TheBassLab delivers professional Bass Tracks via email

In today’s fast-paced and budget driven world, sometimes recording projects happen so quickly and under budget and time restraints that it is not possible to get all the session musicians together at the same time to get projects finished on schedule. In the case of songwriters, composers and/or bands they sometimes need a bass track for their new project or get an older or a live recording ‘updated’ with a better sound.

Thanks to advancements in technology we are now able to share projects over the Internet and get tracks recorded in different studios, thus eliminating the time and budget needed for all the session musicians to travel to a certain studio at a particular time.

The tracks are then collected and mixed at the Main Studio (which could be a professional recording studio of your choice or your own home studio).

Robert DiBlanco’s recording studio “TheBassLab” has been doing this kind of Internet work for quite some time now and knows the pitfalls and how to avoid them. We will ask you the right questions BEFORE we get to work on your project to leave nothing unanswered and no chance for surprises ‘after-the-fact’.

“TheBassLab” has been configured and tweaked specifically for the task of getting the optimal sound for bass recordings. This includes top notch outboard gear and plugins that are geared specifically towards recording basses.

How does it work?
It is pretty simple – you contact us via robert(at)diblanco.com and give us the the following information:
– how many songs?
– what style did you have in mind
(i.e. ‘I want it to sound like ARTIST’s name here‘, ‘make it old-timey’, “ballad with an upright..’, etc.)
– are charts or sheet music for the song(s) available?
– which format do you need the recorded file(s) in (AIFF, WAV, MP3, etc.)
– what resolution do you need the recorded file(s) to be in (44.1kHz/16 bit; 96kHz/24 bit; 192kHz/32 bit)
– how quickly do you need the files to be delivered?

You will then send us a MP3 version of a mix of your song(s) (without the bass track) and we will get started recording your bass track. Turn-around times depend on the amount of work that we have waiting at the studio but in general you should see your tracks back in your email box in 3-4 business days. Pricing depends on how much pre-work needs to get done (file conversions, charts, etc.) but on average we charge $100/track – contact us and we will be happy to discuss your project’s exact pricing structure.

Robert DiBlanco’s bass work has been recorded on over 500 songs and he continues to add to his long list of happy clients !!

ADDITIONAL SERVICES:
– chart writing (Nashville Number System and/or Lead Sheet)
– drum tracks
– backing vocal tracks
– production/arrangement support
– editing / mixing / mastering services

Why use a session musician for your demo?

I found this great article on why to use session musicians for your demo recordings and wanted to publish the link for everybody:

The Advantages of Using Session Musicians on Your Songwriting Demo
(by Cliff Goldmacher)

Why do professional recordings sound, well…professional? There are a number of reasons including high quality microphones, pre-amps, an experienced engineer and a well-designed studio space. But one of the single most important elements in a great-sounding, professional recording is the performance of the session musicians. There is a reason that the job of the session musician exists. It’s these musicians whose talent and studio experience contribute in a major way to the polished sound of a recording. Because there are different rules that apply when you’re recording an artist demo, I’m going to limit the scope of this article to songwriting demos specifically.

Shouldn’t I Be Able To Do This Myself?

While I am a big proponent of wearing as many hats as you can in your musical career, there are certain areas where it makes much better sense to rely on experts. First of all, it’s extremely important that you take ego out of the equation. There is no shame in having someone else play on your demo. Remember that a songwriting demo is supposed to put your song in the best possible light in order to “sell” it to prospective artists or place it in films and TV shows. It is not supposed to be proof of your studio musicianship. Recording your instrument in the studio requires an entirely different skill set than playing live. For lack of a better description, studio recording is more like music surgery than a musical performance. While you might be comfortable playing guitar in your living room or even on a stage in front of hundreds of people, it’s an entirely different ballgame to sit in a four by six-foot booth wearing headphones and listening to a clicking sound. Giving a note-perfect, dynamic and in-time performance in this kind of unnatural setting requires a special set of skills.

