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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:11 pm 
 

After listening to albums like Agent Orange (Sodom), Retributive Justice (Gotsu Kotsu Kostu) or Blasphemy Made Flesh (Cryptopsy) I started to really like the bass, it's an advantage for the song when it's well played and it's maybe as important as the other instrument.
So my question is, do you like when the bass is higher in the mix ?

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SlevinKelevra
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:56 pm
Posts: 334
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:13 pm 
 

of course it's just as important.

with that said, how "high in the mix" it is really depends on the music, guitar tone, vocal range, etc.

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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:22 pm 
 

SlevinKelevra wrote:
of course it's just as important.

with that said, how "high in the mix" it is really depends on the music, guitar tone, vocal range, etc.


Sure, it also depends of what is the genre but I like how the bass is mixed in the album I mentionned.

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TheJizzHammer
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:47 pm
Posts: 1207
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:49 pm 
 

It's no deal breaker for me, but definitely a plus in a lot of cases. DiGiorgio-era Death (Individual Thought Patterns in particular) springs to mind. You can start ITP right from the top and almost immediately get a vibe for how bass-heavy that album is. Not a huge Job For a Cowboy Fan, but I do enjoy Suneater quite a bit and the bass on that album is one of my favorite things about it.

Not metal, but Rancid are one of my favorite bands and they put a lot of emphasis on their bass sound. I really like Matt Freeman as a bass player.
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stainedclass2112
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:53 pm 
 

Seconding Matt Freeman and Rancid.

It's ALWAYS a plus for me when it's loud. When it's so low that I can't hear it, it actually bothers me, but I love when it's snuggled nicely in the mix where it's supposed to be. Of course though, the louder, the better for me as long as it doesn't have a poorly mixed low end that does nothing but create noise.
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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
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Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:00 pm 
 

And do you think albums like And Justice For All where the bass is almost non existent would have been better with a better production ?

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stainedclass2112
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:36 pm
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Location: Bucketheadland
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:03 pm 
 

Absolutely. It's not just the bass that's wrong with that album. I like the album enough already, but I think it would gain a boost in quality with beefier guitar tone and bass that's a tad higher. The drums strike me as dry as well.

However, Jason was indeed so fucking sloppy on that album that he shouldn't be turned up too high, just enough to hear him though.
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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:09 pm 
 

Yeah I saw on an interview that Lars wanted to turned down the bass and have the drum higher

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CCSaint10
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:39 am
Posts: 80
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:12 pm 
 

Having louder bass is almost never a problem for me. I appreciate when it can be heard, though it's a lot more meaningful when it does more to stand out on top of that. However, if the bass is super loud and drowns out the guitar wholesale, I'm not keen on that because it makes it difficult to appreciate the riffs, which ultimately is why I'm listening to a metal band in the first place.

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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
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Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:16 pm 
 

When I said "louder" it's juste because bass is hard to be heard on the majority of the album

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ChineseDownhill
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:19 am
Posts: 426
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:16 pm 
 

I normally don't pay much attention to bass. There's the occasional album or song where I think "Hey that's surprising, I can actually make out what the bassist is doing." But I'm the type of person who doesn't mind the way And Justice for All sounds. In any band I like, if I went on Blabbermouth one day and learned the bassist quit, it wouldn't concern me as much as any other lineup change would. (Unless the bassist was the primary songwriter, which is probably not the case for most bands in my collection.)

There's actually an example I'm trying to think of where I found the bass too prominent. It was one of those newer tech-death bands. Beyond Creation maybe?
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exsiccation
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:49 pm
Posts: 22
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:37 pm 
 

Absolutely, though it doesn't need to stand out. In most metal, the bass guitar doesn't dominate, but it fills out the guitars massively. It's one of those before/after things where only once it's gone, will you realize how important it is.

Vault_Boy wrote:
And do you think albums like And Justice For All where the bass is almost non existent would have been better with a better production ?

Yes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kqTcLwUYj8

The original's production has guitars so thin and scooped sounding, and drums so piercing, that it gives me a headache.

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fourrobert13
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:31 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:51 pm 
 

It can be obnoxious, but it's rare IMO. Overkill's WFO album has some obnoxious bass.

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Dembo
Dumbo

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Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:01 pm 
 

Call me an Overkill fanboy but W.F.O. is a very fun album and the a bit odd bass focus sort of contributes to that. In fact I thought about it coincidentally very recent before this thread was made and was going to mention it. Was also going to mention DiGiorgio who's already been mentioned.

