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A good bass into a good amp. Nothing else needed IMO!


dave74200

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On 06/09/2020 at 03:25, Baloney Balderdash said:

77e10978f2f6e276451393e68eb5a58e.jpg

On a more serious note, or well, I guess, in reality just to fulfill my urge to display my personal opinion on this matter as well, mostly because I am bored right now, and don't seem to care about doing anything that might have been more constructive, useful and needed :

I get what you are saying OP, believe me, I too like my clean basic tone to sound great as well (even if we might not be of the exact same conception of what that is), and I guess there are really some bass players hiding their lack of skills behind using fancy, or less fancy, but rather perhaps more like flashy, in a tacky, questionable taste, kind of way, effects, often with little thought going into actually making them sound great or even just at least somewhat fit the context.

And I guess such people would likely be a lot more common than those who play their effects artfully as instruments in their own right, or even than people who at least just put some amount of thought into making their effects sound great and actually having them add something to the context that a regular clean basic bass signal couldn't quite do with the same effect (no pun intended).

I for one like to think I am one of those people who, at least post production when sitting quietly and working my magic in a DAW with VST effects, falls into the second category, when the music calls for it that is, live is another considerably more clumsy and crude affair for me though, even if I still like to think I here at least still manage to fall into the third category.  

Point being, as said I like my clean basic tone to sound great, but I also like the stuff that effects allows you to do that a clean basic tone wouldn't, not mindlessly used to add unnecessary tacky flash, necessary tacky flash when called for though, but mostly just what is needed to get the job done properly and make it sound just right, and fact is that far from all music is best off with no effects on the bass at all, perhaps most of the most common forms of classic traditional rock and pop is most of the time, but being traditional and common is not exactly the same as embracing all the lush diversity that music as a craft, art and advanced form of communication actually got to offer, in fact most often the exact opposite. 

 

 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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2 hours ago, StickyDBRmf said:

dave74200, you still here? Some bassists don't know how and when to use effects. A 4 pickup bass? Were you watching Bootsy? This is silly fun I gotta pop some popcorn...

Bootsy has always been pretty good at getting his complex fx chain to work with the music! Sometimes by having synth bass in the mix too, but it works...

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Seems to me that FX, pedals and the like are a bit like herbs, spices and seasoning. A chef who knows what to do with them will cook something wonderful using them. An idiot will ruin perfectly good food with them. The same applies to musicians and effects.

Edited by Dan Dare
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There was a time when if you wanted mint sauce with your meat on a Sunday, you'd send a child out to the garden to pick a few mint leaves, you'd chop them up (the mint leaves, not the child), add them to a little vinegar et voila.

Nowadays folks buy frozen pizza and ice cubes from the supermarket.

I have no idea what I mean by that.

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8 hours ago, Ricky 4000 said:

There was a time when if you wanted mint sauce with your meat on a Sunday, you'd send a child out to the garden to pick a few mint leaves, you'd chop them up (the mint leaves, not the child), add them to a little vinegar et voila.

Nowadays folks buy frozen pizza and ice cubes from the supermarket.

I have no idea what I mean by that.

I quite enjoyed it, and I thought your clarification re not chopping up the child was well made.

Either way, this thread has turned philosophic, and any excuse to bring Eric in works for me :)

image.png.088b9a6c7aea607e042e70bfa79ad83e.png

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/09/2020 at 00:58, Ricky 4000 said:

There was a time when if you wanted mint sauce with your meat on a Sunday, you'd send a child out to the garden to pick a few mint leaves, you'd chop them up (the mint leaves, not the child), add them to a little vinegar et voila.

Nowadays folks buy frozen pizza and ice cubes from the supermarket.

I have no idea what I mean by that.

You are Eric Cantona!

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I use a clean Hi-Fi tone on some tracks, I use reverb and delay on others, some even a bit of fuzz, maybe a shade of distortion, and some tracks just run through a true bypass and go direct from bass to amp. Horses for courses, no one is right, no one is wrong! That's it surely?

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I have one bass without vol or tone. Simply a pickup and an output jack. My amp has a switchable eq that is most of the time off. So when the bass is connected to the amp without one of the three fx boards I have, my sound should be very spartan. All setups have their place and they all work well.

Does your bass or amp have any tone tweaking circuitry? If yes, then I find that not pure. Even the volume pot in the bass modifies the pickup response. How pure is your signal chain, @dave74200?

This discussion reminds me of photography. Every photo is tweaked somehow, no matter what equipment you use. It is not possible to do nothing to the picture if you want to take one. You only change the basic stuff like aperture, time, or the sensitivity (and the choice) of the film/sensor and you are already tweaking something. Lenses, oh dear! I could go into details, but please not here.

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  • 1 month later...

I have to admit that I generally agree with the OP. Then again I first picked up the bass in 1962. Then it was well nigh impossible to get a clean bass sound out of the low powered valve/tube amps of the time.

I'm now using a 2KW Class D power amp and have cleans up the wazoo. :)

I built a pedalboard and bought a few pedals. None of them are for distortion I'd had enough of that crap growing up. On some occasions I thought that I could use the pedals to enhance the tunes. In truth I have never taken the board to a gig yet. LOL 

Edited by BassmanPaul
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I've always played in originals bands,  so I've never needed to reproduce someone else's effects or tone. Many of the guitarists have used quite a few effects, so I decided not to. I tend to use on-amp EQ and compression to compensate for venue issues and complications, giving the desk a pre EQ DI.

The real bonus is that I don't have to carry a pedal board or pedals and set them up. It's one thing less to deal with!

