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Hates Richie Kotzen
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I'd agree with picks being a big thing when playing bass. When I'm just rough tracking I usually just use Jazz III, but when I'm doing anything worse actually releasing, I have a handful of Winspear picks to choose from.
Jazz IIIs definitely work in a pinch, especially if they are XLs, better than a lot of stuff.

BTW, if you are a Jazz III guy get these. https://www.jimdunlop.com/flow-standard-pick-1-5mm/ Not for bass of course, for guitar. That's a newish model they rolled out 2-3 years back. Huge Jazz III XL fan for fucking ever, haven't actually bought the Jazz III base models since getting these. They are the best guitar picks money can buy.

They make them in Delrin too, which is preferable for leads and hugely underrated. The less glossy regular ones are better for chording and rhythm and shit, but Delrins rule for single note lead stuff. https://www.jimdunlop.com/primegrip-delrin-500-pick-1-14mm/
 

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formerly known as Engineer Trav
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I used to change my bass strings a lot. Not anymore and I cannot really tell the difference.
I had a teacher who's bass was used on a lot of big country records in the 70s/80s he decided not to change the strings because of its "history" honestly the bass sounded pretty good. I couldn't tell you the make/model anymore but it's definitely not made anymore
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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I had a teacher who's bass was used on a lot of big country records in the 70s/80s he decided not to change the strings because of its "history" honestly the bass sounded pretty good. I couldn't tell you the make/model anymore but it's definitely not made anymore
I don't think the guys in here are going for a thumpy chicken grease dead session tone though.

Honestly, a lot of the tones people look towards, the dudes are using exciters/expanders somewhere in their signal chain to add some of the zing. That's definitely a secret weapon for bass zing if you don't overdo it. That level of "fresher than fresh" zing doesn't come from strings alone.

I'm assuming the modeler dudes don't need aftermarket ones. A lot of the more in your face impressive tones on plugin shit is excited. Dudes coming from guitar will usually dismiss adding like chorus or exciter or whatever, but that "ultra fresh" sound can't be done without it.

Some of the best "that's just a good basic bass sound" tones of all time definitely have more stuff going on than just a good basic bass sound.

Duff Mckagan is the most obvious example. The vast vast majority of people, if you played them his shit isolated would be like, "that's just a good bass player in an expensive studio with fresh strings going for it".

His shit is actually really clever with sparing use of exciter of chorus. His signal chain is definitely really clever. Way more musical than the shitty generic modern melodeath warwick whatever. Most people will outright dismiss the shit he has going on that puts it over the top as "that will wash things out" or as "cheesy" or "dated".


His most iconic shit is actually the same rackmount yamaha harmonic chorus exciter thing Zakk Wylde used. That really fresh zing is not just fresh strings. Amazingly subtle bass player actually.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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The funny thing is the Eddie Jacksons tone, specifically on OM, sells a lot of people on buying Spectors........

Spectors are great basses. But he's also running literally the exact same set up as Duff. You don't need a specific bass to get that tone.

I assume the Axe Fx probably has a model of the GK, but Brainworx does a great plugin. 800 RB. Legendary amp. Most people wouldn't look to it for modern metal.

That sound is mostly the amp and picking near the bridge and sparing chorus. Eddie Jackson actually sounds the exact same when he's using any other bass.

 

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Discussion Starter #25
IMO for guitar players, it's mostly technique that makes us shitty bass players. I use those rubberized picks that are supposed to sound like fingerpicking. They absolutely do not, but they are better than using regular guitar picks as you don't get the high pitched scraping sound that comes along with picking a bass string at an angle with a tortex pick. The rubber ones sound almost the same and I don't have to waste an entire afternoon automating notch EQs to get rid of the scrape noise.

Bass is, begrudgingly admitted, much more difficult to play cleanly than guitar is. Any little fuckup in timing, fretting or picking consistency is instantly noticeable in a recording. I'm not exactly Stu Hamm but I play and write technical stuff, and my basslines need to be more than just riding a root note like I'm in Van Halen. Since my technique is nowhere near good enough or consistently clean enough to nail a full tune in one take, I end up with a shitload of takes glued together.

Where you pick (towards the bridge vs towards the neck) is, as you said, equally important. I think it's personal preference as to where you do it, but you need to stay in the same place all the time. If you start a measure picking on the saddles and 3 notes later you're picking in the middle of the pickups, it's going to sound completely different and stick out like a sore thumb in your recording. I'm guilty of this too, because I'm just a shitty bass player. I totally understand why people program this shit in midi, it's not as cool but a lot of the time it's WAY more time-effective than having us shred types actually learn to play bass. :lol:
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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You should look into the "funk" stuff dude. Have you played the Mesa Subway shit at all? Those are awesome, and based on shit like the GK mentioned. It's a whole different ball game. The controls and shit and all the options you have are fundamentally different than a guitar head or a simple direct box or whatever. It's a way different experience, if you just look at the front panel you'll see. The tone shaping going on there is not what guitarists are used to.

Modern metal tends to gravitate toward either like DIs, or an SVT as a glorified power amp, or fuzzed out nonsense.

Most of the really good stuff is the amps aimed at funk players. Most of the Spector guys use heads aimed at funk players, I don't know what Hal Patino used in the 80s, but recently he was using the Warwick Jonas Hellborg stuff. Which is in the vein of the GK 80s high tech funk stuff.

