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Blown away by the bass tone


Al Krow

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We BC'ers spend a lot of time pursuing that elusive tone quest!

What song tracks have you come across on your travels, either studio recorded or particularly live, where you were blown away by the bass tone

If you have audio or video clips then please feel free to share and if you know the details of the rig, even better!

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A few tracks where I’ve particularly loved the bass sound have been, in no particular order:

Eton Rifles by The Jam - Bruce Foxton using a Fender Precision, think he used Marshall amps at the time

Hanging Around by The Stranglers - JJ Burnel using a Fender Precision, think it was Hiwatt amps

Down on The Farm by Guns N Roses - Duff McKagan using a Fender Jazz Bass Special into Gallien Krueger amps

American Man by Velvet Revolver - Duff with same bass/amps as above

 

 

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The first time I heard Rage Against the Machine's debut album I was blown away by how good the bass sounded. So agressive, in your face and punchy.

"Take The Power Back" is an amazing example of that...

And then the distortion tones, oh god. "Know Your Enemy" that last part is insane and obviously also "Killing In The Name" when everything kicks in.

Tool is another band that really blew me away with the bass tone. "The Pot" in particular - think it was the first song I heard by them - is incredible. That verse tone still leaves a smile on my face everytime.

The bass tone on "Suck My Kiss" by RHCP also is incredible - it's so punchy!

 

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Flea's tone on the BSSM album was incredible! i believe he was using his Wal bass and his GK Amps at the time - this album was the reason my first proper bass rig was a GK head & cab.

Marcus Miller's slap tone on Renaissance is what I'm striving to get close to.   I've spent quite a lot of time with my Helix trying to get the right levels of compression and EQ to get near it.

And finally the drummer I play with loves some prog metal, in fact we are due to go see Steven Wilson in September but who knows if that will happen given the current situation, but Nick Beggs kind of nails that genre's bass tone for me.  Again I've been working with the Helix to get close..

 

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Speaking of Ampeg, I've always really liked Krist Novoselic's tone on Teen Spirit – I’m pretty sure he was going through an Ampeg SVT400.  Maybe why I've taken an instant shine to my VT Bass DI pedal - that tone was clearly already there in my subconscious!

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23 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

No the studio version. You’ve taken a shine to your new sound because it’s new and different. It’ll become the norm/mediocre in a week or two. The joy of ampeg tone on albums is that it always has that vibe but always mixed for the respective  albums. The Bronx, Jimmy Eat World, Hole etc etc all have that ampeg sound but it fits in with what they do when mixed to do so. 

Edited by krispn
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Haha @krispn - believe there have been plenty of "new and different" sounds I haven't taken a shine to, so I suspect that it's a little more than that 😁

@White Cloud - yeah John Entwistle and Geddy are both bass heroes for me.  Do you know what rig John was using for his live performances of My Generation?

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Phil Lynott - Vagabonds of The Western World,  Andy Fraser - Free Live, John Entwistle - Live at Leeds.

All of these have inspired me over my many years of bass playing, the tone, the technique.  I might get there one day :) 

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David Wm Sims of Jesus Lizard always sounds great to me and has a really menacing tone. Haven't had the chance to see them live, but if they come over here I'd give an arm to see them live.... 

 

Bob Weston of Shellac has the best tone I've ever heard live though 

 

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Bringing things much more up to date and apologies if you've heard me be a bit of stuck record on these two: the 'synth' P bass tone of Charlie Puth's - Attention, which is not dissimilar to Dua Lipa's - Don't Start Now, is a tone I'd happily use widely!

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Great shouts on Hangin' around @Loz and Bob Weston @Jonesy - both have fantastic grindy snarl (or snarly grind, come to think of it). Will add:

Jah Wobble New Mexico Dub, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaJ8aaD50LA

World Domination Enterprises Jah Jah Call You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xswCJyfKpQo

Bomb the Bass, Bug Powder Dust https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trbvx1U6Ry8

 

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20 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@Jonesy would I be miles out in hearing quite a distinctive Geddy Lee "clank" in Bob Weston's live sound?

His tone has a definite clank about it, but it's huge at the same time and just fills the venue. 

I've always though Geddy had a rounder tone than that, but still quite aggressive. However......... I may have to hide somewhere after saying this....... I'm not really a big fan of him or Rush, so don't really know much about him and his tone. I appreciate he's a good bassist, but Rush just aren't for me. If you can share any good clanky examples though I'm all ears 😊

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Propaghandi, particularly when he swapped from a Musicman to a cheaper Ibanez

Tool, particularly on the 10,000 Days record.

Fugazi on the Repeater album

Best live bass tone I've heard was Yob at the Camden Underworld, Ric into a SVT and mixed perfectly by the engineer.

Edited by Graham
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2 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

Flea's tone on the BSSM album was incredible! i believe he was using his Wal bass and his GK Amps at the time - this album was the reason my first proper bass rig was a GK head & cab.

Marcus Miller's slap tone on Renaissance is what I'm striving to get close to.   I've spent quite a lot of time with my Helix trying to get the right levels of compression and EQ to get near it.

And finally the drummer I play with loves some prog metal, in fact we are due to go see Steven Wilson in September but who knows if that will happen given the current situation, but Nick Beggs kind of nails that genre's bass tone for me.  Again I've been working with the Helix to get close..

 

I totally agree about Nick’s sound, I think it’s a Spector?

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