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Thread: Bass/Bass Guitar- What is this guy doing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Bass/Bass Guitar- What is this guy doing?

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    Can anyone tell me what this guy is doing on the bass guitar to get the wobble/strech into the next note when he slides his hands down the strings?

    Ie: Is it bending the pitch of the note/chord or is it rolling through alot of notes/chords really quickly (unlikely)?. I hear this sound alot in pop music so it must be a common techniqe?

    A good example would be at 0:59 here....

    I cant post links obviously but search 'Bass line of Black or White by MJ' on YouTube and it will be the first one that comes up by Fabio Duarte....

    PS: This is the exact sort of bass Id love to create in Reason 5.0!

    Any help would be appreciated....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Sydney Australia
    Thanked 642 Times in 435 Posts

    This is a direct by-product of the technique used - the slide. A lisde on a fretted instrument moves through the notes of every fret between the starting fret and ending fret.

    In some cases this has to be broken into three components as the slide is both up and down or down and up -
    • starting fret
    • target fret
    • return fret

    The rest is just a direct result of moving (sliding) the finger along the string.

    On a fretted instrument this means that you cannot use pitch bend in the normal way, as you move through discrete individual notes at speed, rather than moving through micro-tonal pitch changes as you slide up and down,a s you get on a fretless bass or on the orchestral strings.

    So to duplicate this you need to create a pitch bend curve that covers two octaves (the maximal slide on a 24 fret instrument) of individual pitches up and down that you then copy and paste as needed - the distances will be the same regardless of the string you try to move on as they are all semi-tone pitch changes.

    Alternatively, learn to play bass guitar and play it for yourself.

    And for the "freaks" who insist that as you move up the string you are actually pulling the string tighter as you get near to each fret and actually may overshoot that frets pitch by a micro-tonal increment, true enough, but hardly worth the effort for something that is played at speed in most case and so there is little if any time to actually hear these micro-tonal increments.

    The reverse (as you slide down) is not true, you cannot go below the pitch of the current fret no matter how hard you try until you slide over the fret below - you may still get some microtonal pitch increase as you approach the lower fret, but it is negligible as before and not really worth the effort to try and replicate in your synthesis
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