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Purring bass

Postby BJG145 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:19 am

Some bass tracks I listen to have a nice "purring" quality, if you know what I mean. Does anyone have any idea about the science of this tone, what is it in the waveform, what causes it, how do you get it, etc.
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Re: Purring bass

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:04 pm

I use exactly the same word to describe the kind of rock bass I like to aim for - a deep 'purr'. For me it's all in the EQ. A high (80Hz) HPF with a gentle roll-off is a good start. Get rid of the boom and you should begin to hear the purr emerge. It doesn't hurt to add a little mid/high valve-ish distortion to help the illusion too.
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Re: Purring bass

Postby Tartaruga » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:20 pm

Hi

Just a remark...
I accidentally saw a guy doing it in a ‘pro’ mixer,but it was longtime ago…I remember he had a second channel to bass and then tweaked phase(with different EQ I suppose+’panning' I think,but not sure)…He was showing someone else how to do it.
Maybe some clue in it…ANW,suddenly,the bass start ‘purring’,and he could choose the ‘quantity’ of the ‘purring’ he wanted to add to the original sound.But I can’t guarantee it…
Probably there are different ways to achieve it (Elf’s example...)

Cheers!
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Re: Purring bass

Postby Tartaruga » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:27 pm

Sorry…
Just thought of the ‘Octave down’ effect,that has that quality too,sometimes...
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Re: Purring bass

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:04 pm

You have to use a Fender Purrcision.
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Re: Purring bass

Postby zenguitar » Sun Mar 24, 2013 6:09 pm

I tried, really I did, but I can't resist....

Try Cat Gut strings

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Re: Purring bass

Postby Hoopy Frood » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:27 pm

Hi there... I'm curious: could you give some examples of the sort of "purring" sound you mean? I'm finding it hard to visualise* it

*well, you know what I mean... audiolize it...
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Re: Purring bass

Postby BJG145 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:36 pm

This is an untreated clip from what I was listening to...

Bass purr

Image
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Re: Purring bass

Postby Madman_Greg » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:26 pm


I've got a Bass that growls..

Its an early 70s Shaftesbury 'Ned Callan'
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Re: Purring bass

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:32 pm

Ah, bless! My pussycat spends a great deal of his days upside down like that where he finds the warmest place in the house!

An example of what I perceive as bass 'purr': The Old Road (There are better examples on this particular album, but this song will do for a starter).
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Re: Purring bass

Postby BigRedX » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:31 pm

I'm a bassist and I have no idea what the OP means...
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Re: Purring bass

Postby monkfish » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:02 pm

no Flea jokes?
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Re: Purring bass

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:06 pm

My idea may well be off the mark of the OP, but for me that 'purr' is when you can hear each vibration of the bass string on the low notes - each 'r' of the word 'purrrrrrrrrrr'!

You get the same thing from a well-recorded Moog Taurus bass pedal - you can feel each pulse of the note.
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Re: Purring bass

Postby BJG145 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:07 am

Thanks for the pointers Elf. I can see now that part of what I'm thinking of as "purr" is in a higher buzzing frequency, together with what seems like a lower, slower pulse, almost like tremolo or something. I can see why it's called "growl" because there's that "aum"/"wow" tonal change as the buzz dulls, like a filter sweep. (I associate this kind of tone with Warwick basses, but I don't know that many types.)
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Re: Purring bass

Postby 4TrackMadman » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:23 pm

Do you mean a Glenn Hughes kind of sound? or Billy Sheehan?

Both have a "purring" quality, one is distorted more rock I guess, while the other is a bit more clean with the highs rolled off.

When I played a show with the bassist from Symphony X (Mike LePond) he revealed a trick for his sound - a Sansamp Bass DI plus one of the big Ampeq fridge amps, both running in paralel in FOH. I think he played either a Yamaha or a Peavey with active pickups. Its a bit blurry but he had the best live tone, but as they say - probably most of it is in the fingers.
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Re: Purring bass

Postby _ Six _ » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:33 pm

I've really taken to a touch of chorus on a bass lately... and adding a bit of parallel compression with the kick mixed in for added smoothness.
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