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A thread where we connect descriptions of sounds with actual soundfiles

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suraci, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I am hoping Ken will participate ( among other wordsmiths !) in connecting just 2 dots. A sound with a description of a sound using actual bass playing examples
    Not amp brands so much. Just a description (you are welcome to mention frequencies or any other amplifying terms ) of a sound and a a sound file or mp3 or YouTube etc.
    Eg. " Growl " I am not ashamed to admit I am not clear what growl in elec bass sounds like; nor "clank", nor "grind" . The first time I associated eg grind with a bass sound was Ron Carter!
    Edit. And yes, if you need to stretch this 2 dot thread to include specific gear that is fine too. I just thought that specific basses PU's and Amos was the NEXT step in this educational process; but hey go for it if you prefer to mention thinderfunk and fender etc!

    The word "punchy" or punch has been discussed before but to my knowledge not with actual examples of an especially punchy sound.
    It has been previously discussed that there is more than one idea of what punch means; covering from 180 hz to 3000 hz

    I come to talk bass to learn and I appreciate my education that I receive here - thank you all for those contributing ideas .

    Off the top - I will list a few words that I would like you to add to, or subcategorize.
    The other "dot " in this thread will be soundfiles or YouTube of fairly clear even extreme examples of each of these descriptions of elec. Bass sounds .

    1 punch
    2 growl
    3 grind.
    4 wooly
    5 clanky
    6 nasally
    9 etc

    Aren't certain players famous for a particular kind of sound, even though not limited to one sound?
    I am a JACO fan, words that describe various sounds that our iconic favorite players are known for would be most helpful.
    I hope you "guys" like this idea - I think it will be a good learning project

    Thanks for listening
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    A noble endeavor but you'll get almost as many different examples are there are people. One mans "warm" is another mans "mud". One mans "present and clear" is anothers "twangy and bright", etc.

    The best example I could give of what growl means to me would be to go find a Gallien-Krueger amplifier and crank up the knob labelled "boost", that's growly to me.:)
  3. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Oh jeez guys... I want to help with this so bad but I have way too many priorities to get caught up in this. I'd get lost providing alternative examples using 2-4 basses for each adjective to begin with...
  4. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I think this is a great idea! I agree most of us have different ideas of what these terms mean, but maybe a thread like this could be a step toward rectifying it. I'll start!

    This example is key bass but I still think it does a great job of what I hear when I think "growl"

  5. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    That's ok. We live in a big world of sound.
    I doubt the word presence is likely to be mixed up with the word muddy though!?!?
    Do you think?
    I appreciate the mention of gear. In your example
    But might you mention a player who records a song with an especially strong GROWL in it?
    I am not afraid to say."I don't know" !
    I am sure this will be helpful to many.
    So a Grindy example or two.

    What words are pretty opposite ( opposite might be a poor word ) from grind
    ? Since you used gallien k amp with heavy boost. What amp absolutely cannot create grind????

    I am not trying to be noble, just learn !
  6. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Key bass or even acoustic bass examples are perfectly fine
    I am ok with equipment specifics but the WORD and the SOUND are my priority
    Just 2 things !!

    Thanks for example.
  7. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I really want to explain with tones what I often try to verbalize. Maybe I'll take a few days to play around with the ShuttleMAX and my PC next week...

    Some words I want to take on:

  8. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Very very nice. I only heard a part of it ( bad net connection- don't ask !) and right away I connected with your
    Excellent example of growl

    I happen to love growl. And I happen to want to control when I get it

    There is a you tube track that I had to learn for a gig and if you turn down the treble MUDs and goose the bass you hear a very what I believe to be Growl like Sound

    I don't know how to include this you tube. But I will try !!

    Great example of Growl. THANK you much
  9. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I look forward to when time permits you to add some ideas and or files

    You feel it is bass specific. I can't disagree
    But those terms those descriptions still can cut across specific basses , don't you think ?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    You can comment on OTHER people's examples too.
  10. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    And it's already gone wrong. Inevitably.

    Unless growl is grind. Grownd? :)
  11. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I asked that we connect 2 dots ok, you can add amps and basses if you just have to!
    Word Describing a bass sound and an example or a few examples. The more the better

    If you wish to contribute. I welcome that
    Come on GROWLER let me hear your opinion not judgements !!!
    Let me not judge you either sorry bout that!
    Ok. Is growl a word you associate with certain bass sounds?
    Same question with grind? Have you seen the word grind used here at TB?
    is grind a synonym for growl or does it mean something sonically different ?!

    Your opinion about the fact that people have all kinds of opinions about sound is duly noted, but I still want to hear your specific examples of descriptive word for various bass sounds ( regardless if you like them or not ) and actual soundfile/ mp3/ youtube.
    My favorite bass players often change their sound during a tune, so maybe provide info letting us know where ( 2 min 10 sec ) in the track a particular sound happens.

    Here is my attempt at what I am merely guessing is grind or growl - I am not clear of the differences- that is one good reason for this thread.

