Time for the next chapter in the tracking of The Ballad of Stumpy Ron. Tonight I worked on tracking the bass. My goal was to get a very solid bass tone that would add the needed beef to the mix without cutting through too much or obscuring the guitars. To keep the bass from getting lost, I wanted to achieve a particular level of attack so I used a pick on this song even though I am typically a finger player. I recorded the bass using the USB outs of the X3 Live. I didn’t bother to try capturing a DI signal from the bass on this one because I am going for a more old school sound and want to retain a certain amount of grit to the production as though the band recorded live in the studio. The post about recording guitar tracks for Stumpy Ron describes the recording goals in a bit more detail. Here is the bass preset I used for this song:
POD X3 Live Patch: Heavy Metal Bass sound
Here are the manual settings for my POD X3 Live
- Output Mode: Match Studio/Direct
- Amp: 1973 Hiway 100 (Hiwatt DR-103), Room 0%, Cab 2×15 California, Mic 112 Dynamic
- Tone Controls: Bass 84%, Lo Mid 77%, Hi Mid 86%, Treble 85%, Drive 59%, Vol 68%
- Compressor: Thresh -10dB, Decay 0%
The original Hiwatt modeled for this bass amp in the X3 is actually a guitar amp that is reputed to have gained wide acceptance as a bass amp. I can’t argue with results, I think it sounds great (find a sound sample at the bottom of this post).
Bass Guitar and Other Gear
I used my Line 6 Variax Bass 700 set to the Prebass Green setting which is modeled on a ’63 Fender Precision. I plugged in to the POD X3 using a vintage Whirlwind Leader Elite 18′ cable. The X3 went into the computer digitally, via USB. Monitoring during tracking was done direct from the X3 using a set of Aiwa X815 headphones. Monitoring during tone tweaking was done through a Carvin HT150 power amp into a pair of Event 20/20 mid-field studio monitors.
Line 6 Variax Bass 700 price check
POD X3 Live recorded sound sample
I don’t want to give too much away for Stumpy Ron but here is a short clip demonstrating the completely unmixed results of this tracking session. Drums are still a scratch track and the bass is intentionally a bit too loud so you can hear it better.
- Stumpy Ron POD X3 bass tracking sample
- Read about recording the rhythm guitars (with sound sample)
- Read about recording the guitar solo (with whole song download!)
Line 6 POD X3 price check
Line 6 POD X3 LIVE price check