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Mike Mills from REM bass gear?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Timpala, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. Timpala


    Nov 13, 2011
    I have been searching, but I can't find what bass gear he uses. I know he used to play a Rickenbacker. I know he has used a Telecaster bass as well. But, I know he prefers a Precision bass from what I have read. I also know he uses various Ampeg amps. I am really wondering what effects pedals he uses? I really like his tone and would love to figure out how he gets it.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I love the group I think it depends on the song? for a song like Man On The Moon I use an acoustic bass for most everything else I just use a P bass with compression I would try to match his live tone as supposed to his studio tone because there are just too many variables to try and duplicate.
  3. deepestend

    deepestend Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    I'd love to know too. They are a very produced band, so it is probably tough to chase the studio tone. He does love his P-basses live, though.
  4. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
  5. Timpala


    Nov 13, 2011
    I like the Big Muff. I also use one. I like what seems to be his clean signal. It almost seems like he can get his Precision basses to sound like his Rics. Its a nice punchy tone. I play a p-bass with an Ampeg SVT and an 8x10 or a 2x15 and I am still missing something.
  6. Noonan


    Oct 27, 2011
    I saw REM on the Green Tour in 1989. He was playing the Precision by then. A guitar tech in Athens told me a long time ago that MM put an EMG pickup in his Precision. I personally loved his tone on Reckoning with the Rick.
  7. Timpala


    Nov 13, 2011
    I don't think EMG's have pole pieces from what I have seen. I have looked at several photos of his basses, and have always seen the usual pole pieces. However, I did find this photo and zoomed in to find larger pole pieces. These pickups look like the SD Quarter Pounders http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8286/7666470366_d71c74f71f.jpg
  8. I've always liked Mike's playing and tone with R.E.M.. His groove with Bill Berry and interplay with Peter Buck is highly underrated.
  9. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    I saw them around '84 or '85 and he was playing a Precision through an SVT.
  10. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    Next time I run into him I'll ask him. Once I could not remember a song that was on Reckoning. He happily told me the name of the song (white tornado)I'm sure he'd love to talk about his tone.
  11. aquamentus


    Apr 15, 2005
    Keokuk, IA
    Mike is my favorite bass player ever. As much as the virtuosos can impress, I prefer guys that I pattern my style after. And pretty much everything i do playing wise is patterned after Mr. Mills.
    Mike_1978 and 10cc like this.
  12. I saw them at the garden.. everyone was spot on imo... Mills killed it pretty much had the same pbass on the whole time...had a couple of those and a Rick I saw . Played some piano too...(as I watched the mandolin get tuned sit there the whole set until religion....lol)...
  13. deepestend

    deepestend Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    What songs does he use phaser and delay on?
  14. lewys93


    Feb 18, 2010
    I've read that he used the phaser on the quiet chorus after the 'solo' of Imitation of Life, not sure about the delay though.
  15. winston


    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    When I saw R.E.M. in the late '80s, Mike played a Rickenbacker and an Ibanez Roadstar (P-J pickups, rosewood fingerboard) through two Mesa Boogie Bass 400s driving two 2x15 cabinets. I've seen pictures from the early days with the Rick through a Fender Dual Showman too.

    Mike is one of my absolute favorite bassist/singer/songwriters ever!
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
    10cc likes this.
  16. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Thirty-two years ago(!), Rick and Showman...(plus Letterman and hair...)