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acoustic bass - piezo - how to get the sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AndyPanda, Feb 21, 2016.


  1. I have a very old Washburn AB-20 with piezo under a bone saddle and Roto 88 tapewounds. I've been trying to get a good simulation of an upright - and I'm starting to think I may just need to get a real upright and learn to play it :whistle:

    What I notice is that unless I fret it perfectly (unless I'm directly behind the fret) the string can rattle on the fret and the piezo pickup exaggerates this in a really annoying quacking noise. And, of course, I ought to always fret perfectly - but I'm a fairly new bassist so I don't get it perfect every time. It's tempting to defret the bass and make a fretless - but I do have a fretless jazz bass already.

    Here's a short clip of me recording the Washburn directly into the DAW with the mids pulled out using the EQ on the bass. Can any of you give opinions of the sound and suggestions for how you deal with piezo pickups?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  2. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Turn down your treble. Might have to reduce bass's volume a tad.
    Some tape wounds vibrate on frets more noticeably than metal. When they go brrrrrr it's really obvious.
    Try some Sunbeams. Get that upright tone with rounds by bending the index finger at first joint from knuckle, finger joint to tip parallel with strings.
    Gives a fat thud that simulates quick decay.
     
  3. Thanks for the suggestions.

    BTW ... just for comparison ... here is the same clip but using a fretless Jazz Bass with roto 77 flats.
     

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  4. I re-read this several times trying to understand (thinking you meant fretting finger) ... but then it dawned on me you mean plucking finger, right? So there is more meat of the finger tip plucking the string?
     
  5. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
    For the style you're playing, a fretless ABG would seem like a good solution. You'll get that mwah and eliminate the fret buzz (which I heard very little of) without the distinct Jazz bass sound.
     
  6. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Yep a lot more. You're almost muting it too.
     
  7. Thanks. The only reason you heard very little fret buzz is because I memorized that much of it and was looking at my fretting hand. If I were reading (or looking around) I would be a little off the perfect fretting position and getting the rattle (or being out of tune on a fretless) - I guess that will come with practice and time.

    It is really tempting to defret the ABG
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  8. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz

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