Bass sound on "Angel" from TUSK--God, I want to EA

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Peterson Goodwyn
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Bass sound on "Angel" from TUSK--God, I want to EA

Post by Peterson Goodwyn » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:11 pm

I could listen to this all day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qlQHlocCZU
The bass sounds really mid-forward and nimble but with loads of heft.

What else is he doing to make it so GD chunky without any trace of mud? Is it how he's determining the note lengths with his left hand? It reminds me of a pot roast I had on my 18th birthday.

I know nothing about bass gear or tone shaping so please don't hesitate to dumb it down for me.

Thanks
Last edited by Peterson Goodwyn on Tue May 04, 2010 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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lyman
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Re: Bass sound on "Tusk" --God, I want to EAT it!

Post by lyman » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:11 am

Meathands wrote:
What else is he doing to make it so GD chunky without any trace of mud? Is it how he's determining the note lengths with his left hand?
don't go for a really clean sound coming out of the amp, turn up the mids, use a pick, and maybe some right hand palm muting too?

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sears
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Post by sears » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:53 am

Playing with your drummer for 15 years first helps a great deal.

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Post by KennyLusk » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:03 am

If you like that tone you might try abusing an EHX 12AY7 tube mic pre, as a bass pre.
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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:21 pm

Yeah, you need a little grind and a pretty midrangy tone. But I think you're right about McVie controlling the note lengths with his left hand a lot. Nothing ever blurs in to anything else.

God damnit is that record awesome.

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:43 pm

Wow. Sounds like ass to me. Doesn't sound solid at all to me.

There really is no accounting for taste! I wish there was something I could do about that (on my end).

I've been thinking for about a month about starting a thread about getting my ideal bass tone. The reason I haven't is A) I'm worried people will look down their nose at me for digging "that sort of thing" and B) I'm pretty convinced it has more to do with the player than the equipment. Again, all about what's NOT being played as much as what is.

Groove on chaps!
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Post by KennyLusk » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:04 pm

Snarl 12/8 wrote: Again, all about what's NOT being played as much as what is.

Groove on chaps!
+1

and it's something I have a hard time with, not being a bass player myself yet being forced to play bass for my own recordings. Still learning.
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Post by jgimbel » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:13 pm

Snarl beat me to it (and had more balls than me to say it right away), but when I listen to that recording it sounds to me like something I'd want to be fixing. I guess it really is just a matter of taste, but it sounds not so great to me. Regardless, I'm hearing lots of mids, not much low end, and a real precision + groove in the playing. IE the bass performance might have as much to do with, if not more to do with, what you might like about it than the EQ of it. I'm more of a play-a-little-of-everything guy than specifically a bass player (I focus mostly on guitar and drums), and maybe it's because of that that with bass guitar I usually end up having the sound dictated more by making it sound what's necessary for the song, based on the guitar and drum sounds. If I went after my idea bass guitar sound, it'd probably be a lot different than what would be idea for me to use in a mix. Something that bothers me about the mix we're referring to is that I'm not feeling anything from the guitar at all. That's not a bad thing if that's what you're into, but I like things to be more balanced. The fact that the bass part is really distinct, for me, would be a reason for the bass part to not be as overbearing, since it'll draw attention anyway without it being particularly loud. Most of the songs that have my favorite bass lines aren't songs that particularly have the bass cranked up. Bass can be so awesome it doesn't need a ton of volume to stand out. This rant is completely irrelevant though, sorry about that!

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Post by KennyLusk » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:54 am

jgimbel wrote: when I listen to that recording it sounds to me like something I'd want to be fixing. I guess it really is just a matter of taste, but it sounds not so great to me. Regardless, I'm hearing lots of mids, not much low end, and a real precision + groove in the playing.
Could it have been Mick Fleetwood asserting himself and making sure the bass stayed out of his way in the mix? Just a stab.
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Post by lysander » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:03 am

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure McVie doesn't use a pick. That sound doesn't have the kind of attack you'd get from using a pick.

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Post by jgimbel » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:08 am

KennyLusk wrote:
jgimbel wrote: when I listen to that recording it sounds to me like something I'd want to be fixing. I guess it really is just a matter of taste, but it sounds not so great to me. Regardless, I'm hearing lots of mids, not much low end, and a real precision + groove in the playing.
Could it have been Mick Fleetwood asserting himself and making sure the bass stayed out of his way in the mix? Just a stab.
I don't feel like I'm hearing the bass staying out of anyone's way. I'm not exactly sure what the "it" you're referring to is though, I definitely might me misunderstanding you. The bass is just really forward, in my opinion. Not what he's playing, but volume/lots of mids. I wouldn't have that feeling if it was the same exact bass part but EQed to sit in a little better.

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Post by playinbass » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:51 am

The things that's awesome about that sound is that there is plenty of low end if you listen on big speakers and yet the bass is still driving the song along when hard on tiny little speakers (even on my laptop). I bet it would even come through on an old TV speaker. The essential rhythmic and harmonic content remain strong either way and just keep pushing. AND it stays out of the way of the kick nicely sonically.

IMHO those two guys are the most underrated rhythm section of the last 50 years. Especially for those types of pop hits.

Gerry

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Post by Anthony Caruso » Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:21 pm

Aside from the obvious mid-ranginess of the tone, there is definitely some muting going on there, which can be done by the player with the right hand (my best guess in this case as that would force the player to play closer to the bridge, also enhancing that more middy sound). The muting gives it an attack heavy rather than sustain heavy sound. Like "bope-bope-bope" as opposed to "booom-boooom-booom" :D

Another method is wedging a small piece of foam under the strings right up against the bridge, and I also saw a guy wedge an unsheathed tampon in the same spot. :shock:

EDIT: Flatwound strings, too...?
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Post by JGriffin » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:12 pm

The big John McVie moment for me is the bass breakdown in "The Chain." Because I love the song up until that point and then the bass just sounds terrible. It fits into the track just fine, but by itself, ick.
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Post by suppositron » Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:19 pm

Hmm. Sounds similar to McCartney's tones on Wings. Sounds like a miked cab, played with a pick, lows and highs rolled off. Not a huge fan of that tone either, but it's part of the aesthetic of that time period. If there was some huge ballsy bass tone on those records it would sound unnatural.

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