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Need some funky advice.


Funkwave

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Hey guys, I'm recording alot of Funk/R & B tunes nower days and I'm using a Mexi active jazz bass.

 

No matter how I record, amped or through DI, I get a bass sound that's a little to "twangy" for my tunes.

 

I long for that P funk, James Brown, Chic sound.

 

Should I try flats on the active jazz? Is this the wrong bass for the genre? Is the mexi active jazz a piece of shit???

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Flats will definately take the "twang" out, but I am sure that some of the more knowlegable members will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

I know I didn't add to your thread in a positive way, but I am interested in some of the thoughts on this.

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Nothing wrong with a Mexi-active-jazz.

 

Roll off the treble. Don't boost anything.

 

Try stuffing a piece of foam rubber under the strings at the bridge.

 

Plug the bass into a small funky old amp that doesn't have a lot of clarity. Some sort of Fender guitar amp might work. Don't turn up the amp very high. Now mike the amp.

 

That might work.

 

If none of that works, try some LaBella flatwound strings.

 

The Bernard Edwards-Chic sound is a little different from the other sounds....try the above steps but then play right down by the bridge and play hard. You might need to boost the bass a little on your bass.

 

Good luck!

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From article on James Brown's bassists in March 2005 Bass Player magazine:

 

Bernard Odum used a flatwound-strung 56 Fender Precision for much of his career. He was also photographed in the studio with Vox teardrop basses. At the end of 65, James secured an endorsement from Vox and outfitted the entire rhythm section with Vox equipment, including 120-watt Westminster 1x18 bass combos. Bootsy Collins used a Fender Jazz Bass and Ampeg SVT amps during his tenure with James Brown. Fred Thomas did all of his classic Brown sessions with a Fender Precision, except for a few he did with Jamess Fender Jazz. Freds current bass, however, is a Carvin 5-string. In the early 70s he played through Peavey amps and cabinets before moving on to Ampeg SVTs. Ray Brundidge plays a Music Man Sabre, strung with GHS Medium Bass Boomers, through an old SVT head and an SWR Megoliath 8x10 cabinet.

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The jazz should be plenty funky.

 

I usually record with stainless steel strings and I don't have any problem with "twanginess".

 

How does it sit in the mix? Remember, a bass track by itself may sound way to clacky and clangy, but can sound great in the mix. All those highs have a tendency to roll off.

 

Perhaps your problem isn't your bass or your playing. Check out the EQ magazine forums and get some mixing tips from them if you haven't already.

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Ben speaks the truth. If you can dig it up, try to find Bass Player's interview with the legendary Donald "Duck" Dunn. In it he recalls how he used to record all of those great Stax R&B tracks in the 50's and 60's.

 

He noted that when he recorded the engineers had him keep his tone turned up towards the high end. It puzzled him because when he tracked he thought it sounded as Ben put it, "clacky and clangy". But when it got to the mix, the engineers rolled off some of that high end and were able to maintain the definition of the original tone and fatten it up for the record. The end result was some of the funkiest R&B bass of it's day.

 

You can probably do the same thing, too. Just try to work on your tone with the engineer you're recording with and try to convey the sound you're going for. It may even help to bring in some CD's so that he can hear the type of tone you're shooting for.

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

The Bernard Edwards-Chic sound is a little different from the other sounds....try the above steps but then play right down by the bridge and play hard. You might need to boost the bass a little on your bass.

 

Good luck!

That Bernard Edwards sound has been admired by me for years. I can't dig up any info on the signal chain or bass he used.

 

Besides his close to bridge playing, do you know about his bass? Did he DI or amp?

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