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Thread: u2 bass, is it compression?

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    Post u2 bass, is it compression?

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    hi guys.
    Last night I was watching a repetion of U2's last concert, the one with the camera in Bono's shades.
    Anyway, I was watching Adam Clayton playing and it looks that he makes very small movements with his fingers, yet he gets that "mmmppph" kind of sound, with infinite sustain.
    I'm not sure if my eye is not catching the movement, if it is the bass, or what.
    Does he have tons of compression in it?
    What do you think is the key to that sound, which eq scheme will you use?
    What about bass action? Strings? Does it have anything to do?
    Lastly, any advice on the relationship of the bass with the drums and guitar (eq-wise, arrangement-wise, or other)?

    I've been reading this bbs since midyear and it's been wonderful, everybody is so helpful and nice.
    Thanks in advance for your help
    Cheers, Andrés

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    Andres,

    Im not too sure but I think Adam prefers Ampeg tube amps which can have a real compressed sound when cranked.

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    i AM pretty sure that you might not be hearing what his finers are doing. i saw u2 a few times and always fond it amazing how they could all stop playing and the edges guitar played ITSELF and had riffs pumping out the PA. absoutely phenomanal that self playing guitar. wouldn't be surprised if the bassist plays to a tape.

    jake

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    This is weird, because I addressed the subject of U2 using pre-recorded music on this same date... exactly two years ago.

    Check it out.... (and look at the date!)
    https://homerecording.com/bbs/showth...recorded+music

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    Could it be that after 20+ years of playing live he just knows what he's doing?

    I had a housemate who was an incredible bassist, and he would give me lessons once in a while (I'm a guitarist). Anyway, he also moved his fingers very little, yet got a huge sound. He would always try to correct me when I played, because I move a lot of my hand. It didn't sound right, and it hurt like hell after playing for a little while. Anyway, acc. to my housemate, with the proper technique, only your fingers move, and the angle of the pluck is such that the finger comes to a dead stop on the next string down. It's a kind of follow through motion that not only makes the note sound cleaner, but it forces you to get a little more of the finger on the string, and thus produces a less plucky, rounder, more even tone.

    I'm sure that the bassist for U2 also uses a lot of compression and some very nice gear, but there's a lot to be said for good technique too.

    P.S. anyone who think the Edge is faking it is insane. Yeah, there's a lot of sound trailing after everything he does, last time I saw them, he had at least 30 pedals in his setup, and probably a quarter of them were delays, but he's playing the whole show. I've seen him flub enough notes and change enough parts to understand that.

    What's with all the Edge bashing lately? It's sad to see someone who's done so much for guitar get so much disrespect.

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    I bet Adam Clayton knows what he's doing... but I don't, that's why I am asking! :-)

    the Ampeg recommendation is a good one. But that also has to do with compression, the way valves compress the sound of the bass.

    Charger: that plucking angle thing is very interesting. Anybody know more about the technique to get that sound? Action height?

    aaah... I don't care if they are faking or not, that's not the point. Even if they are phonies I still love the sound. It's all that counts to me. Although BTW I don't think they fake, and that The Edge is a great player. But please don't make this a fake/not fake thread. I really want to know more about that kind of sound.

    Cheers, Andrés

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    Like I said, I've been there for their sound-check.

    When Bono was strumming his acoustic, his hands would stop moving and the acoustic guitar part kept playing.
    There were also pre-recorded percussion parts, and the Edge had some pre-recorded guitar parts that played over what he was playing "live". I don't remember any of the bass parts being pre-recorded, though some of them might have been.

    Despite the pre-recorded music though, Bono DOES sing "live".
    That I'm sure of, since I was standing about 25 feet away from him during their performance.

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    RE: Adam Clayton gear.

    According to his interviews in bass player mag he switched to ASHDOWN bass amps a couple of years ago. It is tube and it is expensive. The sound going to the boards live used a combo of DI and mic.

    Cordura,
    If the details of the gear are real important to ya I can try to look the interview up or you can look for it at Bassplayer.com.

    Regaurding the "soft touch" or slight of hand fingering I have found that the best tone uses a very soft touch and gets the volume and punch from the amp. I had to relearn to play after using underpowered bass amps and competing with Fender Twins. Althouhg many metal players swear by a heavy hand the jazz players I admire for tone use the soft touch with a big amp.
    There is plenty of room for all of God’s creatures …right next to the mashed potatoes.
    Saskatoon – Steak, Fish and Wild Game.

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    cordura21,
    Though I can't give an answer to your question, go to the link below to see Adam's definative set-up:

    http://www.u2sound.de/

    The images/pictures don't seem to be working at the moment. Go to setup and then to Adam and you've got a list og basses, amps, effects and else.

    If you can't see them I'll copy and paste what you need onto this thread.

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    Kristof1,

    I checked the link out but the most recent update was 1985.

    I am pretty confident Adam switched to Ashdown Amps in 1999 or 2000. I KNOW he is endorsing them wich doesn't guarantee that he actualy uses them but I am pretty sure the set in Bassplayer Mag this year said Ashdown.
    There is plenty of room for all of God’s creatures …right next to the mashed potatoes.
    Saskatoon – Steak, Fish and Wild Game.

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