Talkbass "library of bass soundclips"?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ari, Apr 25, 2003.

  1. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    The excellent "preamp shootout" of Vanselus in the amps section gave me an idea. Why don't we build a library of bass sounds ? We could compare how our basses sound between each other.

    IMHO there are many bass pics here in the BASSES forum but not enough soundclips...

    The goal here would not be to rank our basses or compare our playing, but simply to allow us to hear the differences between the various basses.

    I would suggest the following method of recording:

    - straight to the soundcard
    - all controls flat
    - no drum loops
    - a fingerstyle part
    - a slap part
    - maybe also a track with a "favorable EQ", i.e. your preferred EQ setting on the bass
    - indicate the type of strings and how old they are

    It would also be better if we all play the same parts.
    We could then setup a webpage to store all the soundclips for later reference.

    Do you think it could work? What are your suggestions?

  2. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    However, I don't slap. It's kinda like "Charlie don't surf". :D
  3. You should also have a clip played with a pick. A lot of us do use them exclusively.
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    It could work just fine. In fact one of the bass newsgroups (I think alt.guitar.bass but not sure) has already done this on their home page and you can go listen to any number of basses there.

    The only thing this would require is for someone to step up and volunteer to do the work. Chances are against someone volunteering their time for that but we'll see I guess.

    brad cook
  5. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    Matthew: You're right, it's a good idea to add a "pick" part... for those who can.

    Brad: I would be willing to host the clips on my webspace. I have no web-designing skills but if it's just to make a list of soundclips I should be able to do it.
  6. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I have always thought that an idea for this would be very helpfull as a reference tool. I defintley think that this could work, assuming there will be enough support for it.
  7. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I've been trying to get something like that going for a year or two now, it seems to take more work than you'd think. I've got a few samples on my page, but I want to get the rest done eventually.

    It seems like in the past when we've tried this, it's really hard to settle on a particular lick or overall approach to the whole thing. I think if we listed the signal chain and whatnot, maybe we could get by with that, even if we're not all playing the same riffs?

    I just find that for some reason I can't sit down and record scales or whole notes or whatever clinical standards one would usually select. I just can't help 'playing,' and then you get what you get.

    I also know that I'm getting a little tired of recording just the bass parts. I'd really like to add some drums, but I see where the solo bass would be useful in checking out the tone. It's just that I don't usually play like that...

    I don't know, now I'm rambling. I'll let someone else take a turn.

    I'm up for it. Let's see what develops. I've been wanting to get back to recording anyway...
  8. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    yerp, that's @

    What if we made a thread for it here and posted links? Then nobody has to set up a specific page for it?
  9. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    Although I cant tap very well, I think a basic tap part should be included (by those who can do it) as theres been a few posts/threads on here asking whats a good bass for tapping.

    Overall a great idea, I'd love to contribute. How are you/we going to decide what 'riff' to play for the finger, pick, slap and tap parts?
  10. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    I'm not convinced that it would be particularly useful. For example, the Warrior Instruments website has a 'listening room' where you can hear different wood combinations. Nice idea but even though I think it's the same player with the same recording setup, each track is different and so it's very hard to compare them.

    If you get everyone to agree on a small selection of licks, you're still going to have variations due to the player's style, and even if you insist on 'direct to soundcard' you're still going to end up with a wide degree of variation.

    If you wanted a worthwhile 'gallery' of sounds, I think you'd need a single person or small group to play the same set of illustrative examples through the same set up. Even there, you'd still have to consider other factors - for example, how do you compare the range of sounds from a pair of Bartolini jazz pickups with 3 band eq (ie. lots of ways of playing with the sound before it even leaves the bass) with a single unbranded P-type pickup?

    One thing that might be interesting is a recording (or collection of recordings) of people checking out a range of basses in a store - apart from anything else, that could suggest iideas for other people to try out when they visit their local shops to audition for a new instrument.

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to agree on this point about "usefulness" - I have met a few bassists over the years in Jazz jam/workshop situations and have swapped basses.

    It's almost always the case that the bass sounds completely differnet in each others' hands. So to be useful to me (as I would think for everybody else) I would need to know how that bass sounds when I play it - not when somebody else does - or it gives me no real idea.

    The other thing is that I often change the setup of basses to suit me and it can affect the tone - so can different types of strings. So I can remember trying my Tobias bass in the shop and thinking it sounded wonderful - then they put different strings (new set) on it and gave it a setup and it sounded much worse - as soon as I got home, I changed the strings and set it up how I liked it!!
  12. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Actually, Josh and I were planning on doing just that on so whether it's links to the bass newsgroup, submissions people ftp to me, or whatnot, we're planning on doing basses, preamps, and effects - kind of a BGRA of sound clips...

    i like the "same lick" idea - that way we could post the tab and everyone that submits a sound clip could play the same thing... would make for a more fair test, I do believe...

    right now, the preamp shootout has been moved to
  13. This is a nice idea. In addition to recording the bass direct, I suggest adding a miked-amp part.
  14. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, we were thinking about that, but there's SO many variables, that to do an accurate comparison, we'd have to have all the cabs in one location on one day... so maybe once we get the rest going, that could be a project...
  15. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001

    Are there more people interested in this?

    During his short return here, PD recorded some interesting sound samples of his basses. The idea of the "same lick" played with different basses is great IMHO. Would you consider it?

  16. rollo47

    rollo47 Wraggotry in Motion

    Nov 12, 2002
    Perth, Australia
    I like it. Maybe for the fingerstyle, just play a classic 12 bar blues type patter (everyone knows how it goes, just a question of someone makeing a quick tab for it), and for the slap, the Seinfeld theme or something that everyone has heard, and can probably play.
  17. xush


    Jul 4, 2001
    mobile AL
    I did a few recently, for the Wi****wasabass and my FBB 8, I think I could manage a few more. Actually enjoyed it. How were you thinking about doing it?

    ha, that's funny. I was just trying to type "Wish-it-was-a-bass" and it assumed it contained a euphemism, which was not my intent. :)
  18. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    well, we did 4 different basses into each of the 16 preamps, so that's a good start. Right now Josh has 4 clips cut up, but I don't have them all up yet.

    but so far... check it out (
  19. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer, Builder

    I couldn't get your sound clips to download. Anyone else having this problem?

    I agree great idea for the sound page.
    Direct to the computer because everyone can do that and also everyone do the same bass line. I think everyone understands different players will sound differently, but I think your guys are as close as we can get by cutting it down to these two variables!

    I'll be happy to record different basses as I have time and even get players as they come into the shop to record the lines.
  20. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    are you using the "save target as" method?