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Please help with my new P-bass (pics) tone - add foam mute?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mike Vee, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
    I just got a new AMST P-bass and am looking for a certain sound.

    These 2 clips here are fine examples of the type of bass I am looking to add to my tracks, in time. I am definitely new to playing the bass, but am a seasoned producer engineer, and want to strive for this sound.

    I have myself an AMST P-Bass (Maple) with LaBella flats on it DId into a UA LA-610. Do you think that is correct for this sound? (based on research, I do haha but want some confirmation)

    I am able to get close, but am wondering...should I be using a foam mute? Today I stuffed a small sock under my strings at the bridge and it definitely sounded cool, so I am contemplating getting a bridge cover with mutes on it or just using a piece of foam that is removable.

    Any other detail would be appreciated. Thanks!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
    BTW, here she is!

  3. emblymouse

    emblymouse Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    Lakland Artist Endorser
    That is a good choice in a recording bass.
    I see why you inquire about foam mutes and you should explore that. However, the bass tracks you posted are not being done that way. These are being muted by hand sharply at the end of the note, but the actual note while it is sounding is not muted. The sharp clean spaces between the notes are what makes the funk.
    A foam mute will affect the entire life of the note and the fundamental will not speak as clearly.
  4. I used this real stiff plasticy foam that I got out of a life jacket that gave me an incredible tone. Gave it a punchy thud that didnt kill the sustain so drastically and really gave it a nice tone. Almost like a semi hollowbody sound. Punchy and hollow is the way to describe it.

    I replaced it with a piece of sponge but didnt care for the results. Tone darkened too much for my taste.
  5. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012

    So people think for sure those 2 examples are not using a mute?
  6. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    I think that you can get that sound with a little EQ and the technique. However, it doesn't hurt to try using a mute and see what happens.

    Use different foams at various thickness. I cut mine in a wedge shape so it has more mass on the heavy strings, and less on the light strings. (same height, different width as it goes across the strings)
  7. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    I use a kitchen sponge (you know, the green/yellow on one side, dark green on the other) cut into about a 1" wide strip and placed right up against the bridge.

    If you flip it over, the two different sides give a different type of muting.
  8. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
    does anyone make an "official" mute foam? I only see fender made for Jaguar guitars....
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    That recording has too many overtones to be muted to me. Sounds like good old finger funk. Muting with the right hand. Spoze I could be wrong.
  10. CptRevell


    Aug 15, 2011
    I think the Bob Babbitt P had a mute standard - and I know Rickenbackers also have a mute built into the bridge.
  11. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    That's funny, every pic I've seen of Bob playing has him with some random piece of foam jammed under there, always looks different and imperfect. If it works, it works I guess.
  12. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
  13. Mike Vee

    Mike Vee

    Oct 8, 2012
    thanks all

    It's funny, even on the Fender package of their "official" mutes the part description says weather stripping haha....so, off to Home Depot i go.

    I guess it would just be important to make sure it's just the right thickness or it may push/pitch the strings up and change tuning? but maybe not since the strings are SUPER tight in that area huh?
  14. conqr


    Feb 16, 2009
    +1 imho. If ever there was a case of sound being the result of plain old fingers/technique, and perhaps broken in strings, this is it.
  15. ronaldpdbrandt

    ronaldpdbrandt Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Suffolk County, NY
    Sponsored by The Letter Z
    I just cut the end off one of those cheap foam paintbrushes. Less than a dollar, and works like a charm!
  16. That's the good stuff! I use pieces of a Dollar Store sponge or one that comes with washable Crayola markerboards. Similar material as the foam brushes. It's the perfect density. And price. You can cut varying thicknesses to get different muting capability.
  17. That's what I use. Two pieces of 3/8'' thick weather stripping stuck sticky side to sticky side, making a 3/4''piece of foam that I can jam under the strings at the bridge. Or I also just stick a 3/8" piece on the underside of a bridge cover like Fender used to do. Either one works good. Mutes it just enough without totally deadening it.
  18. FunkRenegade


    Jul 7, 2012
    Sounds more like left hand muting in the works than foam mutes. It's hard to tell since the notes aren't ringing long enough to hear the decay. Foam mutes with flats sound more like "doink doink", if that makes sense.
  19. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Is, and always has been, rubber automotive weatherstripping. ;)

    Sounds like right-hand muting, which works much better with high-tension flats, IME.