always something there to remind me

I’m doing a bit better with the Silmarillion this time around. I will give some credit to A (Mega) Guide to the Silmarillion, and some to being willing and able to look up stuff at and elsewhere when I forget who the Vanyar are again and where Nargothrond is and what race Borthand is.

(While The Hobbit and the Silmarillion are approximately the same length, there are 42 characters in The Hobbit and 216 in the Silmarillion, according to tolkiengateway… throw in the whirlwind geographical tours of places that sometimes have 2-3 names and gets destroyed later in the timeline anyway, and a little outside help is a very useful thing.)

I mostly don’t participate in TalkBass, except in the “Ambient/Post-Rock/Textural bass playing thread” which has turned into a nice little clique of people doing interesting things. Most of the rest of the site is Boomers in dad bands, and their musical world is not my musical world.

But when I visit the site, it shows the most recent threads, so I see what those strangers are up to. Today’s is “Anybody else came to terms with the fact they’re just not fan of effects?” My answer is “LOL no.”

I can certainly see in that in a typical band playing live, the bass guitar is going to want minimal effects. The amp probably takes care of overdrive and EQ. It’s not unusual to have a compressor, maybe fuzz or a phaser — but it’s also not unusual to plug straight in.

I’m not in a typical band playing live. Stack those effects, chain them, pile them on. Sometimes the bass doesn’t sound at all like a bass when I’m done with it, more often it’s a kind of electronic hybrid.

But that got me thinking about a project where I avoid using most effects — all the delays, reverbs, granular, chorus/flanger/phaser sorts of things, lo-fi-izers, spectral processing… the idea is a little scary but exciting at the same time. I have no idea what my music would sound like that way! I’d have to make some arbitrary decisions about what gear and techniques are valid to use — the line between, say, a wavefolder as a synthesis method vs. overdriving a filter vs. actually using Peradam or Ruina is a little fuzzy. But I might just take this idea up as my next project. Possibly another half-hour thing like Slow Teleport, rather than a longer one like the current project that is still, I promise, underway. I just need to not be sick, busy, or in the midst of a deep dive into gear.

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