My Manring Christmas and now loads of questions.

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by TaySte_2000, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Hi Michael I recieved your DVD and both of the McGill, Manring and Stevens Cd's this weekend. Now I've not had chance to listen to the cd's fully yet but the DVD has blown my mind and it is well worth the money I spent on it. Even better is the fact that it works in my DVD player which is not a multi-region DVD so strange twist there must be fate wanting me to watch it again and again.

    But now I've got a couple of questions well ok loads of questions.

    1. Can you tell me more about Michael Hedges and the music you made and where I could hear some.

    2. For most of the performances it looked like you were using an SWR Baby Blue head and a SWR cab, now I know you don't often travel with your own amp but is this your pefered setup if not can I ask what is and why.

    3. The 10 string (doubled) that you played it seemed to me like it was strung eadgc but the highest string was the octave above string am I right if not what was it tuned and setup.

    4. After seeing all the basses you use from fretless 6 strings to fretted 4 string headless, what are your main basses in current rotation.

    5. What effects are you ussing currently I have heard mention of a BOSS VF-1 but was wondering how much you use this and what effect with in it you do use.

    6. On the controlled by Radar 2nd cd the acoustic one it says that you played acoustic bass, does this mean double bass or just acoustic bass and if so what did you use.

    I'll leave you with just those for the time being since I'm at work and it's taken me nearly an hour to write this with out people seeing.

  2. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Thanks for your questions, TaySte2000. I'm glad you're enjoying that DVD!

    Michael Hedges was a very dear friend. I don't remember how much of this was covered on the DVD, but we met in about 1979 and played together from that time until his untimely death in 1997. We shared an interest in trying to find new voices for our instruments and it was a joy to watch him grow to become a brilliant artist who changed forever the way acoustic guitar is played. He had wonderful "big ears" and it was a pleasure to play with him because he was always listening deeply and willing to take music to new and adventurous places. I miss playing with him of course, but I miss our friendship even more. He was a unique and magical soul. I think most of his recordings are still in print and if I recall correctly I played on all but one. His most popular was Aerial Boundaries so you might want to give that a try.

    It's true that I rarely get to travel with my own amp and over the years I've had the chance to play through just about every imaginable rig. I've had the good fortune to play through several that were amazing, but there is something nice about getting to play through your own. The rig I use most often these days for gigs near home is the Baby Blue cabinet and a Son of Bertha cab powered by a Stereo 800 amp, all made by SWR.

    My ten-string bass started out life as a low B 5-string doubled in octaves, but it didn't last long in that configuration! I put strings on it which allow me to use intervals other than octaves and I tune it differently all the time. I don't remember which piece I played on it in the DVD -- maybe "The Fire Sermon"? The tuning for that is: BB F#B BC# C#F# F#C.

    I suppose my main basses are the three I take with me on the road (because three is the most the airlines will allow!). They are the Hyperbass, my Sonus/Hyperbass hybrid which I call "Junior" and my little headless called "Vinny."

    These days the VF1 is the only processor I take on the road (those airline regulations again!). I use it for pretty much all the gigs I do and occasionally for recording. I have a lot of fun programming it and I use different kinds of effects depending on what I need for the situation I‘m in. Most of the time I just use it for basic, subtle, stuff -- a little EQ or reverb, for instance, but I’ve got some pretty twisted sounds in there, too. It’s great to have such a small box that does so much.

    The acoustic bass I used on Controlled by Radar is a Larrivee 5-string fretless acoustic bass guitar.

    Feel free to ask more questions, but please don’t let it cause you trouble at work!
  3. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Ok here are some more.

    What is your favourite piece of music you have ever written?

    How important is looping in your current set list?

    What made you go for alternate tunings as opposed to extended range basses. (I know you use 6's and stuff but your mainly a four string guy)?

    What is your favourite preamp in the studio for most of your recordings.

    Again I'm eating this time so will post more later
  4. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I can't say that I have a favorite composition from my catalog, TaySte. I'm more proud of some than others, but I think I learn a little something with each one. Maybe I should say my favorite is the next one I'm going to write!

    My little VF-1, which as I mentioned is the only processor I'm able to take with me on the road these days, doesn't actually have looping capability, but I am able to squeeze it a bit to do little "faux loops"! Looping has actually never been a huge part of my live performances, though. I like to do one or two tunes in a set that use looping and I'm very excited to have it available as one of the many, many tools that we bassists have access to for extending the expressive scope of our instrument, but I've never felt I had enough to say through looping to offer an engaging performance of more than a few tunes in a night. It's a real pleasure and inspiration to hear folks like Steve who are able to draw so much out of the concept that they can play for hours and make continually beautiful music. It's something I hope to be able to do more with in the future.

    I see altered tunings and extended range basses as being very different creatures. They share a few similarities in that they both offer ways of playing notes outside the conventional scope of the bass, but I wouldn't choose one as a replacement for the other. My particular circumstances have made altered tunings the more useful of the two ideas for me up to now, but they both offer enormous creative potential to anyone who has a real vision and passion for them.

    Again, I can't say that I have a favorite preamp (I'm not that big on picking favorites of things -- especially when it comes to areas having to do with creativity). I've used many different signal paths in recording and I always try to find the most effective one for the particular music I'm working on, but there have been a few standouts. For some of the pieces on Thonk I was able to borrow a direct box made by John Cuniberti running into a Neve pre taken out of one of their old boards, and that was pretty sweet, but I've done more recordings taking the signal directly out of my SWR Baby Blue DI than anything else and it always sounds great.
  5. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Merry Christmas hope you had a good one. Just got a few more for you.

    I hear you have a new album coming out when's it out? and what can you tell us about it?

