Reed Mathis effects, from the horses mouth

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Muzique Fann, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    I remember reading this article about a year or so ago and finally found it again...

    The link goes to the second part of a 3 part interview Jambase did with him - they worship JFJO at Jambase.

    OK - here are the juicy details...

    Kayceman: So it was the Whammy and the wah together that gave you the high register?
    Reed: Yeah because the Whammy sounds really ****ty by itself. It’s a cheap-ass effect but the thing is when you plug the wah into it, you basically have a rotary EQ and you can isolate the frequency. Each note on the bass, you know, there's two and a half octaves and each register has different frequencies that the Whammy likes and some frequencies that it really doesn’t and it's different for each register. Every three or four notes on the chromatic scale, the frequencies kind of change a little bit, so if you take the wah and control which frequencies your putting on it, depending on where your hand is then the Whammy pedal really likes it.

    That’s obviously what your doing when your playing that thing like a 6-string right?

    Yeah, I mean I’m playing the exact same **** that I was playing before I had effects.

    But that’s what's giving the sound, I imagine...the high end. The Hendrix-esque style...

    Yeah and then I added a volume pedal to it and found that I could swell the notes and do this trippy flute-slash-violin thing and I just keep finding all these possibilities within those simple effects.

    So what's your rig look like now? What do you set up?

    Ummm, let's see. I’ve been using...well I’ve got my jazz bass which is the only bass I have and I used to play a fretless just like Marc Friedman (The Slip) on the first two Jacob Fred albums I’m playing only fretless. But then I found this bass that I’ve been playing for the last six years and I bought that and sold the fretless. So I have that and that goes into a wah pedal which goes into the Whammy pedal which goes into a little EQ pedal that I use to take a little high-end off of the sound when I need to and then I’ve got a volume pedal and then a digital reverb. So five pedals and that’s the most pedals I’ve ever had. It was just three for a long time and I just got the other two. And that goes into an Ashdown which is the sweetest new line of bass amps, oh my god! I’ve been lovin' them. Brad Houser from Critters Buggin is the one who turned me on. I played through his when we did some gigs with Critters last fall and I was like “Jesus, this is awesome.” So I run that, and that has a 15” speaker and I run that into a GK 4x10” cabinet. And I usually mic the GK and I’m so happy with my sound. For six years, no seven years I played an Acoustic 370...which is the amp that Aston Barrett used and also John Paul Jones used that amp, Larry Graham used that amp. It was the biggest amp in the 70’s. Jaco Pastorius used a different amp by that same company, it's like a really classic, fat sound and I used that for like seven years...that’s the amp on all the early records up to Self is Gone but I needed a change and the Ashdown is ****in’ perfect. That’s what I’m running.

    About your gear...there’s one thing that I’ve noticed. I went to that Mike Clark show at the Great American and I’m kinda curious, it seemed that you had a photo or something stuck underneath one of your pedals?

    Oh yeah, the wah’s a floating wah's like, some wah pedals like a Cry Baby you can rock it back and it will sit back. But my pedal’s not like that. If your foot is not on it, it falls all the way forward in the treble position. The treble position is so's like someone’s hitting you in the head with an ice pick so I stick four postcards in between the sensor and the pedal so it sits up a little bit and that just rolls it back away from the brightness. My girlfriend got me four postcards at the beginning of the winter tour and was like “Here, write me!” And after the first gig they ended up under the wah pedal. (laughs all around). Yeah, that’s the deal with those.