Tag Archives: Rotosound

Video

Into The Storm

Entering the Christmas Season “Into The Storm”, one of the many highlights of the “Fly From Here” album, featuring Chris’ distinctive Mutron III sound. Schindleria Praematurus! Thank You Chris!

Bass: Rickenbacker 4001 CS

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

Effects: Amplitube 3 (Envelope Filter on bridge pickup) T-RackS (compressor on both pickups)

Signal path: Bass→PC→T-RackS + Amplitube 3

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Video

Rhythm Of Love

Throughout this Holiday season, I recorded this very special bass cover of “Rhythm Of Love”.

As you may know, the album Big Generator (1987) was yet another challenge for Chris Squire, as he used a 5-string bass for all of the songs. Yet Chris made several alterations regarding the tuning. On this track (and others, including “I’m Running“) the tuning was AEADG.

The bass tone, as Chris demonstrated on his Starlicks video interview, becomes really low and powerful. The album mix doesn’t put the bass at the forefront like in many of Yes’ previous albums. I did struggle to understand the notes played, especially in the aforementioned lower register. I like to think that this is a good example of Chris designing an apparently more conventional bassline, with elements of soul music that was one of his big early influences. Yet, one can spot many of those details, variations or simply the sheer bass playing expression which makes it sound unique, like only Chris Squire knows.

For the video illustration I was generally inspired by the original video clip, which is, for me, one of the best that Yes has made. Then I took a little help from my friend Milton Trajano, by borrowing his great artwork and adapted it, with lots of improvisation, to the several moments of the song. Thank you, Milton!

As a final fortunate coincidence, we recently celebrated both Tony Kaye and Trevor Rabin’s birthdays so this is for Tony and Trevor as well!

Bass:  1992 Warwick Thumb Bass 5-string

Strings: Rotosound Swing Bass RS66LD (45-105, stainless steel) and Warwick Red Strings (135, stainless steel) Tuned to low A. I especially boiled this string to regain some brightness.

Signal conditioning: Boss LM-2 (limiter)

Preamp: Sansamp Bass Driver DI (BDDI)

Signal path: Bass→LM-2→BDDI→PC

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Video

Turn Of The Century

Turn Of The Century – Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Yessongs of all, and again, with one of the most fascinating basslines by Chris Squire. Many peculiarities about it as well. Chris played a Gibson Triumph bass, which is a short scale bass. The tone is quite different from the usual, more discrete and less aggressive. However, it allowed Chris to play the higher registers a lot, due to the large number of frets, going to a high F sharp. I asked my good friend Américo Silva at Music Light for one of his basses which had that range and I chose his beautiful blue Alembic Essence. The tone of the bass is wonderful and I really couldn’t seem to achieve the same “middy” timbre of the Triumph bass. Doing a lot of EQ would rather spoil the Alembic’s tone, so I opted to let the bass speak by itself. The bassline is, again, exquisite – not a single note is played with less care than the other, and often seems to leave the main chord tones, to derive as a counter melody, sometimes beautifully dissonant. In addition, the bass pedals work bring even more drama – as Chris plays also some very bold passages with scales provoking chord inversions, suspensions and yet more dissonance. I listened to several bootlegs and footage of the 1976 sessions to try to compute how the bass pedal line could be played, as the album version is almost criminally undermixed on the pedals (as it happened on some other Yes albums such as Tormato). In fact, I believe that there are more bass pedal passages on the song but the ones I played were the ones I thought had the best chance to be right. Let’s hope that more new formats of mixes will come out, as it seems to be a trend nowadays, and they this part of Chris Squire’s work will come to the surface so we finally get to hear more of his treasures!

Bass: Alembic Essence

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

Video

Montreux’s Theme (Rickenbacker)

Here is the Rickenbacker version of Montreux’s Theme, which came second on the poll in which the Fender Jazz Bass has got more votes as we were trying to guess which bass was used by Chris Squire for this beautiful instrumental.

For the recordings I chose to boil old Rotosound strings, which sounded better that brand new ones from other brand, as I was trying to find a possible lower cost substitute for the Rotos – with no success.

I will soon post something about how I boiled the strings, for those interested :)

Bass: Rickenbacker 4001CS

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

 

Video

Release, Release – BASS AUDIO

When I started to listen Yes from the 70’s, my friend lent me Tormato – he thought that it would be a nice mid term to start with…
That was when I started to appreciate some Yessongs. I recorded the vinyl LP to a cassete… all of it? No… I didn’t care too much for 2 songs that were not so “beautiful” or “melodic”… indeed they seemed to me only noisy and disjointed. Those were “Release, Release” and “On the Silent Wings of Freedom” (would you believe?)…. So… perspective and tastes will always change – always irrationally – and while some songs we enjoy at first listen and start getting tired of them, others spend years before we start to like them, but once we get the picture – our own picture – it will stay forever.

This is an old recording from 2000 that I transformed into a video clip, because I’m short of time for now but I’d still like to make something for my own and for those of you who like to watch my videos.