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D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” - BASS!
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Matej
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#1
20th March 2007
Old 20th March 2007
  #1
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Thumbs up D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” - BASS!

Hey Russ!!

I love your work.. it's very inspiring!! And thanks for doing this..

My question is regarding D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” bass. How did you guys approach it? Did you just have Pino have a go at it, or was there plan to the madness?

The whole album is very revolutional in my book, but the bass just takes the spotlight. That is some serious grooving. What was the recording chain for it?

Any interesting stories behind those sessions?

Thanks so much for taking your time!!

Matej
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#2
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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hello matej,

thanks for the compliment!

Quote:
My question is regarding D’Angelo’s “Voodoo” bass. How did you guys approach it? Did you just have Pino have a go at it, or was there plan to the madness?
all of the bass lines were created by D. and pino would do his signature fills here and there. D is very particular with his bass lines. He would usually have a bass line sequenced and pino would learn it and D would tell him how much or little to improvise. but pino is such a groove master he just keeps the groove and suddenly, BAM, he'll play something you wouldn't expect right in a spot you wouldn't expect either!
pino mostly used his '61 P bass through a B15 or B18. fet47, u47 or m49 1081 mic pre and la2a.


Story: (1995)
We first met pino when BB King asked D to come and do a duet with him. pino was playing bass on the sessions with steve jordan, hugh mckraken and some other big session players. while we waited for BB to arrive, they started jammin with D. they were jammin on old soul covers and the band was obviously being blown away by D's effortless mimicing of marvin and stevie and prince (as well as his piano playing).
but D was having his own discovery being blown away with pino playing james jamerson bass lines verbatim! after the jam we formally introduced ourselves and it turned out pino was a huge D'angelo fan! We had just started sessions for voodoo at that time and we asked him to come and play...TALK ABOUT PERFECT TIMING...Fate?


all the best
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Last edited by Russell Elevado; 24th March 2007 at 06:03 PM.. Reason: year correction
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21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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I remember reading somewhere that Pino often tuned his bass down a few tones to get a DEEEP sound. Is that true?

Thanks!
Adam
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#4
21st March 2007
Old 21st March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studiocat View Post
I remember reading somewhere that Pino often tuned his bass down a few tones to get a DEEEP sound. Is that true?

Thanks!
Adam
hey adam,

i dont think i've seen him tune down more than one and a half steps.

cheers
#5
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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Well, I'm not normaly into this kind of music, but I've came across voodoo and I have to say my hat is down as low as it can, maybe even underground. What I enjoy most is a kick and bass, so many characters, everything is working so well while being different and strong. If you even know how I envy you ;-). But thanks for pushing me further, it is a big inspiration
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22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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Yes, in a Bass Player magazine Pino said:

Quote:
I played either my '63 P-Bass tuned down to D (DGCF) or my Moon Larry Graham signature 4-string tuned down to C# (C#F#BE). Both had heavy-gauge LaBella flatwounds, wich can be rough on necks; that's originally why I tuned down the Precision. I plugged into a miked Ampeg B-15, and I'm pretty sure that was the only signal we took. I've also got my Boss octave pedal, which I used on one track.
He's an amazing player!!

Jordi.
#7
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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I remember a Pino interview somewhere, where he said he tuned the P-bass to C.

I presume in fourths, i.e. standard intervals?

Anyway, could be mistaken... meantime here's a gear list for PP!

http://www.bassplayer.com/story.asp?storycode=16155

Quote:
Basses

’63 Sunburst Precision, tuned DGCF; ’61 Fiesta Red Fender Precision;
Fender Custom Shop Pino Palladino Signature Precision (based on his ’61 Fiesta Red P-Bass, with the neck shape of his ’63 P-Bass);
two black Fender Jaguar Basses (used on tour with the Who);
sunburst fretless ’79 Music Man StingRay;
white Moon Larry Graham Signature J-style bass;
Lakland Joe Osborn Signature J-style bass, tuned C#F#BE;
Status headless 6-string;
’96 Lakland 55-94 Deluxe 5-string;
’82 Squier Jazz Bass (often used with Roland V-Bass modeling system);
circa ’67 fretless Ampeg AUB-1

