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Posted (edited)

I think there's some truth to the idea that the average punter doesn't give a monkeys what your effects chain is or what it does - because they're inebriated/dancing around like a tit/talking to their mates/just enjoying the music in a general way.  I'm sure some people wouldn't even notice if you changed basses at the half time break.  Maybe if you went from a P bass to a Bootsy Star bass or something - something's different - was he wearing a hat in the first half?

I'm a simpleton - the only effect I use is an overdrive - when I remember to stomp on it and hit the button right, of course.  Generally speaking, I'm just happy to be heard and I'm too busy trying not to f the song up to handle directing my foot to anything more than one button.  Players who can manage a pedal board which looks like they bought half the guitar shop in addition to playing the damn song correctly, trying to look up at the audience more than once in a blue moon and move around at least a little bit - I salute you.

I'm just not that into it.  If you want a functional bass player who gets it right most of the time, has their own transport and usually has a spare lead or some other nicknack you forgot - I'm your man.

Edited by neepheid
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34 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

John Deacon on Queen II. That's my sound.

I've been regularly to that album regularly since I was about 14, and not once have I thought about the bass tone or even the bass at all. I take this as an extremely good sign. (I don't recall ever having had a single thought about the drumming neither)

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3 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

But they do care if you're happy or not. 

No, no they don't.

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1 hour ago, Steve Browning said:

John Deacon on Queen II. That's my sound.

Surely that only really works if your guitarist is Brian May?

And again more seriously: what makes a great bass tone is not the bass tone itself but how it works in relation to the other instruments. Just listen to the isolated bass tracks in the Geddy Lee thread. On their own, they are a selection of nasty (not in a good way) farty sounds. However when combined with the rest of the instruments in the mix they are perfect, and that nasty fartiness is a lot less pronounced when it's binding the mix together rather than being standing out on its own.

For a great bass tone listen to what the other musicians in your band are doing and find something to works in harmony (pun intended) with them. The sound of each individual instrument and how they all work together is as important as the notes that each instrument is playing and how they all work together.

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51 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

No, no they don't.

I don't mean literally - ooh, look, the bald man with the big guitar is smiling - but if a musician is unhappy with the noise they're making, that unhappiness has a detrimental effect on the quality of the performance, and will make a difference to the audiences's enjoyment.

Or, to put it the positive way round, when a musician is happy with the noise they're making, the relaxed confidence they feel transmits itself extremely clearly and is something audiences find very attractive.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Surely that only really works if your guitarist is Brian May?

And again more seriously: what makes a great bass tone is not the bass tone itself but how it works in relation to the other instruments. Just listen to the isolated bass tracks in the Geddy Lee thread. On their own, they are a selection of nasty (not in a good way) farty sounds. However when combined with the rest of the instruments in the mix they are perfect, and that nasty fartiness is a lot less pronounced when it's binding the mix together rather than being standing out on its own.

For a great bass tone listen to what the other musicians in your band are doing and find something to works in harmony (pun intended) with them. The sound of each individual instrument and how they all work together is as important as the notes that each instrument is playing and how they all work together.

I'm sure you're not actually implying that I don't but I am fortunate enough to have had enough compliments about my sound to suggest that I am achieving both our objectives.

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45 minutes ago, Steve Browning said:

I'm sure you're not actually implying that I don't but I am fortunate enough to have had enough compliments about my sound to suggest that I am achieving both our objectives.

That's great. The point I was trying to make was much of what makes John Deacon's bass sound good is the way it interacts with the other instruments, in particular the guitar sounds, and in Queen you have a guitarist with a very unique sound.

For further illumination: I did the bulk of my musical development between 1978 and 1986 when I was mostly playing synthesiser rather than bass. Often I'd hear a great synthesiser sound on a record, and think that I would want to use that in a song for my band. Like any part of a musical arrangement, what makes that particular sound great is it's place in the overall composition, and much of the time the great synth sound that I had spent ages duplicating needed a lot of tweaking to make it work in the context of the song I'd written as opposed to song I'd borrowed it from, and invariably by the time my song was complete the synth sound bore only a passing resemblance to the one I'd been inspired by.

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Currently chasing the tone myself. I am after a clear, just before and stretching into breakup of an old tube sound. Problem is we are on a silent stage. Going to try some tube DIs and see if that gets me any closer. 

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I like a P bass type tone for myself in my own home, so this usually means 100% neck pickup and the less bridge pickup the better. I leave it at that and never fiddle with the controls.

Outside of home, my tone is whatever the sound man wants it to be.

 

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9 minutes ago, TheLowDown said:

I leave it at that and never fiddle with the controls.

Outside of home, my tone is whatever the sound man wants it to be.

Beautifully and succinctly put Sir. This should be page 1, paragraph 1 and line 1 of the one lined Bass Tone Bible.

