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Jaco's Continuum

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    What effect is it that Jaco used in his original recording of Continuum? Can it be easily (inexpensively) duplicated live?

    I also have a live & studio recording of Jaco performing it with John McLaughlin in the "Trio of Doom" album. He doesn't use the effect in either of those.
  2. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    I know he used chorus, not sure on the exact pedal, he also used a bit of fuzz which is actually his acoustic 360 with the gain up
  3. voodoobassist

    voodoobassist Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Tulsa , OK
    It's entirely possible that he double tracked his line. He was known for doing that, giving a "chorus" type effect to his lines. Pretty amazing when ya think about it,..or try to do it yourself!
  4. REV


    Jun 18, 2006
    My understanding is that he recorded it twice to thicken the sound.
  5. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    I actually borrowed a Yamaha fretless from my luthier that had nearly the same effect throughout the entire bass. He described it as "fluting', although he stipulated that the phenomenon usually occurs around the 12th fret, usually when the instrument needs setting up.
  6. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Try a short doubling delay, with a little finger vibrato on a fretless it makes a nice chorus effect.
  7. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    Jaco used delay. I believe he had two rack units that he used with his Acoustic amps.
  8. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA

    This is exactly correct. Rumor has it that it only took two takes, also! That is one seriously awesome solo to nail on a fretless two times in a row.
  9. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl Banned

    Oct 30, 2013
    So in effect the improvised jazzy solo wasn't improvised? Or at least not the second time?
  10. REV


    Jun 18, 2006
    By the time he recorded it, he had been playing it for years.
  11. beggar98


    Jan 23, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Stories are that Jaco rarely improvised his solos in the studio. Most things were at least pretty well mapped out, if not written.

    I hadn't heard that he double-tracked Continuum, or anything else. My understanding was that he used a couple rack mounted digital delays (MXR, I believe) and with a short delay time and some healthy vibrato he could get a chorus-type effect.
  12. yea double tracked is news to me also and I've studied his records and playing for decades. Could be true, just surprising to me is all. I've copped the tone for live performances of continuum several times just with a delay though, although a subtle slow rate chorus into a delay is even prettier.

    The only way I've heard a bass do that by itself (with reference to the yamaha comment someone posted earlier) is when the strings were twisted when being installed - which is a pretty amateur mistake. If the store guy couldn't identify the problem as twisted strings then he shows his lack of knowledge right there.... although I have to admit to having done it a couple of times myself in recent years when rushing to change strings.
  13. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Interesting. If you check out "A Portrait of Jaco: The Solos Collection" it describes how he recorded "Continuum" and it definitely states that it is a pre-meditated solo recorded twice and overdubbed. It is well known that Jaco wrote most of his recorded solos and did this "doubling" trick a few times.

  14. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    That sound of Jaco's was not from a chorus unit but from a delay unit. Just a short, doubling-type of delay gets the effect perfectly.
  15. halfjackson


    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Wow, I didn't know that, but I believe it. Pretty cool.
  16. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    It wasn't exactly chorus. It was an artificial doubler (ADT) which is a little different from chorus. The Beatles used it on their vocals a lot. Jaco used that on Continuum as well.
  17. cool info, I missed that one. annoying! LoL

    I'm always learning exciting new things - the great thing about being a musician! doesn't matter how long you do it, there is ALWAYS more to learn (as long as you keep an open mind).
  18. bassbones2

    bassbones2 Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Nicholasville Kentucky
    overdub….true….but live…..MXR pitch transposer

  19. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I have been able to get close to the sound using a Boss DD-7 delay with a short delay time, and even adding a very slight amount of chorus from a Boss CEB-3 chorus pedal. Doesn't take much of either. Make it natural.
  20. SLaPiNFuNK

    SLaPiNFuNK Commercial User

    Jul 28, 2006
    LA California
    Owner: BassStringsOnline.com
    Chorus and a short delay... If this delay was on a snare it would be called a "Slapback" delay. However, the delay is low in the mix, you hear it more when harder attack is played...

    Much of the sound comes from Jaco's fingers on the fretless...

    Old video of me playing Continuum on my Fender Jaco Relic -

    No effects on either, bass direct into computer... Use audio drop the tracks into some software and play with effects :D