Bow Effect On Electric Bass. Possible?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mickeyw3340, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Is it possible with any type of electronic add on to get the effect of a bow on a double bass string with an electric bass? In other words, the note played is sustained at volume once it is played, until it is muted or the string is raised from the fret. I am a church bassist and we have a couple of items in our repertoire that scream for a "bow bass" effect. If such a device exists, we are not looking at having to "Sell The Farm" in order to purchase it. Thanks In Advance.
  2. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Have you checked out an eBow? That is what they do. I like to use a volume pedal with one because the volume tends to be a lot higher with the eBow, and it gives me another way to make volume swells.
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Like Pete said, either the eBow or a vintage Gizmotron should do the trick, but you might have to sell a few cows.
  4. anechoic


    Oct 31, 2005
    Shirley, MA
    Do used Gizmotrons ever turn up? I'd imagine something that rare would get pricey.

    Anybody have good pictures of one of these things, or any sort of details on their construction? has a pdf of an interview with Godley and Creme from the 70's, but the pictures aren't great. I understand the priciple of how it works, but I'd rather not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to materials and whatnot.
  5. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    The line 6 delay mod has an auto volume setting that works well. Im getting the guyatone slow volume on friday in the mail ill let you know how that works out. also there is the boss slow gear pedal.

    As far as ebows go i have never tried one but all i ever hear is how hard they are to use on bass because of the size of it.

    Also a good reverb pedal makes you sound really resonent
  6. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    E-bow hard to use on bass? Nah, you've only got to be Mike Manring, that's all ;)

    I've used one; slow passages on a single string is quite easy. But then again, with the harmonic mode, so is insta-feedback:


    Also fun if played with a slide and some delay :)
  7. anechoic


    Oct 31, 2005
    Shirley, MA
    If anyone's still interested in this topic, I think I answered my own question about the Gizmotron. Details of the device can be found at patent number 3882754. I think they list at least one other related patent that might be of interest as well. A TIFF viewer is needed to see the images, though.
  8. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    haqve you tried using a volume pedal? Start with the vol. down slightly to mute the attack some, and then raise it to sustain the note?
  9. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
  10. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    Couldn't a real bow be used, or is the neck radius just not right for that on a electric bass?
  11. anechoic


    Oct 31, 2005
    Shirley, MA
    For the most part, no. As you'd suspect, the flat fingerboard doesn't lend itself to bowing single notes. It works OK for guitar, since you can play chords and have it sound decent.
  12. From memory (which should not be trusted in my case) Michael Mannring uses a combination of a Slow Gear type effect (perhaps even just a volume pedal) hammer-ons and the eBow to get those sounds.

    But we all know that he's a mutant, so... :rolleyes:
  13. a bow could work alright on your highest and lowest strings...but then, you might also get rosin on your bass...which I've found to be really sticky...and hard to get off sometimes...
  14. lookjojoisplaid


    Oct 17, 2005
    San Diego
    Got the SV-2 last week been playing with it and to be honest i really dont like it. The best sound i can get is basically no attack sound. It doesnt have a gradual build volume effect like i wanted. Go with the DL4 that thing worked really well. I might have to buy one again down the line.
  15. anyone have a clip or can produce one of either the boss slow gear, line 6 dl-4 auto-volume, or guyatone slow volume in action.
    i would sure like to hear one or the other.
  16. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Just the E-bow, at least in most cases. The E-bow acts as its own volume pedal; moving it away from the pickups causes the volume to decrease, while maintaining the sustain.
  17. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    Unless you possess a Zeta Crossover Bass, or the like, you'll find it quite tough to bow a bass guitar.
  18. IcedEarthWOM


    Oct 2, 2005
    That looks :cool: