the effect on 'Take my breath away'

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Moonraker, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. Moonraker


    Mar 7, 2001
    'Take my breath away' by Berlin, I'm sure you all know this 80's power ballad. What effect sound is the 'bwuummm' Bwum' 'bwum' being used on the track? It might not even be a bass but keyboards. It is quite a chous-y effect but I'm not sure so I was wondering if you guys knew and could tell me what effects to use to duplicate the sound.
  2. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I think it was the producer sitting in the booth going "bwuuum bwuum" into an SM-58 run through a Doctor Q, then routed through a leslie cabinet! ;) No, seriously, from that era in music history, when a lot of us bass players were losing gigs to the keyboardist's left hand and sequencer, I would highly suspect that it is a keyboard bass line.
  3. Sure sounds like a chorused fretless bass played through an octaver to me a la Pino Paladino.
  4. Yeah! Compressed, chorused, fretless bass fer sure! They didn't make synthesizers that could do that sound back then. Synths sounded cheap and funny in those days, Commodore 64-like.

    I hate everything about that song, but the bass sound is sooo schaweeeeet!
  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I think I hear a flanger or phaser in there as well...
  6. Besides the band's own bassplayer John Crawford (if my memory serves my correctly) a onetime Frank Zappa bassist Patrick O'Hearn plays fretless bass on that album - I suppose Crawford couldn't pull it off. Well, the album is chock full of session musicians and whatnots anyway.

    Haven't heard the song in a while, so I would guess, that it's a combination of synth bass and O'Hearn's fretless.
  7. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    maybe one of those funny looking Korg Midi bass.
    I was in kindergarden back then but I saw a lot of people using them in footage from that era and from my faint memory of sitting in the living room catching all these 80's videoclips (that was some nostalgic flashback moment!).

    anyway, look how all these people (simple minds, FYC, Level 42, Cher..etc etc.) had live bass players who somehow sounded as if they were syncing over a lo-fi keyboard played bassline.

    *btw, no offence on Level 42 and Mark King, I like them very much it's just his sound was very sterile (not that I would mind playing like him).
  8. Moonraker


    Mar 7, 2001
    The Synthesiser was the coolest instrument to use in the 80's , especially in the 'new romantic' scene but it unfortunately put the bass player at the back playing underneath the fat synth notes or just copying the exact same notes. For example what was the point in New orders bassist Peter Hook pretending to play bass on 'Blue Monday' on various live shows/programmes) when it was blatantly the keyboardist playing the riff.
  9. Well, Peter Hook never actually played any conventional basslines, as he is technically and stylistically very limited (and he's the first one to admit, that he almost can't tune his bass by himself). He played almost exclusively in the upper register of the fingerboard and played these combinations of melodies and solos throughout the songs, which can be clearly heard on almost every album, I suppose. He's got most of the time a chorus effect going on. In videos and tv, his hands never seem to touch the grey area below the 12th fret... Lead bass, anyone?
  10. Moonraker


    Mar 7, 2001
    That is a good point actually . he always plays from the 12th fret and onwards or just high notes , almost always using a chorus effect. He 's ok as a bassist but plays the thing like a guitar. Too many riffs and not enough groove , although his riffs are memorable.