Has Your Tone Evolved?

Recording tips and tricks to opitimize tone and get the sound in your head on tracks, Live PA, as well as knowledge sharing of wood, strings,hardware, anything that contributes to the ever elusive tone.

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby groovemachine » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:11 pm

I really would rather sound like this:

classic P-bass w/flats tone

I do still really love a P-bass with rounds, but I'd like to sound exactly like this:

holy grail sound (for me)

I know the Ampeg helps. My B-15N does this, but I've had a hard time getting this tone at gig volumes. my '64 and '66 P-basses (that I no longer have) did this sound, but I've never been able to find a pickup that really replicates those mid-'60s grey bottoms. I know the Antiquity II should be the one, but it doesn't quite do it for me...it's a little too polite. And then the Dimarzio Model P seems maybe a bit too much much the other direction.

Any thoughts?

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby hoytbasses » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:56 am

90's: Jazz pickups panned towards the bridge , passive tone cracked a bit GK400 and a 210 cab.....no efx (I'm a bass player after all)

Now: Jazz pickups panned towards the neck pickup, GK 400rb (until I save up to get a GKmb500)and a 112 cab, passive tone cracked a bit. still no steenking efx.

definitely influenced by the jaco tone back in the day ( my corpulent fingers would NEVER approximate his playing) but now I'm thinking more and wanting to hear the fatter precision tone of my heros.

Happy Thursday!


oh... in the 60's 70's and 80's I was too damned broke: whatever I had I played and tried to squeeze some kind of tone out of it.
There's nothing Passive about Passive pickups!
User avatar

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby groovemachine » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:41 pm

Wow. I'll figure out this devolution thing. For the past 3 years or so most of my playing was with a cover band run by an obnoxious electric guitar player that ran his guitar through a full-range Bose L1 with 2 subs getting 500 watts of power. Obviously, my tone didn't matter. I did it for the money. And, during that same time I had a regular church gig mostly playing in a gymnasium with a sound guy that thought I was too loud if he could hear my amp at all, but cranked the snot out of the P.A. and routinely clipped my channel in the mains and couldn't hear the difference. I did that for the money as well.

I'm now playing in a roots reggae band, a soul band, and a small cover band using hand percussion instead of drums...all these are serious upgrades in quality of musicianship. I'm finding myself enjoying playing flatwounds, needing/wanting more low end, and rolling off my passive tone knob some. It's like I'm getting to actually make art. On those previous gigs if I'd start to try to dialog about the music the drummer would stop me and say, "We're not making art here, we're playing Brown Eyed Girl." I hung onto those things for too long because of the money, but it really destroyed my soul in so many ways.

I need to pick up one of those Zoom handheld recorders so I can listen back to gigs and see if I end up getting any closer to the sound clips I posted and move away from what I sounded like in the first clip I posted. Geez, those guys were pushing me on and I was hitting the front end of my streamliner pretty hard, so there's some distortion happening. That tone is way too aggressive and I overplayed the crap out of that tune, but it was a spur of the moment jammed out tune. On all the other material I try to play as little as is absolutely necessary and bring what's on the recordings.

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby groovemachine » Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:47 am

Well, here's a sample of where I'm going with the reggae group:

jazz bass with flats and foam mute

What I'm discovering is that I can/should actually use this sort of tone and approach on most of the gigs I'm doing (soul, r&b, reggae, folk, singer-songwriter, alt. country) and the P-bass with rounds thing is really much more aggressive and doesn't serve the song as much as it draws attention to myself.

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby Rob Francis » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:57 am

Nice work!
User avatar
Rob Francis

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby hoytbasses » Sun Oct 20, 2013 5:56 am

I'm digging the overall vibe of the band, Groovy, and I'm not a big ran of reggae. (probably because around these parts we only hear BAD reggae) Hard to really dial in on your tone on that recording but your lines cut through nicely! and I'm glad I kept listening until the guitar solo. That's a tasty player!

There's nothing Passive about Passive pickups!
User avatar

Re: Has Your Tone Evolved?

Postby Mr. Mom » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:16 am

Good thread! How did I miss it??

In short: "Yes. My tone has evolved." Though there are some constants such as my very smoooooth tone. Been asked many times "Is that a fretless?" when it's a fretted. Must be how I play or how my hands react to the strings. Not something I do on purpose.

Getting an upright a few years ago has really changed my perspective on tone. Getting into, and being able to get, a more "woody" tone out of my electrics. Also, running sound for a band I play in has opened my eyes. I have been digging the tone of the bass on top of the kick. Kick is centered around 80 hz and the bass is centered around 200-250 hz.

And of course EQing. I have been cutting bass frequencies first if I don't like my tone. I find that will clean things up pretty quickly.
I don't know and I don't care,
'Cause I don't wear Tonto's underwear.
User avatar
Mr. Mom
Bad Ass Slut
Location: Central Ohio


Return to TONE

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest