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Bass Tone on Kaleidoscope Heart

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by Jaingra8, Jan 25, 2012.


  1. Jaingra8

    Jaingra8

    Nov 23, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Justin,

    First off, just want to say thanks for offering your POV on these forums so frequently. Your playing, production, and overall approach to musicianship are a huge inspiration to me as a player of multiple instruments.

    That said, I'm really curious to know what the various gear / signal chain / processing / EQ was used on the Sara Bareilles record. Specifically, the tone on Let The Rain, is dreamy.

    I also always find it very challenging to mix bass tone with piano - especially when there is a lot going on with the lower register in the piano.

    What approach / gear do you recommend to make sure everything cuts through without clashing?

    Appreciate your perspective as always, and all the best.

    Josh
     
  2. gillento

    gillento

    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    My favourite bass sound on that great album is "Many the Miles".
    I have it in my "reference tones playlist" I take to the recording studio :)
     
  3. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    Thank you Jaingra8!

    Gear wise, I used lots of different basses on that record, into my B-15r and a Sunset DI box (Custom DI they make on-site at Sunset Sound). We did some sessions at the Village as well, and there the DI was my Radial JDI. Almost every song is a different bass. Let The Rain is my Wal Mark I, that I do remember.

    Your solution to a piano player with a busy left hand and a big piano sound is really not being too big on the very bottom with your sound, and careful crafting of the midrange. That's where you will will. Just use your ears. Also a bit of distortion on all the time via your amp is helpful...those are harmonic components of your sound that the piano doesn't have.

    And mainly: just play less. I learned that very early on making Tori Amos records.

    JMJ
     
  4. Jaingra8

    Jaingra8

    Nov 23, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    JMJ,

    Thanks so much for the info. Emphasizing the harmonic components of the bass tone that are unique seems to be the key here, and I never conceptualized it like that - I'm in total agreement on the distortion part. When I think about it, that goes for the piano sound too - all about making sure each instrument complements the unique characteristics of the other.

    I also love that classic Muff sound layered w/ Piano a la Robert Sledge, but clean tone w/ just a bit a distortion is my main tone here. Maybe I'll mess w/ my VT pedal too.

    As for EQ, I always cut below 60, above 10K and a slight scoop at 180-200 and 2.1k-3.1k. I'm playing a Fender Jazz w/ neck at 7, bridge at 3.5 and tone at 7 direct into a GK 1001.

    Any thoughts on P-bass vs. Jazz and/or settings, particularly with a piano? I've never checked out the Wal Marks before - they look gorgeous.

    Thanks so much again for everything.

    Josh
     
  5. gillento

    gillento

    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    Could you elaborate on gear used for "Many the Miles", please.

    My guess is a P/Ampeg combination, right?
     
  6. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen

    Mar 25, 2005
    Wasn't me, dunno. I think Chris Chaney did that.
     

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