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The Bass Tone Terminology Dictionary

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lo-freq, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    The bttd document has been posted here:

    This is an online HTML document that all those who are interested in could read and apply when we are attempting to review a new instrument or amp or cab, whatever or when we are asking for help or advice with a problem or inquiring about a particular sound we are after in a system we want to put together.

    steve_man got together some terms based on a BP article and I HTML'd it (did some minor editing and adding a tone term "sub-dub", if anyone has suggestions for refining that or any other term(s) listed, let me know and we'll chase it around the block a few times).

    One thing that I think it would be good to add would be bass frequency sub-ranges: a name for the sub-range, lower and upper note, and a frequency range specification in Hz. For instance:
    Very Low Bass, C#0 - Eb1, 17Hz - 39Hz.

    I am open to other suggestions, but want to avoid making the document so complicated that it becomes a pain to try to use.

    If someone wants to tackle the bass frequency sub-range thing, let me know (here's a good cross-reference for that effort:
    http://www.stanford.edu/~kbrand/EE122/Project crapola/Frequencies.htm.
  2. Awesome, this should help with the confusion of terms around here.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Would it be feasible to assemble a list of commonly known and/or accessible tunes or provide some sort of sample that provide a "representative sound" for each tone?

    For example, I find the bass tone on Ohio Player's "Skin Tight" (original LP) to be "smoky" (my term) but have trouble placing it in your reference system...
  4. steve_man

    steve_man Supporting Member

    May 15, 2002
    I was going to suggest that myself but...

    When you think about it when you have guys playing through a bass you're not just getting one tone but every characteristic of that bass.


    if a person was to look at that info that we posted up, heard the sound clip, and then went to a store to looking for a bass that sounded growley, he actually may have been looking for a bass that actually had a sound a rich sound.
    It ends up being complicated espeicially where you have everyone throwing to you what they think sounds growly.

    Low Freq: I really think that we should leave it the way it is.

    but no matter what you do remember keep it simple
    :oops: :)
  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Your basic idea sounds good. I can foresee a few problems, but they might not be either unsurmountable or big enough issues to be concerned about.

    The biggest problem would be to make the matching of sample songs to the definitions uniform enough to be accepted by the majority of interested bassists. It would have to be done either by one really qualified person or by a committee (I don't think we want to try the committee route). I would not consider myself qualified to do it.

    Another way would be to just let someone do a set and then let interested bassests suggest changes.

    I am open to suggestions on the best way to tackle it or to volunteers who want to do it either way.

    As far as the online sound samples, I doubt that TB would want to volunteer the resources for the sound samples, besides I am sure that the quality of a lot of PC sound cards/speaker systems out there would render the results fairly useless for decerning the finer differences of tones.
  6. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    All good points that I did not consider...

    Oh well...:(