My about page | by Simon Edward
What’s all this? My about page in question and answer format: –
Q: What is InfinityBass?
A: InfinityBass is my take on life as an independent Musician, Bass player and composer ~ with a day job.
I am writing new music for a solo EP that I plan to release at some point in 2017, which I would describe as post-rock Dreampop, infused with jazz and funk.
Born in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (UK) and raised in Romford (East London). I live near Newbury, Berkshire with my wife and our three children.
Q: Why did you choose Bass?
A: Bass guitar is my 3rd instrument. I started on Violin at school in 1980, and I’ve always enjoyed playing and writing music on the piano, which I consider to be my other instrument.
In the late 1980’s, I played Bass parts on a synthesizer in a church youth group band that was forming.
I migrated to Bass guitar when I could afford to buy one. As I’ve grown into it, I love being a Bassist.
I’m conventional and it suits me. “Bass gives music it’s grounding. The warm, driving depth it provides helps everything else make sense.” (anon).
Q: What was the first Bass guitar you played?
A: The ‘Pro II’ by Aria was my first electric Bass guitar and a ‘Cobra 90’ combo by Carlsbro was my first amp. They were paid for with two weeks wages from my first job after I left school.
This Bass had a high action, which made it difficult to play. I didn’t know how to make adjustments to the action at this time. Here they are in 1990: –
At first, I used light gauge strings (90-70-50-30), so my fingers didn’t get too sore.
The strings would rattle around on the frets a bit too much, but the strings, bridge pickup, and amp produced a bright, punchy and rounded sound.
The ‘Cobra 90’ amp was easy to move about, but noisy (hum and hiss), and the 15″ speaker sounded boomy.
I remember the knobs being small and flimsy. They would come off or break easily.
The Bass and amp were both moved on after a few years’.
Q: What’s your favourite Bass?
A: My Jaydee Supernatural Series 2A Bass, which was built by John Diggins in 1986.
This was my 2nd Jaydee and I acquired it in 1995. Finished in volcano red and fitted with red front face LED’s retro-fitted by Martin Sims.
The original active circuit was replaced with an integrated circuit board in 2001.
I Love this BASS! It has a fast neck, fantastic tone and it’s really comfortable to play.
I play this Jaydee with light gauge strings (95-80-60-40), which tends to bring a more percussive sound.
You can read more about Jaydee Custom Guitars on the official website here: – ☛ Jaydee Custom Guitars
Q: What can you tell us about the ‘Infinity’ Bass?
A: I’d been talking to John Diggins in 2001 about my own custom Bass build.
I liked the design features from the Jaydee ‘Calibas’ Bass, such as the tear drop string anchors, the headstock, and the built-in input jack.
The end design is a mixture of Jaydee’s I have owned, including the Supernatural, GA24 and the Calibas.
My ‘Infinity’ Bass is long scale, with 4 band EQ and a new truss rod design with carbon graphite reinforcement.
John had the idea to use the ‘Infinity’ inlays on the fret board, and they look absolutely stunning! The complete build took around 12-months. The best things come to those who wait.
Here’s a short sound clip I recorded with my Trace Elliot GP12XV preamp, and no compression: –
Q: What’s your rig?
A: I’m using a pre-loved US-built David Eden WT-550 Traveler head into a Trace Elliot 1048 (4×10) cabinet.
The WT-550 is the most natural sounding amp head I’ve ever heard. I really like the warmth of valve/tube at the pre-amp stage, with a solid-state amplifier for the output.
I first heard the Traveler amps towards the end of the 1990’s, and I promised myself that one day I would own one.
My WT-550 amp was acquired pre-loved, and in mint condition, from a UK Bass player called Stuart, who plays in ‘The Rumble Fat Band‘. They are one of the finest Wedding/function bands in North-west England.
This amp has a five-way semi-parametric equalizer, which I use with a fairly flat setting because I use the active EQ on my Basses. It also has a built-in compressor and a headphone output.
I’ve had my 1048 speaker cabinet forever and it sounds great, but weighs a ton!
Maybe not a real ton in weight, but it feels like it! It has the original Trace Elliot speaker drivers and the vinyl covering is in good condition. It also has castors and can travel.
Trace Elliot: – GP12XV valve preamp
In 1997, I was given a tip by Nick Owen and Chris Ward at ‘The Bass Centre’ (Wapping High Street, London) that Level 42’s Mark King would be moving on some Basses, amps and other gear through the shop.
Would I be interested?
I managed to acquire a Trace Elliot GP12XV valve preamp from Mark’s home studio on the Isle of Wight, called ‘The Summerhouse’, which he has also used on tour.
I am pleased to say I’ve used the preamp on almost everything I’ve recorded at home since.
If you’re a Bassist who uses effects, then you might like to see my pedalboard page.
Q: One Bass, one amp, and three pedals. What’s your setup?
