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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:07 pm 
 

I'm recording a BM album by myself. I'm neither a bass player nor a particularly good guitar player, but luckily modern technology still allows me to record/pause/record, to circumvent my limitations. But in order for things to sound as right as possible, I have a question.

Take the classical, quick BM skank beat of Transilvanian Hunger and 3 billion other BM songs. If we assume the bass and the snare together produce 16th notes, would the bass play 16th notes as well? Or just follow the bass drum in 8ths? Is there a standard?
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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 594
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:21 pm 
 

It depends on a lot of things. Try both and see what sounds/feels better.

Personally, when both are playing the same thing I tend to match the guitar riff as much as possible on bass. I play with a pick though, and at higher tempos it might get quite difficult to match that with fingers.
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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:40 am 
 

Yeah I'll be using a pick too. I guess I'll just try both and see what feels/ sounds best. Thanks for the help!
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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:59 pm 
 

Both from my own experience recording bass (not a great bassist by any means) and from what I've heard from bassists, it just depends on your own ability and what you think sounds best for that particular piece. You can vary it up between sections too if you want to add dynamics or as a riff builds into the next maybe move from eights to sixteenths or something.

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Headless420
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 412
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:50 am 
 

Record both and you will most likely find that you wont be able to tell the difference between 8th/16th notes on bass, when placed in a full mix.

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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:33 am 
 

Alright, good advice. Thank you all!
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Jabawock
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2005 8:31 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Belgium
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:21 am 
 

I know you already got some answers, but I'd like to chime in with a different view on this.

Bass is supposed to lay the rhythmic foundation for the song, so it should be tight and groovy. Playing 16ths on bass will mostly sound flabby, regardless of how tight your playing is. So, personally, I would always recommend playing 8ths instead. This will sound much more solid, and will preserve the strong rhythmical element of the bass.
Most recording engineers I have worked with (ok not that many, but still very experienced people) have recommended this approach too.
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Gameofmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:20 pm 
 

Jabawock wrote:
I know you already got some answers, but I'd like to chime in with a different view on this.

Bass is supposed to lay the rhythmic foundation for the song, so it should be tight and groovy. Playing 16ths on bass will mostly sound flabby, regardless of how tight your playing is. So, personally, I would always recommend playing 8ths instead. This will sound much more solid, and will preserve the strong rhythmical element of the bass.
Most recording engineers I have worked with (ok not that many, but still very experienced people) have recommended this approach too.


Actually gonna amend what I said earlier because I experienced this a bit yesterday recording some war metal type stuff, really felt like trem picking the bass left a weaker tone though I think there are times when it's good.

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Sitruk666
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:36 am
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:07 am 
 

there are so many factors. from how you dial in your tone and what pitch is being played, your personal technique etc etc

when i saw Mgla live (twice) the bassist did a combination of the two, depending on the part of the song.

another thing you can do is go to ultimate guitar/any tab website and look up your favorite songs and see what the bass is doing

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Izmorr
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:15 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Norway
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:54 am 
 

This is very good. Always good to read discussions on stuff that’s not necessarily the biggest focus.

I’ve done blastbeats where all guitars and bass play the same (16th notes). I’ve also followed the bass drum when playing bass (either straight 4th or 8th notes, or a more rhythmic section), while the guitars play something different like straight 16th or open chords that ring a full bar or longer.

The bass guitar can do much more to the rhythm, feel and groove in all styles that one might initially think. It’s amazing.

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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:05 am 
 

Great advice all around here!

Now that the thread is already open, I'll be acquiring a bass soon. Since I'll only be using it via line-in, the sound of the bass itself won't matter as much I guess. Is there a relatively cheap brand you guys would recommend that could work in this context? I'll probably end up getting a used one anyway but I have no idea what to look for. Something that keeps the tuning well?
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Eossi
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:07 am
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:28 am 
 

Korpgud wrote:
Great advice all around here!

