Bass tone on Come Together?

SideBMusic

Member
Messages
1,519
Playing Abbey Road on vinyl today... hearing details that seem to be lost on digital audio. I practically melted to the floor listening to Paul on bass. Just curious if someone can explain what, in particular, was done with the tone to give it the fuzzy, distorted sound on Come Together?
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,491
I'm hearing a Rhodes in there with the bass I think? Might be a really light OD guitar blending with that tone? Or maybe you're hearing that very underplayed minor 6th and it's sounding like OD? Bass sounds very clean to me (in an analog tape sort of way).

As an aside, I've never seen anyone play this riff correctly in my whole life. Aerosmith missed it on their take (not sure if that was on purpose or not though).
 

StratoCraig

Member
Messages
3,213
Well, the last note of the riff (the descending glissando) sounds a bit distorted to me in an over-saturated tape sort of way.

Aerosmith did their own thing with the song, as did The Meters. I don't think either group was trying to play it exactly as the Beatles did.
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,491
OK, I've listened a bunch to it...

Thick Hofner bass played through a vintage 4x10 Bassman with treble rolled off on the bass. Very neck PU guitar in there doubling that minor sixth at the top. When he glisses into the A and drops the F (6th) on top, he hesitates and releases the A late. That's what sounds like OD but it's really just the harmonic produced with the minor 6th. You can also hear the guitar sustaining past the bass at the end of each riff. Guitar has a little edge on it and by little I mean barely.

This is really sophisticated interactive playing, not some piece of gear or a studio trick.

Aside: I'm always blown away when I dissect a Beatles song regarding the amount of blending they do with every last instrument. They weren't really monster players but they were monsters at playing together (and songwriting).
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,642
OK, I've listened a bunch to it...

Thick Hofner bass played through a vintage 4x10 Bassman with treble rolled off on the bass. Very neck PU guitar in there doubling that minor sixth at the top. When he glisses into the A and drops the F (6th) on top, he hesitates and releases the A late. That's what sounds like OD but it's really just the harmonic produced with the minor 6th. You can also hear the guitar sustaining past the bass at the end of each riff. Guitar has a little edge on it and by little I mean barely.

This is really sophisticated interactive playing, not some piece of gear or a studio trick.

Aside: I'm always blown away when I dissect a Beatles song regarding the amount of blending they do with every last instrument. They weren't really monster players but they were monsters at playing together (and songwriting).
No evidence McCartney, or any of the Beatles used a 4X10 Bassman in the studio.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,763
"It is not known how Paul's bass was recorded but subjective listening suggests a combination of direct and mic'ed sound."--Recording The Beatles

The bass amps at Abbey Road at that time were a Bassman head with 2x10 cabinet, and a never used B15. Guitar amps on the "Come Together" session were Twin Reverbs.
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,491
No evidence McCartney, or any of the Beatles used a 4X10 Bassman in the studio.
My point was to answer the question, how would I go after that sound. I'm beyond thinking that a specific piece of gear can make or break the sound I'm after though I'm partial to old glass and cloth covered wire.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,492
Sound a bit compressed to me and direct in, possibly an amp. Definitely not a Tweed Bassman and not a Precision Bass type sound so the Hofner probably has some to do with it too... Generally it sounds like a lot of old school bass tone... in the ball park I mean.... more bass, less treble...
 

bob-i

Member
Messages
8,769
I've never heard the iso track before, great playing. He has lots of very subtle variations, especially on the straight 8th note sections, he throws in a few 16th notes, some slurs, some staccato notes. He also varies between the intro and verse. On the intro the last D note of the riff stands alone, in the verse he hits it twice, once very softly, then harder on the 4.

As for the tone, I have no idea, could be the Hofner, sounds pretty clean to me.
 

jaime136

Member
Messages
469
Wasn't Abbey Road a Rickenbaker with tape-wounds? That would explain the thumpy, "woody" sound.
 
Last edited:




Trending Topics

Top