Any effects/gadgets to create bowed sound?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Karenc, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Karenc

    Karenc Guest

    Jul 7, 2013
    I know this is way ahead of myself, but just curious if anything of this kind of thing exists for the electric bass? Thanks a bunch.
  2. Broccolli1500

    Broccolli1500 Guest

    May 21, 2013
    Arizona, USA
  3. bludog


    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217
    The Boss SG-1 Slow Gear (it's an MIJ vintage Boss) or a similar clone will get you that swelled attack, which replicates a bow fairly well. It's no substitute for bowing or e-bowing but it can get you close.

    You could also achieve this with a volume pedal and some careful footwork to get a swelled attack. Some guitarist do the same with their volume knob to swell chords. The vibrato thing you often get with bowed instruments is all in your left hand technique though, easily doable.

    Of course, there is always the eBow too...
  4. danielfnj96

    danielfnj96 Guest

    Jan 29, 2012
    NJ, USA
    A Boss slow gear gives a bow like effect, but you can do the same thing by hitting notes and raising the volume on your bass with your pinky so you don't hear the attack.
  5. taurus1


    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    Gizmotron or volume pedal or actual bow
  6. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Use your volume knob or get a volume pedal. Zoom b3 has the setting slow attack.
  7. ma4rk

    ma4rk Guest

    Jun 28, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    It's not going to sound exactly bowed, but almost there: try a Boss Slowgear OR a Volume pedal with AND a tremlo pedal set to fast. I can't remember in which order sorry.
  8. Explorer


    Jul 4, 2010
    Owning both, I can point out that the attack/decay slider on the POG2 and the HOG beat out the Boss Slow Gear... because the Slow Gear needs the sound level to drop to zero for each bowed note. The EHX gear will work polyphonically, with each attack slowed.

    Personally, I like to feed my POG2 with a fuzz, giving even more of a bowed timbre to the sound.
  9. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East Guest

    Aug 22, 2011
  10. eeyorebass


    Jan 2, 2008
  11. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East Guest

    Aug 22, 2011
    Whoa. My GAS did not need to see that! Seems like a very cool box. Have you actually used one? Curious how the compression circuit sounds on bass.
  12. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    +1 to the polyphonic function of the POG2!

    I did this demo of the POG2 with a little reverb added. Gives you the sense of the polyphonic possibilities:

    I played a quick "lick" with a droning A-string w/ melody on top, then engage the POG2 and play the same thing plus some embellishments afterwards to demonstrate how quickly and accurately it follows the envelope.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2014
  13. I use distortion, my Whammy pedal set to octave up harmony, a volume pedal and delay. Strike the desired note then swell up with the volume pedal.
  14. I use an ebow for this effect. Grab a fretless, add mild overdrive and play with an ebow; down the bottom of the neck you get nice a bowed upright sound while above the 12th you get a very convincing cello.
  15. eeyorebass


    Jan 2, 2008
    I haven't used one. I found it when I was thinking of using a similar bowed sound, but never went ahead with it.

    As I understand, the compressor is there purely for effect, squashing the sound, so you can get plenty of sustain after the swell.

  16. Explorer


    Jul 4, 2010
    For those suggesting volume pedals: Scotch was kind enough to post an example of how quickly one can play through the POG2 with the bowed sound. I don't think it's possible to work a volume pedal to get that same speed and responsiveness. Do any of you have a demo handy to show that the volume pedal is up to that same rapid task?

    i suspect not, but would love to see it work!


    One of the problems with using eBow with bass is that the string-to-string distance is too large to use the stock built-in wings on the eBow upon which to rest it.

    As much as I love eBow (and I own almost a dozen), I think the POG is easier to use....
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Always been curious about this pedal, anybody using it?

  18. I always thought that the two octaves down on a Boss OC-2 sounds a lot like a bowed double bass. Most people hate that knob but I use it on 'Ain't No Sunshine' to good effect.
  19. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    I've used an Ebow with varying results; it takes a very deft touch for bass. Not only, as stated above, is the spacing a bit off for the 'string grooves'(as it was developed with guitar in mind), but the mass of a bass string(compared to a wimpy guitar string)is substantial. For the eletromagnet in an Ebow to get an E, A, or D string in motion, you have to be very patient. That said, Michael Manring is an absolute master at this. One thing I've found useful, if not mandatory, is use of a volume pedal, as there can be output spikes depending how close to a pickup the Ebow is, in tandem with certain 'hot spots' along the length of the string, causing the string to vibrate into a sort of 'runaway' mode. The vp can keep a lid on that, as well as simulate bowing attack. If it's sustain that you're after, I strongly recommend the EHX Superego. It combines the 'Freeze' technolgy(a sort of instant note sampling with infinite sustain)with a bunch of other useful options/features like glissing between notes. Endless possibilities for playing lines on top of pedal/drone notes. There's a little bit of a learning curve/operation technique thing, but not impossible, and certainly nowhere near what it takes to run the EHX Ravish Sitar(although you might want to check that out as well).
  20. Karenc

    Karenc Guest

    Jul 7, 2013
    I am thrilled beyond measure that there are these options to create that sound. Thank you everyone for sharing these options. I really appreciate knowing them.
    Over these past years when I think of cellos and double basses, even violas and violins actually, I know tradition keeps these instruments the same year after year in chambers, orchestras, symphonies, etc., but it just makes me shake my head, when I think of wooden tuning pegs, the fret-less-only option, and the appearance of these instruments never evolving, let alone a large viola on the shoulder, and not even making them like they used to, sitting on the lap. Most viola players retire early because their shoulder just can't take it anymore when they get old.
    I say all that to say, even with all these awesome gadgets, I ponder on the fact that today very few instruments exist that are in a new generation, like electric basses that can be bowed--- You know with the arched fretboard, arched pickups, arched bridge, etc. Basses that have an adjustable stand to stand on the floor if desired. Frets, metal tuning pegs, strong bows, instruments that allow bowing. Where are they?
    I can barely grasp the possibilities if that was created and accepted...the sounds and use of pedals would be extensive, yes? That is if it was electronic in nature. And I don't think it would be too expensive once established, but perhaps I am missing a key element of why these are not being made? I mean who really appreciates wooden pegs that are held by pressure? But perhaps the key element is the pickup coils? Perhaps not so easy to do.