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How Many Tones Do You Need?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Apr 26, 2010.


  1. calebbarton

    calebbarton

    Aug 25, 2007
    Oregon
    I manufacture for several companies including but not limited to: Bridge City Sound, Catalinbread, more.
    when i first started playing i used a poo load of different things to get a sound that i thought would be cool. of coarse i didn't know what that sound was exactly so i went through a lot of gear.

    started with an ibanez gsrm, sold that and got a schecter elite stiletto 4. i also got some ampeg (5 pro) gear and their 8x10. i played through that for a long time and then i bought an ampeg tupe preamp. i then bought an ibanez srx705. i had a few other things just sitting around that i didnt play.

    THEN i did something weird and traded all my gear in (cept the 810) for a 400+. that was a really good decision. my wife bought me a fender marcus miller 4 string that i still have (with an audere and some rio grande pickups). i played through that for a long time.

    i just bought an aria pro2 with one pickup. 100 bucks on CL. passive. i set my amp sliders and knobs "to mesa flat". it sounds fantastic and i dont mess with the knobs at all because of that. when i had more options i messed with knobs all day long and while that was fun, i never found what i was looking for.

    having a much more simple setup with one sound is for me, more beneficial because i can concentrate on PLAYING and not how everything sounds.
     
  2. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    lost angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    Totally depends on the gig and the players who show up. "Sound" goal is usually different when you're in a duo or trio vs a 10 piece band. First call for jazz gigs is the Rob Allen fretless 5 as it does a convincing upright vibe. For most everything else, Zon Lightwave fretless 5. That bass doesn't sound like anything else, and it just fits. If I really need a more cutting tone/attack then I'll pull out the fretted (was a Zon Sonus Custom 5, then Sadowsky, now another Zon showing up this week). But frankly the Lightwave just does it for me and most of the music I play, be it funk or jazz or even towards rock/blues.
     
  3. thwump64

    thwump64

    Feb 2, 2010
    Oshawa, ON
    I like to have 2 tones; one for $#!^ your pants low, and the other for heavy distortion.
     
  4. Shy Guy

    Shy Guy

    Sep 23, 2008
    Templeton, MA
    Well it all depends:
    -Acoustic bass for, well, acoustic songs (plugged in off course, or mic'd)
    -Any form of a high output pridge pup for occasional slap
    -OD/Distortion for certain covers *cough*muse*cough*
    -Making the switch to J style short scales as they have a very unique sound, also ordered a birdsong a few weeks ago so 6-9 months from now my world will have changed
     
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    To clarify, I only need two tones, modern and classic. I typically use one tone per gig: set and forget. But as you say, it's cool to be able to get all kinds of tones. Sometimes I'll use a modern tone for a classic rock gig just for fun!
     
  6. p bass with flats + bass big muff.
     
  7. To answer the question, I'll let My rig speak for itself...
    4556714144_e7fd571f0b.
    :D
     
  8. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    I'm playing a Jazz Bass, P bass and I will proably get the SR5 Classic with the 2 band pre amp
     
  9. SX precision bass
    SD 1/4 lb. pickup
    D'Addario chromes
    Tone ~15%

    that's how it goes for me.
     
  10. My fav. tone of all time comes from a neck humbucker. Whether it be an EBO/EB3 or a P bass or a Stingray HH ( I really wish I could get a stingray body with just the neck pickup, wowza that'd be a sweet bass) all of the above with flats or pressure wounds.
     
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I like a bass with two pickups and active electronics (and, of course, five strings) so I can get a wide variety of tones. For something like Barracuda, I need to adjust the EQ to get a good tone with a pick. Other songs need plenty of bottom, while songs like Mystery Achievement need a lot of mid growl from the bridge pickup.

    I'd say I use three or four general tones with minor variations within each one. There's no way I could do all of our covers with the same tone.
     