Isn’t It Cheaper if I Do It Myself?

Given that we all have to keep an eye on the bottom line when it comes to our recording budget, there is the temptation to save money by playing on the demo yourself. The problem with this method is that often it will take an inexperienced musician twice as long to get a viable take as it would a pro. One of the many advantages of using session musicians is that they are not only good at what they do but fast. In other words, the price you pay to hire a session musician translates into savings on studio time compared to playing the part yourself. Being fast in the studio is useful for another reason as well. When a session bogs down with take after take, it starts to feel a lot more like work. When things go quickly and smoothly, they stay musical and fun. Don’t discount the need for a session to stay enjoyable. My experience has been that everyone does his or her best work when the atmosphere in the studio is light and productive.

Great Expectations

When it comes to recording a demo, it’s essential that you keep your listening audience in mind at all times. In the music industry, there is a certain level of “polish” that record labels, publishers, managers and producers have come to expect from the demos they listen to. By bringing in the same musicians that play on hundreds of songwriting demos and major label record projects, you’ll be giving these industry types what they’re used to hearing. We’ve all heard from time to time industry professionals say that they can “hear through” your rough recordings. My recommendation is NOT to take that chance. You’ve only got one opportunity to make a first impression and you should give yourself every advantage. Also, even if there is one industry professional willing and able to hear through a rough recording, you’ll hopefully be pitching this song to a number of industry people many of whom will be expecting a professional sounding demo.

The Care and Feeding of Session Musicians

When it comes to working with session musicians, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, if you’re not comfortable writing out a chord chart, professional session musicians are perfectly capable of listening to your rough recording (also known as a work tape) and writing out their own charts. For them, charting is quick process that should take no longer than 10-15 minutes at the most. Then, when it comes time for the musicians to play, always suggest that they try it their way first. There are two reasons for this. First of all, you’ve hired them to make your demo sound great so you should give them a chance to go with their instincts before you offer any direction. Secondly, by letting them do what you’ve brought them in to do with a minimum of interference, you’ll create goodwill that will go a long way towards the overall vibe in the studio. In almost every case, what the session musicians come up with will be better than you ever expected. HOWEVER, if you’re still not getting what you want after they’ve tried it their way, you’re 100% entitled to politely ask them to try it the way you were hearing it. The ONLY appropriate response from a session musician to your request is “absolutely.”

Conclusion

It can be intimidating to work with such talented musicians, but remember, they’re working for you! One of my favorite expressions is “the best ones have nothing to prove.” In other words, when you hire pros not only will they be great at what they do but they should be a pleasure to work with as well. There is no reason to hire even the best session musician if they have a bad attitude. This is extremely rare but if it happens, I’d recommend never using that musician again. There are way too many wonderful, friendly and talented session musicians out there to ever settle for one with a chip on their shoulder.

Finally, if you’ve never used a professional musician on your songwriting demo, do yourself a favor and try it out. You’re in for a treat and you’ll end up with a great demo.”
Copyright By Cliff Goldmacher (cliff@cliffgoldmacher.com)
SOURCE: http://tunecore.typepad.com/tunecorner/2008/07/the-advantages.html

It is so true …… and guess what, the time you save by having your songs recorded by professional session musicians will make up for the extra money you may have to budget.

Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

PLUS, session musicians make great friends too 🙂

Robert DiBlanco’s Studio Rig

Robert DiBlanco’s home studio (www.TheBassLab.com) currently features the following configuration (updated 12/2013):

STUDIO Rig:
Software:
* Avid ProTools 10
* Steinberg Cubase 8.5 Pro DAW
* Steinberg WaveLab 8.5
* Apple Logic Pro X
* Ableton LIVE 9
* Apple MainStage 3

