A quick question or 2 to my fellow low-enders out there. What is your favorite bass to use for recording? Also, do you ever feel pressure to use a particular kind? (A vivid memory I have from the 80s was a staff engineer at Reflections raving about a fellow session bassist's new Steinberger-so I bought one!).
Favorite? The one that makes the track sound the best! That usually falls on three different ones for me: '57 P-bass (of course it has flat wound strings), Newer American deluxe J-bass 5 w/ DR's, and my upright. I have a Modulus that gets the nod for a great low B when the J-bass won't cut it, which is rare. I showed up for a session one time with my BSX eu after being booked to specifically use it and none of my tracks were used. Pressured? No. I wasn't prepared for change that day. Lesson learned. Just show up prepared for minds to change and your instrument to need to change with those minds. I don't walk into a studio with fewer than 4 or 5 choices of bass. Also a BIG fan of the Aguilar DB680 pre.
I remember somewhere around 1983 or '84 playing in a cover band at BackStreet in Tusculum and up walks this dark haired guy commenting "that's a nice '58". Of course right then I knew you didn't know what you were talking about, after all, it was a '57! Wow, I just dated myself. Backstreet? Jimmy Lee Sloas had just left the band to work with The Four Guys. Lucky me.
I'll put my $.02 in. I do use a Modulus 6 duo (fretted and fretless) for most of my electric work these days. Last week I did use a new Carvin Icon fretted bass on a Big Band project and it sounded fine. It's a far cry from the days when I first moved here and was told to ditch my Alembic bass (glad I didn't now) and get a '66 P Bass and a Music Man (boy I wish I had those basses now!). I tend to use an Eden Navigator (or a Behringer V-amp Pro if I'm just doing an overdub all by my lonesome into someone's computer since it has SPDIF). The old Hungarian ply upright is sounding right nice mic'ed and with the Fishman into a DI and blended, but sometimes I still use the Carruthers SUB-1 for some tracks. I also use a Taralabs Cable I picked up at the LA Bass Exchange-really helps the signal! Labella roundwounds that I NEVER change on the Modulus basses-at 10 years old, they are just sounding about right. Finally, a 1973 Mustang with 15 year old flatwound D'Addarios if all else fails :).
I played many a gig at that smoke-pit. I had replaced Gary Lunn in Contraband-I think he was touring with the Gaithers or something else was going on. I do remember that room. Was Doug Sisemore in the band?
Well, your discussion runs the risk of making a hard turn "off topic". Ah yes, the golden age of club cover bands and smoke filled equipment cases. Maybe we should start another one called "back when I was a kid in this town". The band was Paradise. Dean Power, Bob "Packy" Stamps, Tony Pruitt, Val Rojas and Vicki Podus. Dana McVicker replaced Vicki about the same time I replaced Sloas. I didn't know Gary had played in Contraband. I think I still have an old board tape with Sloas singing Abra Kadabra and soloing on Diana Ross' Upside Down. Classic. I'll never forget him letting me borrow his freshly refinished, silver metalflake '64 jazz bass for a gig. That would be my other favorite bass to record with if I could get my hands on it! There, we're back on topic.
I just worked with Packrat the other day on a gig-I used my Carvin LB76 fretless. I also played my Alembic in a club band with Vicky Podis and Bob Boykin-there! Back on topic. I also think Conklins sound great, but my 7 string can scare folks if they haven't heard me play a straight gig or session before. So, I will bring my Bill Dickens 7 to a date, but I REALLY have to know the people. Sounds great, though!
I concur, the flipped P bass pickup was also the secret ingredient in the Spector basses.
My favorite bass to request a player to bring on sessions is a Yamaha BB2000. They sound amazing and are very versatile. The 5000's don't sound as good, the neck pick-up returned to the standard P-Bass configuration and changed the tone.
Personally, I have always loved my Warwick and my Music Man. In others, I loved Bob Wray's Warwick especially in some of the early Hal Ketchum stuff, and then Neil Stubenhaus and that Tyler....WOW!
Oh yeah, and there's nothing like a late 70's Teisco or a Hondo through an SSL console..........HA!
Also, I just cannot stand Rickenbackers, don't know what it is, but just don't like them....can't tell you how many sessions I've been at where the producer wants "a Rick-ish sort of thing....do you have one??"
...and I'm sure it sounds quite funky under your fingers. I used to use a #2 washtub with bailing twine. The #3 tub was too big for my car. Wish I was not playing 4/15 so I could get out to hear you and Marcus. Maybe another time.