1. Jaydee Supernatural Series 2A Bass;
2. Eden World Tour 550 amp;
3. EQD Spatial Delivery, BOSS OC-2 Octaver, and TC Flashback delay.
Q: What music do you like?
A: I will listen to almost anything, but Dreampop (post-rock), shoegaze, Jazz, and Funk do it for me.
Ambient and chill out electronic music ~ a very misunderstood genre ~ also tick a few boxes.
I’ve been following the artists I first heard from the mid-1980’s, and beyond: –
Level 42, Genesis, Phil Collins, Sting, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Prince, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, Mica Paris, Annie Lennox, Gloria Estefan, Jamiroquai, Incognito, Brand New Heavies, The Human League, Pet Shop Boys and Howard Jones.
My wife and I went to see the band ‘Travis’ play a show in London, and I have quite a few of their albums now.
Here is a link to a page about some of my musical influences
Q: Who are the Bass players that have influenced you most?
A: In no particular order, they are:-
More than a Bass player. Musician, singer, songwriter, producer and musical director, who has managed to bring together the best musicians, and co-written some fantastic music/songs. Then he takes it all out on the road.
In my opinion, these three albums show Mark at his best: –
- ‘Level 42’ (1981);
- ‘World Machine (1985);
- ‘Forever now’ (1994).
“Over the years, when parents have asked me about their kids wanting to play an instrument, I always say buy the best one you can afford. If it doesn’t work out, and you sell it, you get your money back. A good instrument is also much easier to play and sounds good. If you start off with a clunker that’s impossible to play, the kid will get disheartened, and you’ll have wasted your money. For me, it’s just good insurance. You either spend £50 and waste the £50, or spend £150 and you’ll get £130 back”.
>> Mark King
I’ve seen and heard him play in London with Jazz-funk collective ‘Incognito’ on several occasions. Classy, extremely talented Bass player, who makes it look so easy ~ it isn’t!
The track called ‘Jacob’s ladder‘; which was written by Julian and Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick for the 1995 Incognito album “100° and Rising, which also features OUTSTANDING performances by Graham Harvey on electric piano and Max “Gig” Beasley Junior on percussion.
Pino plays Bass on the album called ‘Circle of One’ by Oleta Adams.
“He combines impeccable timing with subtle harmony to the lead vocal throughout. The right phrasing at the right time, and on fretless Bass!
Retrospectively, this was the record where I learned the most about playing Bass in a band setting. This is the record I work through to remind myself (in one way) how Bass can sound and feel.”
I first heard him play with Eric Clapton on ‘Behind The Mask’ from the 1986 album ‘August’, and then on ‘But Seriously’ with Phil Collins. A solid, smooth sound ~ and always in the groove!
When I first started out on Bass, Doug played on two of my favourite albums: –
- ‘Seal’: Seal (1991);
- ‘Diva’: Annie Lennox (1992).
Doug says, “I’m the outsider ~ I’m noisy!! I’ve made a lot of records, but when people see me with my pedals and effects, they get nervous and think I’m a frustrated guitar player or something. All I’m trying to do is explore my voices. I’m not JUST a Bass player. I’m a sound system!”
Q: Which Bassist are you following at the moment?
Solo Bass and beyond! ☛ Steve Lawson
Steve was one of the first musicians to present Bass as a solo instrument, and he’s still creating new and innovative sounding Live music, as an independent artist.
He uses a Looper and effects pedals. I don’t like distortion or fuzz on Bass, but I like how he creates light and shade with them on his newer tracks.
Listen and watch Steve playing Vertigo, and a whole ton of solo Bass on his youtube channel.
Q: Any advice for anyone starting out on BASS?
A: I wrote a blog post about the most important things I’ve learned about playing Bass over the years’. You can find it here: – ☛ 7 secrets other Bassists don’t want you to know
In short, if you watch and listen to other Bassists, who play the music you’re into, then you won’t go too far wrong.
Q: Is it really ‘All About That Bass’?
A: Yes ~ and No.
Q: Can you break down an average gig for you?
A: There’s no bigger challenge for me than playing Live! At this moment, I’m concentrating on recording new music at home and developing my songwriting.
I love being able to release my music on-line for anyone to hear, wherever they are in the world.
Q: What does your current setup look like for recording?
A: I moved to computer based 24-bit digital hard disk recording in 2012.
I still use valve pre-amps at the front end (by Trace Elliot and ART) for my Basses and Microphones.
It’s easier to arrange tracks, in comparison to tape-based recording, and the effects plugins supplied with Reaper are worth their weight in gold!
I wrote a post on my Blog about why I Love Reaper here ☛ Why-i-love-reaper-daw
Q: My question isn’t answered on this page! What should I do?
A: If you would like to send me an email, details of how to do this are on my Contact page.
InfinityBass.com | by Simon Edward | October 13th, 2014.