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what is "mwah ?"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by godoze, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    o.k. i have to admit that until a few months ago i have not paid any attention to commercial (read: electric) bass magazines or websites. So, after playing for twenty years i start looking at this info again and wow, all the new terms you guys have come up with is impressive ! So, what does "mwah" stand for ? I see it mostly in relation in fretless basses.:)
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It doesn't stand for anything, it's onomatopaeic (sp?) and refers to the sound of the notes you can get on a fretless, the way the note grows after you play it. Jaco was rather good at it :) BTW, someone tell me what GAS stands for?
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    GAS = Gear Acquisition Syndrome
  4. Isn't ther a FAQ somewhere around here that explains all these expressions?
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ahh, Gear Acquisition Syndrome... I had been thinkin on that one for a while, I had guessed that the S was syndrome, but I wouldn't have got the G and the A. I was hoping I was gonna be able to figure it out before I had to ask someone and look silly :D

    If it is in an FAQ, I've not found it
  6. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA

    The holy grail of fretless bass sound.

    More "mwah" is always better..

    I think it has to do with the sound derived from playing fretless bass where the string vibration when voicing a note reaches the instrument's reasonant frequency. At that point the sound "blossoms" and a mid-range peak can be detected with the ear.

    The best "mwah" I've ever heard was from a Roscoe fretless 5 string... It was like the voice of God!!
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm not sure that it's to do with the bass's resonant frequency - wouldn't a fretted have mwah too if that were the case?

    I always figured it was because the string is held flat to the fretboard, rather than being raised up by a thin metal fret - which means that at first more of the string is vibrating against the wood, and as the vibrations get smaller after you strike the note, the string doesn't vibrate against the fretboard so much. That's what I assumed, anyone have a definitive explanation for mwah?
  8. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA

    You're probably right....

    But it sounded good though didn't it??? :D :D
  9. I think you're pretty much right. I don't see how it can have anything to do with the resonant frequency of the bass; if it did you wouldn't be able to get mwah on as many notes as most players in fact can.

    And I'm one of those who thinks you can *definitely* have too much mwah. Overused, it becomes irritating IMHO and loses much of its expressive effect. SORT OF LIKE TYPING ALL POSTINGS IN CAPITAL LETTERS.;) Or shouting everything you say at top volume.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem I'm alive and well. Where am I? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA


    :p :D
  11. No problems, prog, just a little friendly back-and-forth!

    I do like the pointy cap, though.;)
  12. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    thanks gentlemen ! i think i'll wear a pointy hat to my solo gig tonight and face backwards while i play - this crowd would probably dig it !

    i guess i have always gotten that sound- just didn't know that onamonapae (sp) was now part of electric bass vocabulary..:cool:
  13. Groovski


    Sep 20, 2002
    My happy place

    uh......yeah, me too
  14. To me, "mwah" is also a state of mind while you're playing. You don't just hear the mwah, but you also feel the mwah as well.

    But then again, I don't like playing fretless :p
  15. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Sound like a Zen thing. Or Yoda - 'May the mwah be with you'. :D
  16. Try onomatopoeia.:D

    Sorry, I have this nasty habit of correcting spelling.:rolleyes:
  17. It's also the kissy noise, one of the reasons I first looked at the embellisher and other fretless enthusiasts funny on the boards when I first got here. Another thing that really affects the whole sound of a fretless bass' attack is the tone wood. It's most important imo. Notching out the ultra-highs and boosting mids—depending on the frequency—will give you a variety of results.

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