Boogie On Reggae Woman

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by g4string, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    What kind of effect does the bass player use on this song.

    If S. Wonder played the bass part on a synth, what effect could give me that sound.

    My band wants to do this song and I would really like to nail that sound.
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yup, that'll be Stevie with a synth.

    If you nail the sound, let me know :D

    If anyone has an ideas as to what synth it he used, I'd be interested to know. I love Stevie's synth bass lines.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There wasn't a whole lotta synths to choose from back then.
    Let's see-
    There was Moog &...Moog?
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    We're talking 1974... were there no ARPs or anything?
  5. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I am not interested in what synth he used. :oops:

    I want to know how I can get my bass to sound like that. ;)
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sorry, it ain't gonna happen. Buy a Moog!
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    A lot of artist around then used VCS3s - but Stevie Wonder also used guys who had a huge custom synth setup - I think they were called Tonto's Expanding Head or something and are credited on some albums for synth programming.

    On the Innervisions sleeve it says : Stevie plays ARP and Moog synths.
  8. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    But I am, damnit! :D
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, it's funny how when these old synths were all that was available, everybody was trying to make them sound different and more like a real instrument - now they are all searching for that "vintage" synth sound!! ;)
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, that is weird.
    Personally, I hated those '70s synths...they almost make some of Weather Report's stuff unlistenable.

    As far as people wanting that 'vintage sound' nowadaze-
    One of the bands I'm in is playing some outdoor festival...the drummer & I are checked out some band & they trigger some sorta drum machine groove that, IMO, is cheesy-sounding.

    The drummer sez, "...that's cool".
    I say, "Wouldn't a percussionist be better"?
    "No, it wouldn't have the same vibe".

    After thinking about it, I do admit it had a certain charm.
  11. I have used a number of different methods to get a "mock synth bass" sound for tunes that needed that vibe. A couple of years ago when boy bands were big, every songwriter I worked for was trying to write in that style, and I wasn't going to sit around while the keyboard player took my gig!

    1.Using a fretless will give you the ability to get the glisses and portamento of a Mini Moog-type synth.

    2.Add an octave box to give it the sub tones. I have an old DBX 120 Subharmonic box that gives you more subtle "undertones" that a straight octave divider will, although those will work if you keep enough straight sound, especially the Boss OC-2 as it has I octave down and 2 octave down controls - remember to play up high to make it work right. The SWR "suboctave" effect on their newer amps tracks better than a straight octave box and sounds even more like a synth.

    3.Combine that with a Mutron type envelope filter for the meow sound. An auto wah will also do the trick.

    4. The Boss Bass Synth stomp box has a couple of interesting (useable) sounds. The Line 6 Bass Pod Pro has a good synth model if you tweak it just right, and the SWR Mo Bass also has a killer analog filter section that gets really close.None of these involve midi, just taking the original bass sound and messing it up!

    5. You can combine any number of these methods in any order, obviously depending on what's available to you. Usually its best to run your bass through the sub stuff before you hit an envelope filter, but you should experiment with what you have to find what works for you. Using an exceptionally wide vibrato (vertically on the string, not bending it) will help get those pitch wheel/mod bends happening.

    Hope this helps -
    Groove On... Dave Pomeroy
  12. corinpills


    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    "Tonto's Expanding Headband" was Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause- the only two Moog sales reps in the world at tehe time. At that time, the Moog VCS3 was about the size of Toyota Corolla so these two would have to go to sessions and set it up and 9 times out of 10 they ended up playing as well. They're all over Simon & Garfunkel's "Bookend" (one of my top 10 albums of all time) and they did stuff with the Byrds and George Harrison as well.

    There's a new book out called "Analog Days" which recounts the history of Moog (and it's contemporary, the Buchla Box) and there's a good section on them working with Stevie Wonder. It's very funy because it was all done with combinations of patch cords and twisting knobs on voltage controllers, oscillators (which I believe you can escape from if you run back & forth), etc. and they would twiddle through all these sounds for the artist and producer and they would inevitably say "That sound you had back two steps was perfect", but by then it was gone. There were no patches or presets and a million variables.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - nice to know my memory is still intact after all these years!! :)
  14. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Just bought an Akai Deep Impact and it has one patch that's pretty close to Stevie's "Boogie On" synth sound. It would still require some tweaking though, which is possible with this pedal, but I haven't tried it yet. I've just been using the presets. If you do a search of Deep Impact posts, you'll be able to find the post with reference to some sound samples.
  15. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Stevie was assisted by Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff (who had recorded as T.O.N.T.O.'s Expanding Head Band), who programmed and taught Stevie how to use the Moog and ARP synths. They were credited as engineers and associate-producers on 'Music Of My Mind' right through to 'Fulfillingness' First Finale' (inclusive). I can also remember that Macolm Cecil plays upright bass on 'Visions' (from 'Innervisions').

    The Moog and ARP synths, along with the Fender Rhodes, were Stevie's sound during the early '70s. By 'Songs In The Key Of Life', Stevie was getting more into the Yamaha GX1 (aka "The Dream Machine"), which one of the first true polyphonic synths.
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Dave's fretless suggestion is a good one. You can get the slides and growl. Getting Stevie's feel OTOH is a female dog;)