Classic Bass Guitar Sounds

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

User avatar
Jeff White
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3257
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Post by Jeff White » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:39 am

I am pretty stunned that those classic Carol Kaye bass tones are a P-Bass into a Super Reverb. I have both of those (my Super is a '77 that has been modified to pre-CBS specs) and intend on using them much more. I have always foamed/muted my basses and rolled back the treble on them for a much more classic sound.

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6958
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Post by drumsound » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:53 pm

Grinder wrote:I always hear that James Jamerson never changed the strings on his P-bass, because he thought the electric instrument was kind of a joke compared to a double bass. Don't know if it's true or not, but it could be a starting point.

Other than that, I think, that arrangement and mixing of the rest of the elements is a major contributor to the type of sound you're looking for.

Gustav
I'm not sure if he never changed his electric strings, but I do know that James Jamerson (and the guitar players) were recorded direct and all three monitored through the same speaker.

dfuruta
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 697
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 11:01 am

Post by dfuruta » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:12 pm

james jamerson also had incredible right hand technique...those bass-lines are hard enough to play with multiple fingers (listen to "bernadette"!), let alone one (as he did).

drumsound
zen recordist
Posts: 6958
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 10:30 pm
Location: Bloomington IL
Contact:

Post by drumsound » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:58 pm

dfuruta wrote:james jamerson also had incredible right hand technique...those bass-lines are hard enough to play with multiple fingers (listen to "bernadette"!), let alone one (as he did).
Word

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:22 am

Jeff White wrote:I am pretty stunned that those classic Carol Kaye bass tones are a P-Bass into a Super Reverb. I have both of those (my Super is a '77 that has been modified to pre-CBS specs) and intend on using them much more. I have always foamed/muted my basses and rolled back the treble on them for a much more classic sound.

Jeff
Whenever you put Bass into an older Fender amp. (Blonde/Brown/Black/Silver) try using the 2nd input on whichever channel. The 2nd input is padded down and will give you more range with the Bass.

User avatar
Jeff White
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3257
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:15 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Post by Jeff White » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:01 pm

roscoenyc wrote:
Jeff White wrote:I am pretty stunned that those classic Carol Kaye bass tones are a P-Bass into a Super Reverb. I have both of those (my Super is a '77 that has been modified to pre-CBS specs) and intend on using them much more. I have always foamed/muted my basses and rolled back the treble on them for a much more classic sound.

Jeff
Whenever you put Bass into an older Fender amp. (Blonde/Brown/Black/Silver) try using the 2nd input on whichever channel. The 2nd input is padded down and will give you more range with the Bass.
You, sir, are my hero. I always assumed that the Bassman was the only Fender amp voiced for bass, and that I would run the risk of destroying a guitar amp by running low-end through it.

Thanks!

Jeff
I record, mix, and master in my home studio, Ch?teau Blanco, and in various spaces in the Philly area. http://jeffwhiteaudio.com/

User avatar
roscoenyc
george martin
Posts: 1380
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Post by roscoenyc » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:23 pm

You are welcome Jeff.
The second input thing even helps on a Bassman in the bass channel!

The Scum
resurrected
Posts: 2488
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:26 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Post by The Scum » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:28 pm

I've heard the story that the original Bassman was a guitar amp design that got recast as a bass amp, because they decided they needed to market a special amp to match the original Pbass. "Voiced for bass" might mean that it had a 15" speaker.
"What fer?"
"Cat fur, to make kitten britches."

biasvoltage
steve albini likes it
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 9:23 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post by biasvoltage » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:27 pm

Flatwounds + B15 FTW

A lot of the really inventive Motown electric bass stuff that is commonly thought to be Jamerson is actually Bob Babbitt.

A lot of the really inventive Wrecking Crew electric bass stuff that is commonly thought to be Carol Kaye is really Joe Osborn.

The bass on that track sounds like Joe Osborn (who played the same 1960 Jazz Bass, with the same strings, on everything he did until the late seventies) with Bill Pitmann doubling it on a danelectro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCQx3R_V0p0

bparker12321
audio school
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:59 pm
Location: Nashville tn.

Post by bparker12321 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:42 pm

that does sound more like him. especially with the story. That helps a lot. I might start pushing more people toward the j-bass we have in the studio!

User avatar
losthighway
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2073
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:02 pm
Contact:

Post by losthighway » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:11 am

I think between the amps and eqing for vinyl a lot of the old bass tones sound cool because they have a lot of mids, and not a lot of lows. Maybe I'm just projecting from what's been going on in a lot of my projects but it seems like they did a good job of not letting that cloud build up below 100hz. Plugged into a small guitar amp there probably wouldn't be any of that coming out in the first place.

Is this the right thread to bring up how amazing the bass tone is on the Beatles "Rain" single? Kind of a different sound than the wrecking crew stuff, way more sustain, but man.... best bass tone ever?

I remember in the Geoff Emerick book he was talking about trying the innovation with using a speaker as a mic on that song.

honkyjonk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2182
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Portland

Post by honkyjonk » Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:07 am

Yep, Rain and Paperback Writer I think were the white elephant speaker. RAD sound. Wow. I bet they had to roll some lows off though.
Stilgar, we've got wormsign the likes of which God has never seen!

telepathy
pushin' record
Posts: 211
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2003 2:07 am
Location: Somerville, MA
Contact:

Post by telepathy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:54 pm

the "Rain" bass is also compressed to hell. that's probably the EMI-modded Altec.

if we're throwing in righteous 60's bass examples, I'll put up "These Eyes" by the Guess Who. Incredible melodic sense, tone, and feel.
get up with it

KennyLusk
dead but not forgotten
Posts: 2037
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:22 am
Location: Ramah, New Mexico

Post by KennyLusk » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:56 pm

losthighway wrote: I remember in the Geoff Emerick book he was talking about trying the innovation with using a speaker as a mic on that song.
A totally awesome read BTW for anyone here who hasn't read it yet.
"The mushroom states its own position very clearly. It says, "I require the nervous system of a mammal. Do you have one handy?" Terrence McKenna

Zacharia Matilda
alignin' 24-trk
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Factory Outlet-Maine

Post by Zacharia Matilda » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:32 am

Ampeg Gemini is a great combo for basses. I have used the 1x12, but I bet the 1x15 sounds great too.
dehumidified

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 76 guests