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I have 2 basses, 3 amps and 3 cabs which I mix and match. They all sound different to me, but the guys in the band wouldn't notice and the audience reaction is, "You got a bass???"

I aspire to sound like Nathan East and Reggie McBride, but think I sound more like Duck Dunn and John McVie, but I've also been told that I sound more like me than them!

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My tone depends on what context I’m working in. I rarely play bass in a live gig situation so most of what I do is recording, session work basically.

Almost every time I record for other people’s tracks I’m using a P style bass with flats, with the volume and tone on full. I often record straight into the desk or interface and let the engineer EQ and process it to suit the music. 

If I’m playing or recording my own material I’ll take a similar approach. But if I’m playing for fun, like along to old ska or funk records at home then it’s a Hofner violin bass with flats and foam at the bridge, no treble, played with a pick and palm muting or plucked with the side of my thumb for even more bottom end. Amp settings are usually fairly neutral, I rarely touch them, it’s all about the thump and the boom coming from the bass itself. 

Overall I’m not too fussed as long as it doesn’t get too twangy or toppy, although I realise I’m probably in the minority here.

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I play a Fender Jazz through a Little Mark 3 that I usually dial in one of three ways:

1. It's pushing air and sounds like a kick drum. I like that one for super strong grooves.
2. Trebley tone, pick or no pick, something that gets more harmonic depth in it than tone 1, I use this for funk/fusiony stuff when I'm not fighting distorted guitars.
3. EQ pedal set to take the high mids and treble out so that it sounds like a P Bass, basically my P Bass button. I haven't used this one in a band yet, though.

 

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22 hours ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I get what you are saying, but I don't agree with what you say, not even one bit.

I know for a fact that other people care about my tone, I know cause I care about other people's tone, and not just on bass, and I know people who feel the same way.

You would think that would be the reason why I made this thread in fact, but obviously you don't.

You know (or maybe the problem is that you don't?) people who actually care about music.

Also using a Sansamp BDDI to mimic JJ Burnel's tone got to be one of the worst pieces of advice ever given, that sucker sucks the mids right out of your tone, exactly what his tone is all about, mids.

Also I don't care for a generic tone I care for the tone the way I envision it to be, it's called being creative.

And your bass getting lost in the mix in a bass/vocals and drums duo is kind of really hard, like you would have to do a serious effort for it to get lost, I don't say it is impossible, but it's not something I plan to do, and I would think very few people would either.

In other words you don't know what you are talking about, which might explain why my OP looks like mad scribbings to you.

Truth hurts, eh?

Ooh, I clearly touched a raw nerve.

But yeah, all said and done, you're spot on and I haven't got a clue about anything.  How stupid of me to think otherwise considering the 30+ years of playing, live production and studio work under my belt.  (Oh, and as I'm still playing nice, I'm not even going to rise to such juvenile comments about the BDDI and tone being all about the mids.)

I'll reiterate what I've posted here and elsewhere many, many times; tone is subjective and a very personal thing...what you may strive to achieve in isolation or believe you're bringing to the game means nothing in a full band context.  Your endless tweaks will just disappear and become lost in the mush.  Sure, you'll feel good about yourself, but trust me, pretty much nobody (well, except maybe members of the bass player collective), is ever thinking the bass sounds good, period.

Anyhow, moving along, as @krispn has posted twice, sound clips would make a difference; let's hear it rather than read it. 

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22 hours ago, Doddy said:

Have you heard the story about Will Lee recording the demos for Billy Cobhams 'Spectrum', but being dropped from the master session because his tone sucked at the time?  

Yeah, I have.  Amazing really. 

No sorry, I made that up.  What I meant to say was, can't say I have and don't really care.  

 

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44 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

Yeah, I have.  Amazing really. 

No sorry, I made that up.  What I meant to say was, can't say I have and don't really care.

And yet you still felt the need to reply.

If you think tone doesn't matter, that's cool, but it matters to a lot of people, not just bass players. When big name players talk about losing work because of their sound, I think it's worth listening to them.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

Ooh, I clearly touched a raw nerve.

But yeah, all said and done, you're spot on and I haven't got a clue about anything.  How stupid of me to think otherwise considering the 30+ years of playing, live production and studio work under my belt.  (Oh, and as I'm still playing nice, I'm not even going to rise to such juvenile comments about the BDDI and tone being all about the mids.)

I'll reiterate what I've posted here and elsewhere many, many times; tone is subjective and a very personal thing...what you may strive to achieve in isolation or believe you're bringing to the game means nothing in a full band context.  Your endless tweaks will just disappear and become lost in the mush.  Sure, you'll feel good about yourself, but trust me, pretty much nobody (well, except maybe members of the bass player collective), is ever thinking the bass sounds good, period.

Anyhow, moving along, as @krispn has posted twice, sound clips would make a difference; let's hear it rather than read it. 

