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The Old Ways ...?


moosemaster

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Hiyall.

 

I throw myself now at the mercy of those wise enough to know or experienced enough to remember:

 

I've had the the odd bass player in to sessions on my band's tracks and really tried for that tight fronted round ...woody? ...disco tone. Ugly to some I know, but these funky but younger players haven't seemed to have any idea of how to go about getting it.

 

At a friends place last night I heard an Esther Phillips album with Will Lee downstairs, and DAMNED if it wasn't that sound/vibe.

 

I find it hard to imagine these players using picks.

Think Ed Brown on Minnie Ripperton. Beautiful raw sounding clunks of bass notes.

Think Salsoul.

 

Before the musicianship thing is raised, the guys I've used have been very fine groove players, both using vintage Ps.

Direct in through a few different kinds of pre, one custom built for bass di.

 

I'm going into Protools.

 

Were they mainly micing amps back then or something?

 

It's not just a bit elusive, I haven't even gotten close to it so far. It can't be impossible...

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Moose

amateur hour will always take much longer than an hour
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I'm not real sure what you are saying exactly but, much of it could depend on your gear (amps) if you are using something like an ampeg or anything tube it will not sound right. a GK, hartke or mainly a real clean sounding amp is what you need. and just play it flat and cut your mids and you will get that real hi-fi sound. kinda like some duran duran songs I assume. and also play all notes with a sticatto style that should get you close. but like mudbass said most bass parts on disco songs were done by keyboard and if not heavily synthesised and manipulated after the initial recording. studio stuff.
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Originally posted by Mudbass:

On most of the disco I seem to remember, the bass was done with a keyboard which was one of the multitude of reasons I hated it.

FYI Bernard Edwards was not a keyboard player.

 

That disco funk sound was usually gotten by going direct with some compression. Do a search on Bernard Edwards and you might find something.

 

Good luck.

Jotown:)

 

"It's all good: Except when it's Great"

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Last night I heard "flashlight" for the first time in a long time, and listened to that "way out there" bass.

 

Anybody know how that was done? I suspected it was keys, but then is sounded so idiomatic to bass.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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davebrownbass, i know what youre sayin.

the phasing seems odd for synth bass but the sound's undeniable. and so phat.

george clinton said it was a track that bootsy had but didn't want, so he took it and made it into flashlight.

did bootsy have bas guitar to synth hookup capability at the time?

 

apart from above mentioned and of course the incredible 'got to give it up' marvin synth bass groove, i'm hard pressed to think of many synth bass disco tracks b4 the 80's. so I must strenuosly disagree on those facts, but of course much appreciate your comments, Mudbass and Jay J.

was actually kinda trying for the opposite of that Duran Duran sound, rather, phat and souly, but your remark about staccato articulation may be the key.

 

bernard edwards, hell yeah.

amateur hour will always take much longer than an hour
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I don't have alot of examples of this style around here but I did hang out at Studio 54 when I was into crossdressing (that Steve Rubin had the nicest polyester suit collection. I just loved dancing with him but he hardly ever did).

 

As I recall it's about fingerstyle prowess and a fair to large amount of compression, with EQ being the main tonal variant on most records. A P bass would do fine, maybe a Gibson Ripper too. I suspect I was hearing some others but it really doesn't matter that much. Roundwounds with the uppermids csnappishness ontrolled, and more occasionally flats.

 

Maybe I'll dig out something from the period that has a cut or two of that style and see if I am remembering correctly.

.
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davebrownbass, i know what youre sayin.

the phasing seems odd for synth bass but the sound's undeniable. and so phat.

george clinton said it was a track that bootsy had but didn't want, so he took it and made it into flashlight.

did bootsy have bas guitar to synth hookup capability at the time?

Bernie Worrell played that line on synth. I read it in an article about him in Keyboard about a year ago...I think...
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Yeah, that "flashlight" bass line has that fret pinch on the fret 'twixt the minor and major third, rocking back and forth. I just don't know how you do that effect on a keyboard.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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Originally posted by Jotown:

Originally posted by Mudbass:

On most of the disco I seem to remember, the bass was done with a keyboard which was one of the multitude of reasons I hated it.

FYI Bernard Edwards was not a keyboard player.

 

That disco funk sound was usually gotten by going direct with some compression. Do a search on Bernard Edwards and you might find something.

 

Good luck.

You're absolutely right. Bernard Edwards was a great R&B, funk and disco player and keyboard bass was never used in Disco. My mistake...sorry.
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common knowledge that jamerson was with old strings.

wonder whether that was a thing in the 70s.

 

kinda hard request to make of a session guy either way.

amateur hour will always take much longer than an hour
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bernie worrel f*kn rules for that. mind blowing.

 

hmm compression has been raised but ya gotta wonder since the signature of that whole sound seemed, no IS, a pretty sharp decay.

 

maybe slow attack compression.

 

Mudbass do you have some examples of synthbass disco that you recall?

i'll admit to liking either...

amateur hour will always take much longer than an hour
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moosemaster: common knowledge that jamerson was with old strings.
Speaking of strings: wasn't this thread was about Disco bass? Jamerson might have been an influence on players of disco basslines. But he himself was known for his groundsbreaking work in R&B.

 

hmm compression has been raised but ya gotta wonder since the signature of that whole sound seemed, no IS, a pretty sharp decay.
Don't confuse NOTE DURATION for signal massaging. Control of note duration is a vastly under-rated skill in many styles of bass playing and it comes from the hands. Compression yeigh or neigh has nothing to do with that one way or another. If compression was the key to note length music would be rather clouded and murky ; }

 

maybe slow attack compression.
I've heard stuff that obviously had the heck squashed out of it, and stuff where it did but it wasn't so obvious, and stuff that was a little more mild that way. But most disco - most dance music actually - has pretty heavy compression, and often fairly fast attacks. Watch the VU meters on some dance mixes. They don't move around much. Th punch in the bass sound comes more from the stylistic approach toward the bass.

 

The compression found on the floor or in the rack in the average bassist's rig doesn't always bear much resemblance to what is used in tracking and or production in top-flight studios ; }

.
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Can't get much more funky than "Flashlight" and (according to a TBL link http://oyt.oulu.fi/tbl/100-199/bl128.html ) that's Bernie Worrell on a Mini-Moog synth.

"Let's raise the level of this conversation" -- Jeremy Cohen, in the Picasso Thread.

 

Still spendin' that political capital far faster than I can earn it...stretched way out on a limb here and looking for a better interest rate.

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greenboy say:

Speaking of strings: wasn't this thread was about Disco bass? Jamerson might have been an influence on players of disco basslines. But he himself was known for his groundsbreaking work in R&B.

 

and also for 'boogie fever' by the sylvers and 'rock the boat' by hues corp. cheese for sure but two of the biggest disco hits ever.

but yeah was mainly wondering if his string-gunk system became a thing with those who followed.

you don't have to be a star' that was him too i think.

 

greenboy also say:

Don't confuse NOTE DURATION for signal massaging. Control of note duration is a vastly under-rated skill in many styles of bass playing and it comes from the hands.

man i knooow.

was playing with this guy who talked a lot about groove. as so many do. never heard a decent staccato note come outta him.

amateur hour will always take much longer than an hour
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From '79 to '85 a lot of that stuff was still being tracked on analog gear. Aside from the obvious tight fingerstyle playing, I believe the secret to that sound was 'natural tape compression'. That's what two inch sounds like when it's being hit really hard with low frequencies.
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