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Why isn't there an "Upright Simulator" effect?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Fluke, Jan 27, 2003.


  1. Fluke

    Fluke

    Jul 20, 2002
    Since there are acoustic guitar simulators for guitar, i imagine there could be an effect pedal which at least made your tone somewhat more suitable in acoustic jazz and similar settings, why isn't there one? Or is there some other way to get it?
     
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think it is because there is such a huge difference in size and sound. So an electric guitar is pretty similar in size to an acoustic, but BG scale length is 34" while Double Bass is 42" and the body is huge in comparison!

    The physical differences contribute to a very different way of playing which affects the sound so much that you couldn't reproduce it without having something that large.

    The playability of BG contributes to making a vastly different sound and no effect can compensate for that.
     
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Agreed, they might be in the same lowend family, But they are two different beasts. And besides, why simulate? just go BUY. eww... GAS for NS design upright electric is really killing me now.........
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Why use a sampled piano sound, just go BUY a Steinway Grand!



    $$$
     
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Right... but how much BETTER does the Steinway Grand sound!!!!

    Maybe i just should have said one word

    "Ashbory".... i don't think i spelled it right, But i just woke up, gimme a break.
     
  6. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    V Bass effect units can do a pretty accurate upright impression, from what I've heard.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    That's why we don't take you seriously!! :D
     
  8. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    But do you know how much they cost? If you can afford anywhere near the price of one of those babies (and have the space for it) - then you're a whole hell of a lot richer than me. My point was just that "why simulate? Just go BUY" is pretty unhelpful advice - a lot of us don't have the dough to be spending on DBs (and possibly not the time to learn to play 'em) - I know I've got absolutely nowhere near the cash to be even thinking about going anywhere near a DB - let alone bloody Steinway grands. You simulate because you can't get the real thing.
     
  9. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Speaking as the owner of both a VBass, and an upright, I can say that the VBass does a pretty admirable job of simulating an upright. Using a fretless with the VBass enhances the effect, but even with a fretted instrument, it is convincing enough when played with other instruments.

    Also, the Ashbory sounds pretty good in Jazz settings, for what it is.

    That said, the VBass is a lot more expensive than most effects, so it's certainly not a cheap fix.
     
  10. Nick Gann

    Nick Gann Talkbass' Tubist in Residence

    Mar 24, 2002
    Silver Spring, MD
    I know that the V Bass isnt cheap, but it is still a LOT cheaper than getting a upright.
     
  11. Hey ba$$monkee:

    Are we talking an EUB sound or a DB? I always thought that the percussive slapping doghouse sound (like in bluegrass) would be pretty tough to emulate synthetically. I am semi-interested in the V-Bass myself...
     
  12. thrash_jazz

    thrash_jazz

    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I have both an Ashbory and an upright, and the Ashbory isn't even close.

    I've never tried an EUB though, so I don't know if the Ashbory sounds like one of those...
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well if you mean as "convincing" as an Ashbory( i.e. not at all) then I might agree!! ;)
     
  14. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    What's the sound of a double bass? Come to that, what's the sound of an electric bass? How close do you have to get from one to simulate the other? All of these are subjective questions with a wide range of correct answers.

    I would love to have a double bass, but the availability of space and practise time suggest thats not something for me to get into just yet. If I want to capture something of what I consider to be double bass vibe, I'll resort to tricks like playing over the neck using my first and second fingers together, while trying to think how I'd approach playing a larger instrument with heavier strings and a higher action.

    It's unlikely to fool any listener who's even semi qualified to judge between them but works well enough for what I'm after. It's also free and very easy to store.... :)

    Wulf
     
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well yes, it depends what you want to do - you can get a more upright "vibe" - but it's not going to get you a gig with a Jazz pro, who has that particular 3-dimensional, acoustic sound in his/her mind.

    I think the other thing that I mentioned, is that the sheer physical challenge of the DB has an impact on your playing in terms of note choice, timing, etc etc - all of which cannot just be turned on or off in a pedal - but are rather part of a fundamental approach to what and how you play.
     