Hardware:
* Universal Audio Apollo Advanced Studio front end
* Mackie HR824 Studio Monitors
* Mackie MR5mk2 Studio Monitors
* Focusrite VRM Box
* Steinberg CC121 controller interface
* Avid Artist Controller interface
* MIDAS X-32 Digital Mixing Console
* A Design REDDI Tube Direct Box
* retrospec JuiceBox Tube Direct Box
* MOTU UltraLite mk3 Studio Interface
* MOTU micro lite MIDI Interface
* RetroChannel Preamplifier
* Black Lion Audio AUTEUR Preamplifier
* Black Lion Audio SPARROW MK II (White) A/D converter
* Black Lion Audio SPARROW A/D converter
* Black Lion Audio Micro Clock MK2
* Demeter VTBP-201s Tube Preamplifier
* SWR GrandPrix Tube Preamplifier
* SWR Mr.Tone Control Parametric Equalizer
* 3Equation Studio Headphones
* FutureSonics Atrio M8 In-Ear Monitors with SofterWear sleeves
* VodooLab Amp Selector
* Line 6 Bass Pod XT (for effects only)
* Raven Labs MDB-1 ‘More Me’ Box
* Peterson V-SAM Strobo Tuner

Bass Amplification Systems:
* Thunderfunk TFB750-A Professional Bass Amplification System
* Euphonic Audio iAmp Pro
* MusicMan B115 amplifier
* SWR SM 900 Amplifier
* SWR SM 400 amplifier
* SWR Redhead combo
* SWR California Blonde amplifier
* SWR LA-10 practice amplifier
* Behringer UltraBass BX4210A

Speaker cabinets:
* AccuGroove ElWhappo (1×15″ subwoofer, 1×12″ midwoofer, 1×6″ midrange and 2 x Tweeters cabinet, 4 ohms)
* Euphonic Audio NL410 (4 x 10 cabinet, 8 ohms)
* 2 x SWR Goliath III (4 x 10 cabinet, 8 ohms)


DiBlanco also uses the following additional gear:
* Sadowsky Black Label strings
* Sadowsky Blue Label strings
* Gore ELIXIR strings for his electric basses
* Lakland strings for his electric fretless bass
* Dr. Thomastik Spirocore strings on the upright bass
* Essential Sound Products MusicCord PRO
* Sadowsky Neo guitar straps
* Core X2 cables
* Monster cables
* LAVA cables
* the BassBrace strap system


TheBassLab is powered exclusively by
Apple MAC systems running OS X!

TheBassLab updated …. again

TheBassLab has updated once again and is now running AVID ProTools 10 and Cubase 6.5 / WaveLab 7.

The combination of having both DAW systems available enables us to quickly cater to any customer’s specific needs. ProTools being the industry standard definitely takes the preference on most projects but the enhanced MIDI editing capabilities of Cubase 7 make it a very interesting alternative and preferred system on MIDI heavy projects. WaveLab 7 is an awesome tool for mastering and any detailed editing task.

We have also updated the studio front end to the newest edition of Black Lion Audio’s Sparrow MKII interface and the addition of retrospec’s JuiceBox in order to guarantee fantastic sound quality on all our recordings.

More to come soon …… let’s keep it groovin’

New basses arrived at TheBassLab today

I am very excited to tell everybody about two new basses that were added to the arsenal at TheBassLab.com:

A) Sadowsky NYC 24F5 Bass, color: Tiger’s Eye Burst
DiBlanco_56

B) Sadowsky Metro Ultra Vintage 5, color: 3-tone sunburst
DiBlanco_57

Amazing instruments – perfect additions to the fleet of Lakland basses that currently occupy ‘The Bass Lab’.

Special thanks go out to Roger Sadowsky and Kevin Drexler for all their help and expertise.

P.S.: TheBassLab.com is open for business – if you need bass tracks recorded for your project, give us a call at (615) 649-4542 and we’ll take care of your needs.

Go ahead and visit http://www.sadowsky.com to see their incredible line of basses and guitars – you won’t regret it.