Ditty-A-Day #002: Bass Loop Resurrection.

Back in my salad days (circa 1986) I bought my first delay pedal. It was a digital pedal (not analog), so I felt a little ahead of the curve at the time: the Arion DDS-1 (Digital Delay Sampler w/1 second sampling memory).

About 1986 or 87 I used this pedal to sample a .8-second riff of my playing what would be called a “loop” today, and soloed over the top of this loop. For this D-a-D recording, I re-did the essence of the ditty from scratch (without the the DDS-1) using the following setup:

– That same Kramer Alien/Duke Steinberger knock-off headless bass (which I still own) with active EMGs installed, played directly into a Tascam US-800 USB audio interface.

– First, I used Amadeus Pro to record and edit out the “loop” pulled out from a bass riff I played; then recorded the bass harmonics embellishment sound at the end of the piece, saved those two files.

Apple’s Logic Pro 9 is the host/DAW/mixer. Dropped these two pre-recorded files on their own tracks; then direct-recorded the solo bass track; the kick drum is from Logic’s Ultrabeat. Sounds a lot like the Summers/Fripp duets from the early 80s, minus the tape hiss. Note: I tried to do this in Ableton Live but could not for the life of me get the Bass Loop clip to actually loop, nor tempo match. Logic has these easy-to-use Tempo matching features, so I used Logic instead, despite my desire to get more Live-capable.

– All guitar effects were processed using Native Instrument’s Guitar Rig 4; all panning effects are from 2 instances of a free VST/AU plugin Cable Guys’ Pancake.

All-in-all, it took 10 minutes to get all bass playing recorded/edited, complete with out-of-key mistakes… or is it a purposeful jazz move? It then took another 50 just to settle on which effects to use, and get the mix to a happy place for a mixdown. Not bad for a resurrected 25-year ditty.
For the record, I eventually replaced the DDS-1 with a Boss DD-5 about ten years later.

iPad/iPhone/iPad Touch users:
CLICK HERE to hear this track.

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2 comments
  1. jerde said:

    Feels like my face is right on the strings. Cool.

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