To answer the OP question: I quite like a prevalent bass, though it's not something I think about very often so maybe it doesn't matter that much to me after all.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:29 pm 
 

I seriously do not understand why so many metal bands still have the bass guitar be so low in the mix. It's not like we're pop rock fans. We can appreciate bass in our music, especially considering how intricate it can be in metal.

It makes me think about that time Metallica played Master Of Puppets on the Howard Stern Show:
Youtube: show


And it's just crazy how GOOD the bass sounds on here! It seriously makes you wonder why the fuck you wouldn't want your bass to sound badass like that!

There are quite a few bands that have amazing production for the bass and that I absolutely love for it. Noticeably
Vektor
Bongripper
Blotted Science
Iskra
(Which is pretty rare by black metal. The crust influences really help here)
Blood Red Throne
Electric Wizard
Sleep
Chthe'ilist
Cannibal Corpse
Boris
Gojira
Cynic
Atheist
Benighted

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droneriot
cisgender

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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Location: Spahn Ranch
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:38 pm 
 

Obviously bands like Motörhead and Sodom need loud rumbling bass. I disagree with the Death and Atheist examples, I don't think bands with flashy guitars need flashy bass, too, don't need half a dozen virtuosos noodling in competition for my attention.

Mayhem's From the Darkest Past bootleg with the loud bass is really amazing and with the bass sound on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas it should have been as loud. Though on that album I sometimes can't even tell it's two guitarists. Sucks to have a stringed instrument in any band Hellhammer is in anyway, it'll always be "that buzzing sound under the drums". (Hyperbole with a huge grain of truth in it.)
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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 7:40 pm 
 

Really loud bass is pretty great. I've got a set of headphones that for some reason are fantastic at really accentuating the bass guitar, and I honestly think it's made a huge difference in how much I enjoy the music.
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Thexhumed
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:26 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:02 pm 
 

Absolutely, bass is probably my favorite metal instrument.

Here a song from a metal band where the bass is the most prominent instrument in the mix

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y6nO53zu40

I wonder if there're more bands that do this. Well, most likely there are plenty, but I can't think of any right now.
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Niklas Sanger
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:17 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:58 pm 
 

I always prefer it higher, but either way bass is always important in heavy music whether its high in the mix or not, playing without a bassist drives me crazy.

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into_the_pit
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 7:40 pm
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Location: Hedonist Occupation Government
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:20 pm 
 

depends on the (sub-)genre and probably a shitload of other parameters. seeing as more or less traditional, often raw black metal constitutes more than 90% of what I listen to, being able or not to make out a bass guitar does not matter most of the time. black metal is not about bass guitars, even though an audibly competent bass job may give or make an album something special. but it's not a flaw if it's not there or inaudible.

it may be different in other genres however, notably in death metal and techno, where it should definitely be there. I'll gladly sample your counter-examples though.
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Jonpo
Hypercolombowler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:39 pm 
 

Almost every single one of my favorite bands has attention grabbing bass playing and production: Cloven Hoof, Brocas Helm, Mercyful Fate, Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol (the swamp bass on King of the Dead is unrivaled), Slauter Xstroyes, BLACK FUCKING SABBATH

It even carries over into black metal. Mortuary Drape wouldn't be nearly as incredible without the double bass attack. No need to mention Necromantia I'm sure.
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awheio
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:00 am
Posts: 434
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:23 am 
 

Forgotten Woods -- As the Wolves Gather has really fun bass.

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SculptedCold
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:26 am
Posts: 242
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:25 am 
 

Bass is my favorite instrument too, i'm always thrilled when it's loud and I can hear it clearly, whether it's competing for my attention or just rumbling through the root notes. It's always great to hear the sounds that come out of a bassist's technique, style and tone. Sometimes a band is worth listening to for the bassist alone, like old Mudvayne, or bands built around the bass like Primus or Morkobot. Oh yeah, speaking of Morkobot, if you love bass you have to listen to 'em (two bassists and a drummer). Morbo is an utterly epic album.

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SatanicDeathLust666
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:06 am
Posts: 15
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:58 am 
 

Yeah I love a good bass line would prefer to be able to hear it clearly it's just as important as anything else imo

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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 515
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:38 am 
 

Vault_Boy wrote:
When I said "louder" it's juste because bass is hard to be heard on the majority of the album


Get better speakers/headphones.


