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Using a Boomerang....

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by flyingmarcel, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. Greetings all,

    I've recently been loaned a Boomerang phase sampler and have been playing around with different ways to play "duets" on my double bass. What I am finding however, is that the two parts seem to be getting "muddied" together a whole lot. I've tried playing the different parts in different registers, but find that it is difficult to always here the two parts. I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with using this device in this way, and what recommendations you might make. I'd love to hear from anyone who has duet expererience with another double bassist as well, as I'm sure the technical approaches would carry over a whole lot. If it helps to know, I have been experimenting pretty much exclusively with jazz standards thus far and have been trying out different walking/comping patterns with heads and solos.

    Many Thanks

  2. Are you using a microphone or a pickup? If it's a mic, you may need to find a different position to get a clearer sound.
  3. Sorry,

    I guess I should have been clear on that...I am using a realist pickup on the bass and have no problems getting a nice clear tone when playing. I just find that it is difficult to often hear two "distinct" parts when using the boomerang.


  4. SleeperMan2000


    Jul 31, 2002
    Cary NC
    I had a similar experience while recording both parts of a bowed bass duet. I panned one track all the way to the left and the other all the way to right and got rid of a lot of muddiness.

    Don't know if that boomerang gives you control over the balance of the sample vs what you're playing live, but that might help.
  5. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    I've only seen the Boomerang used in with a guitar in a more distorted fashion in a live setting. John Scofield will use it to trade 4s with himself. He does this by playing for 4 bars, records that, then plays it backward and listens to it, then plays another record 4.... wash rinse and repeat. He doesnt' play over himself usually, and if he does, he's tweaking it so that it's ultra fast or distorted or something. He's doing this kinda thing more and more.

    I dunno if you want to do this but you could always run the output of the Boomerrang (the recorded part) through some sort of an effects box. Maybe a chorus and an octaver or something.
  6. Since you've got a clear tone with just one bass going, your amp could be the culprit. The speaker may not be geared to reproduce multiple instruments accurately. If you have another amp, is it possible to make the boomerang replay your loop through one output and put your live playing through another?
  7. i use my boomerang all the time with my upright bass (and my electric too for that matter). if you look at the top left hand corner there is an oragnge light that says clip. if the light is going on frequently while you are playing that meeans it is distorting the sound, adjust the knob in the back untill the light just never goes on during your solos. also dipending how long your piece is you can adjust the quality. is your boomerang a version one or two? (if its two it has a plus sighn next too it). the poorer the quality the longer you can record, but if your song is less than a couple of minutes you can keep it on the best quality.

    also are you stacking both parts of the duet, or just looping the first and not using it for the second part?

    if you want instruchtions on how to program the boomerang jsut ask. it is really easy. i hope this helps you out.
  8. Hello,

    Thanks for the reply. I have dealt with the "clipping" issue before and also know all about the different qualities of sampling (I keep it set on the highest quality). The problem isn't so much with the sample distorting but the "double bass" nature of the sample ie. it sounds more like a fretless electric when sampled, rather than a double bass. I think the issue is with the analog nature of a double bass'' sound versus the digital nature of the boomerang. I think much of the problem occurs during the analog to digital conversion, which seems to omit or alter many of the frequencies that make the sound of the double bass unique to the double bass. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing - I just would like to have both sides of my playing to sound authentic to the double bass....

    thanks again


  9. ok, well in that case i think the problem might be your pick up.
    you say that it sounds fine when you play it normally. but how lowd are you playing? if you are not playing that loud then you are still getting alot of acustic sound along with the sound from your amp. however once you start the loop the sound you hear is all from the pickup, you dont hear any acustic sound. this may not be the sole contributer to your sound problems but you should consider it. try turning up the volume on your amp so you cant hear the acustic sound from you bass. if it sounds like a frettless BG then your problem is the sound coming out of the pickup, not the boomerang.

    let me know :confused:

    p.s. i use the boomerang with my upright with a bass max pickup and i am really happy with the sound, even when there are two or even three or four parts going on at once.
  10. Thanks for the quick reply!

    I'm using a Realist and have played through my amp (a Polytone III) at high volume levels and have had no problems with losing my tone. Someone mentioned earlier that it could be an issue with this amp! Any thoughts?

  11. you got me stumped... it might be an EQ problem. if you take away some low end the two basses wont become mud when the are played together.

    keep me posted on anything you try. ill be interested how you solve this problem.