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Fretless bass in a metal mix

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by guy in latvia, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    Hi guys, do any of you have any experience mixing fretless bass in metal? I'm not talking about mixes where the bass is a lead instrument, like the tech death bands do, but something that would work in a melodic metal mix (arch enemy, in flames, soilwork)? Any suggestions? Any examples to listen to?
     
  2. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    I've been working on an album recently where most of the tracks are using a fretless bass. Can't say I've enjoyed the experience, lots of fiddling about with melodyne/autotune to get the parts to sit right and without the frets you really don't get the clank and aggression you normally do out of the bass.

    Maybe I should have gone about it the the other way and gone more down the typical mellow fretless kinda sound, but it's really not what I had in mind for the band generally and what I thought they needed. We recorded a couple of songs using a 7 string fretted Conklin bass and they sound WAY better than the fretless songs imo.
     
  3. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Death is the most obvious band that used fretless a fair amount. My personal opinion is that unless you're wanting tons of slidey stuff or the textbook fretless growl you're just working against yourself as they're much harder to play (in tune).
     
  4. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    ^oh I definitely agree that its a much tougher tracking experience, but the micro-tonal differences is where it shines. Just look at Obscura where JPT is constantly playing "off-notes" and it still sounds great. But provided it is well tracked, any suggestions on how to tackle it in the mix, to get the fretless qualities to really shine through, as opposed to the standard approach of super scooped and clanky highs that work with a fretted?
     
  5. rapucore

    rapucore i really hate spiders

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    Mixingwise there's a ton of fretless bass content where you'd "normally" cut when working with fretted bass - as in metal scoop/clank city bass. I'd preserve the low-mid-to-mid range and make it shine clearly. It is most likely going to take a larger part of the spectrum but it sounds amazeballs!

    I love the fretless on Ihsahn's After.

     
    #5 rapucore, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  6. P-E

    P-E Munchkin

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    I can only state the obvious, but considering fretless basses lack the typical clank of the frets and string noise, they definitely need a lot of mids and holes in the guitars' EQ for them to shine through.

    Maybe that good post-processing can get a really good agressive tone out of them, but from what I heard, they pretty much only sound good and fitting in a mix with a cleanish growly middy sound.

    A bit OT : the tone isn't that good (typical of fretless basses in metal), but that guy really shreds it.

     
    #6 P-E, Sep 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  7. Vihaleipä

    Vihaleipä Member

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    More like totally overplays it, that guy should had ripped more from Steve DiGiorgio than just his playing style, DiGiorgio's taste would also had been a really good addition to his skills...
     
  8. He's Dead, Jim

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    Beyond Creation is known for their ridiculous bass parts. It's not especially tasteful, but it's tech death and all their songs sound like that.
     
  9. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    I'll echo what P-E said: it's all about the midrange.
     
  10. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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    Thanks Rapucore, I had totally forgotten about Ihsahn, After is one of my fav albums of his!

    Ok, so do you guys think it would be beneficial to really scoop the guitars and boost the mids on the bass?
     
  11. guy in latvia

    guy in latvia Member

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  12. RoTo

    RoTo n00b

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    Don't forget Ihsahn's angL <3
     

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