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MP3 sample...which bassline do you like best?


Gruuve

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Here's a new MP3 sample with bass, guitar, and drum machine. The guitar part is a really simple riff, and I've done the same bassline in 4 different forms, 2 each of the 8 passes in the song clip: 1) Dean Edge Fretless 5 played up high (3 highest strings), 2) Fretless played down low (3 lowest strings), 3) Ernie Ball MusicMan Stingray5 played up high, and 4) Musicman played down low. The first question is which one of these do you like best?

 

Second question is what do you think of the bassline? The guitar chords are mainly roots + major 3rd's and 4ths (I guess "augmented major chord"...is that right?) Anyway, the bassline follows the root / major 3rd / 4th intevals in the chords. I could have simply played roots all the way through, but I really wanted to work on improving how I construct a bassline that's not just roots, and this seemed like a good riff to work with.

 

And yes, I did the guitar tracks, and yes, I know I stink at guitar, it's not my goal to be a good guitarist!

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/Idea01_4basses.mp3

 

I've previously preferred to stay with bass lines that are down low, but that was mainly because during most of my previous bass playing, I was competing with 2 metal guitarists. Now that is not the case, and I'm trying to take a less restricted approach to my bass lines.

 

One thought that comes to mind is that I like the lower parts live, but the higher parts seem to come across better recorded. I think the ones I like the best are the fretless up high and the Musicman down low. Just my opinion, though. Let me know yours!

 

Enjoy,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by John William Hofmann:

It was hard for me to make out the bassline distinctly until the 3rd pass, where the gritty tone cut right through. Even heard some cool fret buzz.

 

I'm no sound expert plus I'm also listening on cheap computer speakers :freak:

Yup, I like fret buzz in the right places. In fact, I just tighted the truss rod a little in the MM to lower the action, so I'm getting a little extra buzz now.

 

You touched on an important motivation for me...even though the lower bass lines really punch live with a good rig or good PA, they can easily just disappear on recordings if the stereo playing them can't reproduce the necessary low frequencies. For instance, the very dark low bass line in pass #2 (low on the fretless) completely disappears for me when I listen to it on the laptop's speakers...although the tone sounds great on my home and car stereo's.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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I like those lower notes, and that fret buzz is not very attractive in there.

 

Are you going down to the Low D?

http://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/blue.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/black.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/fuscia.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/grey.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/orange.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/purple.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/red.JPGhttp://www.briantimpe.com/images/LDL/dots/yellow.JPG
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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

The first question is which one of these do you like best?

The Stingray down low. However I think that bassline would sound a whole lot better played as in the first take (fretless high up) but with the third chord played an octave down. In future I'd mix the bass louder because that's what we're interested in and most of us will be using nasty little computer speakers to listen to it.

 

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Second question is what do you think of the bassline?

As much as it pains me to say it, sorry not keen! It doesn't really flow and thus groove, to me. I think the problem lies with it rhythmically doubling the guitar - it would sound much better acting as more of a counterpoint, e.g.

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

One thought that comes to mind is that I like the lower parts live, but the higher parts seem to come across better recorded.

That's because live you have so much extra low down sonic space due to the effects described by the Fletcher-Munson curve. I see no reason to mix up all the high and low parts though, as long as there's coherency to the concept.

 

I really do think that putting up MP3s for critique is a fantastic thing! Thanks for starting this Dave - hopefully others will join in. I'll put up some of mine soon from more 'bass' playing projects that I have meandering in the background.

 

Alex

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Hey Alex:

 

I don't entirely understand your notation? Why don't you record your idea and post it? ;) Let me know if you need an MP3 or WAV that only has the guitar and drums...

 

Thx,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Hey folks:

 

Here's this riff with drums and guitar only (and longer, like 60 measures or so):

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/Idea01_DrumsAndGuitarOnly.mp3

 

Alex (and anyone else who feels like it)...have at it, and post when you're done!

 

Btw, is that what we'd call "online collaboration"? I think it indeed is...have fun!

 

L8r,

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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A take without too many clams...

 

Personal note for the future - practice! Realised I haven't picked up a bass in weeks - been too busy singing, so althought my vocal cords are in a better state than ever and I'm singing much better all round, my fingers aren't quite doing what my brain is asking them to do, particularly on the 16th note stuff. And as my fretted bass is off being fiddled with I had to use the fretless (with the stupidly high action) which just shows how bad my intonation is...

 

Also realised how much I rely on the whole to create my basslines, so without vocals etc I tend to overplay big-style! Furthermore as a writer and bandleader my basslines often come first and they almost always define the groove that the band will be sitting in. So I live in more of a stylistic pigeonhole than a good session player yet that pigeonhole is my own, if you catch my drift.

 

This has been very useful for my bass playing if nothing else. And Dave, you did a better job on that first track then I gave you credit for!

 

Alex

 

P.S. I play far too many notes when there isn't a lead voice...

 

P.P.S. Quit whining and play yo' bass...

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Alex:

 

I gave your riffs a good listen...nicely done. I particularly liked how you've made the rhythms you're doing have some contrast with the guitar line...very interesting. And yes, it's easy to get busy when there's no vocal and other stuff happening!

 

You said this was a fretless...what bass? What were you running through? Give me details...I'm really digging the tone you got out of that fretless.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

I gave your riffs a good listen...nicely done.

Glad you didn't think it was too sloppy and uninspired - I play much better on my fretted bass (especially when I haven't played for a while).

 

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

I particularly liked how you've made the rhythms you're doing have some contrast with the guitar line...very interesting.

Great - that was what I was trying to explain before - a recording speaks a thousand words!

 

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

And yes, it's easy to get busy when there's no vocal and other stuff happening!

And I get too busy when everything else is happening too... ;)

 

Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

You said this was a fretless...what bass? What were you running through? Give me details...I'm really digging the tone you got out of that fretless.

The instrument (and preamp) in question:

 

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nicola.kate.simpson/photos/practice.jpg

 

1990 Hohner Jack: defretted, 'expoxied', stripped to natural and waxed, 'Willis ramp' added; passive electronics removed, Bartolini J-pickup and MEC2 preamp from '87 Warwick added. Into SWR Grand Prix preamp. Slight bass boost on MEC2 preamp, all other EQ completely flat. Line out from SWR GP run into computer soundcard.

 

Turned out well for a bodge didn't it! :D

 

Alex

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