Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Tuba Effect

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by wmelander, Mar 20, 2003.


  1. wmelander

    wmelander

    Mar 20, 2003
    Hello all,

    I have a choral gig which requires a tuba for two tunes. My tuba chops are 8 years in remission. Can I get a tuba like sound with my son's Zoom BFX 708?

    Thanks,

    wes
     
  2. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    The question is a little like how to make a guitar sound like a trumpet. If you have any kind of tuba chops, and you have a horn available to you, just do it on tuba. If you can't then roll off the treble, and mids a little, play closer to the neck and remember that tuba is more of a melodic instrument than a bridge between the rhythm section and the harmonies. Everything depends on what kind of music you are being asked to play, but if you must do it on bass, play the page, and think of warm sounds. You might try flatwound strings to give that smooth sound, and if you are going to vibrato, a fretless would be sweet. NO soloing the bridge, you are not going for a jaco tone.
     
  3. You might want to try some sort of fuzz to tune in that tone. With a little EQ-ing, I'd bet you could do it.
     
  4. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    fuzz? how many tuba players do you listen to? Fuzz is not a desired effect. maybe for a New orleans street sousaphone player playing in a jazz band, but not for a symphonic gig.
     
  5. And how many fuzz pedals have you tried? You can cop a fairly decent brass-like tone easiliy if you put your mind to it. Honest? A fuzz used judisciously needn't be as over-the-top as you think. Either that or perhaps a wah pedal might do the trick. Wah's were originally designed to emulate a trumpet tone for guitar.
     
  6. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    I still question your concept of what a tuba is supposed to sound like.
     
  7. Well, I use my Dredgetone bass angler for a deep dub bass tone for example. I turn the gain up rather high then play very gently for an exceedingly large, corpulent tone. this is a classic reggae trick; players pushing their SVT's to the limit but touching their strings very lightly for a deep yet subtle tone. You can cop a very reed-like and "brassy" tone with many fuzzes as they do their square wave thing, much like a synthesizer. You will find many posts here on TB about emulating synth tones with fuzz boxes. Many synths emulate brass tones (or at least attempt too) and you can get very close in my experiance with subtle and judiscious use of a fuzz no problem. We're not talkin' crunchy, raspy distortion but smooth, sweet and deep tones.
    Anyhoo...just a thought?
     
  8. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    here's the problem with your concept. By brassy, I assume you are talking about an edgy, jazz trombone or trumpet sound. I can picture in my mind the tone you are talking about, but I really a synth sound is right for the kind of gig that wmelander is looking for. I'm not a closed minded person, so I would like to hear the kind of effect you are talking about. Is there a way you can post a short MP3 of the effect you are describing? I would love to hear it.
     
  9. if you mean the staccato tuba sound, like Herbie Flowers used on Lou Reed's transformer album;
    McCartney got a tuba-like sound on "maxwell's silver hammer".
    I read somewhere that Gibson EB3's had a tone setting in which a choke was switched in causing a filter effect- hence Andy Fraser's tuba-like sound with Free.
    another one is the tone on Spacehog's "in the meantime".

    IMO the "vintage rock" distortion setting on my Zoom 506 sounds tuba-like if played staccato + muted- I'll put a clip up.
    (Hohner B2A in passive mode, neck p/up full-on, bridge at 75%)
     
  10. ps. if it's a sustained tuba sound that's required, maybe a fuzz with a volume pedal after it could do the trick?

    here's a clip of a track I used to have on mp3.com with that effect on the right;
     
  11. Well let's say "reed-like" then. Maybe this term sounds less "harsh" and perhaps conveys what I am visualizing a bit better. Those tones you mention do sound edgey and I understand what you are wary of. Some OD/Fuzzes are however capable of a very deep tone, w/o the raspiness or harshness you would expect.
    Can you describe the tuba-like tone that you have in mind a little more?
     
  12. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    a sound like a tuba, of course :D

    I am a pro tuba player and teacher with tons of tuba CDs. I'll convert a clip to a mp3 and post a short one.
    I did like mock's first clip, I won't say it sounded like a tuba, but it sounded closer than I thought a bass could.
     
  13. Ha! Ok....do you mind dissecting that a bit more? Tell me what you hear when you think of your bass copping a tuba. Deep, thuddy, boomy, brassy...what exactly? I'm not saying that is what I think it should sound like...just throwing adjectives around. we can do this.
     
  14. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas

    you want a tuba? YOU CAN'T HANDLE A TUBA!!

    :D

    here you go the first of two clips, just for you.
     
  15. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    clip numero dos
     
  16. hujo

    hujo

    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
  17. after hearing those clips I'm thinking- fretless P bass, maybe with flats?
    a fretless with the neck p/up soled/favoured, at least.
    maybe the fretless emulator in the Zoom BFX 708 would get close.
     
  18. Some sort of attack delay like on an EBS BassIQ or Guyatone SV-2 maybe but defintely achievable with the help of a wah pedal, set just right.
     
  19. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    you're absolutly right, and it's funny how your post sounds just like mine from the top of the page. Great minds think alike.

    :cool:
     
  20. tuBass

    tuBass

    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    that a great clip!! do you know where it's from? It's dave bargeron, who used to play with blood sweat and tears. You can hear is work on "go down gamblin" Very unique player, I knew it was him before I even looked at the name in the link you posted.
    It's funny he got more applause for playing those low notes than anything else he did, and those are the easiest thing in the world, but the audience loves them.