  16. wulf

    wulf

    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Yes - there's no doubt that you won't convince a 'jazz pro' who has got a clearly defined sound in mind. On the other hand, even if you could get 'the sound', I suspect some purists would still not accept it because it doesn't look like a double bass. Their loss... ;)

    However, I think the note choice can be simulated to a large degree and that doesn't require any external effect - just getting into a certain way of thinking.

    Wulf
     
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I do agree on that to a certain extent - Jaco certainly fooled Joe Zawinul into thinking he played upright!!;)

    Although I think there is a different "envelope" to the sound - BG is pretty constant sustain from initial attack - whereas DB swells quickly and then dies much more quickly.

    But what I mean is that you can't just step on a pedal and sound like a Double Bass - it does require a fundamental change of approach and a little bit of knowledge, sensitivity musicality etc.

    So - you can pay $1,000,000s for an "emulator" and it still won't necessarily make you sound anything like a DB if you don't play it in that way!!

    Whereas acoustic guitar is much closer in playing style to electric.
     
  18. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Who said it had to be good enough to fool jazz afficianados? He's not asking for something that could be confused for an upright. He's asking for something to s-i-m-u-l-a-t-e one.

    I never said the VBass would fool anyone who knew better. But, it sounds a hell of a lot more like an upright than any other 34" scale electric could hope to sound like one, or even most of the EUBs I've played. And, since 90% of the population out there asks, "Why is that 4th guy on the cover of the first Van Halen album?" it certainly works for a more natural sounding vibe when playing a standard at certain gigs.

    Same thing with the Ashbory. No one in their right mind would confuse the sound of an Ashbory for an upright--certainly not if they are looking at the stage. But, it has a lot of the same sonic benefits of an upright in a trio setting--ie, takes up lots of sonic space without stepping on the frequencies of soloists, or vocals. Fat, warm, bottom so the drummer doesn't have to worry about banging away at the kick drum to drive the beat. But, NO, Bruce, you're right, it doesn't sound exactly like an upright. Whoever said it did?

    It is a pretty damn good simulation for something that I can put in a gym bag, though....
     
  19. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    Well, you couldn't get a gig with most jazz pros (okay, except Sonny Rollins) by playing any kind of electric, anyway. So, at that point the point is moot, Bruce. Hell, you can't get a gig in a lot of orchestras for being left-handed, either, since your bowing wouldn't look good with the rest of the group, so I guess we should ban left handed doublebass players, too, right, Bruce?


    Of course it does. That's why a person playing a flute patch on a keyboard doesn't sound like a flute, no matter how good the synth is. There is always a certain dynamic imposed on an instrument. But, that doesn't make it impossible. John Pattitucci, love him or hate him, has a very sax-like quality to his soloing style. So, my guess is that John Pattitucci playing a bass synth with a good sax sound is going to sound more convincing than Billy Sheehan doing the same thing.

    Don't forget, Bruce--the Fender Precision Bass was designed to "get that upright sound" without having to lug one around, or for guitar players "who couldn't be bothered with learning to play the upright to get gigs." If people had your attitude then, where would we all be now? Admit it, Bruce--you'd go back in time and KILL THE ELECTRIC BASS if you could, wouldn't you? :eek: :D I kid, but it really is the same thing. You'll never fool a purist, but that's about .00000000004% of the population. I'd rather play to the other 99+%--they tend to be easier to find to fill seats at a gig.
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well if you read my post(s) more carefully you will see I was just giving examples and saying - "it depends on what you want to do" - then giving extreme examples on either side - just for the sake of clarity - not to say this is the only thing you might want to do!! I mean I could have given 150 examples of different situations - but it would make a pretty boring post - so I just gave the extremes for sake of brevity!!

    I've played many many gigs over the last 20 years and all on electric bass guitar!! ;)

    I have also been to many acoustic Jazz gigs and Orchestral concerts - and the sounds of the real Double Bass at all of these, could never be confused with bass guitar!!