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Session work + Fender

Discussion in 'Ask Janek Gwizdala' started by ninnlangel, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Hi Janek,

    A while ago, you mentioned that most studio work requires a fender bass. I have a question for you :

    When using a Jazz Bass, do you always record with both pickupsn on to avoid hum ? Or do you recommend using hum-canceling pickups ?

    How do you work around that problem ?


  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Janek, if you don't mind, I would like to field that question.

    Jazz Basses can hum when the volumes on each pickup are different. But they won't always hum. And considering that almost all studios are built to reduce hum, ground noises, and other spurious signals that can cause interference, it's not much of an issue most of the time. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but most studios are pretty good at rejecting noises.

    Now I can't speak for our forum host here, but it's rare that I've ever done a session without both pickups on full. Most people like that sound best. However, there's a reason Sadowsky was succesful in New York by modding Fenders in the 70's. The session guys wanted dead quiet Jazz Basses because they could only take one or two basses due to transportation issues. And if they wanted to use only one pickup, they wanted to make sure that there wouldn't be any noise when they did it.

    My personal opinion is that if you can only bring one bass to a session, make it a Fender Jazz or a quality copy like a Lakland or Sadowsky and either shield the hell out of it or put in noiseless pickups that look and sound as close to the stock Fender pickups as possible.
  3. janekbass


    Jan 28, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Founder and CEO of http://janeksbassstudio.com
    well I rarely use a jazz bass actually. only rentals, as I own P basses and not a jazz.

    as for the noise.... I really don't mind too much at all. you can mess with this that and the other, but what really matters is the playing, the sound and the feel. it's going to sound like a Pbass with hum or not. I think it sounds great either way. And I'm not really looking for a fender bass to be up front in a mix, or to be the focal point of a track. I want it to sit in the pocket with the drums in the mix, and there is little chance you're going to hear any hum from the bass.

    A simple ground lift on a DI box will fix most hum things.

    I was just in the studio with Eric Johnson who is crazy about stuff like that. He has Grounds going 50 feet into the ground to make the electrical current cleaner and less noisy. It runs so pure in there that it's super quiet.

    I'm cool either way. For me, the more you get bogged down in worrying about that stuff, the less you're concentrating on palying what needs to be played for a song.


  4. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Thanks for the answer(s) !

    I was just wandering. I thought that both pickups together sounded best anyway, but I wanted a pro's perspective. Last time I used the jazz in the studio, I tried getting a neck pickup sound, but through my U5 and the headphones, I was unhappy with the hum... it got me thinking !



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