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Flatwounds with reverb pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by antfarm, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. antfarm


    Oct 2, 2017
    Does anyone here use flats with a reverb pedal to compensate for the missing sustain?

    Could this combination work to emulate an upright-like tone, maybe even with a foam mute?
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  2. halech54


    Jul 15, 2015
    Richmond VA,
    I use the Walrus Audio Slö to emulate bowed strings with their rise setting, if that's what you mean. It works well with flats, because the reverb doesn't have finger noise to react to. You could try something like a spring reverb to add a little extra decay to the notes, personally I've never felt like flats lack enough sustain for my purposes. What type of flats are you using?
  3. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A compressor would likely work better - when you want the note to be off, with a reverb, it doesn't stop. With a compressor, it does.
  4. antfarm


    Oct 2, 2017
    I think what I want is not really more sustain, but to emulate the resonance from the upright's body on the fretted electric.

    I tried all kinds of flats, must have been a dozen different sets in the last two years. I now settled with well played-in .50 D'Addario Chromes on one Precision, LaBella DTF 760FL on the other and LaBella Low Tension Flexible Flats on the Jazz Bass.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
    Fuzzbass and Real Soon like this.
  5. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    With the right reverb and right compressor and playing closer to how you would on upright, yes it helps. The compressor brings up the high mids that an upright has, cutting 500hz is important as is cutting the very highs, then just a bit of reverb with the highs dulled adds that bit of body to it. You have to be careful how much reverb you add, when you are doing stops it makes it less tight.
    antfarm and Zbysek like this.
  6. zzzzzz


    Feb 1, 2016
    I somewhat frequently use spring reverb or slap back w/ pick + flats. Kinda like the sound of Carol Kaye on Good Vibrations. So, mostly for having a more interesting cutting through sound than dry pick, not as much sounding like an upright.. In my experience nothing will really make an electric sound like an upright so it’s about finding what fills a similar amount of sonic space as an upright. It also depends what upright sound you’re talking about - old school jazz thump? maybe just some foam and working with eq/tone control a bit. More modern melodic clarity? some spring or slapback delay, foam or palm muting, flats and a pick could get you close to the vibe.
    halech54 likes this.
  7. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    I use reverb with flats, but not to compensate for anything I use it because I like reverb, especially with sparsely instrumented pieces.

    As far as emulating an upright tone, that’s the whole reason I play a fretless piezo StingRay with flats, (sometimes) mutes, and an acoustic resonance enhancer pedal, compressor, and yes, a bit of reverb when the context allows.

    But just as important as all of that it playing technique. Using a more upright playing technique goes a long way toward helping you achieve that sound. If you play an electric bass guitar like an electric bass guitar, it will sound like an electric bass guitar.
  8. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I could see some interesting results from a very short room reverb, mixed to be just audible, along with adjusted playing technique as others have mentioned. Adding a mute could be fun too, though I'd try to place it so as not to go full-on Motown muting.
    halech54 likes this.
  9. I've used flatwounds with my M5's reverb. I can't say if it emulated my upright because that's what had the flatwounds on it that I was playing through the reverb...
  10. I use a slight reverb when playing my Ergo electric upright for this exact reason. It's never gonna sound exactly like a proper upright, but it helps as long as I don't overdo it and make it sound like I'm playing inside a giant beer keg. FWIW, my EUB has 1/2 size upright strings (not electric bass strings) and a piezo pickup.
  11. halech54


    Jul 15, 2015
    Richmond VA,
    I guess to jump on what everyone else has said; foam mute, slight hall reverb mixed it, quick compression to get the attack of the note with a slow decay you should be pretty close. My other suggestion would be looking into something hollow as well, like a Hofner; would probably get you even closer to an upright sound without going all in.
    antfarm likes this.
  12. Primary

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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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