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Are Fenders the most used bass for recordings?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Fire-Starter, May 21, 2004.

  1. Fire-Starter

    Fire-Starter Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2002
    Maybe a little help from those of you who record quite a bit...

    I have heard this comment quite a bit, but I am curious as to why? is it that they just record better than other basses? or do bass players, no matter what bass they are playing, still come back to the Fender sound? Do they give the Engineers less of a headach as far as tweaking etc... what is it that makes Fenders so desirable (or from what I have heard) the MOST used basses for recording?

    BTW, I have Fenders and love them too.
  2. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA

    Are Fenders the most used basses? Definitely, without a doubt. They were pretty much the only game in town for a lot of years. I'm not sure if they're the most used 'cause they're "desirable", that part is a logical disconnect. I do believe they're "functional" though, as you say they do all the things that musicians and engineers need them to do. I also believe that a lot of people have them because they're functioknal AND because they have a good price point. If Fender basses cost several thousand dollars, I don't think as many people would have them. I would never in a million years try to get a Fender sound out of a non-Fender bass. Why bother? If I want that sound, I'll use the real thing. Similarly, I'd never use a Fender to try to achieve something that's obviously non-Fendery. Use the right tool for the job, is basically my approach. I've never had any problems with Fender basses in the studio, but then again I've never had any problems with Roscoes, Alembics, or F basses either. Whatever it takes to get the sound I want, that's what I'll use. If it's out there. If it ain't out there, I'll have to do my best to approximate, with whatever tools are on hand.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Fenders are probably the most recorded simply because the fact that they were the first commercially successful electric bass.

    Couldn't comment on today's recordings, but it seems that while many people have branched out to different brands, the P or J is still a mainstay for many more.

    My two
    Adam Barkley
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!

    Agreed. As for today's recordings, you'd be amazed at how many Sadowskys, Warwicks, and Spectors show up. Personally, the best basses I've ever recorded with was a Sadowsky 4 and a Czech made Spector. I've noticed that alot of producers even buy their own Sadowsky just to have when they do work.
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Makes, sense, newer producers and engineers coming up around the wild array of gear available today. I think it;s cool, we get more tones to listen to.
  6. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I remember reading an interview about a session player, he stated that back in the day, the Fender sound is what most people wanted on their recordings. So in order to get a job as a session bassist, you had to have at least one Fender bass to make the customer happy.

    Anybody else remember who this might be? I think I read this in a Bass Player magazine.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Fenders also provide a somewhat 'generic' tone that seems to fit well with most situations.
  8. I believe JPJ said something along those lines, or maybe it was about using a pick as a session ace. Sound familiar?
  9. supernaut_1

    supernaut_1 Guest

    Dec 16, 2002
    eh, i record with either my ibanez or yamaha. i absolutely hate fenders. ;)
  10. Kid Charlemagne

    Kid Charlemagne

    May 29, 2002
    I guess that put quite a dent in the fender-domination statistics!

  11. jkritchey


    Jul 23, 2002
    Northern Va.
    Interesting document from Mike Tobias' web site that discusses this in detail with some top notch builders:


    This quote from Mike talking about sound engineers:

    And another is tunnel vision from engineers who will just look
    at a bass and say, "It's not a Fender; I can't get a sound."
  12. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    In my own limited recording experience, the engineer tried to get me to use Fender because he said my Rickenbacker was getting a terrible sound. I ended up using a phaser to slightly soften the sound because his P-bass had a ridiculuosly high action. Looking back, I think that this was definitely a case of an engineer not bothering to master the sound anything but a Fender style instrument.
  13. Bass Tranquil

    Bass Tranquil

    Nov 16, 2003
    I read that a while ago and was just about to bring it to the table. :bassist:

    But around Cleveland I've heard that the Lava (our only big recording studio I know of) the sound engineers do this a lot. A close friend of mine had to give me my warwick back because of this.