If I could find a chorus pedal that I could run with a fair amount of depth without it "wobbling", I would likely (over)use it. If it had a low pass filter, that'd be great, too.

That's just the way I play. Everyone else can do as they please or what the composition dictates with no hard feelings. 

When I'm noodling on the stick, I tend to run tons of delay/s and reverb on the melody strings because it sounds nice coupled to the way the strings attack/ decay/ sustain & release. 

I guess it's just a matter of preference,  really. 

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“Nothing else needed IMO”

 

This is really strange. 
 

An electric bass guitar doesn’t really have a ‘natural’ sound. It’s a rather weird sounding instrument that relies on a lot of electronic circuitry to work. What difference does it make if that circuitry is in an amplifier or in a pedal or in a computer? Why is an equalizer circuit in an amp deemed more ‘real’ than a phaser circuit in a pedal, for example?

The bass guitar doesn’t have sounds that are more ‘real’, ‘organic’ or ‘authentic’ than others. It just has the sound it makes through different circuits.

These circuits are then employed for their musical value. If a player/composer/producer wants the bass part to have a chorus effect, then your “Nothing else needed IMO” is not going to get the job done is it, because that “something else” is obviously needed, for artistic reasons.

If you don’t want to use electronics, then play a double bass.

If you’re happy to use an amp stage to make your bass louder, an EQ stage to boost the low frequencies, a gain stage to add some drive etc.  then on what grounds aren’t you happy using other stages for other purposes?

 

I understand that different effects might not be needed for the music you play, but that’s not really relevant to other people is it, and certainly not worth putting in an online thread.

Edited by Ramirez
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I think it also depends a great deal on what you're playing. Years ago I played in a band with drums, guitar (sometimes x2), keyboards, sax, harmonica and sometimes trumpet, trombone and backing singers. My bass went straight into my amp and wasn't very loud to allow for the overall volume. More lately I was playing in a rock covers band with drums, 1 guitar and vocals. In that setup i needed a more driven sound to fill up a bit of space and stop the ar&e from dropping out of the sound when the guitar was soloing. As others have said, try playing Muse with a clean sound and see how well it's received.

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46 minutes ago, Ramirez said:

“Nothing else needed IMO”

 

This is really strange. 
 

An electric bass guitar doesn’t really have a ‘natural’ sound. It’s a rather weird sounding instrument that relies on a lot of electronic circuitry to work. What difference does it make if that circuitry is in an amplifier or in a pedal or in a computer? Why is an equalizer circuit in an amp deemed more ‘real’ than a phaser circuit in a pedal, for example?

The bass guitar doesn’t have sounds that are more ‘real’, ‘organic’ or ‘authentic’ than others. It just has the sound it makes through different circuits.

These circuits are then employed for their musical value. If a player/composer/producer wants the bass part to have a chorus effect, then your “Nothing else needed IMO” is not going to get the job done is it, because that “something else” is obviously needed, for artistic reasons.

If you don’t want to use electronics, then play a double bass.

If you’re happy to use an amp stage to make your bass louder, an EQ stage to boost the low frequencies, a gain stage to add some drive etc.  then on what grounds aren’t you happy using other stages for other purposes?

 

I understand that different effects might not be needed for the music you play, but that’s not really relevant to other people is it, and certainly not worth putting in an online thread.

Good post, if I were a pedant - which I am - I'd argue that the bass guitar does have a natural sound, it's just very quiet :)

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11 hours ago, Ramirez said:

“Nothing else needed IMO”

 

This is really strange. 
 

An electric bass guitar doesn’t really have a ‘natural’ sound. It’s a rather weird sounding instrument that relies on a lot of electronic circuitry to work. What difference does it make if that circuitry is in an amplifier or in a pedal or in a computer? Why is an equalizer circuit in an amp deemed more ‘real’ than a phaser circuit in a pedal, for example?

The bass guitar doesn’t have sounds that are more ‘real’, ‘organic’ or ‘authentic’ than others. It just has the sound it makes through different circuits.

These circuits are then employed for their musical value. If a player/composer/producer wants the bass part to have a chorus effect, then your “Nothing else needed IMO” is not going to get the job done is it, because that “something else” is obviously needed, for artistic reasons.

If you don’t want to use electronics, then play a double bass.

If you’re happy to use an amp stage to make your bass louder, an EQ stage to boost the low frequencies, a gain stage to add some drive etc.  then on what grounds aren’t you happy using other stages for other purposes?

 

I understand that different effects might not be needed for the music you play, but that’s not really relevant to other people is it, and certainly not worth putting in an online thread.

That Sir is a very simplistic view of our instrument! My active basses just have a simple pre-amp with treble, middle and bass on board. These allow tone changed from the instrument. My Precision just has a volume and treble cut controls. Just the same as a guitar. 

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16 minutes ago, BassmanPaul said:

That Sir is a very simplistic view of our instrument! My active basses just have a simple pre-amp with treble, middle and bass on board. These allow tone changed from the instrument. My Precision just has a volume and treble cut controls. Just the same as a guitar. 

I don't think you've understood my point, because you seem to be agreeing with me! It's an instrument that's totally dependent on electronic circuitry. It doesn't matter if that circuitry is in the guitar, in a pedal or in an amp. A bass guitar does not make a nice sound on its own.

 

The simplistic view is that only a bass into an amp is valid. But simply isn't valid if it doesn't give the required sound. Anything goes, because it doesn't really have a natural sound (apart from a pretty useless unplugged sound). It's totally dependent on circuitry as I said, so why are some circuits deemed more acceptable than others? It's nonsense!

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