Tag Archives: Ampeg SVX

Video

Montreux’s Theme (Jazz Bass)

Here is my first take using a Fender Jazz Bass, which was the most voted bass on the poll that I created.

I will make another version with the Rickenbacker, which was the runner-up.

Thank you so much for voting and commenting! Hopefully Chris will provide us the correct answer!

Bass: Fender Jazz Bass 1975 Re-issue, MIJ

Strings: Rotosound Swing Bass RS66LD (45-105, stainless steel)

Signal conditioning: Boss LM-2 (limiter)

Preamp: Sansamp Bass Driver DI (BDDI)

Signal path: Bass→LM-2→BDDI→PC

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Video

Tall Ships

According to some interviews, this Squackett song came about after Chris Squire was testing a new Yamaha bass which was offered to him. The riff was then recorded and, as far as I can hear it, a four-bar sample is repeated throughout most of the song. When I began to analyse it, I faced some curious things that made me wonder and I tried to find explanations for – trying to figure out how the bassline was played, fingering patterns, tuning etc… which is after all what I do with all my bass covers. So, what I will write are my suppositions, doubts and decisions, based on what my ears told me. The two first repetitions are quite audible but as soon as the other instruments come in it starts to become difficult to hear the bass notes so clearly.

i) I did play the whole thing live but I edited the first four bars and copy-pasted it a few times to “simulate” how the samples were put together – you will notice on the sections where the video footage of me playing is repeated (but not the background video embellishments)

ii) It could be that the original bass recording is slightly flat in respect to the other instruments because I got a slight sense of a (acoustic) beat when the two basses are clearly audible at the start. Maybe the bass wasn’t tuned to a tuner – after all Chris was just testing. When the other instruments come, that feeling is not there anymore (Chris’ bass is lower in the mix).

iii) The riff repetitions are all the same with one exception. After the first “pause”, it begins again, and there is a little acoustic guitar solo. Here the endings of each half riff were swapped. The last beat of bar 2 is now in the place of bar 4’s last beat and vice-versa (3:40/3:46). That was a smart edit, as it creates the tension for the next heavier section. On the clip I didn’t edit this using copy-paste – I just played it like that.

iv) Tuning – this song uses a low fifth string. Could be a 5 or 6-string bass. Here I have two big doubts. Did Chris use the lower string tuned to B, like the standard tuning, or, like he also used before, down to A?  Because there is a very low A in the “pause” section (3:12) that could be played by the bass. Well, Chris could have detune the bass just to hit that note as well. Still undecided, the instrumental four-bar bridge used a low D (with octave leap), then comes the big question.  What low note is played on the last beat of the 3rd bar (1:37,2:23 and 4:28)? At first I heard an E flat and it sounded good – but it’s really hard to hear the bass here. I searched finger patterns to play that note and I found something not completely in my way of thinking of “that’s how Chris would move his fingers”. I tried with the fifth string tuned as B. For the A tuning it was really unlogical because the E flat would be two frets farther away from where the rest of the notes were happening (on the first 3 frets)… so I started hearing again that note and I started to think that it’s actually E natural. Perhaps due to the slightly flat tuning that I mentioned before it sounds something in between? It’s hard to say – very hard to hear. But, finally I decided to play it as E natural, so I could use the E open string and it made more sense with the overall fingering. This way I decided to use the low A tuning (I could gladly hit that note, even if it’s not the bass) having just to adapt to play the low D on the fifth fret.

I used my Warwick Thumb NT and the Ampeg SVX plugin. Hope you like the clip!

Bass: 1992 Warwick Thumb Bass 5-string

Strings: Warwick Red Strings (45-135, stainless steel)

Amp emulator: Ampeg SVX

Signal path: Bass→PC→Ampeg SVX

Video

Divided Self

Bass: Rickenbacker 4001CS

Strings: Rotosound Swing Bass RS66LD (45-105, stainless steel)

Amp emulator: Ampeg SVX

Signal path: Bass→PC→Ampeg SVX

Video

The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be

Chris originally played this on his Lakland bass (tuned Eb Ab Db Gb).

I used my Fender Jazz Bass.

Bass: 1972 Fender Jazz Bass, Fiesta Red, Badass II bridge

Strings: Rotosound Swing Bass RS66LD (45-105, stainless steel)

Amp emulator: Ampeg SVX

Signal path: Bass→PC→Ampeg SVX

Video

Merry Christmas from Miguel

These are my wishes of Merry Christmas for all of you visiting my music.
May the Music be with you always!
Miguel

Video

Practice Versus Perfect

This is an original song I made over the last weeks that I would like to share with you. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for sticking around! Miguel

The idea started while trying to make another (yet unfinished) song. I thought it was getting too complicated and took on some accidental playing on my guitar. I found the riff ok and thought it could be the base for something simpler where I could work out an arrangement with all instruments, as to prepare myself for finishing the first song.
Anyway ideas started flowing and it ended up a bit more extended than I initially wanted. The basslines (intro and pre and post solo) were made up a bit after, while I was having fun experimenting with a demo of the Ampeg SVX plugin.

Then the drums – I wanted to find something that would make it sound simple (in spite of having to deal with some odd meter – a blend of 7/8 with 4/4) – and anyway, something I would be able to play by myself. Then the middle sections came about while I was inspired to write some lyrics.

The choral section is a four-part harmony (2 tracks for each voice) that starts – intentionally – very “Bulgarian” and ends up a bit more CS&N (that’s a nice combination :) as to make a passage to the acoustic guitar section and the main poem that I wrote with my dad’s old Ramirez – still sounds incredible. Some more arrangements were made by then, especially the double-bass parts.

Finally the second harmony part, probably the most difficult bit, because my idea was to link to the finale that was already made. Again a four-part harmony but a different one, that finally melts with the kind of repetitions towards the end. The bass solo was the last thing to be thought of.

Well that’s part of my memory description for this song. Most important is that it’s ready now and I can present it to you!
Thanks for watching!

Miguel