Now that the thread is already open, I'll be acquiring a bass soon. Since I'll only be using it via line-in, the sound of the bass itself won't matter as much I guess. Is there a relatively cheap brand you guys would recommend that could work in this context? I'll probably end up getting a used one anyway but I have no idea what to look for. Something that keeps the tuning well?


What would you consider relatively cheap that could work? I suppose the best possible solution would be something that works best for your playing style and/or style of music played. Neck profile, string action and such. For tuning in general, a new set of strings. Of course certain types of pick-ups and some other factors work best for certain results, but bearing in mind, cost-effiency being one factor, everything else is a bargain (or rather, a compromise) over another. So, anything between a Harley Benton and a Fodera.

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Korpgud
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:09 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:45 am 
 

Eossi wrote:
Korpgud wrote:
Great advice all around here!

Now that the thread is already open, I'll be acquiring a bass soon. Since I'll only be using it via line-in, the sound of the bass itself won't matter as much I guess. Is there a relatively cheap brand you guys would recommend that could work in this context? I'll probably end up getting a used one anyway but I have no idea what to look for. Something that keeps the tuning well?


What would you consider relatively cheap that could work? I suppose the best possible solution would be something that works best for your playing style and/or style of music played. Neck profile, string action and such. For tuning in general, a new set of strings. Of course certain types of pick-ups and some other factors work best for certain results, but bearing in mind, cost-effiency being one factor, everything else is a bargain (or rather, a compromise) over another. So, anything between a Harley Benton and a Fodera.


I don't know, anywhere from 100-400 € used. Since I'm just starting I haven't really developed a playing style.
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InnesI
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1530
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:09 am 
 

If we are just talking of 16th contra 8ths or alike I've found it effective to contrast what the guitar is playing. So if the guitar is doing 16ths (or tremolo or whatever) it is often nice for the bass to go slower and root the song. However it can be quite effective to do the opposite also where the guitar is doing the slower bits but the bass is what drives the song forward with speed. But always lock it in with the drums. The bass is generally supposed to be the glue between drums and guitars.

But this isn't general advice for every song and every time. If your skill is limited its of course easiest to just follow the root notes but things will be more interesting if you try to venture away from just that.

And since you're into black metal there is the third option which Burzum has been known to use and that's letting the bass do an actual melody (or as a much slower stabilizing force) while the guitars are mostly of a more droneing quality - such as the songs Glemselens Elv or Budstikken.

And on buying a bass I always just recommend that you try a few out and see which one feels the best. For most amateur purposes the comfort of the bass is more important. The actual sound is more in your pedals, amps or computer than it is in the bass. This isn't general advice, and certainl not true for anyone who wants something more proffessional, but as far as bedroom rcordings go you can do quite abit with even some of the cheaper instruments.

Headless420 wrote:
Record both and you will most likely find that you wont be able to tell the difference between 8th/16th notes on bass, when placed in a full mix.


This is the worst advice.

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Prigione Eterna
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:43 pm
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:33 am 
 

What I've noticed through the years is that in extreme metal the bass often plays half as many notes as the guitars or something different anyway.
Other times the bass tends to follow the kick drum as closely as possible, even with fast, continuous double kick patters.
There are isolated bass tracks from Slayer and Metallica on Youtube where you can hear that. Cliff Burton often followed more the drum beat than the guitars and sometimes did different things altogether.
In Slayer the bass often just plays root notes and follows the kick, especially when the tempo is around 200bpm or more and the drums play a fast skank beat.
In Morbid Angel I think it's similar, too.
Dave Ellefson from Megadeth played as close to the guitars as possible, but Megadeth were never as fast as Slayer, Morbid Angel or generally the more extreme stuff.
Personally, I think matching the guitars' frantic picking at 200bpm with bass is extremely hard and kinda pointless. Especially in extreme metal, where the bass is mostly perceived in the lowest frequency and you only occasionally hear the clanking in the high frequencies.

Specifically regarding black metal, I think much depends on what you consider by that.
With older, rawer stuff like Celtic Frost, Venom, Samael, Bathory etc. I think the bass sounds closer to classic Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and so on and sometimes more to punk-rock.
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