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PostPunk 80s European Sound???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by PostPunk22, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. PostPunk22


    Sep 21, 2010
    Hello i wanted to know if there is anyway I can get or come close to the postpunk 80s sound (joy division, new order, cure, etc...). That trebly twangy, hollow, round, sound with the gear I have.

    My set up is not that great. But hopefully I can get close. I have a dean zone xm bass, that goes directly into my apogee duet which goes into reason/record software. Reason/Record comes with Line 6 Bass POD.

    From what i read so far is use a pick, play up the neck, chorus and maybe some verb

    Is there anything else that can get me there?? EQ settings?? chorus and Verb more detailed settings? line 6 settings?? any info or help that can get me there or close??

    thanks for your time I appreciate it.
  2. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Fender Precision + pick
  3. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    or rickenbacker + pick
  4. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    and I guess J-bass + pick too ;-)
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually the post-punk 80s bands started to use a lot of the newer,Japanese basses coming onto the market then - so the Ibanez Musician was used by lots of 80s band - Police,Spandau Ballet etc. as well as Aria.

    It was also the time that fretless basses started to be used and lots of effects - so the Electric Mistress was ubiquitous as a flanger!

    Peter Hook used a 6-string Shergold as his main instrument for "lead bass" - with loads of flanger/chorus . These were British-made instruments

    The details are here :


    Joy Division Basses.
    1. Gibson EBO copy (Hook's first bass, bought at Mazel's Music Shop in Manchester in 1976).
    2. Hondo 4-string bass (Rickenbacker copy) - possibly damaged during a gig at The Factory
    3. Yamaha BB1200 (4-string)
    4. Shergold Marathon (6-string)
    5. Shergold Modulator (unconfirmed)
    + effects: chorus/vibrato pedal Electro-Harmonix Clone Theory
    + amplifiers: HiWatt: Custom HiWatt 100 model, with 18" VOX speaker cabinet
  6. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    When I saw them, Hook played a Gibson.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well as you can see from the list I copied - his first bass was a cheap Gibson copy!! :eyebrow:

    In New Order - his distinctive lead bass sound was the Shergold.
  8. baron665


    Apr 9, 2010
  9. maxbass


    May 22, 2002
    Milano Italy
    Andy Rourke (great trebly sound in classic Smith Albums) used a Fender-P
  10. parsons


    Feb 22, 2008
    Any bass + Sansamp RBI with the Presence knob turned past 3.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    But sounded nothing like Joy Division,New Order or the Cure!
  12. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
  13. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Bruce Lindfield's got this one covered!

    If you look at New Order videos from the 1984(?) BBC performance, Hook is using a Yamaha.

    Repeated for emphasis: flanger/chorus goes a long way too.
  14. Kestrel


    Sep 21, 2009
    Peter Hook did use a Shergold Marathon 6-string on several New Order (and Joy Division) songs, but as far as I can remember he mainly played his Yamaha BB1200 both in the studio and live before he started using his custom Eccleshall as his main live bass.

    I think it was more about how Peter Hook played rather than what basses he played. He played lead melodic bass lines with a pick through a Clone Theory chorus pedal which gave him that distinctive sound. Not sure what chorus pedal or other pedals he used in the last days of New Order, but I could have sworn I saw a Line 6 DL4 at his feet in the Live in Glasgow DVD.
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think Martin Hannet's production helped on the studio tracks - he created a unique sound and was a genius at getting strange, atmospheric combinations of sounds.
  16. Simon Gallup mostly uses a T-Bird these days, but I'm not sure if he used them way back in the day.
  17. FritoBandito


    May 19, 2010
    As you have read in the posts here, there was alot of stuff used for getting the type of sound your looking for. The bass you already have is fine, roundwound strings help when using effects, use a pick for the type of attack you want and dial in some chorus, flanger, and maybe some reverb. There are no set rules, you just need to experiment just like they did!
  18. Kestrel


    Sep 21, 2009
    Yeah, Gallup seems to be really fond of his Gibby T-Birds, although like Peter Hook he also used a 335-style Eccleshall bass. I've also seen pics of his early days with The Cure playing Rickenbacker and Fender Jazz basses. Don't forget Robert Smith's Fender Bass VI was a crucial part of The Cure's sound too.
  19. TRichardsbass

    TRichardsbass Inactive Commercial User

    Jun 3, 2009
    Between Muscle Shoals and Nashville
    Bassgearu, Music Industry Consulting and Sales. Tech 21, NBE Corp, Sonosphere.
    I'd go Aria Pro II SB-600/700/1000 or Ibanez Musician. The Aria sound is distinct, and if you pull Duran Duran, Haircut 100, even some of the later Jam stuff its all the SB series. I wish I never sold my Aria Pro II SB 700...
  20. ishouldbeking


    Feb 5, 2007
    Hollywood, CA
    Endorsing: SIT, Eastwood, Hanson
    I think it's more a matter of approach than gear necessarily. There are lots of ways to get there, but some general things to try:

    1. most likely want to use a pick, but experimenting with finger technique and placement can help too
    2. go for round-wound strings, stainless steel strings will do a lot to brighten up an otherwise dark sounding bass. rotosound swing '66 is a perfect starting point
    3. experiment with EQ - playing around with upper mids and treble can lead you to some interesting things
    4. experiment with hand position when you play... playing closer to the bridge will tend to give you more of a midrange tone, which can accenuate melodic playing
    5. experiment with how hard you play - playing harder with a pick will accent the attack, which is a lot of what you hear from those bass players
    6. experiment with light overdrive - a lot of brighter bass tones can benefit from some judicious grit to add harmonic richness
    7. experiment with your pickups - if you're playing a 2 pickup bass, dialing in the bridge pickup is likely to add some brightness to your tone. a favorite setting of mine on 2 pickup basses is to set the bridge pup on full, and roll the neck pickup to about 80%, this typically brings out the midrange quite a bit and increases presence
    8. speaking of presence, if your amp has a presence knob, try messing around with that. it's typically another name for hi-mids, and will change the feel of the attack as well as (of course) the actual presence
    9. play with preamps or preamp pedals - a sansamp or similar (VT Bass; even the behringer clone) can get you into this territory very quickly as soon as you boost the gain and treble. a friend of mine plays an Aria hollowbody and uses relatively extreme settings on a sansamp to get an amazing postpunk tone... bright, gritty, but thick. he leads his band through every song with a forceful tone that sounds right up your alley.

    and most importantly:
    10. FIND YOUR OWN WAY. what you'll quickly realize if you were to do all of the above... you'd have a thin, sickly, clanky, overbright bass tone that probably wouldn't work in most settings. a lot of what goes into making this particular sound work is finding the right balance. Peter Hook balanced his technique of playing a lot of high notes by using the heaviest gauge strings he could find, which added a weight to notes that might otherwise sound thin. the whole thing is a balancing act: you might try using some brighter strings, and then find that you want to play up closer to the neck so as not to go TOO far into the mid-forward clanky stuff. personally i play a bright bass (rickenbacker) with a pick, but use nickel roundwounds, play closer to the neck, use a VT bass as well as the tube drive on my ashdown head thru a tweeterless Orange 1x15 cab... basically balancing a brighter approach with other choices that thicken up the tone a bit. best advice is to experiment and have fun!
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 5, 2021

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