Well-mixed bass makes all the difference, it makes the guitars heavier and the drums more impactful. Although one thing I have a preference for is overdriven/distorted bass, it's amazing how much fuller that can make bands sound - especially bands with just one guitar, some grit on the bass really fills out the spectrum. Especially during solos/leads. Granted, this mostly applies to more extreme forms of metal, but yeah. Super clean bass can FOAD.
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The Lions Den
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:51 am 
 

I begin to question me why this kind of topic are made by members who have less than 50 messages...
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Lagartija
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:27 am
Posts: 948
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:42 am 
 

YES! Man I hate it when you can't hear the bass; what's the fucking point recording it then?

I was just thinking about this while listening to the new Testament: what's the point having a monster like Steve DiGiorgio if you can hardly hear what the hell he's doing? :nono:

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Lagartija
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:27 am
Posts: 948
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:43 am 
 

TheJizzHammer wrote:
Not metal, but Rancid are one of my favorite bands and they put a lot of emphasis on their bass sound.

Bass is usually much more audible in punk, it gives it most of its character.

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Ilwhyan
Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 7163
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:24 am 
 

I prefer bass in a supporting role. It's most important function is to add warmth and low end to the guitar tones, and secondly bridge them together with the drums. I love hearing good bass licks when appropriate, but I don't like when, in technical death metal for example, the bassist plays solo all over the place. Timbre and picking accuracy are the most important things (and playing the right notes, of course). Secondly come the arrangement-related considerations, like whether the bass should play the root note at a given time or support a guitar melody by playing the same notes as the guitar. A distant third is the bassist's ability to play solo parts, and in my opinion, the subtler, the better.

A great metal bassist allows two guitars to play harmonies on higher notes without leaving too much a gap in the frequency ranges that the rhythm guitar would normally occupy.

Lagartija wrote:
YES! Man I hate it when you can't hear the bass; what's the fucking point recording it then?

I was just thinking about this while listening to the new Testament: what's the point having a monster like Steve DiGiorgio if you can hardly hear what the hell he's doing? :nono:

No comments on the new Testament, since I haven't heard it, but there are some things to keep in mind:

1. Just because the bass track doesn't seem audible individually doesn't mean that it isn't taken advantage of in the mix. Depending on the arrangements, the bass guitar can be simply in the role of augmenting the guitar tone and bridging together the rhythm guitar and drum tracks. In this case, people would immediately notice if the bass track was dropped, and they'd complain that the guitars sound thin. I've heard that bass is difficult to mix, too, so it can easily end up being too loud or too quiet.

2. Most times when people complain about not hearing the bass, the bass is actually quite audible, and it's simply that they can't pick it up. They mistake what they hear as being part of the guitar tracks or even drum tracks.

Edit: I'm listening to a new Testament song on YouTube, and the bass is perfectly audible. It ought to be a little bit louder and I prefer a rougher, warmer, and more driven tone, but you can definitely hear it no problem. It's harder to hear in the thrashier parts, but I'd say it's pretty astutely made in that it doesn't stand in the way of the heavy-hitting guitar chugs, and instead plays a constant low root note to support the guitars timbre-wise.

My headphones don't have a lot of low end (wrong impedance, these would require a little amplification I think), but it's definitely there. Maybe with bad speakers or earbuds you can't hear the bass. Mind, boosting the low end with shitty speakers will only make a bass track like this harder to hear, because the bass end becomes clogged and unclear, and most likely dominated by drum hits.
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PorcupineOfDoom
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:52 pm
Posts: 89
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:40 am 
 

A prominent bass presence is always a plus. Because it's so often buried under everything else it seems hugely innovative when it's used as its own instrument rather than an extension of the guitar. One of the reasons I love The Project Hate MCMXCIX so much is because the bass is used to lead the music just as much as the guitar is, particularly on The Cadaverous Retaliation Agenda where it's just monstrous. Wish more bands did the same.

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Vault_Boy
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:13 pm
Posts: 14
Location: Nice, France
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:26 am 
 

The Lions Den wrote:
I begin to question me why this kind of topic are made by members who have less than 50 messages...


Your 3 last posts are exactly the same. If it's a problem for you that peolpe like me who don't have a lot of posts create topic that are useless (for you), then don't post and contact a moderator

Awblaster wrote:
Vault_Boy wrote:
When I said "louder" it's juste because bass is hard to be heard on the majority of the album


Get better speakers/headphones.


Well-mixed bass makes all the difference, it makes the guitars heavier and the drums more impactful. Although one thing I have a preference for is overdriven/distorted bass, it's amazing how much fuller that can make bands sound - especially bands with just one guitar, some grit on the bass really fills out the spectrum. Especially during solos/leads. Granted, this mostly applies to more extreme forms of metal, but yeah. Super clean bass can FOAD.


