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Thread: The Ever-Expanding Gear Thread

  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    ...so now you got a decent keyboard for your Rush tribute project!
    Yep! I'm going through the synth sounds, and I've found everything except the Tom Sawyer Sweep synth sound - and I may be able to adjust something already there to get it. If not, I'll set it up on my Minimoog VST and sample it. Another day of just going through patchesand I cannot be more impressed with the sounds on this synth.. I will probably NEVER need another keyboard. Whats great is its integration with the VST's on the PC - I bought a bunch and also grabbed some pretty cool freewre synths, and the Yamaha really interfaces nicely with all of them. This is enough to make me become a Keyboardist. As I play, I get the urge to start learning more and more complex keyboard parts. - Like I dont already have my hands full with Drums, Bass Guitar and woodwinds(Sax and Flute). I've always kind of been a hack at keys, but I think this will motivate me to become more keyboard centric in my songwriting. They have always kind of been an after thought and "filler" - although I do use a fair amount of keys in my music.

    Oh, In addition to the Key's I'm also purchasing a headless bass - A local store had one of these "Court" fake Steinburgers that was sitting under their stairs for 15 years without strings. I bought a set of strings for it and I'm having the Luthier set it up for me - All new active pickups and anything else it needs to be at least playable. I've been brushing up on my Geddy bass parts - and I simply can't keep up with him - He's such an incredible monster on bass. But I recall that I could play quite a bit faster on the headless bass than on my Ibanez. YYZ is almost impossible for me, but I used to play it using the Headless, and along with some really light strings, I bet can at least hit the notes - most of them anyway. Tone? Well, I'm not expecting much, but we'll see. My Boss ME-60 lets me dial in tones pretty well, and I get a great Geddy-Jazz tone with my Ibanez. I may have to turn the Boss up to 11 to get anything decent out of the Court, but we'll see. I'm paying 200 for it, so expectations are low. I may post some sounds once I get it dialed in. If I spend some real money to get some good pickups, Who knows?
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  2. #77
    Member hFx's Avatar
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    ...regarding speed on a bass - I prefer playing bass with a pick - it works well in progressive, metallic rock and really no other genre. I hate go get my right hand fingers bruised - quite differently compared to playing classical guitar I really admire people that can get decent speed and precision with their bare hands on the bass.
    My Progressive Workshop at http://soundcloud.com/hfxx

  3. #78
    I know a bass player who has learned to play using his "noisy bahsterd" pointer finger like Geddy, but he puts super glue on his finger to get a more percussive attack, and it kind of protects the finger from getting tore up. I would have to see it to believe it. I bet Geddy is going to have one hell of an arthritic finger when he retires (I hope thats not for a long time) I kind of go back and forth between picks and fingers. I also find a pick faster, but I prefer the tone from the finger.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  4. #79
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hFx View Post
    ...regarding speed on a bass - I prefer playing bass with a pick - it works well in progressive, metallic rock and really no other genre. I hate go get my right hand fingers bruised - quite differently compared to playing classical guitar I really admire people that can get decent speed and precision with their bare hands on the bass.
    I don't do well with a pick on the bass because I learned guitar first. The string spacing is just too wide for me to pick accurately since I'm subconsciously still thinking guitar spacing. And instead of confusing myself further (I can make plenty of mistakes without the added hassle, lol) I have chosen to stick with fingers only for bass. "Speed comes with familiarity" or so my guitar teacher said once a long time ago.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I don't do well with a pick on the bass because I learned guitar first. The string spacing is just too wide for me to pick accurately since I'm subconsciously still thinking guitar spacing. And instead of confusing myself further (I can make plenty of mistakes without the added hassle, lol) I have chosen to stick with fingers only for bass. "Speed comes with familiarity" or so my guitar teacher said once a long time ago.
    I'm lucky I can switch pretty easily from pick to fingers on bass. The key for me is having something on which I can lock my thumb when I'm playing with my fingers. I've gravitated to the 51 style P bass over the 57 P for this reason. Also have started using Jazz basses where I can lock my thumb on either pickup (mostly the neck pickup).

    In Eccentric Orbit, I always use a pick with my Tobias Growler and I always play fretless with my fingers. I use Dunlop Jazz III picks exclusively for both guitar and bass. Something about the small size, shape, and width makes them perfect for me. I picked one up by accident one time at a store over 30 years ago and was instantly hooked. I've never since used another type of pick.

    Bill

  6. #81
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    That seems like a very small pick for bass! For guitar I seem to be equally comfortable with a Dunlop Jazz III or one of those normal-size Fender picks.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  7. #82
    I absolutely love the tiny teardrop Gibson heavy bass picks - they are hard to find anymore and I think I'm down to my last 3 or 4. the smaller the pick the better for me. At least down to the size of those.
    I got nothin'

    ...avoiding any implication that I have ever entertained a cognizant thought.

