Connect with us

Latest

The Tom Fowler ‘Sound’

Published

on

Dear readers…

As an engineer, I have been very fortunate to have worked with many of the world’s top musicians. They have many different ideas when it comes to getting their particular sound and how they go about recording or getting ready for a gig. For many years I have been working with the legendary bassist, Tom Fowler. Recently, we have been again working on a couple different projects.

For those of you who do not know Tom, he is one of the legends of rock and jazz! He studied violin from age 6, added upright bass age 13, and then took up electric bass guitar age 16. He has performed and recorded with Ray Charles, Frank Zappa, The Fowler Brothers, “It’s a Beautiful Day,” George Duke, Jean-luc Ponty, and many more. He is the main bassist on “Genius Loves Company”, the final recording from music legend Ray Charles, which was nominated for 10 Grammys! Tom also played most of the bass on the movie “Ray.” He had some informative comments on recording and getting ‘his sound’.

Describe your rig.
“My rig consists of a Morelli upright bass, Shak 5-string bass guitar, SWR super redhead amp, SWR RM 900 amp.”

What do you look for in a rig?
“I look for hi fi quality, the ability to carry a distance without distortion, dependability.”

Do you bring multiple axes and/or amps to a session?
“I bring whatever instrument is called for, upright and electric bass and/or violin, and whatever amp is called for by the gig.”

What kind of strings do you use?
“I use Thomastic strings on all my instruments.”

How often do you do maintenance on your rig?
“Maintenance is an ongoing issue we all face, especially on the road.  I try to stay on top of everything but it’s not always possible.”

What are your favorite mics?
“I use a Royer 122 to record both my acoustic instruments and my amps if amplified.”

What do you like in your headphone mix?
“Of course I have to have rhythm section instruments high in my mix. The other voices (if there are any) are less important, except the melody instrument, which I usually parody at some level.”

What kind of headphones do you like?
“I’m comfortable with most hi-fi headphones, but especially like Sony high-end D J models.”

What’s the best gig you ever did?
“The best gigs I ever played were: the gig before the “Can’t do that on stage vol.2″ Frank Zappa gig which was performed in Copenhagen, The Ray Charles 40th anniversary gig live at the Olympia Paris and a Jean-luc Ponty gig at the Olympia in which the equipment arrived an hour late and a wonderful pianist filled the gap.”

What’s the worst?
“The worst was the last gig I played with a very ill Ray Charles in Los Angeles. It was heartbreaking.”

What’s the best session you ever did?
“My best session was my own “Heartscapes” CD, where I was my own boss.”

Worst?
“My worst has been permanently blocked out by my ego.”

Any advice for someone starting out?
“My advice to someone starting out: have another career to fall back on even if you are talented. It takes a lot of pressure off of you! Learn as much as you can about harmony, scales, proper technique, digital notation and recording, and learn to compose.”

Any advice for someone just starting to record?
“The hardest thing about recording is learning to be patient with one’s self and the producer.”

What do you consider your big break?
“My biggest break was being born.”

What’s your favorite type of music to play?
“I like to play and record all kinds of music.”

What’s your playing weakness?
“I love Latin but I’m not as well versed as I could be. I like funk but I don’t spend the time required to become a virtuoso.”

What’s your playing strength?
“I’m best at rock, fusion and jazz.”

What kind of gigs are the hardest for you?
“Boring industrial gigs in Casinos are difficult to get through and maintain a high level of performance.”

What kind of gigs are the most fun?
“One nighters with good bands are exceedingly fun.”

What do you hate about recording?
“I hate control freaks who put their egos before the music.”

I hope that you have gained some insight into this amazing bassist. If you would like to learn more about Tom Fowler, you can visit his website at:

http://www.myspace.com/tomfowlerinterface

You can also see Tom’s discography at www.allmusic.com

Thanks for checking in and I will have more for you next month!

 

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Gear News

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Latest

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

Published

on

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

View More Bass Gear News

Continue Reading

Gear News

New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

Published

on

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 

Continue Reading

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Facebook

Trending