For the geeks: Recording Bass on “Heart of Darkness”

Because some people might actually be interested in it (crazy, I know. I’m also writing this while waiting at the doctors to get my vaccinations for the US ūüėÄ ) I decided to give you a list of what kind of equipment I used on each of the tracks of the upcoming¬†Natalia Mateo¬†album Heart of Darkness!

Constant signal chain: GrooveTubes Vipre preamp, Morley Optical Volume Pedal, Rheingold-Music instrument and patch cables.

  1. Windmills of your Mind –¬†Flexx Basses¬†“Peter 4” with flat wounds, played with a pick
  2. Tonight I’ll sleep in Space –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup
  3. Take a walk on the wild side –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup
  4. Trudno –¬†Flexx Basses¬†“Peter 4” with flatwounds
  5. Inferno –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup / Electro Harmonix Micro POG (on high octave starting in the middle of the song)
  6. Somebody’s watching me –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup
  7. I put a spell on you –¬†Flexx Basses¬†“Peter 4” with flatwounds, played with a pick
  8. Strange fruit – no bass ūüėČ
  9. Paparazzi –¬†Flexx Basses¬†“Peter 4” with flatwounds / Taurus Dexter Mk-2 (add. Octave below)
  10. Chocolate Jesus –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / neck pickup
  11. Solitudo Diaboli –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup
  12. Canto I – No bass ūüėČ
  13. Turtle Dove –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / bridge pickup
  14. Blue –¬†Paul Lairat¬†“Stega” / neck pickup

As you’ll see there are not many things in the signal path in terms of effects on this record and my goal with this was to make the electric bass sound as natural as it could in the context of these otherwise more “acoustic” sounding songs and to provide a solid foundation for the other instruments to stand on top of.

With two harmony instruments (Piano and Guitar) as well as a lead instrument (Trumpet) and very distinctive and lush sounding vocals the job of the bass is really to “glue” things together with a few thoughtful notes in the right spots rather than excessive grooves. Especially in this rather “jazzy” context with the drums behaving more freely than in pop songs the bass can become a welcome foundation that allows more freedom for the other musicians.

It has been a real joy recording with these two incredible basses and especially showed me what an awesome addition to my bass arsenal the “Peter 4” by Flexx basses really is! It sits really well in an acoustic¬†setting¬†and can produce a really nice and almost acoustic timbre that fits in really well with the songs I’ve used it on.

If that made you curious as to how these basses sound on the final record you can now¬†preorder it on iTunes¬†and receive the tracks “Trudno” and “Paparazzi” in advance!