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So I just listened to Dirt by Alice in Chains...

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by A. D. Fairhurst, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. BEST BASSIST OF ALL TIME! (I think that's a bit too much, but OK...)

    0 vote(s)
  2. Great bassist who knew exactly what to play (My opinion.)

  3. Good player (At the very least!)

  4. Average (Well, we all have opinions.)

  5. Meh (I disagree.)

    0 vote(s)
  6. Not very good at all (I think you're mistaking him for Sid Vicious, or someone.)

    0 vote(s)
  7. Absolutely terrible! (Really?)

    0 vote(s)
  8. I'm GLAD he's dead! (...what. The serious. HELL...?)

    0 vote(s)
  9. Who's Mike Starr? (Go for a quick Google session.)

    0 vote(s)
  1. Mike Starr is a seriously underrated player. He never played too much, but never too little either. It was just perfect. On his Spectors he crafted some brilliant basslines. Just listen...

    Wow! A great loss to the bass world.
    TUEP, LowStringNinja and Tbone76 like this.
  2. dabaumtravis


    Jun 24, 2013
    Definitely one of my favorite "less is more" players. I've always loved the hook on "Rain When I Die".
    WaldoNova and A. D. Fairhurst like this.
  3. brokenstoned


    Sep 20, 2012
    Godsmack has a great weird riff, but I've always love this record, and Mike's playing has a lot to do with that.
  4. Definitely. I think he had a lot to do with bringing the bass more into the foreground of modern rock in the early 90's, along with Tool and some others. Those bands brought us to allow our basses to cut through with the growling, clanging, open metallic sound that we've grown to love...rather than the fat, muffled sound nestled softly into the rhythm section that bass was supposed to be throughout previous decades. We'll cut all the midrange out of our sound and love it...which would've been completely unacceptable to the ears of most listeners before modern rock.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  5. Yeah. Krist Novoselić is also great at getting a scooped mid sound.
  6. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    Well I personally own the amp that was used on those recordings and tours, and I can tell you how "they". Mike Starr, Evan Sheely, and Dave Jerden got those bass tones you hear on Facelift and Dirt. The white paint is on the amp to set his studio markings. The new book about AIC claims they set the markings with a knife by making scratches in it, but it appears later a tech used what appears to be white model paint to make the markings. If you are interested in his sound...let me know and I will give you his settings on the Ampeg SVT-II.

    BTW: Still have one of the original 12AU7 pre-amp tubes that was in it. Gave the other to a friend.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  7. We're interested..we love tone \m/ :-D Unlike everyone else in my band..lmao, nobody ever cares what my bass sounds like except me...
    onda'bass, TUEP and A. D. Fairhurst like this.
    TUEP likes this.
  9. Man in the Box was one of the first songs I wanted to learn when I picked up a bass.

    Hmm, at least two members of the band died from drugs.

    I think Layne Staley's death is on the same day & month as Kurt Cobain's.
  10. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    Alright guys here you go.

    He used an Ampeg SVT-II (the original not the newer pro series).

    Settings Gain/Volume (same knob on this amp) Two settings 2 and 4
    Ultra Low :Out
    Ultra High :In
    Basic EQ Bass: Two markings 6.5 and 7
    Midrange: 6
    Midrange frequency: was set to 800 Hz
    Treble: 5
    His graphic EQ which I believe was used more on Facelift according to Evan Sheely.
    Is labeled Low (probably 40-50 HZ). Two markings (slightly above flat and and a notch and a half above flat)
    100 HZ (no marking) assumed to have been flat.
    250 and 750 HZ markings show flat
    2KHz markings show one notch above flat
    What is labeled High probably between (3-4KHz) shows two markings one half a notch above flat and one and half notches above flat.
    Gain level on the graphic EQ was set to just a partial above flat.

    The way they got the "Would?" tone.

    The amp (mentioned above) with the same setting but with graphic EQ off I believe and the gain/volume set probably at the 4 mark, into a Ampeg 8x10 cab mic'd with a Shure SM-58. With his Kramer built Spector NS-2.

    Same bass through the board.

    Then the same bass into the ART Nightbass Rickenfaker effect.

    Then a Kramer Ferrington acoustic electric bass.

    Then mixed.
  11. You own an awesome piece of rock history. Very cool.

    For me, Dirt is one of those rare perfect albums. I can listen to it end to end over and over again without ever getting bored of it, both musically and sonically. A little depressed maybe, but never bored. :D

    Everything sounds amazing on Dirt. Stellar production, IMO.
  12. PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES! But how would he use two basses on one song?
  13. I just listened to Dirt for the first time in a while this morning on the way to work because of this thread..i got my driver's license in '92 and played that cassette tape over & over when i first started driving...that tape stayed in my car stereo.
    etherealme likes this.
  14. So my thread got you back into AiC? I am honoured!
    LowStringNinja likes this.
  15. Yes, my friend..The Karmic Gods of Rock & Metal shine upon you this day :-D \m/ \m/
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  17. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    There were lots of over dubs. He used a 4 and 12 string bass on "Rooster". On "Would?" it was the same bass recorded four different ways.
    A. D. Fairhurst likes this.
  18. I actually own a set of handwound Lindy Fralin Jazz pups that were made for him to be put into a bass by Mike Lull. I put them in my bass and they were miles ahead of the stock Basslines pups. I no longer need the bass as my main is a Warwick now, but it is cool owning something made for Mike Starr! I just wish he had a chance to use them to make more music ;(
    TUEP likes this.
  19. In addition, Tuep's info got me to tweak my EQ a little differently at practice tonight just for the hell of it...which I liked..but of course, no one else in the band noticed or cared. (The guitar player added a bit of flanger to one intro to one song, and everyone notices...but i play the entire practice with my rig balanced differently and nobody notices anything...the struggle :-D)
    A. D. Fairhurst and TUEP like this.
  20. TUEP


    Apr 8, 2007
    Bass EQ and tone can make or break the sound and mood of a song. Remember flanger, chorus and overdrive was used on the Dirt album. Rooster had multiple effectss in the chorus. He used the Spector with chorus in the verse and flanger in the chorus. Check out the bass track.


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