It's not subjective weather the BDDI has a huge baked in mid scoop or that JJ Burnel's tone being all about mids, that's a fact, and that is what you'll discover if you ran it through a spectrum analyzer, that you can't hear it doesn't make it a fact, that makes you probably suffering from hearing damage, or just basically being largely ignorant about tone which I think you have made perfectly clear here.

And while not having quite 30 years of experience with it yet, though not that far from either, I got the similar experience (and seems like I have learned more from it anyway too in that slightly shorter time span, at least when it comes to tone).

Regarding sound clips I agree though, it would certainly help, but I haven't got anything recorded as of currently and beside the topic I chose for the thread was "Describe your tone", it's not like you have a licence to dictate which kind of subjects people are allowed to post threads about, as long as it is relevant for the topic of the forum.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash
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1 minute ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

It's not subjective weather the BDDI has a huge mid scoop or J J Burnel's tone being all about mids, that's a fact, and that is what you'll discover if you ran it through a spectrum analyzer, that you can't hear it doesn't make it a fact, that makes you probably suffering from hearing damage. 

Good grief.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

And regarding sound clips I agree, it would certainly help, but I haven't got anything recorded as of currently and beside the topic I chose for the thread was "Describe you tone", it's not like you have a licence to dictate which kind of subjects people are allowed to post threads about, as long as it is relevant for the topic of the forum.

It was me who asked for a track or two as it would have helped me make sense of "+2 db gain stage" and "55/45 mix" etc. etc. of something else. It's not a criticism just some of us work better with sounds or visuals rather than verbose posts which kinda lose meaning 7 or 8 paragraphs in.

I wasn't asking to dictate the conversation and if I'm being honest its a pretty fair question, it might even have made sense to post a picture of the pedal board(s) too to contextualize things.

I'm happy to post links to some of my music... but it's likely just gonna be me stumbling through an arrangement on either a p or j bass with zero effects :)

 

Edited by krispn

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, krispn said:

It was me who asked for a track or two as it would have helped me make sense of "+2 db gain stage" and "55/45 mix" etc. etc. of something else. It's not a criticism just some of us work better with sounds or visuals rather than verbose posts which kinda lose meaning 7 or 8 paragraphs in.

I wasn't asking to dictate the conversation and if I'm being honest its a pretty fair question, it might even have made sense to post a picture of the pedal board(s) too to contextualize things.

I don't blame you for asking for clips at all (which is the reason why I didn't quote you there but Nancy Johnson), it's a perfectly relevant request for the topic as far as I am concerned, the comment was aimed at Nancy Johnson, who almost demanded that I'd adhere to that request. 

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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Just now, Baloney Balderdash said:

Indeed. :facepalm:

Why do you insist on posting something, then going in seconds later and changing/appending the entire post?  I suspect it will change again while I'm typing this.

My quote (as detailed above) was THE ENTIRE POST, then you go in and change things adding I'm now largely ignorant as well as suffering with hearing problems.

In closing, this from your last post;

it's not like you have a licence to dictate which kind of subjects people are allowed to post threads about, as long as it is relevant for the topic of the forum.

I mean, what?  Who is saying what you can or can't post?  You're making these posts that people are struggling to understand, they're offering advice and you're responding by saying people are jerks (Geezer Butler pickup thread) and now you're effectively bellyaching because members are critiquing your meanderings on a semi-public forum.

You really aren't endearing yourself to people here, especially when you start quoting James Joyce at them because that's the way you write.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

Why do you insist on posting something, then going in seconds later and changing/appending the entire post?  I suspect it will change again while I'm typing this.

My quote (as detailed above) was THE ENTIRE POST, then you go in and change things adding I'm now largely ignorant as well as suffering with hearing problems.

In closing, this from your last post;

it's not like you have a licence to dictate which kind of subjects people are allowed to post threads about, as long as it is relevant for the topic of the forum.

I mean, what?  Who is saying what you can or can't post?  You're making these posts that people are struggling to understand, they're offering advice and you're responding by saying people are jerks (Geezer Butler pickup thread) and now you're effectively bellyaching because members are critiquing your meanderings on a semi-public forum.

You really aren't endearing yourself to people here, especially when you start quoting James Joyce at them because that's the way you write.

Because there is an edit function, and it's not something I insist on, I think it is relevant to edit your post if you think you didn't manage to get your point clearly through the way you actually meant it when you first time posted a given reply (that aside for purely grammar reasons is the whole point of having an edit function in the first place).

However I perfectly understand why that can be annoying when replying to such posts, but in my defense the main edit of my reply was done before I saw your reply and was notified about it (the one done after was just a minor grammar edit), you probably posted your reply while I was editing mine, and I admit that I do have a bad habit of posting replies before actually making sure I also actually have formulated it in a way that makes my actual point clear and have included everything I actually wanted to say and the way I wanted to say it, and I won't be shy apologizing for the annoyance this bad habit of mine might course. 

For whatever it's worth I guess my excuse is that I am diagnosed with ADHD.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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