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Keep only the attack of the note and remove the sustain, what effect?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by belzebass, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012

    I would like to keep only the attack of the note and cut off the duration as much as possible.
    Let me explain: If I play long notes normally on bass, I would like it sound as if I'm playing with a heavy palm mute.

    How can I achive this? A compressor? What kind of settings should I use?

    I'm not looking for a slight effect, but a really strong sustain suppression.
    I'm using Zoom B3 or B1XOn.

    Thanks a lot!
    dan1952 likes this.
  2. Stuff some foam under the strings? Seriously, it worked for Carol Kaye and James Jamerson, among others.

    If you want a switchable effect, though, a noise gate with a high threshold is probably what you're after.

    Unpopular opinion: damp the notes manually - left hand fingers, right hand fingers, right hand palm-mute, according to what works best.
    TomB, Mr. voodoobass, eJake and 23 others like this.
  3. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Actually, I cannot use physical damping (palm mute, sponge or fingers). I want this effect for bi-amping: one channel for fat bass and one channel for this attack thing.

    Think Tic-tac bass in country or guitar doudling bass lines in reggae. I'd like that it sounds like a palm-muted guitar doubles my bass lines.
    LowActionHero and bolophonic like this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    You could try a "sidechain gate" to link the decay of your bass tone to a more percussive instrument such as the kick drum.
  5. Ah, suddenly your question makes a lot more sense.

    In that case, the noise gate is the only thing I can think of that'll help there. Well, it is if you're just modifying the signal directly.
    If you split the signal and use one path to trigger a bass synth, suddenly you have a world of options. In theory, anyway; I've never used a bass synth, so now I'm spinning my wheels, but somebody else here is bound to know more about them.
  6. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    The idea of the chain is:
    The output of my bass guitar
    --> A/B/Y Box --> Your usual bass sound, nice and fat
    --> This "attack isolator" -->High-pass EQ @ 800 Hz or higher --> Some dirt or reverb

    Think subtler bass oriented Royal Blood or bass and guitar unisson as heard in funk, rock or reggae or country but without rhythm guitarist (humming "Imagine no guitar player, it's easy if you try..."). Really combine bass sound with edge attack that I can sculpt separately.

    The problem is that I play with a light touch, so the attack is already rather weak :-/

    There are people using noise suppressors or compressor followed by a noise gate is the guitar world, it seems.
    Prog Fan likes this.
  7. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Malekko Sneak Attack is what you seek.
  8. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    If you only wanted to use one amp, a slapback delay would work
    Two-Spirit likes this.
  9. belzebass


    Feb 21, 2012
    Yes, I'll be mixing both channels (bass channel and attack channel) in either one amp or directly into PA.

    How would you use the slapback delay? What kind of settings would you use?
  10. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    Set the time very short and only 2-4 repeats
    JimmyM likes this.
  11. Its staccato, you can stop a note by letting off the pressure of you finger without letting go of the string.
    Conkal and 4dog like this.
  12. I don't see a noise gate working for this it won't close fast enough.
    pbass2 and gebass6 like this.
  13. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    I am not aware of a tecnique that lets you stop the sustain through one chain and keep it going through another.
    mcnach and FilterFunk like this.
  14. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    @belzebass , how fast are you with your feet?

    You could use a momentary footswitch on one chain that only lets the signal through while pressed, but it would be a lot of tap dancing.
  15. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    A noisegate can close almost instantly if that’s how you have it set.
  16. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Noise gate is tricky here if you're sustaining the note on another channel. You might need a comp or something too to get the transient just so. I find it can be easier to play the more staccato part and use effects for the sustain side like a Freqout, Freeze, reverb+comp/dirt or something.
    LBS-bass likes this.
  17. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016

    Split the signal, gate on the bassy side only, possibly with a compressor in front of it set to let the attack through then smash (slightly slow attack, heavy compression, slow release). An EQ might be helpful somewhere in there before the gate to take off some top, or an octave divider set to low and sub, etc. On the guitary side, some distortion, and whatever you wanna use to increase sustain, ex., that distortion, compression, etc. where you are kinda smashing the attack and extending the tail of the notes, and possibly EQ in there to take off some bottom.

    And remember, before there was Royal Blood even White Stripes, there was Local H.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You want an envelope controlled VCA set for fast attack, extremely short or no sustain, fast release.

    +1 on the earlier suggestion for a Malekko Sneak Attack. That will do it. Alternatively plug into a small synth with an ADSR envelope stage.
  19. JES

    JES Supporting Member

  20. Robscott


    Mar 20, 2017
    Tonbridge UK
    Get your muting chops together. Lots of threads about how, or go on youtube, scott's bass lessons, adam neely are the best. Not to say you can't use foam and all that, but first base is to do it with your technique if you can :)
    cnltb, wesonbass and gebass6 like this.

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