Bass or Synth/Keys?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by mjw, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    Hi all,

    Does anyone other than me get confused when listening to a song with a "great bassline", and wonder if it's really a bass or is it synthisized? For instance, when I listen to 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" or "King of Fear" or "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by The Police, I really admire the basslines, but I suspect that the bass is really synthesized. At times, the notes seem to have too much sustain. Other times, they seem "more than dampened". I'm wondering if I'm confused because I haven't had much experience with digital processing of "real" bass output, or is a lot more bass simulated than I'd like to believe?

    As always, I'd really appreciate your comments. Thanks!

  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Not sure what he played on each song but remember, he played upright back then too and got a pretty big, thick sound.
  3. LWatford


    Jul 28, 2001
    Helena, AL
    I know that Andy Summers used guitar synths, and I know that they used Taurus Pedals on some songs.

  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree with Brad-
    All 3 of those tunes 'sound' like Sting's is using an electric upright(a Clevinger bass?).
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I dont think it was a Clevinger, I think it was called Henry (the make escapes me). Identifying bass sources from Sting is made even more difficult by the fact that he was one of the first people to buy a Synclavier (and I think that Stuart Copeland had a Fairlight). Boys and their toys!
  6. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000

    it's called King of Pain and I guess he played a fretless on this one.
    a lot of the later Police stuff, I think, was played on a doublebass like "Every Breathe You Take", "Murder By Numbers" and the like.
  7. ASR


    Apr 2, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    I recently spoke with a sound engineer who helped record The Hunger's new album. He said all of the bass on the new album is digital. No actual bass guitar anywhere on the recording. Don't ask me why, but that bothers me. I really like The Hunger, but I'm not sure I respect them as much since I heard that. I even opted not to buy the new album just because of that. Am I just being stupid and whiney?
  8. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    King of Fear? Where was *my* head?
    (Don't answer that!) :)

    I knew that...

  9. I have found the same confusion with alot of newer music, i mean like since the early 90's. i think thats why i.m so drawn to 60's 70's and 80's stuff. i can hear a clear bass line and i know its a 4 stringer!
  10. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    I always felt the other way about the 80's Vs. 90's sounds:

    80's- futuristic sounds. very cold and processed sounding electric guitars which sound like synths (heavily chorused guitars or the excessive hi-gain shreders).
    hard to decide wheter the bass is real, midi bass or synth bass.
    lack of dynamics in the drums... compressed snares. (Uzeb, Satch and Vai as fine examples of my point).

    90's- retro, everyone throws their super-strats and the vintage craze is taking place, all recordings go back to the warmer sounds of the past but with the added clarity of modern amplification and recording equipment.