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    That seems like a very small pick for bass!
    Yeah, though I'm not sure why you'd need a big pick for bass. As long as you have enough pick to hit the string, it doesn't seem to matter much. The smaller pick is easier for me to control and allows me to play faster and with more precision, on bass or guitar. You should give it a shot. Obviously, different things work for different people, and if one prefers a bigger pick on bass, that's great. But discovering the small pick was nothing sort of a revelation for me and my playing, so it may be worth experimenting even if the common wisdom says bass would imply using a bigger pick.

    Bill

  9. #84
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Yeah, though I'm not sure why you'd need a big pick for bass. As long as you have enough pick to hit the string, it doesn't seem to matter much. The smaller pick is easier for me to control and allows me to play faster and with more precision, on bass or guitar. You should give it a shot. Obviously, different things work for different people, and if one prefers a bigger pick on bass, that's great. But discovering the small pick was nothing sort of a revelation for me and my playing, so it may be worth experimenting even if the common wisdom says bass would imply using a bigger pick.

    Bill
    I was sort of thinking a bigger pick might allow me to leave more exposed to possibly bridge the huge chasm between strings, lol. Not sure it would make much difference since, to my picking hand, the strings aren't where they ought to be.
    Last edited by Plasmatopia; 05-25-2016 at 11:47 AM.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  10. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I was sort of thinking a bigger pick might allow me to leave more exposed to possibly bridge the huge chasm between strings, lol. Not sure it would make much difference since, to my picking hand, the strings aren't where the ought to be.


    You could try a bass with narrower string spacing, like a Hofner, or some 5 string basses. I find the Hofner a bit hard to play with fingers it's so narrow. Another possibility might be to just put away the guitar for a period of time and focus only on bass with a pick. I think you'd acclimate fairly soon and not experience such a dramatic difference in feel moving back and forth with the guitar.

    But really there is no specific need to play bass with a pick, unless you want that sound or feel. So sticking with fingers if that works for you is fine too. What kind of bass do you have?

    Bill

  11. #86
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I have two Fender P-basses. One is a Highway One series and the other is a MIM which I bought almost 20 years ago and now has a Warmoth neck I put on it a couple years ago. It's one of those things (for me) where you get used to something and it's hard to change.

    For about 4 or 5 years I had a nice US Masters 5-string bass and just never got used to that 5th string. It was always flopping around when I least wanted it to and despite playing it a lot and using it on a ton of gigs I never developed any way of dampening that B string effectively. I love the look and sound of Jazz basses, but the string spacing near the nut is weird. I think I could probably get used to that though.

    I really don't have a need to use a pick. At this point it just feels right to have my fingers on the strings and I can vary the dynamics quite a bit. It's not quite the same as using a pick, but I can get a very aggressive sound by really digging in to the strings.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I have two Fender P-basses. One is a Highway One series and the other is a MIM which I bought almost 20 years ago and now has a Warmoth neck I put on it a couple years ago. It's one of those things (for me) where you get used to something and it's hard to change.
    Those sound nice, the Highway Ones are good instruments, I like the finish they used on these.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    For about 4 or 5 years I had a nice US Masters 5-string bass and just never got used to that 5th string. It was always flopping around when I least wanted it to and despite playing it a lot and using it on a ton of gigs I never developed any way of dampening that B string effectively.
    I'm with you, I hate the low B sting on 5-string basses. I re-strung my fretless Tobias with a high C string, which is actually super useful, and I don't have to re-learn technique with a string below my familiar low E string.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I love the look and sound of Jazz basses, but the string spacing near the nut is weird. I think I could probably get used to that though.
    In theory, I'm a P bass guy. But the flexibility of the J is such that I now play two of them, one fretless one fretted, on a regular basis in one band. Like you, I was always a bit dubious about the thinness of spacing near the nut, but I pretty quickly got used to that.

    I've actually had a real love/hate relationship with the sound. To me, the J bass is all about the bridge pickup, but you really have to be crafty in working with the tone and your amp to get a sound out of that pickup that is not shrill, but still clear and has nice pop. Right now I'm running the bridge pickup on full with just a small touch of neck, with the tone control completely off on the fretless and just barely dialed in on the fretted. I use my Boss GT-10B using the Acoustic 360 model to dial in high mids and enough treble to have some clarity, then use the flat out speaker sim so it can go into my amp or into a board for recording. This sounds great with the fretless and OK with the fretted except when popping where I need a bit more clarity. I'm working on that.

