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Effects for Mick Karn and Manring style sounds on fretless

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by dreadhead, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Hello! What effect should I have to obtain those incredible sounds out of a fretless bass? Yes, I know that I still can't buy Mick Karn's hands on eBay ;)
  2. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    mr. manring loves the ebow.
  3. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Yes, I saw it in his instructional video. :)
    But Karn's sounds are a bit harder to understand.
    Michael also uses a one-of-a-kind instrument with lightest strings...
  4. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Hey, another Mick Karn fan..! Mick Karn is da bomb!

    Mick has a chorus-y, doubled sound on his recordings with Japan. He's actually not using any effects – what he does is record the bassline twice – once for the left channel and once for the right. The slight difference in the two gives his signature sound. He also uses a Wal bass, which has some pretty interesting sound shaping in and of itself.

    One can get pretty close to this sound by using a delay, and keeping the delay time very short. Like a slapback, but much shorter. BTW, does anyone know of a unit that can do this? On my Boss DSD-2, the minimum delay time is too long!

    On Japan's live album, Oil on Canvas, Karn is clearly using a phase shifter, though I have no idea what brand it is.

    On more recent outings, Karn uses an overdrive of some sort, though I have no idea how he achieves this.

    ~ Keef

  5. dreadhead


    Feb 1, 2002
    Thanx! I used to own a Wal Custom Mach I but it was fretted :)
    About the effects: I'll do some try as soon as my fretless arrives (today or tomorrow). :D
    Maybe Sonar has some built-in effect that works. The idea of recording the line twice is simply great! :cool:
  6. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Yes. Mick Karn is the bomb.
    The problem with trying to cop his tone with a chorus or delay is that those effects are too "smart". They give you exact de-tunings/echoes of the notes you are playing on your dry(uneffected) side. What makes his recorded tone so cool is the fact that both sides aren't exact and thats what tickles your ears.
  7. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    yeah, one one track he'll be spot-on, the other he'll deliberately have things a gnat's-hair flat or sharp or something... delay or chorus, if adjusted right, will at least get you close enough that even most musicians won't really notice the difference, though.
  8. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Not just DELAY. It has to be a delay with time/pitch modulation - that's what makes all the difference! Any-old (I mean OLD) delay works great, but so many I've seen these-days don't have a "speed" or "depth" control at all! ..And then the ones that DO have some sort of modulation are for some-sort of "chorus" or "symphonic" kind of thing, when all I want is a nice, simple single short-slap with a tad of de-tuning!

    I dunno - maybe it's the old bucket-brigade ones that all had that nice sound available.

    Anyone else know more about this subject? I'm planning on buying a looper (third-hand from a fellow TBer, who bought it from a TBer!) SOON, and probably next would be a delay - but it GOTS-ta have modulation!

  9. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    AFAIK, Michael still uses a boss VF-1 for most of his effects. Why don't you just ask him? He has his own forum here.
  10. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    I was under the impression that due to Mick's 'anit-musician' reputation (meaning his lack of theroy knowledge and all that) that he isn't always in any kind of standard tuning. Then again I could be wrong.

    Either way, thats very very interesting. I knew about the recording technique, but if he is doing it on purpose (being semi-tones off of the original note) than that makes me respect him even more.
  11. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    He doesn't tune the bass, i.e. to EADG A440, but he plays the notes in tune wherever they wind up on the neck, a lot of his vibrato and sliding and all has its roots in "right, where the hell is Eb, it's around here somewhere"....
  12. richnota

    richnota Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Santa Cruz
    So much of his sound is in his remarkable phrasing and sliding. The live Japan album is as amazing as his studio work.

    I recall reading that he uses only the first two fingers on his fretting hand...sort of just finds the notes. Same article mentioned he rarely if ever looks at the fingerboard when he plays.

    Eberhard Weber is another massive fretless player (you can hear him on quite a few Kate Bush albums)--albeit on an EUB.