What headphones are you using ? My PC has good speaker but my headphones aren't that good, do you have any recommendation for good headphones to listen to music (I have some that are good but they are for video games)?

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Awblaster
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:07 pm
Posts: 515
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:10 am 
 

Vault_Boy wrote:
What headphones are you using ? My PC has good speaker but my headphones aren't that good, do you have any recommendation for good headphones to listen to music (I have some that are good but they are for video games)?



Your gaming ones will probably do. I'm not too familiar with headphones these days, I use Beyerdynamic DT770s, but I mainly use them for monitoring rather than casual listening.

Just stay away from Beats, those things are expensive junk.
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CloggedUrethra
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2002 4:30 am
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Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:03 pm 
 

I wouldn't say I have a preference, some of my favourite albums have prominent bass guitar that strays from what the guitars play, and other favourites don't even have bass guitar at all. For my band, I've gone almost 20 years without using a bass guitar and I can't imagine ever using one for it.
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stainedclass2112
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:36 pm
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Location: Bucketheadland
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:06 pm 
 

Ilwhyan wrote:
1. Just because the bass track doesn't seem audible individually doesn't mean that it isn't taken advantage of in the mix. Depending on the arrangements, the bass guitar can be simply in the role of augmenting the guitar tone and bridging together the rhythm guitar and drum tracks. In this case, people would immediately notice if the bass track was dropped, and they'd complain that the guitars sound thin. I've heard that bass is difficult to mix, too, so it can easily end up being too loud or too quiet.

2. Most times when people complain about not hearing the bass, the bass is actually quite audible, and it's simply that they can't pick it up. They mistake what they hear as being part of the guitar tracks or even drum tracks.


This.
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Twisted_Psychology
Veteran

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:09 pm 
 

I'm totally biased but I love hearing loud bass on an album mix. Hell, I think mediocre albums can be improved when you make the bass sound louder. Testament's Practice What You Preach comes to mind.
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severzhavnost
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:16 pm
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Location: Ottawa
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:24 pm 
 

CloggedUrethra wrote:
I wouldn't say I have a preference, some of my favourite albums have prominent bass guitar that strays from what the guitars play, and other favourites don't even have bass guitar at all. For my band, I've gone almost 20 years without using a bass guitar and I can't imagine ever using one for it.


I mostly second this, though I lean more toward the bolded bit. I really love songs like Trouble's "Endgame" where the bass steps up and has its moment. But then, I also like crappy raw black metal where repetition is the only reason you can hear much of anything, let alone the bass.
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c_
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 9:15 am
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Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:27 pm 
 

For my bass fix I always listen to live Grand Funk Railroad. Loud-as-fuck bass!

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Dembo
Dumbo

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Location: Crippling Velocity
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:11 pm 
 

Just listened to Rush's self-titled album for the first time in a while and thought of this thread.

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InnesI
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 870
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:46 pm 
 

I am a bass player myself so I always pay more attention to the bass than I think most others do. I always prefer it high in the mix. I can hardly ever remember a song where the bass was too loud in fact (although there are probably a few such examples). And to me it doesn't have to be super complex playing. A perfect example is the last Bolt Thrower album. The bass is super simple but it absolutely dominates the sound and it sounds killer. A different example is a band like Stargazer where the playing is both melodic and complex and where the bass is always at the forefront. Both excellent in their own way.

I keep seeing people write that they don't hear the bass on album x or even that the bass is unnecessary because they can't hear it most of the time. Generally I think it is just a matter of people not realizing what a bass sounds like. The worst offenders to this are two reviews I remember. One dealing with Mastodons Leviathan album. The reviewer claimed the bass was practically inaudible while it in reality is at the forefront and plays a key role. Another reviewer once claimed that the bass was not heard on any Metallica record sans s/t (I think). What a load of BS. It is heard fine on all their records except And Justice for All.

Now these are extreme examples but points to a common problem. Because I don't think the bass is a buried in metal as some people seem to think it is. However many can't seem to distinguish the bass from the six stringed guitars. With that said I do think the creativity of bass players in metal are less as compared to other forms of music. Bass players tends to just play just the root notes of whatever chord the guitar player is doing. There are obviously loads of examples speaking against this but I think it is more common with uncreative bass lines in metal than it is in much other music.

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Lagartija
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:27 am
Posts: 948
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:51 am 
 

InnesI wrote:
And to me it doesn't have to be super complex playing. A perfect example is the last Bolt Thrower album. The bass is super simple but it absolutely dominates the sound and it sounds killer.

:thumbsup:

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