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The Gear of Life Nomadic

To say that we packed light is an understatement. We packed super light. Someone recently told me a saying that stuck in my mind.

"No one ever wishes they packed heavier."

So true. With fewer baggage comes more freedom, and that's exactly what we're after. Still, when Todd suggested that we take only a small backpack each, I thought he was crazy.

Rock that Bass! How to get a great Rock bass guitar sound.

On Chris Scheidies

This was published in Premiere guitar magazine here.

http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2009/Sep/Rock_that_Bass.aspx

Why is it that the engineer says, “Here’s a direct box. Plug in and let’s get recording,” when a bass player shows up at a studio, then proceeds to spend hours and hours setting up the drums, guitar cabs, mics, pedals, etc? Without a kickin’ bass line, there is no foundation for the music. You need a bass sound that will punch, thump, rumble, boom, and articulate. So, how do we add rocket sauce to bass tracks?

The ProcessObviously you need to start with a great bass and new strings. For rock and metal there are some fantastic choices. I love Ibanez basses for this purpose. Fender, Tobias, Music Man, and others also make solid, quality choices. As far as strings go, I’ve found DR hand-wound strings sound and feel incredible, but this is purely a personal preference. Get yourself a nice bass amp/cab rig— I enjoy Ampeg, SWR, or Trace Elliot. Any sort of speaker configuration will work. I have managed to get amazing sounds out of a diverse range of gear, from tiny combos to giant-sized cabinets.

To begin, mic the speaker up. One of my favorite bass amp mics is the Sennheiser MD 421. I use this mic constantly. If you want a little extra zing or sparkle to bring out articulation and attack, grab a nice condenser mic as well—there are tons of them out there from Neumann, Shure, AKG, Audio-Technica, Blue, Rode, among others. Putting the mic directly in front of the cone often works to achieve a punchy, “in your face” sound. But you can also experiment with placing the mic near the edge of the cone, placing it halfway between the center and edge of the cone, turning it off-axis (turned slightly away from pointing straight on to the cone), and pulled back varying distances from the cabinet. Try a few things to see what you like and what works for the track.

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