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Levi seacer slap sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eoinwalsh, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. eoinwalsh


    Jun 10, 2011

    I'm not getting any answers in the bassists forum so I'm trying here. It's not totally irrelevant to this forum.

    I really love the slap bass sound that Levi Seacer had circa 1987/1988 during the Sign of The Times and Lovesexy tours.

    I'm talking particularly about the sound he gets when he pops/plucks as opposed to when he slaps/thumps. It's a really really fat pop sound even when he pops on the on the G string.

    This is the slap sound I want most. I've uploaded a version of Alphabet Street from the Lovesexy rehearsals. There isn't much of the sound on this recording - I haven't had a chance to go through all the live recordings and find better examples yet - but you get the idea. At 0:31 you hear the sound I'm after.

    The version of 'Head' I've included doesn't illustrate the fatness that well but it's a good example of the general tone.

    I play a USA Fender passive jazz bass. I've played through various amps, cabs and gone direct in studios and I've always been able to get a nice jazz bass slap sound very easily but it's never been quite like Levi's sound. What are the ingredients of that tone? Is it to do with gain or EQ or what?

    Thanks very much.


  2. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Files not found...

    I'd think you'd be able to get pretty close with a Jazz, some EQ and compression to smooth out that top end.

    Levi used a Guild Pilot during the Lovesexy tour, hope that helps a little. I really love his playing (and the Alembic) on SOTT's Now's The Time. Levi was awesome with Prince, I was a little bummed when he moved to guitar but I got over that when I realized how great Sonny T is. If I could have one Prince rhythm section back it would be Sonny and Michael Bland.
  3. eoinwalsh


    Jun 10, 2011

    Damn. I'll try to upload them again.

    Thanks for the help. Where did you get that info about the guild?
  4. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    By watching Lovesexy shows and aftershows of course. ;)
  5. MartinH


    Jan 29, 2006
  6. Maybe your past this step but put your bass and treble up and the mids down.
  7. Lo end PUNCH

    Lo end PUNCH

    Jan 28, 2005
    If you're talking about the recorded version of Alphabet St. thats Prince playing the bass on a 4 string Aureswald, they just have that "sound". Brownmark, Princes bassist from the revolution also uses one on the song "Bang Bang" off of his second album, again same deep thunderous sound. Levi DID play on the tour but as a guitarist I remember the bassist was a lefty guy, can't remember his name. When Levi was playing bass I always saw a black Yamaha BB.
  8. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Kind of OT but here is a pic of some of the Prince family of instruments, including the Guild, Alembic and Auerswald. I'd love to find a better version of this, but it's still pretty cool.

    I think Lo end PUNCH is thinking of the Act I tour where Levi moved to guitar and Sonny T took over on bass, playing the Auerswald.

  9. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I have heard from a very reputable source that Prince wears an isotoner leather driving glove on his left hand when he slaps. Apparently, he's done this since day one.

    I have to admit I have tried it and it works wonders in adding a percussive quality to the slaps and smoothing out the attack of the plucks.
  10. ModuMan

    ModuMan How many is too many? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bristol, CT #19
    Left hand? Here is footage of Prince recording Partyman while slapping on the Auerswald... no glove in sight though.

    Funk Bass Slapping - YouTube
  11. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I've seen that clip. But the bass sounds different on partyman than it does on the earlier stuff (like Let's Work) or even Alphabet St.

    Who knows but I do recommend trying it.

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