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Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:17 pm
by Woodcrest Studio
Hi Everyone,

I have a bit of reining-in to do on a album I am working on. The bass player played certain songs bowing and other ones plucked/fingered. I usually go through manually in the sample editor and do all the corrections (cent shifting) using the range tool. There are not usually any artifacts since it is not out that much, but noticeable enough that it needs to be corrected. I tried a number of ways to get the performance from him but we never got one straight through and consistent enough to where I nor the group lead was satisfied.

So, the query here is: What other ways have you pitch corrected an upright bass. I haven't tried variaudio because I don't think it will even post notes in that low of a register. Maybe it does.


So, any thoughts to streamline this workflow?

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:35 am
by Woodcrest Studio
A goodnight bump.

Anyone throw me a bone here. PPLS? I am not looking forward to all this editing.

One thing I didn't mention is this is all multichannel with a minimum of 2 near mics. Some songs have an additional room mic. Would love to hear some suggestions before I start this tomorrow.

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:00 am
by Split
Sorry no suggestions, but it's gonna be difficult... Bass never really likes to much pitch shifting.

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:41 am
by Puma0382
Hi - what I've done before is to grab a good 'same' note as the one I need to correct from elsewhere in the performance; literally cut around it and copy it over the error. Not always easy or will work of course - and sometimes grabbing a whole (similar) phrase intact can be better, too... :)

I've not tried VariAudio on bass, but give it a go on a small section - see if you can tweak it to acceptable quality; it is good/useful with vox (small changes)...

Bob

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:51 pm
by matjones
Puma0382 wrote:Hi - what I've done before is to grab a good 'same' note as the one I need to correct from elsewhere in the performance; literally cut around it and copy it over the error. Not always easy or will work of course - and sometimes grabbing a whole (similar) phrase intact can be better, too... :)

I've not tried VariAudio on bass, but give it a go on a small section - see if you can tweak it to acceptable quality; it is good/useful with vox (small changes)...

Bob
i've not done this with an acoustic upright... only a steinberger upright and that was the best method i could find.
VA is hopeless on bass, well anything more than straight 8's with a pick on an electric.
One of our guys has autotune and that seems to be pretty accurate with no detectable artifacts, again not tried it on an acoustic upright.. just the steinberger.
I find also that if i switch a file to musical mode that i have tracked with my warwick (4string) or my spector 5 string that even without any tweaks the sound still seems to develop artifacts... not impressed with this at all.
Steiny SERIOUSLY need to get their time stretch sorted out, even cakewalk 8 back in 2000 or so had better time/pitch functionality. It's even worse on my Ashbory mini-bass... as soon as i switch the file to musical mode it just warbles.... :(

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:44 pm
by HowlingUlf
Remember it states clearly in the manual that VariAudio a tool for correcting the human voice.
People have had bad or no results in while trying higher pitched instruments like violins and stuff.
And a Bass in a room isn't exactly making things easier.
You can of course try but knowing you stretch the scoop of the tool might help you to stop before tears run down your face ... :o
Hopefully Steinberg have VariAudio 2.0 ready for C6? ;)

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:04 pm
by Woodcrest Studio
Thanks everyone for the replies. I did realize this was going to be a PITA. I have never had this much editing on a upright bass before hence my fear. During initial tracking I did select certain notes and just did note replacement. I was thinking a macro or the PLE could help me out here. So far using the in-built pitch shifter has worked without artifacts with the amount of shifting needed. It is just going to be painstaking since the entire album is upright bass and the intonation isn't straight enough for my nor the project lead's taste. Excellent music though the core has to be solid for the other players on the album or it will be a mess, especially for the viola player that is to counterpoint off the bass in a skipping harmony with it.

I think I am going to load up the tracks in Protools and slice them up and try there with the multitrack editing as an alternate approach.

So, just fired up the rig, finishing my coffee and the project is fiendishly smiling at me. Hopefully it is easier than expected. I will report back with the achievements. We will not speak of failures! :)

Thanks again.

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:09 pm
by Guest
I think it may be time to have a conversation with the lead explaining the cost differences between renting a properly set up instrument and re-tracking as opposed to the time (cost) of editing the lousy performance. ;)

Re: Upright Bass: Tuning the performance

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:01 pm
by Woodcrest Studio
eek, not that! Not with these guys.

I have already been called underhanded by the percussion player on the album due to suggestions of an alternate player (session drummer) to tighten everything up. I tried explaining to the percussion player I just want the best. Someone that plays drums all the time. The player on the album doesn't play drums that much (just percussion like congas) and I have 2 session drummers that I work with that all they do is play drums all the time and are aces that listen and respond quickly to direction.

Heart breaking, really. This album is destined for radio. If it isn't solid, it will probably not make it because it will sound amateur, so I have to do what I have to do.

It is as though I am in a band and have to deal with people's baggage and guess who will be to blame if I can't tighten everything up? Yup, Me. We all know this is wrong, but there are ways to edit things to being close and tight. That is what I have to do in this situation. Everyone who is in the biz has to deal with this. "Hey, can't we copy and paste the good parts" ME: "um, yeah, and you'll sound like a robot". There are ways to keep the human vibe in this and not sound like robots. That's my job.

Thankfully, this isn't always how it is here. :)

Anyway, the bass posts in variaudio and the correction seems fairly transparent. Now, to try to achieve the same correction on both near mics. I'll probably have to ditch the room mic which is a bummer because the room sound is really important in 2 of the songs but I think I can recreate it with an IR verb.