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Everything posted by bnt

  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.
  16. Yep - G4M and others are literally “box shifters” in that sense. That’s one reason why I didn’t go for one of the Coliseum MultiScales mentioned earlier. Between the first samples and actual availability was a long lead time (over six months IIRC), so what I might get could be entirely different in quality.
  17. These seem OK, if a bit conventional, and I'm not really in the market for conventional since I got a conventional (but better) HB a couple of years ago (the MP-4EB). I'm still hoping that Thomann gets back in to the affordable multiscale bass market, but I also don't think that market is big enough to justify the investment.
  18. There is a @Tony Butlerregistered since 2019, no posts…hmm .? 🤔
  19. I was kind of obligated to check out Big Country myself, being from Dunfermline, but I was glad I did. Tony was just a monster on bass, and I was not surprised to read, years later, that he had been a fan of Chris Squire among others. Flame Of The West is still one of my go-to plectrum practice pieces. The first time a I saw them live was in Dublin on the Final Fling tour, a gig kind-of ruined for me by the PA, sadly - way too loud where I was, ear-wrecking levels. The next year, I found myself at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, for the Stuart Adamson Memorial concert. I remember Bill Nelson was there with a massive rack of guitar electronics, playing a long piece he wrote called For Stuart. Bill, with Be-Bop Deluxe, had been a major influence on Stuart, who got Bill to produce one of the Skids albums. Bill introduced Stuart to the E-Bow and IIRC to the MXR Pitch Transposer (kind-of a budget Eventide Harmonizer) that was such a major part of the “bagpipe tone” in the early years. I know some people are down on the Peace In Our Time album, but I don’t get it, since it contains some of Stuart’’s best songs. Thirteen Valleys, Thousand Yard Stare, the title track, and in particular I Could Be Happy Here is up there with the best in my opinion.
  20. Quite the surprise from Korg last week: they released software versions of the opsix and wavestate synths, fully compatible in both directions, with major discounts for owners of the matching hardware. So for $50 extra I can now run multiple instances of the opsix in a DAW, with my own custom patches right there and sounding the same. Now all I need to do is find some talent ..!
  21. Did someone change the title of this thread? That's not what I wrote up top.
  22. Primus has announced a 16-stop tour of Europe, including the UK & Ireland, which includes a full version of Rush's A Farewell To Kings: 27/09: Glasgow, O2 Academy 29/09: London, Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith) 30/09: Manchester, Academy 01/10: Dublin, Olympia Details of the other dates are on Primusville. Tickets go on sale on Friday, 10am in the case of Dublin. I'll try and get a ticket for the Olympia, though I'll be working and can't exactly sit on TicketB'stard all morning!
  23. Since I recently got my first “proper” keyboard in years (see my Korg opsix thread), I pulled out my old Akai MPC1000 to test how well it drives the Korg for basslines. The MPC1000 might be best described as a multitrack sequencer and multitimbral sample engine, with decent pads for drum programming. It uses standard WAV sample files, and has a USB disk mode so you can transfer samples directly in to its storage. I added the optional disk caddy and a spare 80GB laptop hard drive, years ago, rather than struggle with its limited CompactFlash card. It’s pretty powerful e.g. it’s capable of being a drum machine while also playing back melodic samples and driving multiple external MIDI devices, all from its sequencer. Not the most intuitive to use, though, you do need to read the manual.
  24. I still have the Xiosynth 25 and it has its place, but struggled with the programming and ran in to some limitations. (I couldn't get envelopes to retrigger correctly in mono mode - kind-of important for bass synth - and once I started adding multiple effects and modulators to a patch, the sound quality audibly degraded.) I'm definitely happier with the opsix as a bass synth so far. I set up a custom Favorites bank with the best bass presets I found so far, plus a few of my own. Sounds great (lots of low end), lots of tonal variety, and very controllable with velocity & mod. Quick changes to the core sound are quick with the faders. Aftertouch would have been be nice, which is why I considered a Hydrasynth, but that would have bumped up the price.
  25. adverts.ie has a proper Basses category, which makes me wonder why this is filed under "Other Guitars"? That's probably why I didn't see this before. There's some interesting stuff in the main Basses category e.g. someone from the Dublin area just posted a nice-looking Sandberg California. I don't know what shipping costs to the UK are like at the moment, and some sellers won't ship. You can buy a bass its own seat on a Ryanair flight, which is probably cheaper than shipping, and have a weekend in Dublin or Cork while you're at it.
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