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Lend your ears...how to get this bass synth sound?


Gruuve

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Hey folks:

 

As time allows, I'm working with a friend to add some instrumentation to a song she's written. We're shooting for a pop vibe on this arrangement. Here's a short MP3 of the tentative chorus chords, bass, and drums:

 

http://www.ipass.net/davesisk/music/laurie/Another_PopGrooveIdea.mp3

 

This is all midi as you can probably tell. The plan is to record it all as live instruments (there will probably be some guitar as well at that point).

 

Thing is, I kinda like the midi synth bass tone for this song. Any thoughts on how to get a similar tone from an electric bass? I've got two processors (Zoom B2.1u and a Digitech BNX-3), both have some "synth" effects, but from some experimentation with those patches, none of them seem to track well enough to execute a bass line as staccato as this one, nor do they sound anything like this midi/keyboard synth bass tone.

 

I'm trying to think in my mind's ear what I actually hear in this tone. Maybe a short delay? Some chorus? Probably play near or on top of the neck? Use fingers, thumb, pick? There's definitely some harmonic content...maybe a little subtle distortion? Compression to capture the LF attack?

 

Any thoughts or suggestions greatly appreciated! (I'm hoping some of the folks who also plays keys like 09 or Forceman might chime in here...)

 

Dave

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

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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what i am hearing is a short delay, though you might be able to use a bathroom reverb algorithm for the same effect. there might be some very minimal chorus (25% or less depth, very long period) in there, too. i would use a P bass and a thinner pick, and i would pick near the neck.

 

if i get time, i'll work on achieving a close sound. i'll be that's where it's at.

 

robb.

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It's going to be hard to replicate that exact sound on bass. What you are hearing is a sawtooth wave (or a digital sample of one) run through a lowpass filter. But the real key is that it has a very tight amp envelope...the decay is very very short. The uniqueness of the sound (and its continuing ubiquity) comes from the fact that despite hte lowpass filter killing all the highs, you can still tell that there WAS a bunch of high frequency content there.

 

I think Robb is dead on, although I'd work backwards. I'd play with a pick using the neck pickup and heavily palm mute. THEN I'd look to play with the eq...maybe even after recording it. A micro delay as you track may enhance the attack, but see if you can monitor dry while recording...those tiny slapbacks tend to throw a lot of people off.

 

Avoid any "Synth Bass" settings...those always have a ton of resonance, making the sound all moist and greasy.

 

Another way you might want to approach this is to play it an octave higher than written with an octave-down effect and still palm muted. This will approach the attack and frequency content characteristics of this patch.

 

Or you could play it on a synth. :)

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Cool...good thoughts guys. 09, think I could maybe use a really quick and high threshold noise gate setting to shorten the envelope?

 

And I refuse to do this on a synth! I've spent a considerable amount of time and effort working on right hand technique, and by golly I'm going to use it if it kills me. :freak:

 

Dave

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

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by zeronyne:

...Another way you might want to approach this is to play it an octave higher than written with an octave-down effect and still palm muted. This will approach the attack and frequency content characteristics of this patch.....

I was going to suggest the opposite. Play it at the correct octave but with an octave-up effect.

Feel the groove internally within your own creativity. - fingertalkin

 

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