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The NAMM Show and “THE SOUND”

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It’s Thursday morning and my shuttle to the NAMM Show is late. I’m waiting with great anticipation to see all of the latest gear and play on the hottest basses. I first ran into Ben Jones, the new bassist for the Neville Brothers. He told me about his new bass from David Minnieweather. I couldn’t wait to talk to David.

The crowds seemed larger this year. The sounds seemed louder and I felt older! I went to section E first. That’s where I first found most of the builders of the Extended Range Instrument movement. It was great to see Fred of Bee Basses. He makes some of the best ERI in the business. I stopped by to see Jake Kot, always a step ahead! And I found some very inventive products for our pursuit of happiness.

I planned to spend every waking moment looking at equipment until…I stopped by Jorg Schroeder’s booth. I must add that I’m a recording engineer when I’m not touring and I’ve been looking for “The Sound” for my 5 string bass for years. I needed the clarity of a studio reference speaker. When you spend thousands of dollars on a custom bass, you want to hear what it sounds like. Most speakers and amplifiers have their distinct sound. This may be the secret sound combination for many but I have been seeking clarity.

I purchased a 4×12 model from JORG since the Namm Show. It’s and Incredible addition to my sound. I love the Marcus Miller bass sound. I’ve been a fan since the 70’s. I bought his Signature Bass, his strings and played through the same kind of amp, but I didn’t come close to his sound. When I played on Jorg’s cab, while also playing one of his new Jazz Bass models, I heard “The Sound”. It was as if I could rest! I tried several bass styles with the rig and I was done with the whole NAMM Show!

I hung out with the Pro Tools people and went home the next day. I also found out that I love Pecan Pie from Denny’s. I knew then that GOD truly loved me! I found “The Sound” and Pie! Who could ask for more?

I have to tell you about equipment and me; I am VERY opinionated I know what I want and I am not looking for free equipment. I am blessed to have a career in music and I thank God that I can afford to buy the tools of my trade. It’s so hard to find versatile equipment that gives me what I need.

When you’re on tour, it all comes down to 4 feet. On stage, you’re 4 feet from your cab if you’re a sideman. If you’re far from your rig, they put you in the monitors. The name of the game is to have a low stage volume so that the Front of House engineer can do his job. You don’t want tons of stage volume fighting the PA system. As a bassist, sound guys love to hand you a direct box. I can’t stand that! A guitar player has his pedals and his vintage amp and you mike HIS SOUND, but when it comes to the bass they hand us a direct box and then they create a bass sound for us. I MUST have a bass rig with POST eq so that I can send the FOH engineer MY SOUND.

We all have an ideal of what we want to sound like. I love so many bassist styles and sounds. I used to dream as a child of sharing the stage with Miles, Jaco, Stanley and Larry, and I would always wake up before my solo! Truly a Nightmare!

For whatever tool you choose to play, you need the right rig. For my 11 string, I will always use my HYDRA cabs from Madison. They have 21-inch subs. They have a pleasing coloration for my thin high strings. When it comes to session work and recreating YOUR bass sound, you have to find what’s right for you. I’m finally HAPPY!! I am hard to please.

Stay Blessed…

Your pal Al

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Gear News

New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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