'muffled' effect - how do i get it?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cecilbdemented, May 29, 2003.

  1. cecilbdemented


    Apr 17, 2003
    I was listening to and trying to emulate the sound of the bass on Come Together by the Beatles. It is a muffled sound - like i guess you might get if you were to be listening to it like this: guitar - amp - big gap - mic - output.

    Do you get what i mean?
    How do i get a sound like this? Do i need a pedal? (i play 'straight' at the moment).

    Just gonna slip a second in if u dont mind...
    is there a pedal (that aint too expensive) thatll give an acoustic bass sound? I cant afford the real thing for another ten years or so :bawl:

    Thanks o fountains of knowledge,
  2. does it sound like there is a pillow over the amp? turn off your treble if so
  3. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    i always thought the bas sound on come together came from muting the strings a little and turning the treble waaay down....

    ....but others may differ ?
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    By 'muffling' your bass!! ;)

    Or...maybe you could go along to the general store an buy the Acme Muffler!! That's what Wily Coyote would do! :D
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I haven't got a reference copy of Come Together to hand. However, I'd imagine it was played by McCartney on his 'violin' bass (short scale?), maybe with flatwound strings, through what would now be regarded as a 'vintage' amp (ie. not a modern crystal clear hi-fi sound).

    If you're trying to get the sound with your existing gear, try playing it with the side of your thumb (not slapped - just plucking the notes). While doing this, use the palm of your hand to mute the strings - with practise you can get a lot of control from limiting sustain to creating a series of dull thumps with virtually no distinguishable pitch.

  6. cecilbdemented


    Apr 17, 2003
    thanks all. as soon as i get home ill give your ideas a go.

    anyword on an acoustic sound?

    ta very much,
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I'm no expert - but we're talking about 1969 by now and Paul had been using his Rickenbacker for quite a while by now - although he often pulled out the "Beatle Bass" for filming and promo shots - presumably visual appeal - surely he would have been using the Rickenbacker in the studio?
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You may well be right - I'm certainly no Beatleologist ;)

    As far as an acoustic sound is concerned, you can get somewhere towards that with the thumb / palm muting attack above, and also by playing over the top frets on the neck rather than over the pickups or near the bridge.

    You're unlikely to fool a musician that way, but it gives a hint of the right flavour. When I want an 'upright' sound I also try to imagine what I'd play if I was struggling with a longer scale and heavier action - generally something simpler than I might normally do.

  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm sure it would have been the Rick, not the Hofner. I think the Hofner had rather bad intonation up high, I don't think he would have played a bass line like the Come Together on it.

    Also, he may well have gone direct inject.

    I'm sure it would have been flatwound strings, too. It sounds like flats to me. Were roundwound strings around in 1969?
  10. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Just try boosting your bass, you don't really have to touch your treble. It'll just sound muddy if you touch your treble. Boosting the bass will give you the 'muffled' sound by not leaving much power left for the lower frequencies.

    Enjoy. :)
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    :confused: could you go through that again, slowly? Boosting the bass will increase the relative strength of the lower frequencies, which will muddy up the sound. I've not noticed it causing what I'd describe as a muffled sound, although maybe that's because I tend to work well within the power handling capabilities of my amp.

    Maybe you could say a bit more about what equipment and settings you have used in figuring out your approach?

  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Come on wulf - you know you really want to say that "Boosting the bass will give you the 'muffled' sound by not leaving much power left for the lower frequencies. "

    - is total rubbbish!!! ;)

    Say what you mean!! :D
  13. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
    Try a piece of foam rubber under the strings (flat wounds) near the bridge. That should muffle things nicely.
  14. Try weaving plastic cards between the strings at the bridge. Depending on the card, you'll get a muffled sound. Laminated paper works best for straight up mute.
  15. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    Quite right. I saw John Deacon from Queen once with a nice big piece of foam under the strings between the pickup and bridge on his Fender P bass. I've tried it and it gives a really dead thud, if that's what you're after.