Having silly thoughts as a distraction .

bencat

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Okay things have been a little fraught and stressful for me recently with health issues for my wife Linda being a worry . One of them at least is now cleared and just the second one next week to get through .

When I get this I start thinking of all different things and go off often at a tangent from my original idea and jump erratically from one path to another.

Well for some reason I started thinking about a test track that could easily tell you if your system is good at resolving music and in particular instruments . I went back in my head to a demo I did years ago when Liverpool had city centre Hi Fi Dealer .

So here it is and it is a straight question to anyone that wants to try it and they can PM me their answer or put it on the thread . After a month I will add the correct answer to this thread and you can all check what your system told you .

On Black (aka Colin Vearncombe) first album there is a track called Ravel In the Rain



Now if you have a copy of this or it is on your streaming provider of choice or even if you just decide to buy the CD then get the track set up and play it . May well find that it is something you like which is a nice bonus , or you may find this is not really your cup of tea which fine as well .

But now consider this the upright bass is quite prominent on this track and very obvious . But is it a real Double Bass or an Electronic one taken from a Synth ? Give it a good listen and then put your answer on here or if you prefer PM me . As I have said I do honestly know the answer as I talked to Colin about it once when I met him after a concert he was as always patient and friendly and quite up for a gab and told me the full details .

Like I said silly season so just give it a whirl . If you already know then just wait till the start of next month and give those that do not know a chance to listen and answer .
 

toprepairman

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Interesting track and interesting idea.
I really don't have a clue but would say it's a real instrument.
 

Chumpchops

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Okay things have been a little fraught and stressful for me recently with health issues for my wife Linda being a worry . One of them at least is now cleared and just the second one next week to get through .

When I get this I start thinking of all different things and go off often at a tangent from my original idea and jump erratically from one path to another.

Well for some reason I started thinking about a test track that could easily tell you if your system is good at resolving music and in particular instruments . I went back in my head to a demo I did years ago when Liverpool had city centre Hi Fi Dealer .

So here it is and it is a straight question to anyone that wants to try it and they can PM me their answer or put it on the thread . After a month I will add the correct answer to this thread and you can all check what your system told you .

On Black (aka Colin Vearncombe) first album there is a track called Ravel In the Rain



Now if you have a copy of this or it is on your streaming provider of choice or even if you just decide to buy the CD then get the track set up and play it . May well find that it is something you like which is a nice bonus , or you may find this is not really your cup of tea which fine as well .

But now consider this the upright bass is quite prominent on this track and very obvious . But is it a real Double Bass or an Electronic one taken from a Synth ? Give it a good listen and then put your answer on here or if you prefer PM me . As I have said I do honestly know the answer as I talked to Colin about it once when I met him after a concert he was as always patient and friendly and quite up for a gab and told me the full details .

Like I said silly season so just give it a whirl . If you already know then just wait till the start of next month and give those that do not know a chance to listen and answer .


Vernacombe was a legend at song writing and arranging. I am a big fan. The first 2 Black lps are still sounding good. Sweetest Smile, Now Your Gone, Paradise and Ravel i gthe Rain being my favs.

Fretless bass features on many Black tracks. But judging particularly on the outro last bass slide, where is sounds like string slide, I am going with upright double or anacoustic fret less bass. Great track anyway
 
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uzzy

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Sounds like a fretless electric bass to me.
I could be wrong though as I listened to the You Tube cut on headphones - but ordered the cd today and if I change my mind once I get that on the hifi system, I will come and say lol
 

Jason P

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I'd say electronic - seems a little too clinical for me. He was a genius songwriter.
 

nak

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Initially sounds like an electric bass to me but later in the track from 3.20 onwards it sounds more like a real double bass.
 

TheFlash

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Okay things have been a little fraught and stressful for me recently with health issues for my wife Linda being a worry . One of them at least is now cleared and just the second one next week to get through .
Best wishes to both of you, Andrew.

Nice track by the way. Sounds electronic but that’s fine by me.
 
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rabski

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Quiet listen tonight, as Anne is working. On a low level, on my system it sounds like a bit of an electronic presentation. Doesn't have the 'edge' of upright bass strings, or of an electric fretless, though the latter would depend on the amp it's played through unless it's direct injection.

I'll wind it up a bit tomorrow and see if it's clearer.

Obviously, my system is all valves and stuff, so I'm deaf, it isn't detailed enough, etc.
 

Chumpchops

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Could it be some double tracking studio craft - not exactly like but in the same vein that Herbie Flowers played both electric and upright bass on Walk on the Wild Side to creat overall effect?
 

rabski

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Had a louder listen. I reckon it's electronic, possibly sampled. It's too clean and 'perfect' to my ears, without any natural variation at all.
 

bencat

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Decided it was silly to leave this so long . So this is a sample of a double bass player on a synth keyboard . Colin wanted a real double bass played in the studio but ran out of money . Well done to all that said electric but sorry not even close to a real guitar or upright bass pure electronic .
 

Chumpchops

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haha. Doesn’t really matter what it was played on, it still sounds fantastic and authentic. And i want to believe it’s a strung instrument when I listen.


I am reminded of the story behind one of the best bass groove lines I know, “Just an Illusion“ by Imagination. Brilliant track. I always thought it was played on a fretless but highly treated electric bass guitar. They lip synced on TOTP with one…

Turns out it was done on a Roland bass synth, but played real time not sequenced.

<<It was a Roland SH-1000, a Boss Chorus pedal and a DBX 160 compressor

From Tony Swain, the man who played the bass, himself;

"There has been much speculation about this subject but as I also played and recorded the bass lines it is time to put the record straight!

The Bass was played using an early Roland SH1000 made in the late 70's This was originally designed to sit on top of a Hammond organ so it looked like one! This was a monophonic synth but would play two octaves at once so using a combination
of square and sine waves an octave apart combined with a lot of wrestling with a portamento switch to get the slides this is how the bass lines were done. No sequencer was used at all on the bass lines just a lot of sweat and keeping time which was helped by me also being a drummer! The synth was recorded through a Boss chorus guitar pedal (blue type) and then compressed a lot through a studio dbx160 a really great vintage compressor.The bass was very high in the mix but cut through because of the compression and the split octaves.Justan Illusion bass was the best of two different lines recorded over two days on Analogue 24tk before digital came in.
I hope this finally answers the question.
Best
Tony "


 
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bencat

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And this is why we are often at the mercy of recordings and mastering when it comes to modern electronic music or any music using electric instruments . Unless someone at the recording at the time gives you the real truth then you are just guessing . So in some ways just playing the real sound on the track is not what you think . Another example of this is You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon the bass solo is know by many . But it was played using two separate tracks to fatten the sound and then combined and then put on the recording backwards . Does it make it sound any less ? Not really it is a wonderful example of African Bass playing often African muscians are noted as being some of the best at whatever they are playing . There is good reason for this often when they start out they are very poor and do not own their own instrument . Instead they use instuments owned by the Club / Shebeen / Shack and the only way they get to play is when they are on stage often for 10 - 12 hours a day for Lunchtime and Evening patrons . In order to keep their job they often have to play seven days a week . Well if you do something for months on end for hours every day then at the very least you become proficient at it . More often than not you become great at it .
 

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