Anyone using reverb on electric/synth bass much?

Aloha guys,

As DAW reverbs have gotten sooo much better than
they were several years ago I have found myself using the
reverb effect not just in solo and sparce sections but also to fatten (etc) bass parts.

I would have never done this in the past unless a client wanted it
and even then I would try and talk them out of it.

Acoustic upright jazz/classical bass yes.
In those cases, reverb and room sounds can work just fine;
but these days I find myself ‘reverbing’ electric/synth bass a lot more.

In all my years of live stage work I cannot recall a single bassist using
reverb on the bass except for a specific effect.
Like the picking/flanged bass in the song:
‘For the Love of Money’ by the O’Jays (wrong name to have these days)

Of course the reverbs I use are short, and quick and
I have tried the same thing using short delays but results are way different.
And when I ‘mono-up’ the effect is lessened but is still there.

Anyway bottom line is:
I’m getting no client complaints.
And that’s what really matters.

Any thoughts? Anyone doing much of this?
Has this been one of those ‘well kept’ bass recording/playback secrets? :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Yeah, certainly on a nice squelchy moog bass with tons of HF overtones… Put the reverb on a bus and send some of the synth bass to it, but roll off most of the bass on the AUX, so the reverb is only on the overtones, to avoid muddiness.


On a sine wave type of bass reverb can only make it worse, but it there are overtones it’s at least worth trying. Be prepared to kill your darlings, though! :mrgreen:

Been doing this for years. Also, don’t underestimate the power of early reflections.

Interesting, I usually don’t bother because the result quickly drowns the entire song, but I’ll experiment with that. Thanks :slight_smile:

Carve them up with an eq so they do not conflict. Also, you can also do narrow bell boosts centered on the note that is playing or in intervals of the note that is playing and key it with automation. For instance, bring the ERs in on the hooks or chorus then drop it back out. Watch the goniometer and listen to the song open up :slight_smile:

Adjust the ER level in mono, then open it to stereo and balance between your mono’s and stereo’s level taste.

Shhh… its a secrete technique. First I ever shared it :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice idea. Is there an efficient way in getting the bell follow the note played, or do you really manually go through the whole thing?

Kool approach!

A plug that could ‘ride’ the bell so to speak.

There may be an easier way, but what I do is create a midi track under the track I am going to do the eq accents. I enable record and use my keyboard to mark the spots where I want the bells to be (time-wise). I have a chart for which frequency corresponds to notes and then I manually enter in the values into the eq automation. Easiest way to view the eq frequency automation is to enable write, bump the frequency of the bell you are using then goto the automation panel and click show used. Then the frequency automation channel will pop up under the audio track.

You can use this calculator too for determining frequencies:

I just found it via google.

You can use a pitch shifter too, but it is a totally different sound. Very artifacty sounding, but also cool in its own way. I use pitch for vocals sometimes which gives it that modern modern sound we are all used to.


Ok, that’s how I’d do it as well, cheers :slight_smile:.
I was hoping for some ‘rider’ plugin like Curteye mentioned.

Take a look at Filtrate:

It accepts MIDI note controls for the centre frequency and other cc controls for cutoff gain and Q

Not used it personally, but it would allow you to have a MIDI track with the notes you wanted the EQ to track. In fact, looks like an interesting plug-in and at only £25 it’s got to be worth a punt.


Interesting Mark, thanks :slight_smile: