How does Sam Wilkes get his sound?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by valaka, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Hi!
    Sam Wilkes is a beast bass player, many of us love his busy yet tasteful basslines, but let’s talk about his sound. I’m speaking about that funky sort of Jamerson (although more percussive) sound he has, when not using pedals (e.g. Louis Cole/Knower colab or Scary Pockets songs). How does he get it? I know he uses some vintage 60s Fender P-bass and an Ampeg amp and cab, but tons of other bass players have similar setup and sound completly different. So where’s the trick? Is it in the strings (does he use flats/tapes?) or technique or what? What do you think?
  2. gitarrenhai


    Aug 19, 2019
    I guess the fact that other players with the same gear sound totally different is another hint that a lot of the sound comes from the player/the fingers etc. which I believe in, too.

    Here's a screenshot from one of their video descriptions where they list the used instruments. It's from Coldplay's Fix You cover - here they tell you what strings he uses (at least on this one)

    MattZilla likes this.
  3. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    ^ looks like the Ampeg is only a monitor and what is recorded is a P with Hi Beams recorded directly.
  4. ric4682

    ric4682 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Yeah, to me he totally sounds like a good P with broken-in rounds into a nice compressor or preamp or channel strip or something in the studio. And he’s often playing pretty hard to get that bark.
    Vanheusen77 likes this.
  5. Vanheusen77


    Nov 9, 2016
    Yeah to me it simply sounds like a P bass with rounds, mostly or only DI. I have an American Original P with rounds that sounds a lot like that. The sound mostly comes from his playing and his very dynamic attack. I would guess he has a medium or low action to get that popping sound when he digs in. Great player!
    Ju Va likes this.