#1
sorry for the possibly retarded question. im a guitar palyer. and when i was learning some rockabilly stuff, i was wondering if there is ANY WAY TO MAKE A STANDARD ELECTRIC BASS SOUND LIKE AN UPRIGHT STRING BASS? i thought that if there was, i would ahve heard about in my ten years experience, but i racked my brain and....nothing. i've never seen a pedal effect attempt it. maybe a compressor and an octave down? or maybe there are some midi synth pups you can mod the bass with to control a synth? maybe roland makes something (sounds like something they would do). anyway, any ideas would be helpful.
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#3
Fretless bass with flatwounds usually can come close....you'd have do some EQing in favor of the bass frequencies, and it won't be perfect.
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#4
Short answer no. Some basses come close to the sound, (like a Ric 4003 FL), but none cane truly achieve the sound of an upright. There are playing techniques that can get you close as well and get you the feel in your sound, but its not going to really sound like an upright.

Only an upright sounds like an upright.
#5
It's just not going to happen, friend. The very nature of the instrument prevents anything other than exactly it to sound like one.

The length of the string itself really determines a bass' sound. You won't approach the sound of an upright on something with shorter than 40"-42" strings. And trust me, getting a fretless ABG won't help either.
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#6
Yea, the main problem is the 35 inch scale on most basses. uprights have 42, and this effects the tension ALOT, which effects the sound alot.
#7
wow, thanks guys. thats what i figured, but i thought i'd ask. i guess my bass player will just have to learn upright. they are tuned EADG like normal, correct? open E being E1 at 41 hz. isnt that an octave below standard bass? anyway, i'm not in a rockabilly band, but there is a large chunk of my soul that loves a pompadour, a gretch and an upright bass....
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#9
Quote by Y0UNGBL00D
wow, thanks guys. thats what i figured, but i thought i'd ask. i guess my bass player will just have to learn upright. they are tuned EADG like normal, correct? open E being E1 at 41 hz. isnt that an octave below standard bass? anyway, i'm not in a rockabilly band, but there is a large chunk of my soul that loves a pompadour, a gretch and an upright bass....


nope, same octave... I think.
#10
Quote by Deliriumbassist
nope, same octave... I think.

Correct. An octave lower is the property of our newest friend at UG...
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#12
yeah, just checked. same octave. i dunno, for some reason 41 hz sounded really low, but a guitar's is 82, so i tmakes sense. but an accoustic fretless with flatwounds, a little EQ and comp magic MIGHT do the trick..(purely speculating, i would never do that. i would just graba cheap upright.)

i played an upright down in florida that the GC randomly had laying about in a state of disrepair, and it was fun. since i've sort of branched out from guitar to violin lately, maybe ill grab an upright just to mess with. the hidden bassist in me always loved slapping anyway, and anyone who's heard the low E played with a bow on an upright and hasn't shivered in delight doesnt have a soul...
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#13
Stick a sponge under the strings at the bridge. it mutes the strings and gives a cheap faux upright sound.
It's kinda neat...
#14
Quote by whynot22
Stick a sponge under the strings at the bridge. it mutes the strings and gives a cheap faux upright sound.
It's kinda neat...


+1
#15
If you have like a jazz, turn off the bridge p/u. Roll back the tone, and pluck on the neck. Gets ya close jody.
#16
you could buy a fretless with flatwounds, OR you could just buy an electric upright
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#17
Quote by fleajr_1412
you could buy a fretless with flatwounds, OR you could just buy an electric upright


EUBs, as Fitz has pointed out in the past, just don't sound quite like an upright. The one's I've played sound closer to a fretless bass, than a true upright bass. They seeom to lack that deeper, warm tone of a true upright.
#18
^ i dont mean those stupid retarded looking electric uprights i mean a proper upright with a microphone pick up up the sound
Quote by skater dan0
Damn you and your ninja-like modding
#19
I misunderstood your post then. Usually when someone says "electric upright" they mean a EUB. What you're describing is an amplified upright, which of course would sound like an upright, because it is a proper upright.
#20
Quote by Sly Taco
If you have like a jazz, turn off the bridge p/u. Roll back the tone, and pluck on the neck. Gets ya close jody.


Exactly.
And then let your fretting finger go for the fret itself, not the space between frets, in a slight sliding motion on precisely the same moment that you pluck the string. That will make it sound like an upright player sweating hard on some tough super long scale strings.

To my experience it is not necessarily the fretless/flatwound combination that always does the trick. The right playing technique and the right electronics are at least as important. If you can dial in a nice, mellow and rounded off tone this will be more helpfull than a fretless fingerboard. My fretted Ibanez does a better job than my fretless Squasuga, due to the fact that its Duncan neck pickup has a more mellow response than the Fender Custom Shop Jazz I have in the fretless. Also the SWR practise amp I have is much better suited for this purpose than the Trace Elliot I use on stage. The latter would probably make even a real upright sound like a Rickenbacker on acid
#21
Quote by Y0UNGBL00D
sorry for the possibly retarded question. im a guitar palyer. and when i was learning some rockabilly stuff, i was wondering if there is ANY WAY TO MAKE A STANDARD ELECTRIC BASS SOUND LIKE AN UPRIGHT STRING BASS? i thought that if there was, i would ahve heard about in my ten years experience, but i racked my brain and....nothing. i've never seen a pedal effect attempt it. maybe a compressor and an octave down? or maybe there are some midi synth pups you can mod the bass with to control a synth? maybe roland makes something (sounds like something they would do). anyway, any ideas would be helpful.


The Yamaha TRB-P basses have a piezo under the bridge, and it without the regular magnetic pups is about as close as I've heard from an electric bass. With Marcel's technique tip you'd get close. And still have frets.
As for midi...Roland did do a bass GK-2, but it wasn't great - bad latency at the bottom end due to the string vibrating too slowly for its' ADC. There was a WAL midi (Gary Numan's bassist had one, John Deacon used one on 'The Invisible Man') which works well-ish, but you'll be lucky to find one. And you'll need deep pockets. Probably ditto for the Peavey one that used the same fingerboard sensors to input to the ADC.
(I asked after these before and got precisely no replies, so if anyone knows any more about them, drop me a line!)
Best not even mention Casio's sonar system. Think Titanic...