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bnt last won the day on June 24

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About bnt

  • Birthday 02/05/1968

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    Dublin, Ireland

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  1. I have one of those Harley Benton Enhanced MP-4 basses (reverse P and MM pickups). The neck is just over 39mm wide at the zero fret and just over 55mm at the twelfth. Could be right up your street.
  2. If we’re talking bassists who always put the song first, and do it with impeccable taste, my go-to name is Jim Glennie of James. It’s hard to find a video with more than a few seconds of his playing, since the cameras seek out the singer (Tim) first, then maybe the others. What he does can be hard to explain: sometimes it’s lead bass that drives the song from the back without being up front in the mix, like in Lullaby or this: Other times, Jim might seem more “conventional”, with a subby tone that could become synth-like but doesn’t. I don’t know how much his choice of bass (EBMM Sterling) has to do with that. If you listen to a song like Say Something, it’s kind-of tough to pinpoint just what he’s doing differently, but you’re glad he’s doing it. To me it's about knowing exactly what will make a song better, and delivering that.
  3. One bassist who consistently perked up my ears was Paul Webb of Talk Talk, especially on fretless: not the most flashy but he produced these snaking through-lines that often defined a melody complementing the vocals.
  4. My first thought was something like the Ibanez EHB1005SMS, the short (30-32”) multiscale headless. This range has a reputation for being light and ergonomic, though I haven’t got hands on one yet.
  5. My Harley Benton “Shamberg” (MP-4EB) is technically a PM, but the P is really where I’m at, sonically. The M is frosting on a solid cake, you might say. I’d probably be happy with just the P.
  6. Last concert I saw was Steven Wilson in Dublin. I thought it was a couple of years ago, but I pulled up the ticket email and it was actually March 2018. Yikes.
  7. Sir Paul McCartney hits the big 80 today. I dunno if he reads BC - probably doesn’t - but regardless, I wish him all the best and plenty of thanks for the thumping!
  8. One of my pivotal P-Bass epiphanies was seeing this video: It was kind-of an open secret that Billy Corgan played bass on many early Smashing Pumpkins tracks, especially on Siamese Dream; not that there was any problem with D’Arcy’s playing, it was more to do with Billy being a workaholic control freak who would decide to track a bassline at 3am rather than wait for the rest of the band. This studio video is from around 2000 when D’Arcy was gone and they had yet to recruit Melissa. What struck me is that you can hear a bit of Billy’s naked P-Bass at the start, sounding like a P-Bass sounds, but the final result on the track is a bit more processed. Not heavily, but the compression is smoothing out the attack and increasing sustain. It showed me that the P-Bass is a bit more versatile than I originally thought and can sit well even in a modern, dense mix like this. I bet it wasn’t even Billy’s own personal bass, more likely one that belongs to the studio, always there in case there’s a job that needs to be done with minimal fuss.
  9. Is this one of the Harley Benton kits? They’re doing a kit build competition at the moment.
  10. There is a kind of circuit called a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) that locks on to an input signal and produces a new square wave signal, at the same frequency and in phase. It also outputs a voltage proportional to the frequency that other circuits can use. I played with the 4046 chip version years ago, not for pitch detection but more in search of nasty sounds & effects e.g. using dividers on the voltage to get subharmonics. It was finicky, the circuit needs tuning, and it was slow to lock on to a bass signal, so I don’t think e.g. Roland used a general purpose PLL like that. I might get in to it again, but I see someone else has done what I was looking for and more, in pedal form:
  11. I did this on a Hohner B2V years ago, which doesn’t have a nut at all, so there wasn’t that to worry about. I got double ball strings from Status Graphite, I just specified the gauges and they called it a custom set. Bass Centre Elites are another option today.
  12. I only realised after posting that I was responding to something from four years ago - oh well.
  13. (duplicate post)
  14. That’s because the Vbass isn’t doing pitch-to-MIDI conversion on the signal, but instead processing it heavily to do what it does. If you want MIDI output, on the other hand, pitch detection must insert some latency, as already mentioned. If you wait for one full cycle of a low E, which is around 42 Hz, that will take 1/42 seconds, plus the time to calculate pitch, then transmit MIDI, then produce a new note. You will definitely hear that much latency. So Roland has their way around the problem with the Vbass: don’t rely on pitch detection and MIDI. The Fretsense folks have another solution, which also doesn’t require pitch detection.
  15. It’s actually the EX-1, the “theater” version of the GX-1, as described here. Still extremely rare and expensive, maybe a dozen or so were made.
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