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Tony Levin.. sledgehammer tone

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by JohnLovesRush, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. OK.. I am confused about this.. how does levin get that tone on sledge hammer.. does he play that big bass board thing?.. or whats the story..

    I think it's a beautiful beatiful tone.. would love to recreate it in some way!
  2. kmk42019


    Aug 14, 2006
    I think it was recorded on a stingray fretless. He also used the ends of drumsticks taped around his two fingers...cant remember what they are called.
  3. Commreman

    Commreman Faith, Family, Fitness, and Frets Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    New Jersey
    Sledgehammer was played with a pick, not the funkfingers. He also played it on a fretless Musicman, with TONS of compression.
  4. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Yup, a tonne of compression and it definately sounds like a stingray to me. I belive the Boss OC2 was the octaver he used.... ...I suspect there's at least one thread that will back me up on this over in effects. Being Tony Levin would definately be the biggest help in achieving this tone though- good luck!
    there's a few close ups in this clip. Without Tony Levin, Peter Gabriel is nothing! Check out the kicks and the Wizard of Oz walk- priceless!
  5. He also uses an octave pedal, to double the notes he plays an octave down.
  6. Depot Town

    Depot Town

    Jan 5, 2007
    Plymouth, MI
    The bass was a Musicman Sabre Fretless. His black one.
  7. Man, there's been an interview with Tony Levin in a German magazin a while ago and, of course, they asked him how he created that sound.
    I just wish I could find the issue of that magazin. From what I remember, it was a Stingray fretless played with a pick, the Boss OC2 Octaver, a compressor pedal, into the board and then some more heavy compression added. He did not use his drumstick "funky-fingers" on Sledgehammer. You can hear that in the song Big Time, right before the first verse starts.
    That sound is (for this type of music) UNBELIEVEABLE (IMO)
  8. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    It is a great tone. There was a Mix magazine article about that record shortly after it came out that talked about how the bass sound came about. There was some pretty high end compression that it went through, both while being recorded and while mixing. It would be hard to recreate live, but not impossible.

    I saw Gabriel a couple of times within a couple of years after the album came out and both times the sound completely sucked. I was very disappointed. Once at the Worcester Centrum and once at Great Woods.

  9. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    was that paula "where have all the cowboys gone" cole?

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