    But it has been far harder for me to get the "right" sound out of the J than the P. When I had a '57 style P, I actually used a pick a lot to get a Dave Hope-like sound. That was great! I never had any difficulty with tat bass dialing in a sound that I liked, but I didn't like playing it with my fingers as much because there was nowhere to lock my thumb. I now have the '51 style P bass, and use my fingers exclusively with that, also with tone dialed fully off and Boss unit compensating. This give me a warm, full sound with zero string noise even with nickel round strings, and I can add a touch of tone if needed. That bass is surprisingly bright, so this works quite well.

    I'm totally satisfied with the fretless J sound now (with basically a "Jaco" approach to the controls). I'm still working with that fretted one to get the right balance of smooth tone and good pop. But it's a different experience from the P bass, unless you just run the neck pickup.

    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    I really don't have a need to use a pick. At this point it just feels right to have my fingers on the strings and I can vary the dynamics quite a bit. It's not quite the same as using a pick, but I can get a very aggressive sound by really digging in to the strings.
    Yeah, sounds like you're good. Though those P basses with a pick can sound wonderful!

    Bill

  13. #88
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Yes, I really like my Highway One bass. I did get a bit screwed when I traded my US Masters bass for it since the truss rod had been stripped out where you insert the hex wrench. I finally found a 4.5mm wrench that works. And I do need to adjust the truss rod often as the neck changes quite a bit with weather conditions. But it's a great feeling neck so I'd hate to replace it. By comparison the replacement neck on my MIM P-bass is a huge slab of wood. I should have opted for the slim taper profile, although the difference seemed (on paper) like it was going to be almost unnoticeable. It's still a very nice neck and made a huge difference in the sound and is super stable in terms of being sensitive to environmental changes.

    Your detailed description of trying to dial in the perfect sound is just the sort of thing I like to avoid if possible, at least in a live situation. One thing I didn't like about the US Masters bass was the separate bass/mid/treble controls. I probably should just take a deep breath and deal with that sort of thing, but I really have little patience. Maybe I use up all my patience with fiddly stuff at work, lol. The P-basses are perfect - volume and tone, plugged straight into the amp. Sometimes I've used a Sansamp Bass Driver as a DI and just adding that can drive me batty.

    For recording at home I've spent a little more time and have been playing around with different signal chains where I've used the Boss LMB-3 Bass Limiter Enhancer and also experimented with a mic in front of my amp (Ampeg B2R), through an M-Audio DMP3, then through the LMB-3. I'm also just about to pull the trigger on a nice large-diaphragm tube condenser mic (I'm thinking a Rode K2) to use on guitar, bass, vocals, etc. so that will be fun to try.

    I was inspired to pursue better sounds in the home studio after mic-ing up my son's drum kit and being blown away with the quality we got even with a "cheap" set of Shure drum mics.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  14. #89
    Member Mikhael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I absolutely love the tiny teardrop Gibson heavy bass picks - they are hard to find anymore and I think I'm down to my last 3 or 4. the smaller the pick the better for me. At least down to the size of those.
    You can probably get them from D'Andrea. They are the original pick maker, and most sizes/shapes of pick came from them. I use the 358 size for guitar; it's a small teardrop pick, and may be the size you're after. You can get them a lot of places, including Musician's Friend.

    D'Andrea USED to make picks for just about everyone, including Fender. I used to use Gibson and Fender picks of that size, then they changed; Gibson stopped selling them, and Fender had them made cheaply overseas. The quality changed - the edges weren't as smooth, and the whatever they're now made from caused me to constantly drop them. So I ordered the D'Andrea picks, and I'm back in happyland.
    Gnish-gnosh borble wiff, shlauuffin oople tirk.

  15. #90
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    After being conscripted back into the band I quit 6 months ago (only for 2 gigs and on bass this time) and with several upcoming steel band gigs this summer (where I also play bass) I decided to make a bass pedalboard with a couple handy bass-related pedals and also integrating the wireless unit I was previously using for guitar. In the past for bass gigs I had just relied on a little handheld tuner and would unplug the cable from the amp to tune. This will be much more convenient and the Sansamp provides a handy direct-box function if necessary.

    I cut all these parts out with a waterjet using scrap materials left over from other projects I cut for people. The first two pics show the pieces just placed on top of each other and were not screwed together yet. There are two layers of 1/4" Makrolon polycarbonate in the photo. I wasn't sure if one layer would be stiff enough, but after screwing everything together with a single upper and lower piece it was fine. The white pieces are 1" thick high density polypropylene (HDPE) and are the same shape as the 3/4" aluminum ones I used on my guitar pedalboard. I'm surprised how light and strong this turned out to be. It's basically done except I need to find some soft rubber feet with adhesive backing to prevent slipping.

