The Chapman Stick™
First off, I'd like to introduce you to the Chapman Stick™ by Stick Enterprises. I've been in love with this instrument since I first heard Tony Levin on Peter Gabriel Plays Live and on Discipline by King Crimson. I'm using my Stick with Brit Floyd as Mr. Levin recorded several tracks on A Momentary Lapse of Reason and used the Stick on One Slip and Yet Another Movie which are currently in our repertoire. The Stick is a tapping instrument, and has half of the strings dedicated to the bass range and the other for guitar. It produces a unique percussive sound on the bass side and a sweet ethereal sound on the guitar side. The model I'm using, the Railboard™, is an aluminum 10 string version. It's solid as a rock, keeps its tuning very well, and is stable even going from hot and humid Puerto Rico to Vancouver. Thank you Emmett Chapman for all your help.
It's quite a task reproducing bass tones from the 60's to the 10's. I use vintage style passive and modern active basses both with a pick and with my fingers. My bass rig consists of a Hartke Hydrive 4x10 and a 1x15 powered by a Hartke LH1000 amplifier. I love the Hydrive's ability to reproduce softer vintage tones as well as crisp, full spectrum, active bass sounds with the hybrid paper and aluminum speaker cones. From the Hartke website:
With Hartke's HyDrive series, you get the best of both worlds: the warm tone of traditional paper cones and the clear, punchy attack of aluminum. HyDrive's patented Hybrid Cone Technology produces a speaker that uses an outside paper cone to push a warm, deep low frequency and an inner aluminum cone that produces mids and highs that cut, yet still remain sweet.
If you're ever in NYC, head down to the Bass Lounge in Sam Ash on 34th St. and say hello to Larry Hartke for me. He knows everyone in the business and always has a great story to tell.
For effects I use an FX8 by Fractal Audio. I can't say enough about this unit. I've had gigs where I didn't need much of any effects, others where I've strung together loads of pedals, and others where I used a multi-FX unit. Pedals are great, but not very flexible and require some tap dancing skills without a switching unit. Fractal has made the first muli-FX pedalboard I've ever seen that gives me the clarity and transparency of my favorite pedals while giving me the flexibility to accommodate 3 basses (any one of which I might play with a pick or not) and a Chapman Stick™ (with independent simultaneous guitar and bass effects), all with custom level and EQ settings.
My Sound engineer loves it, I love it, and with the Mac/PC editor, it's a breeze to create sounds. The most FX heavy tune I play with Brit Floyd is One Of These Days. Have a listen on the Media page (coming soon).