1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

"Your" sound.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Aaron Saunders, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Alright ladies and gentleman, I'm aware this has probably been discussed before (probably more than once, too), but it's always fun to reflect on how your sound has changed so let's start a new topic!

    Now, like or not, we all have our ideal sound, and one of the highest goals of many musicians it to find that particular sound and run with it. Have you found "your" sound yet? What is it? What gear do use to get this sound? What techniques? What variations on the standard techniques (thumb or index finger when doing artificial harmonics, etc.) have you made your own?

    Peronsally, I'm experimenting with techniques and settings at the moment, but it's kind of hard to tweak and such on a deadpan Samick with a broken bridge volume pot, and, when the pot was broken, it was muted. My bridge pickup did nothing, until my last lesson, when my teacher managed to turn the pot all the way up. An improvement, I guess. The closest I ever came to hearing "my" sound (a sound the just made me grin from ear to ear) was on a Schecter Stilleto Studio 4 string played through...hmmm...some big funker of a tube amp. I can't remember exactly what it was. Unfortunately, it was $1300. And I have no money to spend on a new bass. At all. But I do have some Seymour Duncan Hot for P and Hot for J p'ups to stick in my Samick with an Aguilar OBP-3 (as soon as it comes in -- same store with the Schecter, actually). In any case, I'm on the road to finding that sound. It's hard to describe, I'll have to go back and play the Schecter again to get it fresh in my memory.
  2. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003

    My main style is like a banjo finger picking thing. I use my thumb, index, and middle fingers. Thumb, for double thumping and slapping, index for popping, index and middle for double stopping and flamencos. I use other techniques as well.

    My main axe is a Josh Paul sig. Cort Elrick 5ver.
    I play through a Boss GT6B. I use many different effects. All depends on the sound I'm looking for. I use DR low rider strings, I love the way they sound. I tweek the tone with the on board pre-amp on the bass. I like a punchy mid-range, so I boost the mids. When I'm playing I play down by the bridge, I get a better cleaner sound. A little tougher to slap there, but it works fine for me.
    I've been using alot of harmonics latley. I'm trying to get as many down as I can. So I've been doing pinched harms, sliding harms, false harms, you name it, I'm trying it! Gives me something to work on right now.

    There, thats good enough for now!

  3. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Have you tried tapped harmonics? Try them on the 15th/17th/19th etc. frets -- they sound really neat. Just tap as you normally would, but as soon as you contact the fret, jerk your finger back. Well, maybe not jerk, but you get the picture.
  4. Joe Turski

    Joe Turski

    Jul 29, 2003
    Yep, sure have! I tap some false harmonics when needed.
  5. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Ive tried lots of basses and Ive always come back to Fender. I used to hate them when I was more ignorant! Right now I have a p bass but Im going to get a jazz soon. To me my amps are secondary to everything else. All the differences in my sound come from using different amounts of attack on the string and at different points with respect to the pickups. I also like to turn my amp up loud and play softly for better dynamic response. I use little EQ, mostly to make changes to suit the room Im playing in.
  6. I started off wanting to sound like Geddy Lee so I got in the habit of digging in hard, adding lots of treble, and playing with both pickups on my Mexi J wide open.

    Once I dumped the MIMJ and bought a Dean fiver with a really biting bridge pickup (which turned out to be defective because only one of the coils worked), I had more of a fusion-y, Jaco-on-fretted kind of sound. It sounded awful for slap but that bass wasn't much of a slapper anyway.

    Now, with my FBB, I have a whole bunch of wonderful tones at my disposal. I have:
    -Ballsy P growl with the neck pickup soloed
    -Pseudo-Music Man vibe with some bridge PU added to the neck
    -Warm yet focused "hi-fi" sound at the center detent (records amazingly well)
    -Grind, grind, and more grind with the bridge pickup highlighted.

    As far as my playing style has gone, I pluck a lot more lightly than I did when I started off (I took up floating-thumb muting when I switched to 5) but I use somewhat higher action than I once did so it balances out. I also pluck fairly close to the bridge for a grindier sound.
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Either fingerstyle just in front of the bridge pickup with my thumb anchored on the neck pickup, which I started for a balance of tension and P-ing it, or right at the end of the fretboard.

    I recently took up/am learning using 3 fingers on my plucking hand, but up until that point, it was my index and middle finger, with the occasional thumb (especially when at the end of the fretboard). Not much of a slapper, but I don't think slap is all that cool to begin with. Use a pick on occasion, but not often.

    I guess for my sound, I'm trying to get a grinding P-bass kinda vibe.

    EMGs are my friend, as is Eden amplification. With those two things, I will rule the world.
  8. Jon Burnet

    Jon Burnet

    Jan 21, 2001
    Memphis, TN
    over the bridge pickup with a fat sack of mids...

    swr and epifani for clarity... boost the bass on the bass and voila you sond like jonny.
  9. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    my sound consists of a faulty jack and a really old, coiled cord...:D
  10. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Perfecting 'my sound' has been the best cure for GAS I've found. Dialing in that sound has involved tweaking knobs as well as my own wants and expectations.

