Invisible Bass Man

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Re: Invisible Bass Man

Postby Augie Peters » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:03 pm

Hi Guys and Gals, I’m going to put in my two cents. I’ve been chasing the invisible bassman sound for several years. Mine was with the electronics end. I started out several yrs. ago with the Roland GR-1.and pickup system. Assigning the acoustic bass sound to the5th and 6th strings. It was great. Very woody sounding - the problem was the tracking delay. It couldn’t keep up with the picking speed. I graduated to The Roland GR-30.It was better but not good enough. It became more a novelty and has been collecting dust in my studio. The downside of it all was it was expensive, cumbersome, didn't track well, and a pain to use live.

Now, with new technology The Fishman company has come out with a wireless system called” Triple Play”. It is relatively inexpensive ($399) for the whole system. The pickup mounts to your guitar like the Roland system. A wireless receiver into your laptop or iPad. All essential software included with optional notation and other programs available. The best part is from all I've seen, the tracking is perfect for us pickers. I’ve checked out a lot of Youtube videos and this is one of the better links .It explains a lot.

Maybe we could get Mark Pritcher to give Fishman a nudge in the direction of the CAAS convention. I’m sure they would love to demonstrate their products to a bunch of prospective customers who are already obsessed with anything guitar related.
I would love to try and be there. I might just pull the trigger. Have fun , Augie :D
Augie Peters
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Re: Invisible Bass Man

Postby albertgen » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:18 pm

Chet modified great guitars with a long scale for the 2 bass strings, but I think some guys have been successful using less expensive guitars. You just have to make sure it is a long scale and modify the bridge and the nut and probably raise the action. Al
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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:39 pm

Re: Invisible Bass Man

Postby Ray Bohlken » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:47 pm

Both Tommy Crook and Steven King played guitars which had a bass 5th and 6th string and they did it to good effect. I saw Tommy Crook at a CAAS convention and he had a great sound using the bass strings. He also was one segment of a finger style jazz video using that guitar. Steven King used some kind of a pickup modification to get this sound...I don't know if he used bass strings or if the special pickup set up dropped the sound down...way over my head technically. I sure enjoyed the results when I heard them.

Tommy Crook about 30 seconds in to this video

Steven King - you can see the bass pickup beneath the guitar's low strings. This video doesn't demo it too well, but I couldn't find another one. I saw him play it in a concert once and really liked the sound.
Ray Bohlken
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Re: Invisible Bass Man

Postby rhirvine » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:43 pm

I remember really loving the octobass sound Chet got in the late 60's album which he did "drive in", "Three Little Words" and others. I had a Gretch Nashville at the time and experimented putting bass strings where the E and A strings go but it didn't of course sound so good since I had no string separation and a bass amp to run the low strings too. I probably would have purchased the Gretch and Paul Yandell worked on if the stereo split was only the E and A strings. I wonder why they decided on E, A and D for the split?
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Re: Invisible Bass Man

Postby Norm » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:41 pm

rhirvine wrote: I wonder why they decided on E, A and D for the split?

The brand new filter tron pickup Ray had made probably wasn't focused enough to just do the two low strings and it may not have occured to them at the time to just isolate the two low strings. Chet and Ray Butts did it that way so Chet could do clever things in recording,

The idea of separating the two low strings and making them electronically an octave lower (invisible bass man) was a separate idea requiring a special guitar. The effect using that guitar was probably more trouble than it was worth because it requierd a frequency divider to work and in those days they didn't have the neat little transisroized boxes we can buy today that do that kind of voodoo I think they used a Hammond organ component. Chet didn't use the specialized gutiar much and got rid of it. I think Chet initially thought he would patent the idea and market it but they found that some guy had already done it. He was always looking for things like that that might make him money.

The Ocatabass concept is a more practical variant even though it limits the use of the guitar set up for it. It definitely adds variety and does the job if you need a bass player and can't afford one.
...that's how it looks to me...The opinion expressed above is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of this station. Your mileage may vary...

Audio samples:
That should do it.
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