Last weekend, I learnt the bass lines for A.M.D.K.J. for an upcoming SCANDAL HEAVEN Cover Band project. I usually play guitar on these covers but I actually played bass on the preceding ちいさなほのお cover project. I’ve to admit that I’m no bassist but the opportunity to play bass on this rocker of a song was something I could not pass up. For my weapon of choice, I picked my 20-year old Jazz bass (nicknamed Stitch).
The strings are semi-dead as they’ve not been changed since 2014, I think, which was when I had her broken nut replaced to bone by Steve Robinson as well as a general set up. Before I write a couple of lines in this post about the bass cover I did, just a quick description on Stitch. She is a 2000 MiM Standard Jazz bass made of poplar with a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Originally she had a white pick guard, then it was changed to tortoiseshell and now to this grey pearloid aftermarket one. Anyway, do drop by my main blog if you wanna know more about her history, Just to add, why I have a strap adorned with pics of Penthouse pets? Well, the missus gave the exact one to TOMOMI way back in 2011 as seen in this photo below. TOMOMI’s bass here was actually a spare, and unlike Stitch, was American Deluxe model.
Anyways, A.M.D.K.J. is a pretty addictive song to play once you learn it. TOMOMI actually finger picks this but as a guitarist, it’ll be a pick for this one. I bought a handful of TOMOMI’s signature picks and used one for this practice sesh. Suffice to say it went blunt really quickly. As I was practising in buangruang6 (aka the bedroom), the set up was simply the bass plugged into my Focusrite iTrack dock where I used BIAS AMP2 on my iPad.
For fun, I flicked through the various shared set ups contributed by other Positive Grid users and found one simply labelled “Fender Bass” which I thought would be great for this project as TOMOMI is currently a Fender Bassman user. The bass amp set up is as follows:
As you can see the user switched the cab off, which means that the set up should sound good even if plugged direct to the PA or a cab sim for recording. The set up shows that EQs are applied prior to the preamp and after the power amp. I am not very well versed in interpreting the finer details as to why the user sculpted the tone this way but suffice to say the tone is superb – rather growly with a good bottom end.
The preamp is armed with 2x 12AX7 and 12AT7 valves, with the gain at about 60% (which prolly explains the growl) and high cut frequency at maximum. Even at this stage, you may wish to do a pre- and post-EQ (all done by the user). There is this thing called a tonestack and it was set on “Bass American” which “delivers the full warm sound of a classic late-’60s/early-’70s ‘Blackface’ rig”.
The power amp stage is armed with 4x 6L6GB valves and the distortion is set at 60%. The rectifier is valve too with a transformer labelled as “fat style”. All in all, the user had selected the same valves as that in a Fender Bassman head.
Now, since I have been plugging the iTrack to my 6W Fender Champ valve combo when I play guitar, for kicks I tried this bass amp on this set up. I made sure the volume wasn’t too hot as to not wreck the speakers, and I have to say this set up sounds great on Garageband during monitoring when I mic-ed the speaker with an SM-57. After a few practice runs, I tracked the bass and edited the video – voila!
Consider this a preamble to the band cover that is coming soon!