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Song Learning Tool/Program

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by warhead_trig, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. warhead_trig


    Jun 21, 2007
    Hello first time poster. I was wondering if anyone knew of a program online that boosts the bass or cuts out the other instruments out when listening to an MP3. So its easier to hear the bassline.

    I think Tascam have such a device, but I was wndering if theres a program to download online.

  2. Any media player program should have and EQ that you can use to boost the bass, but simply listening on good equipment will make the most difference. Seriously, you will hear things you never noticed before. Some decent headphones will be a lot cheaper than decent speakers and associated amps.
  3. trasser


    Dec 13, 2005
    I use a program called "Slowgold" that can slow down without changing pitch, but it can also change pitch. What I do is I pitch up an octave, that sometimes makes the bass easier to hear.
    Welcome btw
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    If you can install Windows Media Player 11 or the latest version of QuickTime, then try these programs. They both have the ability to speed up / slow down mp3s as well as pitch shifting capabilities.
  5. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's not free but does have a 30-day eval period, but I like a program call Transcribe. It does all the pitch and tempo changes and a lot more like filters to help isolate the instrument you are trying to transcribe. Check it out.

    Transcribe software
  6. 30hrz


    May 13, 2007
    Just thought I'd mention that the B-DEC amp has the ability to accept midi tracks. So if for example you had a Nirvana tune done up in midi you could download it to the B-DEC and do whatever you want with it (change key, speed up, slow down, remove instruments). I haven't tried it yet but it's in the manual.
  7. timmbass


    Oct 4, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    I use either Transcribe! or Band-In-A-Box almost every day.

    You can get Transcribe! here:


    It is worth every penny.

    What I do is drag and drop a .wav or .mp3 file into the main play window, and press play. When the part that I want to learn or practice comes near I press 50% speed, then exactly when that part starts I press E on the keyboard, and then wait until the part that I want to learn or practice comes to an end and then I press D on the keyboard and that part is highlighted up in the sound window from start to end. The slower speed helps me nail the start and end location, but then I can use the right and left arrow keys to adjust the location of the start point and the shift-right and shift-left arrow keys to adjust the end point. You can look at the sound chart window and tell when beats start so you can adjust the highlighted start and end locations to exactly match the beats of the song.

    So then the software plays that highlighted portion of the song from start point to end point and repeats/loops all day long. Then you can adjust the speed and the pitch. And there are radio buttons where you can save that portion to work on later. When I am done working on a section, I can press U on the keyboard and the start point is remembered, the song starts at that start point, and I can press D again at a different end point. Or instead, when a section is highlighted, I can press I and the song starts at the old end point, making that the new start point, and then I press D at the end of that new point.

    Way back in the day I used a little box that did this but it only remembered 32 seconds of a song. That is enough to learn a song, but not enough to practice an entire loop of verse chorus. Then I used two different CD based playback devices, one was a Superscope PSD300 which was really nice (I sold that on ebay for as much as I bought it for used on ebay), and the other was a TASCAM Bass Trainer which was not nice (it broke, I returned it, it broke again, I threw it away). I had trouble with getting the CD playback devices to start and end exactly where I wanted, and they did not have the EQ power that I wanted. So I bought this little Reed Kotler LBR-100 Bass/Rhythm Isolator, and that worked ok, but I had to play with it a while to center on the frequency that I wanted. So I bought Transcribe! and never looked back. Much better for learning songs. I even use it to go through exercises when I buy a book that has a CD with it.

    Ok. Finally I get to what you asked about. Yes. When you are playing back an mp3 file you can adjust the EQ at 30 different points. And then you can save your EQ setting. When I am really focusing on learning a part, I slow it down to 25% and will have only the lowest frequencies coming through, but usually, you simply want to reduce the upper frequencies and not bring them to zero. I have pictures below of my two favorite EQ settings. The first one I call Bass Low E because it centers on the lower bass frequencies only, and the second one I call Bass half because it lets through the bass and about half of the vocals and other stuff. This is good to practice long parts, like say one verse and one chorus over and over and over and over. I also have a Bass quarter and a Bass eighth that reduce the vocals and guitars a little more. Note that I pull down the lowest frequencies because sometimes the bass drum messes with my head. It may not bother you but when the song is slower the more it confuses me.

    You can adjust the points on the EQ by clicking and dragging. If you click a slider with your left mouse button the nearby EQ sliders kind of drift along with your adjustment, but if you right click you can move only that one slider up and down.

    And another thing. note the highlighted part at the top showing the song highlighted portion. If you make that highlighted portion very very small, say a half a beat, at slow speed, you can hear that one note, and in the lower half the volume curve above that note on the keyboard is higher so you can figure out what that note is. It is kind of a crutch I do not need to use much, but sometimes it is a life saver. And you can press the ] key to move that small selection to the right and [ to move it to the left.

    And another thing. If you click on the Tuning part of the FX window, you can adjust the tuning. I am working on Laundrymat Blues by Albert King and it is 20 cents flat on the CD, so I raise it 20 cents. I did that a few weeks ago and the software remembers it. So I do not have to tune my bass for that song or even think about it anymore. When you save the Transcribe! file it remembers the selection and any of the parts that you set or saved. You can save up to 10 sections of a song on those radio buttons that remember what the highlighted start and end points are.

    And even though your mp3 files are all over your computer hard drive, you can save all your Transcribe! files in one directory and start those songs from that directory instead of looking for where each song is, and the recent files is a long list so you can bring up any of the last 10 files you where working on and saved.

    Another last thing. I realize that you may be wanting free software on the internet that maybe kinda sorta does almost what you think you maybe might want. And I realize that the software that I have recommended costs money. But it is really really good software. If what you want to do is learn songs by ear, note for note, exactly the way the original player played that part, this software or one of the competing products is the stuff. If you get software like this, I won't need to tell you not to print out TAB, because you will be finding so many mistakes in any TAB you download that you will throw the TAB out the window and use the software to really learn the song, by ear, note for note.

    And...you may want to search here on talkbass for Cafe Walter Headphone Amp. Plug your computer audio into something like that, then your headphones, then your bass, and you can hear and learn stuff fast. I have the Fodera Headphone Amp that I do not think is made any more, but it is a similar thing to the Cafe Walter and similar quality. Very transparent. You hear in headphones what you actually play with all the finger noise and mistakes. Very good for practice.

    Attached Files:

  8. 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.

    Jan 27, 2021

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