How did You find Your sound?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Fieldflower, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. I don't know if this thread belongs here, but I couln't think of anywhere else, so here goes:

    I have been chasing this perfect bass sound that I hear in my head for a lot of years now, but still haven't found it.
    I always have this notion that the next bass or amp or cab or pedal or ... thingy.. will do the trick, but they never really do.
    I get closer, but never on-the-spot-there.

    How did You go about to find Your sound? Or is it even possible?

    Also: How can You describe Your sound? I always try to point to a certain song, but that's also just "close enough" to what I'm looking for.

  2. SuperSonic!!!


    Oct 26, 2005
    I found my sound when i bought my Buglefish. And it really is MY sound, it doesnt sound like any other bass! :)
  3. I bought a bass, bought an amp

    an it was there - My Sound is in the hands i guess - the bass helps a lot, but i dont think the amp makes a huge difference on MY tone - unless i play thru this one peavey amp i have - then it sounds liek crap
  4. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    i ripped rick price off. i do not consider myself to be original at all. i approach every song with the attitude of," how would rick price play this? what would rp do?". i bought the same basses that he plays and the same amps and cabs. it worked for me. i was completley blown away the first time i saw him live for the first time. the sound and style were exacly perfect. thats how i found my style. i stole it from someone else. and i've told him i did too.
  5. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    you know it's funny you said this. i read an interview with brian setzer once where he talked about playing with srv. the stray cats opend a bunch of shows for srv. one night in the middle of srv set, he walks over to setzer who is watching from backstage and drags him out on stage to play. setzer grabs a strat, much diferent sound than his 6120, and he said,"it sounded like me. i always thought that the guitar made the sound but i discovered i can make any guitar sound like me. the sound is in the hands, not the guitar."
  6. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Good question! Tone is an endless quest, but I'm very happy w/ my sound right now -- I had a great gig last night and a big part of it was how much I liked cranking up my sound.

    First, tone is in your hands, after that it is affected by your instrument, your gear, and the room.

    So, of course practicing varying your tone, especially w/ righthand technique, slapping, picking etc. comes first. Then it was years of gear experimentation for me.

    I would describe my sound as clear and thick, even across all strings and up/down the neck, with just a little tube warmth, not grit.

    Here's the gear I'm using to get it. I've been very happy with this rig for about 2 years and have no intention of changing anytime soon.

    - SX 5 String w/ internal Roland GK Pickup (laugh if you want, I love the stock SX tone, it's hot and clear, so it is always blended w/ the GK tone)

    - Roland V-bass -- jazz bass model, slap style comp - blend w/ stock SX tone to taste

    - ART TPS Tube Preamp - light comp, flat eq varied w/ room

    - Furman Punch 10 Subharmonic Synth and BBE 362 in loop

    - Soundtech PS800 power amp - Furman acts as xover, so the amp is run stereo to biamp

    - Bag End S15XD - mid punch and coax highs

    - EV 1x18 - thick lows

    I know not everybody likes to bi-amp, but I do!

    Now the room is another huge consideration if you want other people to hear your sound. My amp is only good for stage volume, I send a post everything DI to the board for gigs. I tell the engineer to eq it flat and I think they do sometimes, other times I have to trust them. If the PA system has subs and power capable of the thick part of my tone then I usually feel pretty good.

    This is all for playing rock, when I play other styles I go for different tones. For the acoustic trio I play my Olympia straight into the PA and it sounds great!

    I hope everybody can be as happy with their tone as I am!

  7. Minger


    Mar 15, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Basically Bass + Amp.

    I guess I got used to it, but on my (new to me) sr800, the mid sweep is kinda fun to play with.
  8. jazzbo58

    jazzbo58 Bassist for My Man Godbey Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    New Orleans, LA USA
    I would say I developed my sound over time. Many years of playing and the different styles of music I've played.

  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    I haven't really closed in on a sound yet. I don't know if I really want to. I'm still exploring.
  10. All I need is a passive bass and a reasonable amp; my hands do the rest.
  11. thekyle


    Dec 25, 2005
    Breckenridge, CO
    Sterling + SWR + Ampeg 1540 + my weirdness = my sound.

    My tone changes a lot though. I like to play with knobs. I typically adjust between slap and fingerstyle with the mid knob on the Sterling. I just wish I had a couple more rigs I could switch between. And an SM900. The 350x doesn't quite have the power I want.
  12. I found it by playing first i was scooping mids, then leaving them flat, then cranking them (the highs i think according to what the tnt130 is giving me), and the highs were always pretty high, but i left them since i'm using distortion full time. the bass was always a bit above middle. Then I started to realize that as good as i sounded now there was more clarity to gain from teh high gain i was pushing out of the tnt130 (it has a good preamp, i don't know really what to say about the speaker since the tone is a little shallow on real lows), so i lined out to my old tko65 (low rich), put the mids up a bit, the highs up a bit, and OH MY GOD THIS SETUP PUMPS. we're talkin real hardcore low tones like breakdown thickness. so when it calls for harmonics i need (speakin o which i'm tryin to learn pinch harmonics, anyone got tips) i have both ends covered pretty well.
  13. Oberg


    Apr 10, 2005
    i bought an ´74 jazz bass and a EBS hd-350 head and there it was.

    Marcus Miller style, but i think i have a good sound, it isen´t that uniqe but i think all bassplayers sounds almoste the same, there is exeptions but every one copies someone.
  14. My sound - after I learned how to use my amp - is a combo John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, Chris Squire, Bootsy Collins, Victor Wooten...

    I guess what I mean is with my Ampeg rig (SVT II PRO + 810e) my Music Man Stingray 5 and nothing else, I get grit when I dig in with my fingers, glass when I thump and pop, glide when I go easy and gentle... The Ampeg Rig (tubes) gets that wonderful natural burn...

    I always love bass tones that can get really gritty and punchy (like Squire or Lee or even JP Jones) but I also grew up blown away by Stanley Clarke and more recently, Victor W. Like many others here have said, it is primarily me and my touch on my instrument being made much louder by the amp and electronics.

  15. Warwickluvr


    Dec 26, 2005
    I EQed my amp to sound like Flea during the early 90's. The rest is history.......
  16. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    US Northeast
    I haven't found it yet. Some days I want crunchy creamy distortion, sometimes I just want a fat, treble-rolled-off fat thang, sometimes a crystal clear tone.

    Lately I'm lusting towards Adam Clayton's tone on "Vertigo".
  17. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY

    24 years of playing, my fingers, and Sadowsky Jazz basses

  18. i bought two chorusses and that was it.
  19. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    After 8 years, I'm still looking for it. I have my signature fill ins and runs, but I don't really have a definative sound yet. The search is fun though! :bassist:
  20. I was just thinking this remidns me of porn

    "I don't know what it is, but when I see it i'll know"
    Thats what tone is to me