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Sousaphone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Al Small, Mar 5, 2012.


  1. Al Small

    Al Small

    Mar 5, 2012
    There are a lot of cats in New Orleans that play their sousaphones or tubas through effects pedels to make them sound like a bass, but I want to do it the other way around. Any ideas on where I could start to make my axe sound like a horn?

    - T.
     
  2. Hmmmm maybe like a stuck Wah to get a similar timbre???
     
  3. Register_To_Disable

  4. And an envelope filter...I think... Maybe.... This is an interesting idea
     
  5. guroove

    guroove

    Oct 13, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    Just play a P-bass with the tone rolled down, and maybe run it through a compressor.
     
  6. Oh,God. I'm havin' jr. high flashbacks,with the tuba talk and all. That's what I played in school band. I'm a bass player,thru and thru.
     
  7. ^^ same here lol

    Edit: and I was only like 120 pounds in high school and I'm sure a little less in middle school. Couldn't even see me behind that thing.
     
  8. skychief

    skychief Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    Many moons ago, I was playing in a zydeco-swing band. The BL asked me to "dial in" a tuba sound. I have never used effects, so the 'bone player fiddled around with the eq knobs on my amp ( a GK 400RB ) while I played. Amazingly, in a coupla minutes, he was able to get a tuba-like tone out of that thing. BL was pleased, I was amazed. All with no effects! I know this doesnt help the OP much, but i thought this is still within the tuba-tone topic. In summary, it IS possible to get a tuba-like sound from a porkchop.
     
    DarkAudit likes this.
  9. Al Small

    Al Small

    Mar 5, 2012
    Thanks guys.

    Insomniac - I have an envelope filter and I've been toying with it to get this sound. I'm thinking of adding an acoustic simulator and seeing what I can do.
     
  10. I played tuba in high school too. One thing to remember is the tuba doesn't really go as low as the bass- anything below the open A is a pedal tone on a tuba. So staying up around the 7th fret is one way to get more "tuba" sound out of the bass.
     
  11. MSUsousaphone

    MSUsousaphone

    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Disclosures:
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Who would want to sound like a Sousaphone? That's hella lame. :smug:

    Also, a tuba sounds two octaves lower than the written note while a bass sounds only one octave lower.
     
  12. BOOYAH, this man knows his sousaphone fo sho
     
  13. cultrvultr

    cultrvultr Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Oakland, California
    Just get one! I used to have one until I found out that the grace period for learning the tuba in an apartment building doesn't last very long.

    super fun though! it was cool to think about playing bass lines in a totally different way.

    If you do plan on gigging near drunk people, you have to make/buy a tuba sock to cover the soundhole. Drunk people WILL put stuff in there.
     
  14. metalinthenight

    metalinthenight Supporting Member

    May 5, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Honestly, don't waste your money. The AC-3 and AC-2 from Boss worked for me, but only if I soloed the bridge pickup, cut the bass and boosted the treble. Was a really neat sound, but it obviously won't get you that tuba sound.
     
  15. MrBasseyPants

    MrBasseyPants Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    This is incorrect...

    Tuba is a non-transposing instrument...while bass is a transposing instrument with music written one octave higher than its concert pitch.

    Essentially, a 4-string bass tuned to standard pitch plays the same pitch range as a 3-valve tuba (tuba pedals and bass harmonics withstanding).

    ....with that being said....love me some sousaphone :)


    jc
     
  16. MSUsousaphone

    MSUsousaphone

    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Disclosures:
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Sorry. But no.

    The term non-transposing refers to the key that the instrument is "tuned" to. Tubas are odd in that even though the most common one is referred to as a Bb Tuba, it plays in concert C. Thus, non-transposing.

    The Eb Tuba sounds an octave and a 6th lower than the written note while the Bb Tubas sound two octaves lower than written.

    Just google it. It comes up pretty quick.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bass sounds an octave below written.
     
  18. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    Tuba notation differs strongly between countries and types of music, there is no international standard, except maybe for classical music. In the Netherlands the most common notation for tuba is transposed as a Bb instrument, as long as you're not playing classical music. The professional Tuba players I know are very proficient in transposing on sight. I myself prefer my tuba parts to be notated as if it was a bass part, makes it easier to change between bass and Tuba. I play my Bb tuba as if it is a C instrument.

    I've always played as if the tonal range of my 3 valve Bb bass is the same as a electric bass. (ignoring the pedal notes) I guess the fundamental is actually a whole octave below that, but just as for my other basses the fundamental is not the most important part.
     
  19. d180fuzz

    d180fuzz C21H30O2

    Jul 10, 2008
    West Los, CA
    ...aaaaaand, quoted. Thanks CV.
     
  20. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Jul 3, 2006
    Amsterdam
    Now that you've got me thinking about those fundamentals I'm getting really confused. As far as I know the max length of the tubing in my tuba is a bit over 7 m. That is about the wavelength for the E fundamental of an electric bass. So I assume that is also the fundamental for the lowest normal E on tuba. I always understood the pedal notes make use of half the wavelength, so the octave below the normal bass register is only posssible by using those pedal notes. I've never had to play those because it was written down for me, but maybe that's just because I stink and mostly play music that is written for stringed basses.
     
  21. MrBasseyPants

    MrBasseyPants Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I think you are confused.

    First off as far as frequency goes....bass and tuba occupy the same sonic space. They are in the same "octave."

    The pitch range of a four string bass in standard tuning and a 3-valve Bb tuba are roughly equivalent ( with the exception of tuba pedal tones and bass harmonics).

    A four banger bottoms out at E1 which is roughly 41hz. This is obviously an open E. A 3-valve tuba's lowest true note is the E below "low Bb." this is fingered 1-2-3 (albeit out of tune). This note is also about 41hz.

    E1 is written in the musical staff in the fifth space below the bass cleft staff. This is where you would find the note if it were scored in a tuba part.

    On bass, E1 is written as the first ledger line below the bass clef staff. This is to make reading the music easier. It is transposed up one octave from where it is pitched.

    Essentially most tuba music notation lies below the bass clef staff while most bass music lies within the bass clef staff. However, sonically they reside in the same frequency range.

    Both instruments are concert pitched...meaning that if you play a C on either instrument....it will match a C on a piano (unlike a saxophone which would play a different note). (obviously CC, Eb, and F tubas are not.....but we'll just focus on the "standard" Bb tuba)

    I think bass is technically a transposing instrument....however it just transposes an octave....which gets confusing.

    I never was a music major, but I have been playing tuba for 25 years and bass for 23.....this is how I understand it.

    The short version.....tuba and bass play the same pitches, but bass is musically notated up an octave.

    ....at any rate, sousaphone is a great instrument....and much cheaper to find the holy grail! I think I have the equivalent of a 62 jazz bass and a 57 P ....in sousaphones!

    jc