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What is the best FX for fretless?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tonylevinkix, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    For years I've looked for an effect that would make my fretless sound more mwaa! Right now I use a chorus set to it's slowest sweep, it's ok. Perhaps a gate but I don't want it to sound breathy. Personally I like for the note and slide to come out without so much attack. I know your saying a vol. pedal and yeah maybe. Another sound on fretless is the classic stand up sound. Is it more mid-range? I suppose tape wound strings helps for that. I just bought a second fretless I was thinking of selling my other one but maybe I should keep it and put tape wounds on it for stand up sound? Just trying to get ideas.
  2. phillybass101

    phillybass101 Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Chorus and a little reverb. Octave pedals work too when you're playing higher up.
  3. DaniKettu


    Aug 18, 2008
    For my experience you just can't get fretless sound even close to what uprights sounds. And oh lord i have tried and failed. So i bought an upright.
  4. I think what you want is a compressor, the right one will bump down the attack and then lift the sustain, which sounds like what you want. I don't know which one to recommend, since I've never been a big compressor guy.

    Other than that, plucking down by the bridge for more mwah and plucking up on the fingerboard for a more upright sound is what usually works best for me (although it really is a poor substitute for an upright). Flatwounds may help with an upright sim.
  5. I think the boss cs2 or cs3 would be great for this. They're pretty cheap if you find a used one and IIRC there's a YouTube video of Juan Alderete doing a rig rundown and that's what he's using for with his fretless.
  6. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    I'll try the compressor idea, whenever I think of this kind of smooth fretless I think of Sunset Grill from my HS days. I just found this on youtube, I'll watch it later, Tony Franklin teaching fretless bass for more than an hour, how can you go wrong? Then ofcourse there's my favorite fretless player Tony Levin who actually hangs an electric upright around his neck! Very Cool!
  7. Nno Mar

    Nno Mar

    May 4, 2012

    Look at Juan Alderete!

  8. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    Why couldn't you do this with a chorus set to a fast rate and high intensity. A very long time ago I had a Fender Bandmaster (slap myself everyday for selling it!) anyway, it had a built in vibrato very cool.
  9. BarStarzBass


    Apr 25, 2010
    Have you tried using an EQ like the Boss GEB-7 to emphasize the frequencies where the "mwaaa" lives? That works pretty good for me. I believe (not home to check) I boost around 400 and 800 Hz - it's somewhere in the midrange . . .
  10. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    Interesting the great thing about my home computer recrding set up is that a lot of these fx are plug ins, I can try before I buy for my my live set up. Thanx for the pointers.
  11. BarStarzBass


    Apr 25, 2010
    Cheers. Now if anyone knows of a pedal that can auto-correct my crappy intonation on fretless . . . do tell!!

    Come to think of that . . . it'd be interesting to run my fretless through Autotune . . .
  12. Cyed


    Jun 9, 2011
    Jakarta jakarta
  13. Inconnu


    Nov 1, 2005
    My bass-ment
    Octave when playing high notes. Chorus, light flange, or of mix of both (I don't use my chorus much since I have an EHX Stereo Electric Mistress, which lets you blend flanger and chorus).
  14. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    "mwah" is not caused by an effect but rather by setup and technique. There are many existing threads, but in a nutshell, mwah is facilitated by roundwound strings, low action, a coated fingerboard, using the bridge pickup, and using left-and-right-hand techniques that emphasize the mwah.
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    We all know that an electric cannot sound like an upright. But, an electric can take on certain qualities that typify an upright.

    1. You can put a rag under the strings near the bridge to reduce the sustain.
    2. You can finger pick the strings near the fret board.
    3. Flats. Flats. Flats.
  16. derg

    derg Supporting Member

    May 26, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
  17. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    Yeah I agree about the flats, I've also found tapewound to promote a nice fretless tone, closer to stand up. Both of my fretless basses have ebony fretboards and I pluck at the bass of the neck which seems to help. Hadn't thought about the rag though, it seems counterprodutive to want to reduce sustain but I have to admit it doea make sense.
  18. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    An upright has a very sharp attack. Well, it seems to have a sharp attack, because the decay, sustain and release portions of the signal seem to go by very quick. You Pluck, it thumps, and then fades. An electric bass may have thump, but it has such a long sustain after the decay, that the sustain becomes the primary tone we hear.

    So, a rag to muffle the sustain and emphasize the attack is one way to mimic that quality.
  19. tonylevinkix


    Sep 24, 2010
    Although I've never had the pleasure of owning one, stingrays have a mute kit for each string on the bridge, is this the effect that gadget was thought up for? Never seen a string mute on any other bass.
  20. Fender basses used to have foam mutes inside the bridge pickup cover- the so-called "ashtray".

    I guess on a P-bass it's just a bridge cover, but I have a J bass so...