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Any pedal/rackmount unit that shortens sustain?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matthew_84, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. I know this isn't popular, but I'm wondering if there's any sort of pedal or even a rackmount unit that can shorten sustain? I'm trying to get more of an upright sound until I can afford some other bass that would accomplish this better.

    I know I could palm mute or stuff foam under the strings, but palm muting limits my technique, and I've always found that putting foam under the bridge can interfere with intonation as well as it is usually uneven from string to string.

  2. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    A volume pedal?
  3. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    Try a compressor. There are many available, with various features. Go to http://www.ovnilab.com/ for Bongo's compressor reviews and FAQ. It's a great collection of articles and reviews.
  4. Winfred


    Oct 21, 2011
    A nice rack-mount compressor, if you fool around with it for awhile, can be used to squish sustain.

    A cheaper way to do it is to use old flatwound strings, and play up near the neck, and even on the neck.
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I think a compressor will increase the sustain, not shorten it. You are talking a type of noise gate to cut off the sound. However, it will just not sound like an acoustic bass. The level settings will be too critical. Better to stick wit the foam - try different types, locations and shapes. I use a long triangle so there is more foam under the big strings and less under the skinny ones. I also play up over the fingerboard and use tape wounds . You want that sound for real, get a U-Bass.
  6. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ok, i'm game, explain the setting please.
    Because after 30 years of playing, engineering and mixing for a living i've never heard of this, or heard this out of any comp no matter how i've set it or heard one set.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cali Intergalactic Mind Space - always on the edge
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    Try some some,old, dead, heavy gauge flatwounds that have more thump than sustain. There have been a few threads on how to deaden flatwounds.

    Or maybe try some nylon strings with foam mutes.
  8. Tevatron


    May 14, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    A very fast Release time, set on a compressor, will shorten the sustain. You need a compressor with control of the Release, of course. I do this with my Empress Compressor all the time.
  9. Thanks, I will look into this.

    I currently have the bass in question strung with GHS pressurewounds, and I'd like to keep them on for the wide variety in tones I can get. It is my only fretless right now and when I turn down the tone knob they can sound like flats but they have too long of a sustain. I will likely get some sort of acoustic or hollowbody next that will get tapewounds on it, but until then I'd prefer to get some sort of effect that can just shorten the sustain.
  10. The Markbass Compressore has a release knob. Has anyone tried this pedal, and is it good for this effect?
  11. Tevatron


    May 14, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I don't think you can ever make an electric bass sound exactly like an upright, but, shortening the sustain is one thing you can do toward getting a more upright feeling, IMHO.
  12. I totally agree with you. I think I've done a pretty good job for the most part, but I believe my sustain at the moment to be the biggest electric telltale.
  13. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Sounds like a job for a foam mute, not a pedal.
  14. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +10000000 a foam mute pad under the strings near the bridge is exactly what the op needs. A compressor is NOT the right tool at all, and neither is any other pedal. A peice of foam. Simplicity.
  15. Yeah, I think I'll just keep experimenting with foam until I figure out a way to do it that I like. For the cost of the pedal I may as well buy a differernt bass altogether. Plus, I was questioning how much a compressor would work if I didn't compress the signal at all, which i don't want to do.
  16. lsabina


    Sep 3, 2008
    Try to find something that allows you to manipulate or control ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release). This was standard on many synths.
  17. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    You want the opposite of a compressor…. try an expander.

    I agree with the strings and mute suggestions. Light gauge flats with a mute may be close to what you are after.

  18. kesh


    Jul 9, 2012
    Brighton, England
    on a compressor you want a long release time to shorten sustain

    a compressor lowers volume when the signal becomes loud. it releases it back up after it becomes quiet.

    if the release is long it doesn't release the signal immediately so the quiet part of the note is still lowered, giving the impression of a shorter note. however it will release eventually, creating a longer but less noticeable sustain.

    but foam dampening is the thing you want to do.
  19. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    Look into noise gates.

    "Comparable to a compressor, which attenuate signals above a threshold, noise gates attenuate signals which register below the threshold." - Wikipedia

    It's like a reverse compressor that brings up the silence instead of the volume as you get quieter.
  20. kesh


    Jul 9, 2012
    Brighton, England
    noise gates tend to be just on/off, an expander is the more musical version of this

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