Strings

Thomastik-Infeld medium-light-gauge flatwounds;
La Bella heavy-gauge flats (on tuned-down ’63 P-Bass);
Rotosound Swing Bass roundwounds

Amps

For R&B gigs: Ashdown ABM 900 or ABM 500 EVO head with two Epifani T-212 2x12 cabinets.
With the Who: Two Ampeg SVT-VR Vintage Reissue heads with two SVT-810AV cabinets.
In the studio: Phil Jones PJB Briefcase (a larger Phil Jones live rig is on the horizon).

Effects

’80s Boss OC-2 Octave pedal;
Raven Labs MDB-1 Mixer/Direct Box/Buffer

Continuum basses

’61 Fender Precision, Black Moon J-style bass (since stolen from the stage at a Who concert in Leeds),
’79 Music Man StingRay (for punched fretless fill 2:37 into “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”)
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#8
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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interesting. i forgot to mention the graham moon bass. but i think that might have been on one song. he played it a decent amount of times but it didnt make the songs that are on the album. there are a lot of songs that didn't make the album....

and i stilll don't recall him tuning the low string that far down, but it wouldn't suprise me.

cheers
#9
22nd March 2007
Old 22nd March 2007
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The other bass player...

Thank you for doing this.

I was wondering if you could talk a little about Charlie Hunter's bass/guitar work on Voodoo. I notice he gets some writing credits on a couple of the tunes. Does this mean that D'angelo had less specific bass parts in mind than on the tracks Pino played on?

Also, I'm wondering what different production approaches you take when the bass and guitar part are being played simultaneously.

Thanks again,

Stephen B.
#10
23rd March 2007
Old 23rd March 2007
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Are there any techniques you use to clarify frequencies in the low end when it comes to bass and Kick frequency masking?
#11
24th March 2007
Old 24th March 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen B. View Post
Thank you for doing this.

I was wondering if you could talk a little about Charlie Hunter's bass/guitar work on Voodoo. I notice he gets some writing credits on a couple of the tunes. Does this mean that D'angelo had less specific bass parts in mind than on the tracks Pino played on?

Also, I'm wondering what different production approaches you take when the bass and guitar part are being played simultaneously.
Thanks again,
Stephen B.
hello stephen,
nice one man! i like your title, 'the other bass player". no one has mentioned him and i'm glad you did! i watched him play these songs and i still can't believe he did it. for those of you that don't know charlie's playing; he plays a custom 8 string guitar/bass combo. top 3 strings are bass (E, A, D) and 5 string guitar just underneath (E, A, D, G, B). he's got seperate pick ups for the low and high strings and each pick up has seperate outputs as well.

"the "root" and "greatdayinthemornin" (which was a seperate song from "booty" that we spliced in to make one song) came from them jamming out. charlie came up with the guitar and bass parts for "the root" inspired by some jamming they were doing on some hendrix songs.

"spanish joint' was all D. it was charlie's last day in the studio and towards the end of the session. D came to me and said "what else can we do? were there any songs that charlie would be good for?". and i remember D playing "spanish joint" for me on the piano one day. he didnt have a demo of it but it was just in his head. so i when i suggested it, D gave me a big smile and said, "i forgot about that one" and went right to the piano and showed charlie the song. charlie killed that song as well. that solo section is really him playing bass and the solo at the same time, no overdub!

but the answer to your question "I'm wondering what different production approaches you take when the bass and guitar part are being played simultaneously." i had the seperate outputs from his guitar (as mentioned above) going to a seperate bass and guitar amp. so i basically treated them like i would for bass or guitar on voodoo. there was slight bleeding into each other from the pickups in close proximity to each other, but enough seperation for me to manage a good sound on both.

cheers
jdg
#12
24th March 2007
Old 24th March 2007
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i love charlie hunter... anyone who's seen him play... you're eyes just go

thx for all the info so far
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