    Natalie Grant - We Are All The Same - YouTube

    please turn highs and mids down and bass up so you can hear the bass player or it might even be a synth, but this track has a sound quality I very much wish I could have, and associating this sound with an adjective would help a lot!
  12. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Fair enough. FWIW, in my mind, Spirocore strings on an ebony board amplified by a big carved wooden chamber is the epitome of growl. Grind, for me at least, would be slightly overdriven tubes. Both of these can be emulated, of course, with varying degrees of success, and others will obviously have different mental tonal images of these sounds.

    I'm on an iPad just now with no headphones handy, so listening for these on YouTube just now would be futile.

    Better? :)
  13. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Much closer ;). It sounds like your definition of growl ( edited !! ) is a string bass, am I right? My quip about Ron Carter ( string bassist extraordinaire ) is correct????

    At some point you might be able to find an Elec bass player, complete with an audio sample ( you tube or anything that is not a hassle ) , who creates a heavy growl ,yes? ;)
  14. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring time on a spinning, shimmery, aqua sphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    OK, I’ll play, with the caveat that answers are highly subjective. Also, some terms jut won’t translate to sound files played through computer speakers. You’ll have to go live or get live-music loud, however you can.

    Punch: Go see Lupe Fiasco live. The lows from the concert subs literally punch your chest like a prizefighter. Yow! Fire up the defib, Lupe!

    Growl: Round-wound strings, aggressive playing, Ric 4001, Warwick Thumb, through cranked tube amp. A great early example of growl is John Entwistle of the Who, Live at Leeds.

    Grind: A series of basses made by Peavey

    Wool: Distortion added: Anyone with a stomp box

    Clank: Strings played so hard they clank against frets. Steve Harris and Cliff Burton

    Nasal: Jaco. Fender Jazz bridge pickup 100%, neck 15%, slight treble roll off, right hand above the bridge pickup, mids boosted in 630-800hz range
  15. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005

    Nice detail there on Jaco sound!

    Tangential to topic!!:
    Regarding your statement about computer speakers vs live via giant subs... hmmm.
    This raises some interesting topics.
    What is natural? ( Don't really want to get into that one much )
    Are our ears extremely sensitive or not? If they are, then a speaker no larger than a nearfield ought to be more than sufficient to give the listener a fair idea of what it would be like in a live situation.
    Todays ( the past few decades actually ) live situation ( big bass cabs PLUS huge PA in huge rooms ) , brings up the idea of "what is natural"

    I am not so sure giant subs are natural. Somehow ( I can't prove any of this conjecture ) giant PA's don't seem natural to me. I don't want to veer to far away from my original thread.
    I think I can can get a fairly adequate idea of what grind , growl, woolie, woofy, punchy ( in all it's varieties ) are, from a near field monitor, just as they use in a studio.

    To reiterate - the human ear, is an amazingly sensitive faculty. How much imagination plays into it, I cannot say, but I trust my ears through a decent sound system, even a good headphone. So please, let's not let this tangent dilute the simple connecting of 2 dots ( the 3rd dot being the WHAT gear ) 1. an adjective, a word to describe a sound 2. an example. Ok :)
    After the words are well represented with examples and after we go through the variations of eg what punch is, then we can have fun connecting the 3rd dot, the variety of ways to achieve punch, growl, etc. I am looking forward to this threads responses and learning a lot in the process.
  16. Bennet Pullen

    Bennet Pullen

    Aug 31, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    To me Grind and Growl are very different tones. I think that's what Growler was referring to. When I posted my clip I said growl and in your response you said grind, which at least to me that clip is not at all an example of.

    In my mind growl is a low-mid kind of pulsing that happens in a sustained note. The opposite of which might be smooth? While Grind is kind of an upper mid thing coming either from light overdrive or string buzz. I'll try and find a good clip of Grind when I'm not on my phone.
  17. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Sorry about the error! I corrected my post!
    When String bass players in jazz world play sustained low notes is that often associated with Growl?
  18. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    No, my definition of growl is a string bass. Grind for me is as noted, and I think Bennett gave a better and more complete description than I did.
  19. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Growler Box... I corrected my error!!
    I am sorry it was late! To clarify for patient readers- Growl is what I have long associated with jazz string bass players on long sustained low notes, where it is most evident.
    Is that about right?
    Three things remain for the GROWL sound
    1. audio samples of acoustic bass with lots of Growl.
    2. which Elec Bass players lean towards a Growl type sound
    3. a post of audio samples of elec bass growl.

    Ok, from you tube try this sample at 59 seconds! Mr Phillips hits ( plucks aka pizzacato or pizz ) a few notes that have growl ( to me that is, maybe wrong adjective ) but right at 59 seconds he plucks I believe an E ( 82 hz ) on the A string that has an especially great amount of sustain and growl. Does this click with your sense of what growl is on string bass?
  20. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I do agree. I'm saying that for each sample I want to run my P bass with dead Roto 66, my Explorer with dead D'add whatever it is, Rickenbacker 4001 with dead strings, active PJ with Roto flatwounds, and my Carvin B4 with new Roto 66 and J Worrell J's. They all have incredibly distinct characters in their tone. However, with EQ and amp choice, I can find a lot of common ground between them. Even their unique sonic traits can be imitated with careful EQ work and playing style adjustments. I want to show that each bass can sound unique and sound the same while still falling into one of these broad categories (ex: punchy).

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