  12. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3

    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    There are so many ways to answer this interesting question, Cheese. I really think I need and get a different tone for every song I play, and even different tones within the song. These changes in sounds come from the touch, the position of my right hand, fretting techniques, etc. The longer I play, the better I have gotten at this, but it will be a lifelong en devour. Okay, so that was kinda' deep and philosophic. :)

    From another perspective, I guess I have 3 tones. Flatwounds with both pickups full, roundwounds with both pickups full, or roundwounds with just the bridge on a fretless. These are the settings/strings I use 95% of the time.

    And, from the amp angle, I keep my amp settings pretty much flat most of the time. I'll scoop the EQ for occasional high melodic things I play at times. Other than when I'm playing fretless, I use a Sansamp BDDI with the drive at about 10-11:00. I admit to being fully addicted to the use of my Sansamp. :D
     
  13. I just need one good tone. The variations come from my fingers, not the electronics or amp.
     
  14. JoshuaTSP

    JoshuaTSP

    Sep 26, 2008
    One bass tone, and 3 amp tones.

    I've been favoring the bridge humbucker basses.....Stingray, Millennium, and newly acquired Warwick Corvette $$.

    I play in a dynamic stoner rock band. I need mellow clean, full bodied clean, overdrive, heavy gain and all out sustained fuzz.

    Probably why I love my Mesa M2000 so much.
    With some technique changes I can achieve all of those tones.
     
  15. duke2004

    duke2004

    Mar 29, 2004
    Cambridge, Mass.
    How many tones do I need or how many tones are really the maximum that anyone should need?



    There are really 5 tones/sounds,and everything else is indulgance.
    There is the neck pickup jazz, which is essentially a P bass tone slimmed down, so i will really call this P tone (fat round)
    Then we have the jazz tone with both pickups on. (scooped)
    Then we have the bridge jazz sound. (nasal)
    Then we have fretless roundwound Jaco.
    Then we have upright thud w/o resonance.

    Now how to get the max sounds out of the min instruments?

    Two pickups on a fretted neck will get you three of those tones, The P/J will just not quite give the scooped sound, but on the other hand it does the neck pickup better than a jazz in my opinion. If this instrument is a 5 or 6 string, you have extended range covered.

    A second bass needs to cover the last two sounds, so it should be a two-pickup fretless, 4 strings being sufficient, with round or half rounds, and a creative equalization to be able to dial out the jaco buzz and give you a non resonant sound (like a Wendler bass) from your neck pickup.

    Now all i need to do is have enough discipline to pair my herd down to 2 basses (ha ha hee hee)!
     
  16. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    3 basic tone types. What I call cruising voice as the main one plus two variations of that generally created by shifting blend a little toward the bridge or neck pup. If a single pup bass will use its onboard eq to create basic cruising voice and a variation from either boosting or cutting top end some.
     
  17. BigTuna

    BigTuna

    Feb 23, 2010
    Romeoville, IL
    live setup - behr 4x10 w/matching behr 450 tube amp. I boost the bass just a lil and mids are about 1:30 as are the trebs.

    playin - pj. depends on what we're playin but for most originals I rock full blast on everything, I like it bright. Some songs I do just the p and nothin else, sweet booming sound.

    The PJ is a pj so we all know what it can do but I'm tellin you what I do.

    drum and bass band - same amp but I play my conklin gtbd-7. The thing has enough electronics on it I haven't been able to not get a tone yet. all over the place with that thing.

    For rock though - I keek it simple with the pj
     
  18. BananaKing

    BananaKing Supporting Member

    May 15, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Depends on if I'm playing for Myself or for someone else......

    If I'm hired to do a gig, I'll play whatever suits their music the best and whatever they pay me to do.

    If I'm playing to sound like me... I generally go for a snarly, stingray style tone (fretless and fretted) with the odd P-bass thrown in when It feels appropriate.

    But I could get by, for myself, with a modified stingray tone.
     
  19. ryker888

    ryker888

    Jul 21, 2008
    Birmingham, AL
    My Jazz V pretty much can cover everything, but fortunately enough for I have a Spector for the edgy modern sounds too.
     
  20. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    I too get along with mostly the one bass-passive, one pickup , no electronics.
    Once in a while I'll use an ashbory or a fretless, but the vast majority of what I do is done with my main instrument.:)
     

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