I am a bass player currently living in Los Angeles. I’ve played on many recordings with artists as diverse as Passenger to Declan ORourke to Dope Lemon. I'm well versed in recording bass tracks for artists all over the world in my home studio. The internet is an amazing place for people to connect, and I will provide bass for your project.
I’m a Hoosier, and for most who don’t know what that is, a Hoosier is a person proudly born and raised in Indiana. I’ve been playing music all my life. My classical musician parents started me very early on piano and violin. Later on in at Indiana University, I picked up the electric bass on a whim, and the rest is history. First and foremost, I'm a music fan. I love so many styles of music, and one great thing about being a bass player is that I get to play many different styles, and I believe being well versed in different approaches ultimately gets unique results.
I’ve recorded/worked with Passenger, Angus & Julia Stone, Dope Lemon, Declan ORourke, Tom Freund/Ben Harper, Brett Dennen, Passenger/Ed Sheeran, Michael Brunnock/Glenn Hansard, Colin Smith, Sharon Corr, Jonathan Coulton, Hamish Anderson, Paul Kelly/Angus Stone, Break & Repair Method, Will Stratton, Matt Nathanson. I’ve worked with producers Mitchell Froom, Rick Rubin, Phil Ramone, Kieran Kelly, Jim Scott, Eric J, Chris Vallejo, Mario Mcnulty, Jay Joyce, Gerry Leonard.
I look forward to recording my bass tracks for you in my own home studio. The process is fast, rewarding and fun. Let's get to work on your project.
Would love to hear from you. Click the contact button above to get in touch.
20 Reviews - 4 Repeat ClientsEndorse Rob Calder
Another wonderful experience having Rob help out on my track. Looking forward to the next one :-)
Rob is practically an honorary member of my band at this point, I'm always blown away by his work and this time was no different. If you're looking for a session bassist for your tracks seriously look no further, you won't be disappointed!
Rob helped me out a lot, it's a luxury being able to work with musicians of his caliber. Can't wait to work together again soon.
Second time working with Rob. Great job!
Great musician, great guy. Super helpful and very knowledgable.
Always a pleasure to have Rob help out on my tracks and he nailed it once again!
I've worked with Rob on a few songs now, and in fact, I haven't worked with anyone else since finding Rob - he's that good.
Looking forward to the next one!
It was great working with Rob. He understood the direction and style of the project right from the start. Gave me plenty of options to choose from and the final result was fantastic.
Would work with him in the future for sure.
Best bassist on planet earth right here.
Rob is one of the few I've come across on this platform that I'd consider A-list. I generally have use SoundBetter for quick "budget" options when I can't hire my go-tos in person, so I don't always expect top shelf vibe, performance, and gear. Rob has that going on, though. He nailed 5 or 6 fantastic takes to comp through. He doesn't overplay but still drives the track with the right energy and pocket. Rad DI tone as well. Definitely will have him on more tracks.
Super talented, down to earth and reliable. What else can you ask for?
Had Rob play some bass on a song last month, loved what he did so much I sent him another two tracks and by golly he nailed it again. Absolute wizard on the bass guitar.
Rob is an absolute machine on the bass. Very quick to respond and delivers nothing less than perfection. Can't wait to get him on some more tunes!
I own a commercial studio and I absolutely love working with bass player Rob Calder. He has wonderful sounding instruments and amazing sensibilities as a musician and band leader. He is generous with ideas and always willing to take suggestions. Great versatility as well. I give the highest possible recommendation!
Killer player, killer singer, killer songwriter, killer beard, killer dude.
Always love working with Rob- deep and soulful bass player. He’s an incredible ensemble player and always always brings creative ideas.
I love being in a rhythm section with Rob! His playing is rock solid and always for the song!!
Rob is a wonderful musician. His sense of melody on the bass always elevates the vocals in a way that is rare and selfless to the song. Highly recommended.
I’m thrilled to see Rob on SoundBetter. He’s been one of my absolute favorite bass players for literally decades. Check his credits - Rob is the real deal, and your tracks will very definitely see the benefits!
I just finished a recording session with Rob @SingSing studio in Melbourne/Australia. Such a great experience working with Rob who brought so much to the songs. Super warm and deep bass sound, well prepared, bringing many cool ideas to the tracks. Moreover we had a lot of fun working together and with the rest of the team. Rob is very professional and such a nice person too.
Can't wait to record again or tour with Rob!
Interview with Rob Calder
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The most common work I do is with Singer Songwriters, mainly as they are solo and don't have a band. However, I've long been in bands of all types, so my work isn't limited to only that.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Composers more than anything inspire me. Of course I appreciate master instrumentalists as well, but composers demonstrate the ability to conjure ideas from thin air to inspire people to listen and be moved, and I prefer to move people with music, and not impress.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio set up starts with my instruments. My main instrument is a 1968 Fender Precision bass. I also own a more modern sounding 1969 Fender P. Another primary instrument to records very well for me is my 1964 Hofner Club Bass. After that, into one of my tube preamps, which then go into a Universal Audio Apollo Twin, and finally into Logic.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My typical work process for online artists goes like this: I'll receive the job from the SoundBetter client, who then sends me a hi-res file of a song they want me to record bass to. (Don't worry too much about the 'Hi-res' part....this only means that the tune should be sent with a sharper image than what is a little mp3.....) Once I import the song into Logic, I'lll have a play-along, and the moment I start to understand the song form a bit, I start to record, the reason being that the first ideas to come are often the best, and most natural. At that point, I try to capture the best performance of that approach, and then move on to different ideas. Perhaps I'll switch to a pick, or maybe I'll adjust the tone on the amp for something completely different. Stepping away for a bit also helps to clear the mind, so that when I come back, new ideas often present themselves. The end result of an afternoon of playing and recording is hopefully 5 or 6 different approaches to a song, which are all sent to the artist so they can choose which one they like the best. Sometimes the artist prefers a certain tone one take, but would like me to revisit the tune again with a different approach, which of course, I'm more than happy to do!
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: As a bass player, I will bring a steady foundation to your tune that you can reliably build on with other players and instruments. I can be extremely fundamental in my note choices, or I can provide a more melodic counterpoint to whats happening in the vocal or the tune. The Artist usually has a good feel for what they want there, and if not, tune tells me what to play.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: My strongest skill is listening. Listening to the song, and to the artist for what they hear in the tune.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I often play with rock bands and folk bands/artists (ie. Passenger). I also do a lot of indie rock (Dope Lemon, Will Stratton) and often also alt-country bands. recently I've been composing for and playing in instrumental jazz/rock music called Schmetterling, which is a departure from the usual styles I get to work with.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I've been described as 'low-and-slow'.....usually thats a cooking phrase for making BBQ, but I think thats a pretty good description of my playing.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I started in a dedicated band early on, and when that came to an end, I started helping others get their music made, which lead me to become a free lance bassist. It was never my intention to be a freelance guy, but I quickly found a high level of aptitude and success in playing for others that it took over my professional life.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A fender P bass, an Ampeg B15 amp, and 3 guitar cords, since they always go bad.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: the easiest and most direct way to understand how an artist wants a song to sound is to provide a recording of something they like as a reference. Do you hear your Fol song with reggae bass like Bob Marley? send me the tune you think best represents your vision so I know what you want.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: playing music is always an incredible privilege.