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Verbally describing tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Youngspanion, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I watched Jeff Beck on Palladia the other night with Tal Wilkenfeld and I immediately liked her tone. So I did a bunch of searches about her, her tone and whatever.

    So What I was thinking is that there must be a way to describe tone here on Talkbass by pointing to examples that can be found on Youtube or on recordings. Like you could point to this or that youtube or recording and say the tone of the bass is "Scooped" or Fat and thick or Modern. You know, things like this are said all the time by a lot of us and personally, I don't even know what I'm saying.

    So would you say that Tal's tone on most of her recordings is Scooped or Fat? Modern?
    You see where I'm going here?
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's impossible to convey with words something as subjective as a sound. Aside from loud, which we all understand, the subtlties of "tone" are far too complicated, and everyone's ears are different. Can't be done with any certainty.
  3. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    But we try all the time here. I read post after post of how this is Fat. This is grind. This is Modern and this is....whatever. So I think that It could be attempted.
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    smooth and jazzy
  5. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I have to agree and disagree equally. No one can know if I see the same "red" as you. And quite possibly, your "growly" may be my "crunchy".

    However, the idea of pointing out that string noise lies in the 2K range, punch is around 125 (or whatever it may be) and so on is valid, practical and useful.

    Furthermore, to layout examples such as "Squire has an aggressive tone, Jamerson's is muddier", etc is a common practice for good reason.

    I'm sure there is a thread, site, book or blog somewhere which gives examples of crispy", "tinny", "modern", "woody", boomy and on and on. Again, these words don't mean exactly the same thing to two different people. They are adjectives used to help describe what we hear.
  6. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Her tone is fat, warm, modern, grindy, scooped, thick, meaty, anemic, growly, aggressive, smooth, and warm(twice!).
  7. Awesome Sauce

    Awesome Sauce Already tired tomorrow

    Dec 21, 2011
    NW Chicago 'burbs
    Try the TalkBass Tone Glossary. :smug: I think they've done quite an admirable job of describing the various 'flavours' we give to our instrument. Links can be found in the Pickup Forum or the Wiki.

  8. Art Araya

    Art Araya

    May 29, 2006
    Palm Coast, FL
    Bingo! I just stumbled upon this yesterday and was thrilled to see it existed and how well done and thorough it was.

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