Al Caldwell w/11 string midi bass

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matt Till, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Oh yeah

    Some cool stuff, sorry if it's been posted before, I've never seen a midi bass in action before.
  2. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Holy crap! That was SCWEET!
  3. Riku


    Dec 27, 2005
    Arr, I was just about to post this, but it seems like you beat me to it. :p

    First time I saw a midi bass also. It's sweet. :D
  4. That's sweet, I didn't know that MIDI's did that. It's completely useless, but very cool. :D

    The whole time he only used those top like 4 or 5 strings, I was dyin for him to go down low, man!

    It still gets normal bass tone, right?

    btw, is that a Benavente?
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    If he had gone to the lower strings it would have stopped tracking as well. Being that it's midi, he can easily setup octave shifts and stay playing on the same 4 or 5 strings that track perfectly(due to being smaller).

    Watching that video reminded me of when my friend got his midi guitar. It was basically watching the same thing(many of the sounds were exactly the same too)

    Also, the bass can be played regularly or with a variable blend of midi/natural pickup tone.
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  7. That was my thoughts exactly. Why do you need all those strings if you only use the top 4, 5, or 6? To be honest, is anyone even able to reach the lower strings to fret them?
  8. Riku


    Dec 27, 2005
  9. ?

    Yea, but you can't just go and hit an octave button every time you want to do a descending fill or whatever, you eventually have to go down. Also, what else would the strings be there for?
  10. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    The thicker the string, the harder it is for the midi pickup to track. That's just the way it is. Even the Low E on a guitar tracks poorer than the A on a guitar. The bass midi pickup, is obviously designed to handle lower strings, but getting into subcontrabass stuff would likely be very hard for the midi pickup to track.

    The strings aren't all to be only used as a 11 string midi bass. Most likely, he would keep the lower strings as normal bass strings, and use the midi on the higher strings to do accompaniment type stuff.
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
  12. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    Only the top six strings (the thinner ones, that is) are hooked up to the GK synth output. Pretty smart: because they track better, and the GK MIDI system only has six channel conversion (because it's intended mainly for guitar).

    I do believe the Roland GR-20 unit he's using to play the MIDI sounds is the one I have at home now.... :D I bought it from Brian at The Low End, he'd had it at the Summer NAMM show.

    Still waiting for my synth equipped Benavente bass.... :ninja: :hyper: :help:
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    That's sweet actually, you could have it set up so you could tap a bassline, and have a "lead" have some completely different tone... right?

    That's cool with me. :D
  14. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Pretty cool, although I can't imagine the keyboardplayer liking the fact that the bassplayer starts to play organ :smug:

    Al is quite a player btw :eek:
  15. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY

    All I have to say is...

    That is a lot of knobs.
  16. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    Man that's awesome. Makes me wanna grab a bass and string it up with piccolo strings and slap a MIDI pickup in it.
  17. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    he might be a tapper at heart. if he was just to play regular bass lines, then he would use a regular bass. maye he wants a huge sonic range?
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm surprised he hasn't chimed in on this thread yet. Al Caldwell was the first person who actually convinced me that a bass with a ridiculous amount of strings actually had some usage. Up until I heard his stuff, I laughed at basses like that and thought people who played them were suckers for their luthier. I would never get one, but I could listen to Al play his all day.
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Al Caldwell's made some excellent points in regard to using ERB's -- there was an article on him in BP a while ago where he cited times when it was exceedingly useful when playing with Vanessa Carlton.
  20. The other thing that a lot of people don't realize, is Al can play the livin' heck out of a traditional 4 string with the best 'traditional' traditional fingerstyle and slap and pop technique you will ever see. I surely do respect his pushing the boundaries with those massive midi basses... but sometimes I'd love to hear him groovin' on a J Bass again. When we were all kids in St. Louis, Al was one of the guys we'd all go to see and marvel at. His playing always felt fantastic... and one on the nicest guy's you'd ever meet.

    I have fond memories of getting my first 'good' bass (a Villette-Citroen 4 string)at a NAMM show in the 70's. When it was delivered, Al and I just stared at it in the case... it was like... don't touch it, let's just look at it! Great guy and great talent!