Over the past few months, an amazing phenomenon has happened to my email inbox – it’s been flooded with messages from players who are eyeballing one of Arnold’s New Standard LaScala basses. These curious folks want to know many things about these basses and have all kinds of questions, which I try to answer as best I can. Mostly, though, they want to hear soundclips. THE CLIPS - I’m attaching links to three new soundclips from a trio session I did at the beginning of the year. Before I say anything about the other players and the music, I’ll try to satisfy those who are bass shopping first by describing the recording process. The bass was strung with Spiro Starks, and recorded with two microphones: the lower mic, about 12-18” in front of the bass, was a CAD E300, the largest LDC I’ve ever seen. The upper mic was a Shure SM81. Both were running through Summit Audio preamps (sorry, I don’t know the model #) and then directly into Protools. There were no Protools shenanigans used on this recording – when I played out of tune, the track was simply out of tune. The only thing we did to the bass sound post-tracking was to roll off everything below 60 Hz and to add a pinch of leveling with a Universal Audio LA2A to the lower mic, which was slightly boomier than we had intended. I’d like to thank Philil Sturgwolt for his excellent recording job on all of the instruments – after working with Phil, it’s kind of hard to work with anyone else. THE MUSIC – The group is the Todd Hildreth Trio, which I sometimes jokingly refer to as “The Todd Plus”. The drummer is Paul “El Diablo” Culligan, making this trio 3/4 of Java Men. The tunes I’ve chosen here were chosen in order to show off the bass and the band, but also to be a sort of sonic reference to my points in some older TB threads like This one and This one. Todd’s concept is that he can basically play whatever the hell he wants in his group, including stuff that comes from the local pop radio, his church, or the standard repertoire. I hope the fun we had doing this session is evident to the listener. THE TUNES: 1) Black Nile – Todd’s take on the Wayne Shorter classic set to a hip-hoppish kinda beat. 2) Let Us Break Bread Together – A Hymn tune that we played on a gig once and thought it might be fun to do at the session. 3) Clint Eastwood – a tune by the band “Gorillaz” that Todd arranged for trio. The intro on this one was done on the spot, and is not really my best work. I included it because the tune is fun and because it highlights what a LaScala sounds like when you’re pounding the crap out of it. All comments, whether they be positive, negative, or anywhere in between, are welcome.