    I thought it would be funny to get some sort of LED strip that constantly changed colors to put underneath the upper level, but it would probably get annoying.






    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  16. #91
    Wow, now thats an interesting setup. Do you play direct, or into an Amp?
    I got nothin'

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  17. #92
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    I use an amp on stage. With the rock band I also go direct.


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    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  18. #93
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    At first I was like "That's a really modern coffee table!" Then I realized it was your space age pedal board!

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    At first I was like "That's a really modern coffee table!" Then I realized it was your space age pedal board!
    I thought it was a TV stand!

  20. #95
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    The Ever-Expanding Gear Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    At first I was like "That's a really modern coffee table!" Then I realized it was your space age pedal board!
    It doubles as a coffee table (or TV stand) for cats.


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    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  21. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasmatopia View Post
    It doubles as a coffee table (or TV stand) for cats.
    Ooooh, now my cats are jealous.

    Actually I just spent a bit more time looking at this, and I have to say you did a fantastic job. Very economical use of space, and the board itself looks totally professional. How will you transport it? Just cover it somehow?

    Bill

  22. #97
    Occipital Provocatee Plasmatopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    Ooooh, now my cats are jealous.

    Actually I just spent a bit more time looking at this, and I have to say you did a fantastic job. Very economical use of space, and the board itself looks totally professional. How will you transport it? Just cover it somehow?

    Bill
    Thanks, Bill. I drew the whole thing in a 2D CAD program. I took measurements of each pedal and drew little boxes so I could shift 'em around and figure out where everything would fit. I also had the benefit of having made something similar for my guitar pedals so I was able to just edit the pre-existing drawing. Later I loaded the finished drawing into CAM software (a product sold by my employer which I work with quite often) which spits out the G-code for the CNC. So I credit the software with anything that looks "professional", lol. Also, I basically stole the concept from these guys:

    http://www.chemistrydesignwerks.com/holeyboards.html

    As far as transporting (aside from building in a handle) I haven't gone that next step to figure out a better way to protect it. I thought about getting some sort of padded bag to put it in. Mostly I just try to be careful. I just noticed that Holeyboards sells cases...I might have to snag one of those.
    Just sitting at home rocking back and forth and jealously caressing my invisible collection of theoretical assets.

  23. #98
    Cookie Monster Guitarist Onomatopoeic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    I absolutely love the tiny teardrop Gibson heavy bass picks - they are hard to find anymore and I think I'm down to my last 3 or 4...


    From your description, those are actually Gibson Jazz / Mandolin or Les Paul flatpicks. The Les Paul model pick is slightly rounder and wider than the Jazz / Mandolin pick.

    You are correct, neither the Gibson Jazz nor the Les Paul picks are being produced by Gibson at this time. I'm still working on a small supply of Gibson medium and heavy jazz/mando flatpicks and a few thin and medium Les Paul picks that I've had since the late 70s. I tried buying some more, back around 2002 or so, and found they were no longer available at the time.

    Since then, I started using Dunlop Jazz I, Jazz III Carbon Fiber, and Eric Johnson Signature Jazz III picks.

    In any case, there is a similar and interesting plectrum, the Pickboy Mandolin Pick that I have not gotten around to sampling. It is 0.75mm and is made of celluloid. 0.75 mm is medium light, which is what I like, but probably thinner than what you need.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/Picks/46682/...n+pick&_sop=15
    Last edited by Onomatopoeic; 07-04-2016 at 03:34 AM. Reason: Added info about LP picks, as I forgot that I had some Gibson Les Paul picks as well.

  24. #99
    Cookie Monster Guitarist Onomatopoeic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    At first I was like "That's a really modern coffee table!" Then I realized it was your space age pedal board!


    There are some pedal board builders out there, if you are willing to part with some significant cash.

    Otherwise, if you are handy with a router, you can build your own with top grade plywood and use Formica for the working surfaces...



    http://www.chemistrydesignwerks.com/





  25. #100
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Clipboard01.jpg

    Check out this used Strat I picked up a few months back. This is the guitar my 17 year old self would have drooled over. My pushing 50 self digs it quite a bit too. It was someone's fire-breathing DiMarzo laden beast, I suspect. Has a great clean tone too though which is what made me want it. The mirrored pickguard is a little dated, but it really makes the guitar, IMO. It's got two single coils and a humbucker. It's from Mexico and was just made for a year or so about 10 years back. "The Big Block Strat" they call it because of the rare, square inlays.
    Last edited by Sean; 07-03-2016 at 12:08 PM.

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