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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through December 03, 2011 » Emulate a double bass sound with a Series I? « Previous Next »

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Username: grankin

Post Number: 16
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 10:19 pm:   Edit Post

Any hope of doing this? First thoughts: tone controls all the way to "zero". Round wound strings. What else?
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1997
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 10:32 pm:   Edit Post

FLAT wound strings !
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 502
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post

I think it's the wrong kind of bass to try for an acoustic bass sound. Everything on an Alembic fosters sustain - through-body design, laminate neck, heavy hardware. The predominant sound of an upright bass is very short sustain (certainly when you're playing pizz). When you pluck a note, it gives a big transient, then dies down very quickly. That's what makes the thump. With a Series bass, you'll have a much more gradual decay of the sound, much less decay than even a traditional bolt-on bass.

If you really want to try this, then I would think about putting a big piece of dense felt or foam under the strings right next to the bridge to kill the sustain off.

David Fung
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 1998
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post

What David Fung wrote is correct, in particular the concentration of the energy of the note as a transient with a double bass (pizz). With some signal processing one can sometimes rearrange the effect on a neck through such as the Series Alembic but it requires a bit of outboard gear and patience to attain the desired effect. Lots of variables ; Equalization and Expansion with threshold adjustment of the transient and then multispectral compression; perhaps. too much tweaking and fiddling and ultimately not completely practical in actualization .

However, I still maintain one would start with Flat wounds .
Username: grankin

Post Number: 17
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 7:10 am:   Edit Post

D'Oh! I meant to write 'flat wound" - which is what it wears nowadays (Thomastic Infelds).

Agreed that the instrument is a sustain monster, also agreed that trying to undo what it does seems foolish ... but it has so much range of adjustment to the sound I was semi-hoping that I was just missing something. Will try Davis Fung's approach, which is a bunch cheaper & simpler than loads of outboard processing.

The band I'd like to sit in with always uses a double bass pizz, and that's why the question.

Senior Member
Username: tbrannon

Post Number: 1426
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 8:09 am:   Edit Post

I've heard forum member Charles Gaston get his Series II to sound an awful lot like a double bass on a recording he sent me.

I asked him about it- he went almost all neck pickup, rolled the filter way down and then played over the end of the fingerboard. Pretty sure he just hand muted the strings to knock down the sustain.

It was a good enough imitation of a double bass that I asked him specifically about it. In the mix of his band it sounded awfully close to me.
Username: willgunn

Post Number: 58
Registered: 2-2007
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 4:40 pm:   Edit Post

I've been using a piece of dense black foam rubber (the same stuff Fender routinely installed on the inside of the bridge cover plates up to the late '70's) stuffed between the bridge and bridge pickup on one of my Series basses with terrific results. It's more of an "Ampeg Baby Bass" tone than an acoustic double bass tone - nothing will achieve that tone other than the real thing itself - but it's perfect for those Jamerson/Latin Jazz moments! Plus, if you roll off the high's to about 500-600Hz, it won't matter what sort of strings are used - it's all one big, dull thud by then!
Intermediate Member
Username: oujeebass

Post Number: 182
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 6:30 pm:   Edit Post

yeah, hand muting
Senior Member
Username: sonicus

Post Number: 2002
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 6:59 pm:   Edit Post

Hand muting is one of my standard techniques as well. I use three fingers and my thumb on right hand to pluck and the side of my thumb and palm to mute. Left hand technique can enhance and compliment the effect as well . Quite a bit can be in your own hands !
Username: hgregs

Post Number: 26
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 - 9:01 am:   Edit Post

plucking close to the neck (away from the bridge) can get very close.

this video came to mind when i saw this thread. surprised i could find it.

Senior Member
Username: crobbins

Post Number: 904
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 10:21 am:   Edit Post

Checkout how this guy in the Roots Radics band mutes his bass.


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