Kill the Attack!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by superheavyfunk, Apr 11, 2016.


  1. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    I've been working with some new musicians and I'm having a heck of a time trying to pin down this tone I'm trying to achieve. Basically, I want all the tone of my bass but WITHOUT the sound of the initial attack. To put it a little more clearly, I want the note that I play to sound like it starts with the "bloom," rather than the "click" or whatever that you normally get when you initially strike a string.

    I want it to sound like when I lock in with the kick, I don't define the hit but rather I'm simply adding a particular pitch to the sound... does that make sense? Almost synth like but not a synth. I hope this makes sense to at least a couple of you. lol. I'll try to dig up some samples of the sound I'm imagining.

    I've tried EQ but that doesn't really get me there, because it alters the whole of my tone. I use flats and a P, and the tweeter is off in my cab. I've thought about buying an envelope filter pedal and trying to set it such that the envelope opens up immediately AFTER I strike the note but I don't want to just start buying things willy nilly. Ideas?
     
  2. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Vegas
    Might be able to use a slow gear type effect (even Mooer makes one now), or a really, really heavy compression. Thing is, these will only work really on staccato notes - playing other notes while the envelope is still open will still register their attacks.
     
    The BurgerMeister likes this.
  3. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    You can also get that with some noise suppressor pedals. Try out the Behringer NS-2 clone and set the treshhold high.
     
  4. Sounds like a compressor with no attack.
     
  5. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    A compressor with a Fast attack setting. Of course use a quality compressor.
     
    Slough Feg Bass likes this.
  6. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    my EH POG2 has an " attack delay" slider that does exactly what you are describing it's adjustable from just a slight rounding off of the beginning of the note to a slow blooming swell that sounds like a whale song, I think the same effect can be found on an EH bass micro synth but I have not tried that one yet
     
    Marial and SirMjac28 like this.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I would never attempt to talk an effects fan out of an effect.

    I will only offer this.

    Yesterday I played at church. One of the songs started with a synth keyboard "pulse" on 1/8th notes. There were two synth sounds and only one synth player and one board. The sound was exactly what you were describing.

    I was able to cop the sound very well by using the soft tissue on the side of my thumb but using the same technique I would otherwise use with a pick. In other words, play as if you are holding a pick but there's no pick. Instead use the softest part of the side of your thumb. I also did pretty well holding my hand open but using the same part of the thumb. The rest of my hand in that open position acted as a counter weight and allowed for faster and bigger motion. The notes I was trying to cop were choppy so I used the side of the palm to mute as well.

    I had been off to the side trying several different techniques in an attempt to cop that sound. The moment I used what I described to you, the guitarist (musical director and amazing musician) said from across the room while doing something else "That's it! That nails it.....whatever you're doing. Do that!" We star5ed the song and everyone just dropped their jaw. The keyboard player literally said what you described. "It sounds like the note just starts out of nowhere. There's no attack at all."

    If you can do that with a pedal, by all means, please do. I'm not anti effects. It just sounded exactly like what you were asking for so I thought I would throw it out there for you.
     
    diegom, Fat Freddy, HolmeBass and 7 others like this.
  8. Pacodelivery

    Pacodelivery Supporting Member

    May 25, 2014
    Baltimore
    Behringer also makes a pretty decent copy of the old slow gear.

    Honestly, tho, I've owned that, a pigtronix philosopher king with its adsr filter, and an Ehx bass micro synth with the same attack decay slider as the pog, and I've always found that I can do it better with my Ernie ball volume pedal.

    For whole notes and more delicate passages I have a tough time believing you can do better with some sort of triggered volume swell than you could with a pedal. If you practice the hell out of it, you can get pretty fast even. I've pulled off quarter notes at a pretty good clip without twisting my ankle.
     
  9. CHILDISHGAMBINO

    CHILDISHGAMBINO Inactive

    May 4, 2006
    Courtenay, BC, Canada
    Volume swells maybe?
     
    brumebat, hintz, Nev375 and 1 other person like this.
  10. On the compressor plugins I use on a DAW there are gate settings that will do what you describe.
    They probably exist as hardware, too.
     
  11. A fretless lol.... and a decent compressor with attack, release, threshold dial in the right attack and release times for desired effect.
     
    hintz likes this.
  12. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    - compressor with fast attack
    - volume pedal
    - high action
    - flatwounds/tapewounds
    - rolling down the treble
    - fretless bass
    - playing with your thumb
    - playing closer to the neck
    - neck pickup
    Comes to mind
     
    Camarillo and The BurgerMeister like this.
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the EHX attack decay does that the best for me.
     
    hintz, SirMjac28 and superheavyfunk like this.
  14. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Use your thumb. Alternitavely, use a volume pedal. Pluck your note with the pedal set very low, then swell up to desired volume.
    My Gibson SG bass strung with rotosound flats also achieves this effect wonderfully and naturally
     
    tbz likes this.
  15. dannybuoy

    dannybuoy

    Aug 3, 2005
    Earth
    Boss Slow Gear and it's numerous clones - the Mooer Slow Engine is your best bet:

    SlowEngine2_1024x1024.jpg
     
  16. Cut your nails! And more seriously maybe a lighter gauge of string could help?
     
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Use your fingers, for pete's sake!

    two fingers has it right, the more flesh you put on the string and the closer to the finger board you play, the less attack you will get.
     
    The BurgerMeister and StayLow like this.
  18. oldcatfish

    oldcatfish

    Jan 8, 2011
    I use a volume pedal for exactly this purpose, to make almost a cello like sound. You can use the pedal with some fuzz/overdrive or clean, depends on what you want to achieve. Add in an octave with heavy fuzz and you start getting into synth type territory.

    I'm also an electric guitar player--it's a commonly used technique for lead guitar players. With electric guitar I use a heavy delay and some reverb and use the swells for ambient sounds.
     
  19. the yeti

    the yeti

    Nov 6, 2007
    raleigh, nc
    took the words right off of my keyboard.
     
  20. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I'd say start with your strings. Its cheap and easy. Start with a coated string like DR Black Beauties, if you need more try half flats, then flat wounds. A heavier gauge will have less snap when hit.
    Turning your tweeter off will help. So will backing down your tone or the highs on your pre.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Aug 4, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.