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MIDI bass, my first outing - have a listen

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. harrybosch

    harrybosch Inactive

    Aug 18, 2008
    didn't care for it. the bass solo was sloppy and sounds like you were playing a bunch of souless licks at a speed you're not quite capable of.
  2. fair enough
  3. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    I'd be interested in hearing more about this bass of yours.
  4. Hey man - the bass has a MIDI pickup installed in it via my Graphtech piezzo bridge - that's it really - I'm running it through a Roland GI-20 which I then use to control VSTs in Logic - I chose a nice Rhodes Suitcase for the lead melody line.

    And to follow up on the bass solo comments above - it's actually my least favourite part of the song now... it may well be replaced by a sax solo - I like the rest of it though - hope some of you can 'hear' past the bass solo... :meh:


  5. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I dug it. Very Jenkinson. I think I know what you were going for.

    I'm not so curious/concerned about the bass solo as I am curious about how differently you must play when using the MIDI pup. I remember Jenkinson complaining about how awful the tracking is on most MIDI pups... I imagine you must change your playing drastically when trying to use the MIDI...

    I'd always thought it would make sense to use the MIDI pup to get ideas into Logic in a hurry (since I'm a better bass player than keyboard player), then go into the piano roll (midi editor) in Logic and tweak stuff... or mess with it completely.

    The most obvious example of this technique I imagine would be Jenkinson's "The Modern Bass Guitar"

    Clearly, he's deliberately blurring the line between what's MIDI, and what's DSP bass with expression pedal, etc... He's trying to make it impossible to reverse engineer what he's doing where.
  6. harrybosch

    harrybosch Inactive

    Aug 18, 2008
    I'll have to give it another listen but I don't think I liked the song much either. Was there any sort of melody? I'll listen again and not pay attention to the bass solo;)
  7. Cool man - glad you understood where I am coming from with this track - and yes MIDI is a strange beast and to answer your question re how you play differently I guess the simple answer is listen to how I played on the keyboard solo on this track - bass solos tend to be very rhythm-orientated whereas other instruments that can sustain notes and have higher pitch can be more melody-orientated. The result is that you can play less notes and build a much more pleasant sounding solo! One note on a nice sounding keyboard is worth 50 fast ones on a bass! Well it depends who's playing the bass I guess - Charlie Haden's pretty awesome with one note... :smug: - but in this context a higher register instrument just allows you to fly over the top of the fast rhythms going on below.

    And while I love Jenkinson I am still painfully aware of just how hardcore he is with his programming and MIDI knowledge - he's in a league of his own - so it's more the spirit and vibe of his stuff that I love and am into using - his bass playing is sick too - I just want to be a bit more jazzy!


  8. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    OP. You can sure play the instrument! :)

    Perhaps tame the tempo a tad and alternate the faster playing with an occasional slower passage to set the listener up for another burst of speed?

    IMO the drama in music lives in the transition between extremes: dufus & accelerando, piano & forte, ensemble & solo.., Stéphane Grappelli & Jack Benny...

  9. Kipaste


    Jun 27, 2006
    Helsinki, Finland
    Interesting. I've been thinking about updating my midi bass capabilities which are less than stellar at the moment and I'll look into those.

    Back to the song, looking past the solo, I think it was good and I liked the overall sounds. It was bassy enough but still "digital" enough to fit the context.
  10. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I guess my question is this: Did you play the keyboard solo differently because you were trying to emulate the sound of the keyboard, or were you *forced* to play a more "simple" part since MIDI tracking is never as accurate as the actual string sound?
  11. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Hi Mike, I liked it! I hear the jazzier Squarepusher thing!
  12. It was actually a bit of both - the tracking simply isn't good enought to play as fast as I can on the bass but given how well it does track playing rhythms across the bars in ways I wouldn't normally forced me to play a bit differently. The more rhythmic notes at the end of the solo came out pretty well and helped it build the tension nicely - I was happy how the improvised ending came out as well - I went into a C minor vamp for the last few bars and suddenly thought - mmm, time for a little diminished sounding chord... anyway this is the first thing I;ve done and I've already learned alot - and I'm definitely going to change the solo - which actually came from this youtube video... turns out I like the new stuff much more but hey - that's the writing and recording process for ya, I'm learning to get rid of stuff if it's not fully working in place of stuff that is, for the benefit of the song.


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