20+ years of experience performing and recording with artists such as The Crusaders, Christopher Cross and David Benoit, for movie and tv soundtracks like Old School and Baywatch and five solo albums. I enjoy finding the perfect sound whether it is vintage or modern, and crafting supportive basslines that enhance the song.
My focus is to provide clients with exactly what they want and need, making the process smooth and seamless and providing the recorded tracks quickly.
Tell me what you want the bass to sound like: 'Paul McCartney', 'Jamerson', 'Faith by George Michael', 'dirty', 'clean', 'growly' etc. If there is a particular song you like the sound and feel of, I will be happy to emulate it.
If you have no idea what you want, feel free to trust my many years of experience!
You receive three versions ranging from basic to creative, but I am happy to accomodate special requests. If the tracks are not what you had in mind I will work with you until we are both satisfied.
Contact me through the green button above and lets get to work.
- Christopher Cross
- David Benoit
- Boyz II Men
- Burt Bacharach
- Kristin Chenoweth
- Brian Culbertson
- Russell Ferrante
- Dave Koz
- Eric Marienthal
- Sarah McLachlan
- Wayne Newton
- Jake Shimabukuru
- Patti Austin
- Rick Braun
- Melissa Etheridge
- Robben Ford
- Stanley Jordan
- Keiko Matsui
- Bob Mintzer
- Peter White
- Diane Shuur
- Connie Stevens
- Burt Bacharac
- Chaka Khan
- Ronnie Laws
- Ray Mantzarek
- Michael McDonald
- Jane Monheit
- Sadao Watanabe
- Tom Scott
- Smokey Robinson
- Brian Mcknight
Interview with davidhughesmusic.com
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: My album Foreign Shores. I arranged, produced and wrote most of the music and of course played bass. I feel it represents who I am musically as a composer and as an artist.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: A new solo album featuring a horn section and string quartet!
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! There are pros and cons with each. Most people record digitally since it offers superior sound quality, much lower cost and limitless flexibility. However, for capturing vintage tones nothing beats real tube amps, effects pedals etc.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I put my reputation on the line with each job, and I will not deliver something I am not 100% satisfied with. I also want happy customers and will work with a client to get them what they want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love being a part of the creative process and ultimately delivering something that makes the whole bigger than the parts.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: They sometimes ask if I am familiar with a certain artist's sound. In case I am not, I am happy to study it.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Is there a song or artist you want the song to sound like? Is there a bass player you like in particular? Will you edit the song yourself and are you comfortable doing it?
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Select a musician with a proven track record and a style that matches your taste. Try to provide as much information about what you are looking for before you start the job and don't be afraid to let the musician know if you are not receiving what you had in mind.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I think they would have more to do with survival than music!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Over 20 years
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Groovy, full of attitude but also lyrical when called for.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Stevie Wonder...because he's the master blaster!
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Always be conscious of the big picture and don't let small details get in the way of that. People will listen to a song, not a cool fill that steps all over the melody.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: A wide range from pop to rock and jazz and funk.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: The ability to fit in with what is previously recorded. Sometimes the drum track has a particular feel or the style calls for something that fits.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: My goal is to enhance the emotion of a song whether it is sweet, dark, aggressive or some other feeling.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: I listen to the song to get a sense of the emotions it brings out. My job is then to support those emotions. I determine the song structure, the harmony, look for any lines that should be doubled e.g. with guitar and any spots where the bass might help bring something special to the song. Unless the client has provided specific instructions, I determine which tone best complements the style and the other instruments. Vintage or modern? Four- five- or six-string? Fretless? Hollowbody? Flatwound or round wound strings? Mellow or aggressive? Pick, fingers or slap? Clean or dirty? There are so many options! Then I record a basic, simple version where I deliberately leave a lot of room for the melody. Next is what I would consider the 'normal' track, where my instincts lead the way. I often start simple and as the song progresses the bass part gets more involved with runs, fills, slides etc. Last I play a creative track, one that brings the bass more into focus with added melodic and rhythmic content, fills etc. Often clients will pick sections of this track and add the the 'normal or 'simple' track. At this point I may record an alternate track, e.g. one played with a pick or slapped or on a different bass. In most cases clients are happy with the 'normal' track.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: Electric bass is usually recorded direct through an Avalon SP737 preamp. For a more vintage tone I may also record an amp for a bit of tube saturation. Upright bass is recorded with a Neumann TLM103 or AKG 414 close to the bridge and a stereo pair of Shure SM81 a bit above the bridge for a nice large sound and stereo presence and some added string attack. I usually to work in Logic, but you can send me a ProTools session if that is what you use. 24 bit and up to 192 KHz is available. I use an Apogee Element interface.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Jacob Collier and Esperanza Spalding, both are amazing bass players and highly creative and skilled composers and musicians. Sting, his understated bass parts are just right for the songs and his overall musicianship is amazing. Bruno Mars taking retro music styles into the 21st century with featured bass parts!
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Independent artists looking to replace sample bass tracks with something better sounding and organic. Some prefer a very simple bass part, some are looking for something creative. Composers looking for authentic sounding bass for jingles, commercials and tv shows. Often the bass part is written out and accurate performance, timely delivery and superior sound quality is important for these clients. Jazz artists seeking highly skilled and creative bass playing and a live feel, even though the track is recorded remotely. Clients come from all over the world, China, Japan, Korea, Germany and of course the US.