I played the SlapBass for a few minutes and then decided to hit record on the laptop (running Audacity). Here's how it sounds.
Slap Me Silly
SlapBass is in the Right Channel
PorchBoard is in the Left Channel (starts about half-way through)
The different tones you are hearing are the result of tapping the SlapBass in different ways in different places up and down the rail. The deepest sounds are from tapping in the middle.
This is straight into the T1® - No presets, no EQ or effects.
I did this to give you a sense of the kinds of sounds you can get out of the SlapBass, and then I added the PorchBoard for comparison.
Playback through an L1® or really good headphones with lots fo low end response to really hear this.
So very cool.
Can't wait to try one out.
I took the SlapBass out last night to see how others would relate to it.
First, I showed it to a friend who plays guitar and sings. I plugged it into an L1® Classic and tapped on it just to show her what it did. In that relatively empty, resonant space I wasn't particularly taken with the sound of it.
Then I handed it to her. She handed it back after about a minute. It didn't really engage her as a player.
I asked her to play her guitar and sing and I accompanied her with the SlapBass just adding some light rhythm. Anyone who knows my history with rhythm knows how odd that would be.
"Okay", she said, "that's better. It's better when there is something else going on at the same time."
A little later we were at an open microphone event. I plugged in the SlapBass and handed it to one of the regulars. She plays washboard and I thought that she might enjoy the SlapBass. It was interesting to watch as she tried the SlapBass in various ways: holding it like a guitar, then more like a Chapman Stick (vertically), and then finally, across her lap. That's how she plays her washboard; across her lap.
Hearing the SlapBass in the context of a larger ensemble, it sounded good. On stage at that moment were a drums, two guitars, two vocalists, bass, and added to all of that, the SlapBass. It had a different voice.
It was interesting to see how quickly the person playing it found a way to make it a meaningful part of the overall sound. That is, she learned it very quickly.
That was my impression from your clips. It sounds kind of mechanical and not resonant like a drum or even a guitar with a pickup on it.
I'm sure you could find a purpose for that kind of sound in an ensemble though, and the lack of resonance might help with feedback.
ST, can you yet post the video clip of the female duo using the SlapBass?
It's pretty impressive as a conga/djembe sounding instrument in the context of that video.
Let me get permission to do that and I will.
Posted with permission from Nadene at PorchBoard.
SlapBass, PorchBoard - duo
As always - good headphones or L1® would be best to hear this properly.
The link is not working for me. ????
What are you seeing when you click the link. Is there an error message?
I just checked the link and it's working fine from here.
Anybody else having any difficulty?
SlapBass, PorchBoard - duo
Not working for me either.
HTTP Status 404 - /session/b13864df31efea0caed93aef3618b332/video/26619941
type Status report
description The requested resource (/session/b13864df31efea0caed93aef3618b332/video/26619941) is not available.
DOES work fine for me.
The link goes to a web site for people who own Flip cameras. It's not controlled in any way by PorchBoard (or me).
I know that the PorchBoard folks are working on some other ways to get video up on the web.
In the meantime, I don't have a solution.
I am sorry.
And just worked for me.....
Worked fine for me. Now if only I had 4 arms.
I suppose you could lay the SlapBass on the floor and use your feet on it -- treat it like the PorchBoard Bass, but one with perhaps more nuanced responsiveness.
?? Play it bare-foot ??
My SlapBass arrived yesterday, cute little critter, smaller than I thought, just right actually.
I hooked it and the Porchboard bass, up to my Model II w/2-B1s in the living room, and started tapping.
It sounded like a boing-y, hollow metal tube with a pitch range of 3, (4, according to Dean @ Enroute), notes.
Tried some EQ that didn't really change things too much, could add bass, but not perceivable mids and highs.
Very hard to get rid of the ringy, hollow tube sound.
Later last night a friend who plays guitar, keys, and some drums, picked it up.
He's not a great musician, but loves to just sit and make sounds on the guitar, he's very creative.
He had no luck with the Slapbass at all, but I thought he was hitting it too hard...all slaps.
So when he (quickly) tired of it, I picked it up again, he got on the drums.
I played some audio loops from my Roland TD-12, music minus drums, and we jammed along.
This time, I was beginning to find some tones on the SlapBass, and having it 'in context' of a song helped.
Tones were found by tapping/one finger, heavier tapping/two or more, and then slapping with the whole hand.
Additional variations were had by leaving fingers on the bar (muting), or not (open tone).
I tried giving it a glancing slap and get yet another tone, but I'm not there yet.
So...very similar to the techniques used for hand drumming.
The sound bar provides, as far as I can find, only three basic pitches.
Low tone in the middle of the bar, mid toward the end, and a satisfying "pop" right next to the bolt that attaches the bar to the composite Trex body.
So that's a total of six variations so far, and I'm beginning to get it to sound more like a hand drum.
The bass note does NOT go as low as the Porchboard bass, even with lots of low EQ.
That is a good thing though, as the PB, and the SlapBass can make a good set when used together.
However, if using the SlapBass alone, you could leave the Porchboard at home, and have enough thump.
It's apparent that the SB is going to take some time to pull tones out of, just like any other instrument.
I had, perhaps lazily, hoped I could pick it up and instantly make it sing...not happening.
I'm left-handed, and it took me a while to figure out the best way to hold the thing.
I've wound up wearing it right-handed, playing bass in the center of the bar,with my left hand, and the highs w/the right, at the base of the instrument, not high up on the neck, like you would a guitar.
So it's not going to look like I'm holding and playing a guitar...another fantasy smashed.
It is NOT going to replace a hand drum in an ensemble group, there is just not the variety of available tones.
The only advantage here, is that a mic is not needed.
My friend said, "with the Slapbass, you'll need a sound system, with a hand drum you don't."
He's right, in most cases...my case certainly.
These are just first impressions, so don't take all this too seriously.
I've probably only spent a total of 30 minutes on this thing so far, and in that time have made some progress.
The SlapBass is a cool instrument, and I really want to like it, because I love the folks who invented it.
If and when I warm up to it, I'll post a recording.
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