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Fret buzz w/pro musicians...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by xhawk5, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. xhawk5

    xhawk5 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Palm Coast, Florida
    Why do pro musicians have their basses set-up like this? Listen to the fret buzz, that **** would drive me crazy, and it does! No wonder I'm a freak when it comes to set-ups. And there's a hundred more bassists like this.
    I can still get buzz-free with most basses I buy. I try to set my action at 1mm-1.3mm @ 12th fret 1st string, up to 2mm on 5th string. I think 1mm is damn good IMO.

    Example #1:

    What do you think?
    Does YOUR bass buzz, like this?
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    What's his name likes how it sounds.

    I think it sounds good. I like my basses to have some buzz when I dig in harder than usual with my right hand. Not as much as in that recording, but it's like having a distortion pedal without using a distortion pedal.
  3. GK Growl

    GK Growl

    Dec 31, 2011
    Are you serious? It's rock music for Christ's sake! Robert Deleo is also far from the worst example of a "pro" whose isolated tracks have buzzing in them. Some of us actually prefer that sound (obviously I am one) because to our ears, it gives some grit and character to the tone. How about Geddy Lee and Chris Squire? There's buzzing in the final mix!! I can't hear the buzz in the final mix of that STP song.
  4. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013
    Like billy Sheehan said- fret buzz is natural distortion. Listen to a lot of rush, yes, iron maiden, billy Sheehan bass tracks. (It's those damn rotos) Also dream theater tracks as well. Nothing but buzz. He specifically lowers his action to get that aggressive sound. Crazy buzz in the final mix. In my opinion it give the bass character and personality to the music. The bass is a noisy instrument. Why not enhance it?

  5. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    If you look to the right on that link you will see the isolated bass on "Whole lotta love"

    Quite similar.
  6. Geri O

    Geri O

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
  7. Precision101


    Sep 22, 2013

    I love the roundabout isolated bass.
  8. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Sounds like he's digging in quite a bit to purposely get that tone and it's perfect for the song imo, I actually get a lot more buzz when I dig in hard but when I play softly there is little to none. Personally I feel limited if I can't get some buzz and noise out of a bass when I want it.
  9. makanudo


    Dec 26, 2008
    Don't ever listen to my playing then. Extreme attack on a low action Ibanez Soundgear neck and I might give you a heart attack.

    That's me playing some M3t0lz.. feel free to tell me how horrible I am.. it serves as motivation :D
  10. Frohman


    Nov 24, 2009
    Remember that band music often is a lot more than just bass. In the complete mix, it might sound very different than an isolated bass track does. In rock songs like this I'd always want fretbuzz, especially in bands larger than trios and bands that use a lot of dropped tunings and so on. And the best thing is when you can do both on the same bass.

    Both of these were recorded the same Fender P.

    Listen at the 2:38 mark, for ultimate buzz:

    ... and buzzless:

    Tone is all about interpreting what you want the song to sound like, and imo is the most fun thing to experiment with. There are only 12 notes, but and infinite amount of possibilities in tone - and it makes more of a difference to the mood of the song than the notes. In some settings I do enjoy laying down a really distorted, buzzing bass in a ballad, for example. Something that contrasts the mellowness of the whole thing, giving it my own sinister touch, in a way.
  11. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    The fact is that many "pro" musicians do not have the best technique.
  12. Frohman


    Nov 24, 2009
    What's the best technique?

  13. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Fret buzz....I don't like it and wouldn't have anything sounding like most of the clips above, released.

    They like it and although it sounds like S**e to me doesn't mean much. It doesn't seem to have hurt their careers in any way thus far I recon.
  14. If I hear a little buzzing solo'd, I don't get too bent out of shape.

    If I hear it cutting through the band mix over the tone of my bass, that's a bit much and I will adjust it out.

    Some of these iso tracks are pretty astounding. But then I go listen to the full band track again, and I don't hear the buzz or clack. It's all good to my ears.
  15. xhawk5

    xhawk5 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Palm Coast, Florida
  16. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    a little buzz isin't that bad. depends how much it comes through the amp..

    with fresh strings the buzz will just be perceived as more brightness. i don't let it cut into the sustain, but for me its worth the strings being really low, and having the hint of buzz. i like the sound, unless i'm going for a flatwound thumpy dark thing.

    think of billy sheehan when he talks about setting up his bass... just a little buzz.. sounds good to me.

    edit- also, a friend of mine got to study with jaco for a few months here in NYC in the early 80s. he got to play all of jacos basses, i think there were 3 fenders. he swears that each bass was setup with a significant buzz, but it came through the amp just as a growly sound - obviously, especially with the fretless.
  17. xhawk5

    xhawk5 Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Palm Coast, Florida
    WTH is your problem? Did I touch a nerve? Relax dude. I don't really give hoot either way. Just was asking a question with full respect to those that like fret buzz, and I agree, it has it's place in music. I just didn't expect it to be so prevalent in some isolated recordings I've heard.
  18. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    I think it's amazing how different it sounds isolated vs in the mix. I started recording my own music, and my tracks always came out all wimpy until I understood that what sound good isolated is not what sounds good within the mix. In this case, it sounds all buzzy, but in the mix it sounds heavenly and you don't hear all the buzz. I love the tone on that record.

    Want to get your mind blown? Go find the isolated track for Interstate Love Song. It's a really cranked tube amp. The isolated track sounds full of distortion, very harsh, and played with a strong right hand attack, but in the final mix is all creamy and good and not at all aggressive.
  19. mattattack187

    mattattack187 Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Bangor, ME
    In a band setting fret buzz is hardly noticeable. If I have a little, it personally doesn't bother me. Gives a more aggressive sound on a hard attack. Now a high fret, that kind of buzz will piss me off to no end.
  20. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i dont hear this as a technique issue at all. thats intended. you dig in that hard youll make any bass have that fret rattle sound and you dig in that hard because you want it. fret buzz to my ear is the sound of bad fretwork.