    I also think I found that you did a Startracks video are there any plans to release this on DVD?

    Are the de-tuners on the headstock of your bass just standard de-tuners or are they specially made to have greater range than normal ones?

    Why do you prefer unlined boards on your fretlesses?

    Will ask more as and when they come to me. Thanks for taking the time to answer them.
  6. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    I do have a new CD that will be out soon. I'm just trying to get the artwork sorted out. It's called "Soliloquy" and it's all solo pieces without overdubs; 13 new ones and a live version of "Selene" which is a tune I had originally released on the Windham Hill Guitar Sampler II.

    I did two instructional videos for the Starlicks company back about 1996, one features some ensemble performances and interviews (for some odd reason it's called Thonk, even though none of the tunes from Thonk is on it!) the other covers the solo pieces from Thonk. I'm not sure what Starlicks plan is for these. I'll let you know if I hear any news.

    The Hipshots I use have been modified somewhat so that I can fit all four on the headstock, but other than they are standard.

    As far as unlined boards go, it's a matter of familiarity, really. I think lined boards are probably a better idea, but when I first started playing fretless there weren't a lot of options. The basses I wanted to buy were all unlined, so I had to do the best I could. I actually took my main fretless to a luthier at one point to have lines put in, but ran out of money before he could do the job!
  7. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    Wow thanks for answering all my questions.

    I have to say I'm running low on idea's so

    Did you have a nice Christmas?

    Any chance that some of your older cd's will be re-released?

    Can you mention some of the music that has inspired you over the years?

    What instrument do you find best compliment's bass in a duet situation, I understand that it's mainly the player behind it but there is something to be said for the right combination of instruments.

  8. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    My Christmas was great, thanks! It nice to get a little quiet time at home with all the traveling I do.

    I'm sorry to say I haven't had much progress on arranging for a re-release of my older recordings. I actually haven't been working on it too much lately, figuring they would turn up on iTunes, but as far as i know they aren't there yet. Odd...

    Let's see... some of the music that's inspired me over the years. Here's a very partial list: Egberto Gismonti, J.S. Bach, Tarika Sammy, Clastrier/Riessler/Rizzo, Alban Berg, Bill Evans, Little Feat, Oscar Peterson, Mafua, Sly & the Family Stone, Keith Jarrett, Henry Kaiser, Oregon, Harry Partch, XTC, Elis Regina, Morphine, The Sex Pistols, Nguyen Le, J. Haydn, T.H. Vinyarakram, George Crumb, Adriana Calcanhotto, Joe Walsh, Shakti and Remember Shakti, Meat Beat Manifesto, Wayne Shorter, Parliament-Funkadelic, John Gorka, Charles Mingus, Wayne Krantz, Billie Holiday, L. Beethoven, Weather Report and Zawinul Syndicate, Beta Foly, Squarepusher, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Led Zeppelin, F. Chopin, Pat Metheny, John Coltrane, John Adams, Hermeto Pascoal, MIRV, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, Faith No More, Duke Ellington, Mountain, Morton Feldman, L. Subramanium, Joni Mitchell, Gyorgy Ligeti, Michael Hedges, Nirvana, Steely Dan, Ali Akbar Kahn, Thad Jones, F. Schubert, Nat King Cole, Nine Inch Nails, Steve Reich, Alex DeGrassi, The Beatles, Bela Bartok, Leo Kottke, Zakir Hussain, Sepultura, James Taylor, Sylvain Luc, Paolo Angeli, Ned Rothenberg, Paul McCandless, Thinking Plague, Meshuggah and Fredrik Thordendal, Mahavishnu Orchestra, C. Debussy, Miles Davis, W.A. Mozart, Thelonius Monk, The Eagles, Olatunji, Herbie Hancock, U. Shrinivas, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Murray Perahia, James Brown, I. Stravinsky, Joe Pass, Conlon Nancarrow, D'Gary, Evan Hirschelman, Talking Heads, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Leontyne Price, Charlie Parker... That'll have to do for now!

    I doubt I could pick a single instrument that's my favorite partner for bass in a duet situation. A few duets I've done that I've very much enjoyed include acoustic guitar, tabla, english horn, bowhammer cymbalom, kanjira, voice/beatbox, bass, drums/samples and alto saxophone.
  9. frobie


    Jan 7, 2005
    hey, I am a newbie to talkbass, but i absolutely love bass guitar, All this praise from this DVD, I was wondering what the name is, how much it costs, and where I could possibly order one. (this is my first post, hurray!)
  10. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC
    thats freaking sweet you like sepultura. paulo jr. is a great bass player. do you happen to like faith no more?
  11. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Welcome, frobie! Glad to have you here. The DVD we're talking about is the one described in the "Artist's Profile DVD now available" thread. I've got my Paypal up and running now, so anyone who's interested in buying it that way can contact me at

    I am a Faith No More fan, zongeek and I think they're probably in that list somewhere! If they aren't they oughtta be.
  12. Widener


    Nov 21, 2004
    Aptos, CA
    My old Sepultura and Faith No More tapes are almost dead because I've played them so much over the years. Hahaha.

    Actually, I play in grindcore and death metal bands. I used to be in Exhumed, and currently I have a grind band called Citizen that just got signed to Codebreaker/Earache records, and another grind band called Cretin that is getting signed to Relapse records.

    I plan to fit the Hyperbass (when it's finally ready) in there somewhere. Maybe tune it up to BEAD, pitchshift it down an octave, and then retune on the fly and take off the effects and lay down some chords or a solo, or something like that.
  13. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    Maybe I missed his name somewhere in that list Michael... but I think you forgot to mention Jaco! :cool:

  14. Michael Manring

    Michael Manring TalkBass Pro Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    As I mentioned, it's a partial list!