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Sitting in the mix (P) vs Cutting thru it (Jazz) Whats more important?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mbell75, Apr 1, 2019.


  1. Wsscal

    Wsscal

    Nov 27, 2018
    Sydney, NSW
    I am a big fan of double soap bars with coil tap too! Endless possibilities!! or call me control freak! haha

    I believe a lot of us would agree on the simplicity of P bass (for bass players to dial in the tone, just a volume and tone knob to play around) and the predictability for the sound engineers (especially when it is passive straight through an amp or DI with EQ flat). It just gives a great peace of mind for most of the people involved in live sessions. Though, if you have the luxury of a nice band and good sound engineer, you could really do anything.
     
  2. 18v active pre. Humbucking jazz in the neck, MM in the bridge. Three band onboard EQ with sweepable mids. Done.
     
  3. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    You gotta sit...and cut. Period.

    A good J does both.

    A good P does both.

    If it doesn’t...it’s no good and it’s time to move on from that bass.

    I play P’s, J’s, MM’s, 4’s, 5’s, Flats...and rounds...variety is the spice of life...how boring to limit yourself to only one tone..
     
    lowdownthump and LBS-bass like this.
  4. I think the overall mix of you band is an important consideration too. I've been a J player for years and years, and recently picked up a P bass. Since it was the new toy I brought it to band practice. We hit the first song and everyone in the band turned to look at me. It just fit in a way my other basses didn't. I was as shocked as they were.
     
    dougjwray, stingray69 and easyj like this.
  5. the neck pickup of my AO '60s Jazz Bass is really barky ... in a good way ... not as thumpy as a P bass pickup but the effect is nice, so I haven't to think too much about the P basses I left at home ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
    LBS-bass and Stumbo like this.
  6. mbell75

    mbell75

    May 23, 2016
    Thats cool and all but it goes against everything accomplished bassists do. How many times have you seen Geddy Lee whip out a 5 string Stingray with flats? How many times have you seen Wooten pull out a Gibson EB-3 and go to town? I could go on. Experimenting is cool but the best player find their sound and stick to it. Most accomplished pros will almost always stick to one type of bass and put the same pickups, bridges and strings on all of them. Watch pretty much any Rig Rundown.
     
  7. mbell75

    mbell75

    May 23, 2016
    I hate the tone of an active bass...
     
  8. I thought active basses could assist more ... in reality, yes, they can, especially if the preamp controls layout is not overly complex, but, if the bass is “meh”, active electronics will not suffice in correcting inherent defects within the instrument .. on the other hand, for a jazz or a P is active circuitry really required of advisable? I believe now that the signature tone of these two models is the one which they defined when they first were introduced in the market, hence passive .. the use of active pickups instead of a preamp, when these pickups are said to ensure more headroom, as the pickups manufacturers say (never grasped the concept fully, however), may be something worth trying .. the EMG PAX pickup I installed in one of my garbage P basses (Hondo II, just for trying the pickups and I had to excavate the body to place the battery) was really promising from this point of view
     
  9. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Geddy has played in one band his whole life.

    When I saw Wooten last year he played at least 3 Basses...4’s 5’s...and an electric upright...

    What does Geddy Lee have to do with this again? Doesn’t he have one of the largest bass collections on the planet earth?

    What is the only bass you play Mbell75? Does it ‘Cut’ or ‘Sit?’
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  10. Ol' Geddy, always with the Jazz or Rick......



    [​IMG][​IMG] upload_2019-4-2_3-42-33. [​IMG]
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  11. faulknersj

    faulknersj Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Scottsdale Az
    Just googled ‘Victor Wooten Bass’

    Are these all the same bass?

    I guess he’s not an accomplished bassist

    0BD5D2A8-90F1-4D00-8F37-A49DE9298E2C. 776ABB2C-675E-43D1-997D-8857A297C205. 4F154A34-6BFF-477D-BD7D-66A9A23220E5.
     
  12. It also depends on what the rest of the band is using. The folk band I was in used strats, telecasters and acoustics and a jazz bass sounded great, I could get all the tones I needed and it always sat well in the mix. The rock group I was In was all about big amps and gibson Les Paul's, and I found my thunderbird sounded better with that. I've never owned a P bass so can't comment there.
     
  13. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    As exhibit A, consider the 2011 release from the Denver-based funk group Fina Dupa called "Are You Happy Now?".

    This music was funky-jazzy, light on its feet material. The bass player recorded this album using an active 5-string jazz bass that is very bright by nature. The engineer did not consult with the bass player to determine what the tone goal was; the result was a product of the engineer's mind only.

    The sound engineer artfully sucked every last bit of personality out of the bass tracks on this entire album, to leave the bass sounding, at best, like a $99 student special recorded through a mic'ed Crate 12" combo amp with a blanket laid over it.

    Of course I know all of this to be true because the bass player was me. I'm not bitter at all.



    Same bass, flat out of an amp, into an iPhone camera mic. Here you see how a guy would have to have tried to make the bass sound like it did on that studio cut.



    To be fair, that entire Fina Dupa album, not just the bass, sounded like somebody took a nice mix and cranked the suck knob. It's completely two dimensional and sounds like it lacks any sonic information above about 2K. I've wondered if the engineer had hearing loss issues.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  14. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    For the rest of my life I'll wonder why, on that last tour, he didn't pull out whatever bass was accurate to the song he was playing at the time. In fact that might be the question I'd ask him if I got only one.
     
    5StringBlues likes this.
  15. Kevin Teed

    Kevin Teed

    Mar 8, 2013
    So, P's just sit in the mix and are thumpy, kind of like Entwistle's on Live at Leeds? Got it!
     
  16. Fun With Dirt

    Fun With Dirt

    Mar 25, 2017
    North GA
    I'd even make the argument that hand position and hand dynamics are the biggest part of that equation. Having the two pickups really does expand a bass' ability to adapt. Even on basses with the Split P pickup, I tend to get them with a J pickup at the bridge so I can dial that high tone in as needed. ...even though I lean more heavily on the neck pickup. These days, though, I just have the one bass and that has two pickups. I love it. That was the longest way of saying, "I agree.". :)
     
    TheDirtyLowDown likes this.
  17. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I usually find most sound engineers or sound guys have a standard bass tone and stick with that same tone for everything, and I always fight them on it until I throw my hands in the air and say “sure whatever”.. very few sound engineers, in my life, know how to really record a bass into the mix or give it any real character. Which is why I bring a couple basses (usually a P and J) into the studio and record the same track with both of them, this helps me manipulate the mix before the sound engineers get to do their so called “magic” bass EQing..
     
  18. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    I normally don't care for it either, but my Am Elite Jazz sounds great with the preamp engaged. When I bought it I really expected to play it in passive mode, but nope. I love it in active.
     
  19. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    Yep, I was going to edit my earlier post to include "hand position and aggressiveness of attack" but I let it slide. I haven't been doing this lately, but for a while I was getting acrylic nails so that I could dig in for a pick-like attack when I wanted to. I would actually love to start doing that again but my nail guy, who I had trained to do my right hand perfectly for playing, left the salon and I don't know where he's working now.
     
    Fun With Dirt likes this.
  20. Fun With Dirt

    Fun With Dirt

    Mar 25, 2017
    North GA
    Rock on! I've known a few classical guitarists over the years that had their right or plucking hand nails manicured a certain way for the guitar. It never would have occurred to me that you could do the same with acrylic nails. Very cool. I tend to keep my nails trimmed pretty short so they stay out of the way most of the time. I really have to go out of my way to get the "nail" sound.
     

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