    At the moment (this is guaranteed to change, mind you) I am completely happy with my sound - to the point that I don't want to give up my 'interim' Avatar 4x10, because when paired with my Goliath 4x10, the combo gives a sound I like and have become accustomed to. I've tried stacking my amp and Goliath on top of a deeper 4x10 and it felt like pure mud coming out. Same kinda story with my bass. I was initially a bit ambivalent about the sound of my Peavey Cirrus, but it has become thoroughly 'me' now. I bought an MTD Heir because I thought the look and sound would be better for the alt-country act I'm playing with. It was a great bass for the $, but I couldn't get rid of it fast enough because the sound was just too *different* from the one I'd been working to perfect. GAS will lead me to buy a seriously upscale bass eventually, but I think I will always be somewhat monogamous, bass-wise. Changing strings on one bass every few weeks - let alone two or more - is practical reason enough for that. I can see myself having a Fodera built to spec and it sitting at home while my Cirrus goes to the gigs. I am, after all, the guy who played his beloved customized Squier Jazz for years while a collection of other J's sat at home!

  11. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    My current sound of choice is with my Essex fretless P. I play with the tone knob cut down to 1 or 2 and i boost the mids on my amp. I play fingerstyle with my pointer and middle and i dnot dig in very hard. The tone i get is punchy and mellow with some muah. My prefered style includes lots of slides and vibratos and a funky feel. Once i get a Stingray (8 months ish) i will re take up slapping but my Hohner doesnt have a great slap tone so i dont do it often.
  12. tonedeaf

    tonedeaf Supporting Member

    My sound is my MIM standard J-Bass with both pickups on 10, tone on about 6 or 7, amp EQ set to flat, with maybe a tiny bit of low/low-mid boost. Play kind of right in between the pickups with my index and middle fingers with a pretty hard attack (Since I've lowered my action considerably, I'm working on softening my attack without giving up intensity). Gives me a big booty sound with plenty of clarity, and a touch of that nasal J-bass beauty when I dig in/slide up to notes.

    Variations include

    * Backing off the neck pickup to about 7 and turning the tone to 10 for a more cut-through sound if I feel the need for that.

    * Plucking right at the end of the fingerboard for that dubby sound.

    * Palm muting and playing with my thumb

    Mostly that first one, though. My favorite sound so far. I just came into possession of a Jazz Bass Deluxe with an active 3-band EQ. Not sure about that one yet, but probably more of the same.:D
  13. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Gear - 75 Jazz, Fender flats, Ampeg SVT400T, Ampeg 1540he.

    Controls - Bridge or Neck PU rolled a bit back as needed, usually both full on, tone always full on, Low and Low-Mids bumped up a notch, High-Mids down a notch, and Highs left at 12 o'clock on amp. On cabinet, horn attenuated by 3db.

    Playing style - All fingerstyle, thumb generally anchored on the inside corner of the Neck PU.

    This is exactly the tone I hear in my head. I like a lot of other gear, basses, and sounds... But I always come home to this one.
  14. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses, Taurus Amplification
    I dig everything that sounds good within the context, and is played live, organinc - as time passes I`m finding myself floating away from electronic music...

    1. Hi-end. bass with active humbuckers played with taste. Modern midrange, yet nicely rounded and warm, deep. Alien Ant Farm`s first cd is a good example.

    2. Growl. Raw, cutting. Digging in, fresh stainless strings on a bass with a graphite neck. Think: Faith No More and Skunk Anansie. I just low the graphite growl, that midrange bark...

    3. Wood. A wet, oily sound of african wood with possibly transparent pickups. Think Warwick.

    I currently have no. 1 with my new 6 strings and a bit softened, suble no. 3 with my fretless.
  15. I like a nice loud, clear sound with a lot of mids. Love the "Thwack" I can get with all those mids.

    Right now I'm using a Hartke 350 head, a 4x10 cab and a 2x10 cab with a horn. No effects, just a smidge of compression. Use my Rick 2001 most of the time, but just can't stop playing my cheap-ass Squire P-bass. : ) Prefer playing with my fingers over a pic.
  16. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    EMG's and Eden's work for me too. It sounds like you liked that Schecter which has EMG's. I think you will like a Spector Q4 better, which has EMG's, at least I do. Beef up your pups like you plan on doing. I play and Eden head and Ampeg cab. Unfortunately the better gear I got the better my tone got, all you need is money. Layaway is a beautiful thing.
  17. I try to get a unique sound.
    First of all, it`s Sloppy. Not in a bad way. I Know how to be more solid. But i don`t like it very much, except when I play mi fretless.
    I place my hands over the neck. SO I can Tap/Slap easily. ;). My sound is the V. Hi Lows, Low Mids, Hi highs(?). I play with a lot of technics, depending on the song. The most common is Slap, wich is my personal favorite one. I don`t have the sound that most bassist like. Cause, i belive that most of you seachs for a clean, deep and solid sound, and Im completly on the other way.
    But it`s the way i like to sound....

    My gear is Mesa cabinet, ADA Mb-1, an Ibanez TR fretless and a Luthier active bass.

    :D Mike :D
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Generally I play in front of the bridge pick up with my thumb anchored on the bridge pickup.

    When I slap, my thumb is parallel to the strings, and placed over the fretboard at about the 23rd fret, same for double thumb.

    I generally play with a very light touch, but I do dig in occasionally.

    I have described my tone as the word Carrot.

    say it aloud, Carrot, that's my tone. ;)
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Um... I think you might have me mixed up with someone else. I've never even played a Schecter, and I own a Spector NS2000/5.

  20. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    I was talking to the original poster. Sorry if I wasn't clear. He tried a Schecter at the store, I know it's not a Spector but it has EMG's.