It's definitely something worth trying if you've only done like, DIs and direct boxes and blends and stuff. It's not like a guitar amp bass-mid-treble tone stack. The circuitry is way different.


None of the sick Spector tones of legend are DI boxes or into an old school SVT kind of stuff. They are definitely all into more sophisticated designs aimed at funk players that came into prominence in the 80s.

Not just the Spector guys. Steve Harris too. Most of the bass tones I personally like are not straight into DI boxes or into old school 3 band tone stacks. They are into techier units aimed at funk guys that have all kinds of functions you don't see on guitar heads. None of them are using like, 50s-60s amps. The stuff with more options and limiters and crossovers and shit is part of the vibe of that kind of metal bass.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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I don't think there are any awesome metal Spector tones that aren't into units that at least have their own limiters. Consistency and technique are obviously the most important. But all the Eddie Jackson/Kip Winger/Hal Patino/etc. etc. etc. stuff is into the higher tech 80s era heads aimed at funk players with extra circuitry like limiters/crossovers/bi amping/etc. It's not like they are plugging straight into a mixing desk.

Of course you know, there are plenty of guitarist dudes who get Spectors and approach it like guitars and DI or go into a guitar amp or whatever, smoothing out the stems after and all that shit, but that specific shit like the Eddie Jackson Spector sound, you definitely need a unit like the GK.

You'll probably be instantly surprised at how much better you sound. Those guys are all great players of course, but it's not 100% fingers, they definitely have help from gear. If you haven't tried the units aimed at the funk guys like the Mesa Subway shit or whatever you should give it a go. Aguilar, Eden, whatever, all that good shit. They are a lot of fun to play.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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I have a Kemper, it has a ton of great bass tones in it:

Well yeah, I meant you should try the models of the amps described on your Axe-Fx. Not buy the amps. :lol:

Not a big Kemper fan from the little I've tried, the Axe-Fx bass stuff rules. I know they have some of the older Mesa Bass heads on there.

Don't you have an Axe III? Why would you go for the Kemper over the III? Those have input impedence loading simulation, don't they? If you have a newer interface it probably has it too. I don't think the Kemper has it.

That shit is next level. Have you tried it yet? Some of the Brainworx plugins have it. I know the III has the capability but I don't know if support is model dependent or only for effects or what. You have to go straight into the input obviously.

You know, all the old guy talk about the magic of plugging directly into the amp. Straight into the input. Nothing in the way. Loading down the pickups and all that. Won't work if you have a tuner or anything up front obviously due to the buffer.

It kicks ridiculous amounts of ass. Try it if you haven't yet. Both the Brainworx Plexi and 2203 I have feature it, it's a fucking blast. I didn't buy the hype but it is legitimately the fucking bomb.

Sort of a brief description of how it works here at 3:30.


The Kemper shit is cool, but profiles are essentially relatively static snapshots. I know one of the major selling points of the Axe FX stuff is the accuracy of vintage effect pickup loading. The vintage effects models definitely have it, don't know if they have it on the head models.
 

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Guiterrorizer
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Quigs what bass picks do you speak of?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Don't you have an Axe III? Why would you go for the Kemper over the III?
I use them both man. :lol: I just threw the Kemper out as an example of why I don't need a bass preamp. I have three current-gen modelers. Right now the coolest/easiest to mix bass tone I reach for just happens to be in the Kemper.
 

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Hates Richie Kotzen
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I use them both man. :lol: I just threw the Kemper out as an example of why I don't need a bass preamp. I have three current-gen modelers. Right now the coolest/easiest to mix bass tone I reach for just happens to be in the Kemper.
Don't you have an old man PAF loaded Les Paul now? :lol: You are definitely supposed to be using the guitar->input pickup loading functionality and raving about it. Les Paul is turning in his grave seeing you daisy chain four pitch blacks between the most buttery pickups of all time and a sacred unbroken symbiotic relationship with a convincing digital simulacra of an amp designed to play THE BLUES. It's a fucking miracle of technology. 21st century shit yo.

Digitech actually has a pedal these days that pretty accurately simulates the whole Ritchie Blackmore holding you guitar in front of a raging cab to capture some magic shrieking noises shit. I think Bloody Inferno has one. (of course) I keep trying to find an excuse to order one, but I don't know how useful it would be.


 

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Discussion Starter #34
Don't you have an old man PAF loaded Les Paul now? :lol: You are definitely supposed to be using the guitar->input pickup loading functionality and raving about it. Les Paul is turning in his grave seeing you daisy chain four pitch blacks between the most buttery pickups of all time and a sacred unbroken symbiotic relationship with a convincing digital simulacra of an amp designed to play THE BLUES. It's a fucking miracle of technology. 21st century shit yo.
Nah, mine has burstbuckers in it. Les can eat shit, he's lucky I haven't swirled it yet.
 

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Really? Any time I record something I think there might be a remote possibility of keeping I throw fresh strings on. The difference is night and day.

(I end up trashing the recording anyway because I'm a shit bass player but the point remains, lol)
I do not notice a difference with new bass strings. Now guitar strings, that is a different ballgame. I always change them and there is a huge difference in brightness.
 

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Arrr, Matey!
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Can't wait to see the couch shot!!
 
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