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bass sound of 'cake'

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Matthias, Apr 21, 2001.

  1. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    anyone here who knows the band 'cake'?
    how can I achieve the sound of their bassist?
    does anyone know what equipment he is actually using?


    for those who don't know cake: check out www.cakemusic.com
    it's one of my favorit bands, just for your information :)
  2. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    if i remember well, he use an old P bass with flatwound string.
    When we play "I will survive" I only use the neck pick up, I take off all the high from my bass and boost the bass and a little bit the mid.
    I pluck over the neck pick up.
    I come close to the sound with my rig.
  3. i may be wrong.
    cake has a bass player?
    i know on the first disk Victor Damiani is listed as the bass player (a friend of mine loves them) but on the disk with "never there" i didn't see a bass player listed or Victor Damiani name.

    again might just be my ignorance.
  4. I love cake!

    I remember seeing in an interview somewhere that the band gets their distinctive sound by using the cheapest and most beatup (and probably the weirdest) instruments they can find.

    Listening to his tone I'd say flatwound strings would be a must.

  5. Flats are TOTALLY a must. As is cutting as much actual tone from the bass. What you want is the bass pretty much becoming a tuned precussion instrument :)

    Thud thud thud thud..... :)

  6. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    cake is one helluva fun band to cover!!

    and the lines from "i will survive" and "the distance" are way easy and sound cool! everyone´s favorites (even if they never heard it) :D

    and the tone is not that hard to copy... just follow some tips above... also you don´t need a high end bass to get the tone ;)
  7. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Ah, haven't thought of flatwounds yet
    I would not describe it as cheapo thud-thud sound though (early McCartney with his Höfner comes to my mind ;)), what I like about this sound: those growling low mids - it really got balls... :D
    Maybe it just sits perfectly in the mix, not too difficult as there are no other 'bassy' instruments

    Thanks for your comments,
  8. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I saw Cake play a few years ago when Victor was the bassist and he was using a silverish sunburst maple necked Fender Precision through an old SVT head and cabinet. He was using this setup when I saw him play with Deathray (who have recently disbanded after Capricorn put absolutely zero marketing muscle into their record).

    I haven't seen Gabe Nelson (new bassist) with Cake but I have seen him with his band Jacuzzi in a small club in Sacramento. He was playing a sunburst Fender Jazz through a G-K 400RB head and an old 15" cabinet; I think he uses an SVT with Cake. Besides being an excellent, groovy bassist, Gabe is also a happening songwriter, talented guitarist, and fabulous singer.
  9. mmmmmmmmm, cake, they're so good!! they're one of my new top 5 favourite bands!!
  10. Cake kicks ass. Fashion Nugget is such a great unique album.

    I disagree. I think his tone is quite clear on most songs... check out 'Long Line of Cars'. But it's still probably flat-wounds :smug:
  11. Anyone know what type of bass would get closest to the sound on the song "Hem Of Your Garmet"...I guess just the Fender Jazz with some studio magic
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    1) Find the tone knob on your bass.
    2) Crank it most of the way down.
    3) Pluck over the neck.

    Hopefully you have a P-bass. This has always worked for me and I've covered my fair share of Cake songs over the years.
  13. 8days


    Oct 28, 2009
    well, in the video for going the distance he is playing a 51' precision. as far as the amp goes, you can't really get a close up, but it appears to be maybe an old fender bassman head and cab. (that's purely a guess, i could be WAY off)

    but yeah the victor guy that played on the first two records...
    what an ace! i don't usually like vintage passive bass sounds, but every time i start listening to cake, i find my self cutting the treble substantially and boosting my bass and mids... very groovy sound.:eyebrow:
  14. i dont really agree with turning the tone knob all the way down. theres clearly a low mid emphasis and its not super hi-fi, but its not muddy either.

    symphony in C is all pick and bridge pickup on a jazz sounding. its not a one trick pony kind of sound. but definitely on the flats.
  15. JT Bass

    JT Bass

    Jun 2, 2009
    Whoa, this thread got brought back from the dead. Cake has a cool bass sound, really tight with the drums, and some great bass lines. (I really dig the song Dime, for instance.) I also think they have some great arrangements and I like the way their albums are mixed. They almost have a hip-hop mix between the drum and the bass, but then the guitar (sounds hollow-body archtop- like) and horns add an almost country flavor. One of my favorite modern bands for sure.
  16. Love me some Cake!:bassist:
  17. Surly


    Feb 2, 2007
    South Florida
    Yeah great band. Another example of the simple P-bass working so well.
  18. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I got nothing to add except that I'm a fan and I have all their albums. Great stuff.
  19. Dude, I Will Survive by Cake has one of those medium-hard bass lines that are fun to learn, along with Rio, Higher Ground and Tom Sawyer :)

    I personally do not try to emulate their sound.

    My band plays exactly everything OUR sound, because we are a cover band, not a tribute band.

    Tribute bands try to emulate the original band as close to the original as possible.

    And a Cake tribute band? Almost as bad an idea as a Tesla tribute band (private joke).
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'm a fan of Cake. Seen 'em live a few times, definitely prefer their live sound to their recorded stuff, mostly because I'm not into the synth bass and drums they've been using for their recent albums.

    Bassist was using an old P-bass into a GK head through an ol' Ampeg fridge last I saw them. Had great live tone.

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