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Why do Pros use a P Bass...

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In a rock band I think the p is hard to beat,but on other styles of music we are really spoilt for choice these days,if money no object that is ,swings and roundabouts 

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As a P bass fan I think there are many reasons to use a P bass on a studio gig, all good ones.

But the main reason to hire a bass player is how he plays, not what he sounds like.

Hobby players are all about the gear that gets them "their sound". Pro's can sound good on anything and "their sound" is the way they put together the bass lines.

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5 minutes ago, chris_b said:

Pro's can sound good on anything and "their sound" is the way they put together the bass lines.

Spot on. 

Begs the question why studio engineers uniformly seem to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

Spot on. 

Begs the question why studio engineers uniformly seem to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

They are playing with knobs all day. 

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Spot on. 

Begs the question why studio engineers uniformly seem to suffer from erectile dysfunction.

I don't think you can generalise. There have been, and probably still are, many great engineers. IMO they are getting a lot of unnecessary blame in this thread.

These guys are dealing with many things at once. Never mind the equipment, the "baggage" that comes with certain musicians and producers, record company execs and or artists who may or may not be helping! I've seen some who were so stressed they could have murdered someone. That is irrelevant to whoever is paying the bill. The tracks are listened to a week later and they have to be "right" or the guys on the session might not get booked again!

IMO, studio engineers, certainly the ones I've met, are all unsung heroes.

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I can't find anything online to back it up, so I'll go with my own Chinese Whispers version!

I heard it attributed to Carl Perkins- he was in for a recording somewhere and they'd hired him an original 50's Fender amp to play through. The tech ushered him in to the booth and said "Man, I'll give you a few minutes to futz about and get your sound." Carl replied "Boy, if I can hear it, that's my sound!" and walked straight back to the control room!

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So what are my key takeaways after #205 posts on the subject?

1. the perfect anagram of Fender Precision (it was very good!)

2. session musicians are better bass players than us hobbyists and can sound good on anything (ok that's not news 😀)

3. some (but not all) studio engineers insist on reinforced-P basses due to suffering some form of dysfunction - which is likely to be from playing with knobs all day

 

Have a great NYE everyone and here's to a wonderful 2019 for us all!!

Edited by Al Krow
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Can someone bring some balance and do an anagram for Fender Jazz and Musicman Stingray. I wont be able to sleep until we have things fair and equal.

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11 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

Can someone bring some balance and do an anagram for Fender Jazz and Musicman Stingray. I wont be able to sleep until we have things fair and equal.

I think in line with the P bass anagram

Stay Ring seems appropriate, or not.....😱

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2 hours ago, probonopublico said:

Cummings sanitary, Fender Jazz is a little more difficult without using jazz in the anagram

Spoonerism perhaps? Gender Fazz.

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Posted (edited)

I suspect a lot of lazy studio engineers see two pickups and go into a tailspin. That's why they like P's. 😉

ps. I love Precision topics zzzzz

Edited by spectoremg

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I did a couple of recordings with the same studio, several years apart. 

First time, used a Rickenbacker 4003. Second time, a P bass. 

Experience was the opposite - I was grilled as to 'where's the Ricky?' as oppose to welcoming the P! 

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Guest bassman7755

No big mystery, P has a midrange boosted sound that is due to its somewhat unique pickup configuration (a single mid position).

Default sound of most basses tends to be mid scooped with boosted lows and highs due to a two out of phase pickup arrangement, P is the opposite of that and thus has a nice frequency range to work with that can be EQed into anything you want pretty much, I'd be tempted to use one if they didnt look like stinky poo (as do all fender basses IMO).

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11 hours ago, bassman7755 said:

Default sound of most basses tends to be mid scooped with boosted lows and highs due to a two out of phase pickup arrangement, 

 

That's just one of many sounds of a 2-pickup bass, 'though. I would not call it the default. I certainly never go for a "all knobs maxed" configuration on a twin pickup bass, but tweak by ear to find the sound that I like/fits... and it's almost never an "all knobs maxed" config.

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11 minutes ago, spectoremg said:

Well that clears it up then - no further posts required! 

As I posted this link earlier on another thread - I think the good ole' P bass comes out very well in comparison:

One of each for me, please. 😁

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Really enjoyed that, thanks. They all have unique characters. The Thunderbird was a pleasant surprise.

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The Precision sound is incredible, easily the best for me by a country mile, my dream bass tone. The Jazz sounded lovely as well. Surprisingly, I loved the Warwick tone but what interested me the most was the Gibson. It sounded gorgeous 😍😍

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I'm the same as above. I'd heard that before and the Gibson quite surprised me. I love my Jazz basses and i have a gorgeous 1989 Thumb NT but the P and Tbird were my favoured tones 

Dave

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Very interesting. The first time through I listened with my eyes closed and to be honest the change in tone from one bass to another wasn't that great, and in the context of a band mix with the a bit of post-production EQ any one of them would have done the job perfectly adequately in any of the playing styles. 

IMO the P-Bass performed adequately on all the playing styles, but was never the best of the 6. Based on that video I'd be buying a Rickenbacker or a Thunderbird. The most disappointing was the Stingray closely followed by the Warwick. Both sounded weedy with no real body to the sound in any of the playing styles, not at all what I was expecting.

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Posted (edited)

If that were the only sound samples I had... I don't think I'd have been ever interested in a Stingray. The Precision was also far from what I consider a great Precision sound. Yet, those are my favourite basses, ahead of any Jazz, Thunderbird etc etc...

It's the problem with these comparisons, it would take too long to expand on the tonal palette of each. Still... very cool video.

The Thunderbird wasn't bad at all. I've recently heard some clips of a Thunderbird on mostly the neck pickup and I was surprised at how good it could sound. I say surprised, because I'm more used to hearing one with both pickups on and it just gets lost in the mix too easily: all low end rumble and no definition. But the neck pickup... can be very sweet. Cool looking bass too.

What surprised me more was the Rick. Judging by how far the Precision and the Stingray were from the sounds I make with those basses... I think that I would probably enjoy a Rickenbacker like that one, soundwise (not so much in other ways).

Edited by mcnach
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I listened - it was a good comparison - but admittedly being a Fender Jazz owner, I was biased towards the Jazz and that video confirmed (for me) its all-round versatile.

There's something about a Precision though......I've been thinking of buying one, just to see/hear for myself......

 

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