use your ears anyway and hear the things that you want to hear but this puts a label to the things you're already hearing and categorize them quicker so you can write faster and you have a bag of tricks and that's what I think about when the way that all work and I work together is he's got a bag of tricks and I've got a bag of tricks and then now we have each other's bag of tricks so if he goes there different saying is I here's the thing I didn't know I could do before but now I can and now knowing like what you do with the guitars in the base and how you record all use all that stuff but in in in guitar theory in court theory and in motile theory and scale euler theory you're goingto you're going to get to a conclusion sooner and you're gonna have ah more options and to be a good writer of joke writer, script writer or music writer all you're doing is making decisions and you're making decisions of the options that are inside of your brain so if you have more options and you have more interesting things to choose from so you're just going to choose a different option and you're here will tell you the things that already know so there tons of musicians with no musical theory that have spent their lives categorizing in a different way and putting a different label to something else that's the exact same thing you just may get there quicker so learn your cords learning urine versions of your cords and it all goes back to classical theory traditional harmony where the base is not always playing the route the base is playing sometimes a more interesting note to me that no, it ends up being the third oftentimes and I can hear that in queen I could hear it and weezer I can hear it and I could hear it in tons of england on steam you could hear that traditional harmony that happens it's that sounds like almost classical music is happening and it really is um repositioning the base even either in the guitar or in the actual base. So um get a good teacher and learn the stuff you could really learn in a weekend and start applying it soon in your music so there's that, um does anybody have any questions about base or arranging? Yeah, we have a lot of good questions nor of all wants to know he's got two questions do you like to pan the bass slightly off center with the kick or slightly off to one side like so one or the other or both of them straight up? Um he wants to know if you'd ever pan the bass amp to where it would be on stage to give more of a line you're generally no no not in not in death clock or or any kind of severe but it's just both of them are straight up yeah even even ah like van halen probably at the kick in the center and just the base off the decide I know I know some people have you know experiment with with the actual location off where instruments are on stage but really at this point in metal production we're not actually looking at that anywhere because we're we're actually uh you know you don't necessarily have the doubled rhythm guitars especially not during a solo section and right so you we're looking at a different bag of tricks for the album and for the recording versus live and there's live you have a light show you have smoke you have like dance you have cartoons you have coaches that's what we have or there's the dancers there the dancing yet on do you have the audience you know I mean and that's a huge thing like there's an entirely different energy a section musical section that may like go over well live like an enormously long intro that is very welcome for a singer whose screams at the top of his lungs for an entire song it is not it's nicer enough to break what's still feel like that airspace basically um versus in the studio where along intro repeating and building for like eight, sixteen, thirty two bars is extremely boring at that point so it z like you have an entirely different set of of guidelines ideally you have music that works like well recorded and live but very often I find bands do like, you know, a long eight a section for a live show are like for calling answer for the audience and, you know, like things like that so you're you're not playing by the same rules for live yeah, my philosophy is this that there to complete you experienced them completely differently live is totally different than recording recording is that's forever and that's going to be our main source of listening? You know, for your favorite records that exist um and one doesn't have to really behave the same way as the other I think of again queen there they're amazing for peace live on the record their hundred piece band but they capture the energy because there's such good players and they have just great connection on stage, so I don't think it's whatever you want to be if you find something that works for you, I never thought to pay panned the base off to the side and I thought the cemetery of the double kicks still they're still down the center because that's where they need to be in there holding down the fort and I think about that too and they are in the center of the drum kit to but the base I think it's got to be kind of right there with those double kicks locking in a cz much as they can unless it's a van halen record you know then I think realize they did that they base off I guess they're trying to find some cemetery between eddie being on this side or his river whatever whichever way they do it because I want reverb on one side the sea on the other hand I guess the paces over there and what day of the rest wherever he wants to be oh but those were all crazy philosophies that I guess they make sense and I don't even notice and I listen to van halen on vinyl and stuff too and I didn't know that the base is pant because he can hear it on the record that he's done the quarter nothing no you know but it sounds great whatever it is so any other questions normal has another one do you ever eat q frequencies out of the base to make way for the kick drum or vice versa he said fifty hertz eighty hurts or five k absolutely on we will get more into that during mixing okay uh you know it all has to work together it's the low end of the base on dh the low end of the kick in the loan of guitars have to push and hit you like them and make sense together the same way as the the middle of the guitars and the locals in the snare have to, like co exist together in the high end a cz well and yeah, the short answer is yes are we going to get into that tomorrow? We'll get into that tomorrow um, you know, carving out space on make making space for orchestra and a live band the both deserve equal attention in the in the audio spectrum. Yeah, I'm glad I didn't do it. Thanks. I get to put on your resume where you go with already on their I've also noticed, you know, this is the d I weigh in the live am play sometimes I mean, I have I think often times I've given you a dea and said make it happen make it work for you because I just know how to do it and I just don't want to get into I've got all my mike set up in the place where I like them absolutely, and that will give you a different response that mike's amp and I've heard other people say sometimes put a bass guitar and what you want to hear is there's a there's an attack that happens that's differently that happens d I d I consent a little square and a little just kind of clean and to pure, you know what you want a little bit of were mid rangy dirt on sometimes the ample do that, but I've heard that too, absolutely, and re amping a base he's easier online on on my system than it is revamping guitars, because when, when you actually play an am, it responds to your playing, but no, not only that you're responding to the amps response to your playing, you know, it's like you're making the am sound a certain way with like you using your hands too, like make the whole thing it's it's thing. So when you recorded the eye along with that am sound and then re amp it with some of the amp it's not going to do the same thing with that and you might still be cool get me wrong, but it's not going to do the same thing like the response of the amp to your hand is not is not the same, and so I'm not generally a big fan of ramping guitars. Uh, although sometimes that can be a lot of fun, you know, it would probably kill two days for me ramping, but that's, why I don't do it.

Class Description

Adult Swim's Metalocalypse is a cheeky parody of metal culture — featuring the shenanigans of a cartoon band called Dethklok. In Toontrack Presents: Studio Pass, you'll get a closer look at the creative process behind this mesmerizing metal powerhouse-turned-TV-series.

Brendon Small is the creator and primary musician driving Dethklok’s music, including its four full-length albums. In this installment of Studio Pass, Brendon and producer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, White Zombie, Slipknot, Deftones) will show how they compose, engineer, and mix the music of Metalocalypse – explaining the recording techniques used for Dethklok’s drums, bass, guitars, vocals and effects.

The music behind the hilarious spectacle that is Metalocalypse is no joke. Join Brendon and Ulrich for Studio Pass and learn about the unique creative process behind the music of Dethklok.


John Thaxton

I love Brendon. He has always treated fans super well. There's so much wisdom to be gained from listening to him about workflow and music in general. Great class!

Aaron Thurtell

Being someone new and looking into recording songs, I found this class very informative and in a way essential, the idea of recording seemed over whelming and I had no idea where to start, being a fan of Brendon small and Ulrich Wilds work on Dethklok and Galaktikon I found it very enjoyable and must for any fans of Brendon small looking into how he goes about making a record