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Thread: Electronic Gizmo To Make Uke Sound Like a Bass??

  1. #1
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    Default Electronic Gizmo To Make Uke Sound Like a Bass??

    Hi everyone. A few months ago I saw a solo ukulele player performing at a museum. He was playing what looked like a basic tenor uke with a pickup. But for a few songs, he flipped a switch on an amp (or maybe a foot pedal ... I can't recall), and was able to use his uke to lay down a bass line that he turned into a looping track. He then returned to regular uke voice and played over that.

    What kind of electronic gizmo(s) allow for such wizardry? Does anyone know? I don't know anything about electronics, but I would love to try experimenting with this.

    Thanks!
    "The ukulele is the thinking man's violin." - Krusty the Clown

  2. #2
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    I have a setting called heavy octave on my Roland Micro Cube GX that lowers the register by an octave.
    Maybe that was what he was doing(?).
    http://www.roland.com/products/micro...pecifications/
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke1950 View Post
    I have a setting called heavy octave on my Roland Micro Cube GX that lowers the register by an octave.
    Maybe that was what he was doing(?).
    http://www.roland.com/products/micro...pecifications/
    Thanks uke1950. I had assumed that his uke was "magically" tuned to EADG like a regular bass, but maybe it was just a matter of lowering it an octave or two, as you suggest. I have a bass amp with a similar setting (which I've never used). I'll have to play around with that.
    "The ukulele is the thinking man's violin." - Krusty the Clown

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    Come on, Tommy - I never heard a better excuse for buying a U-Bass!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenie44 View Post
    Come on, Tommy - I never heard a better excuse for buying a U-Bass!
    Ha! Greenie, you're a bad influence on the UAS. Actually, I do have an Ohana U-bass I've never played, but I thought I could lighten my instrument load by making my uke do double duty.
    "The ukulele is the thinking man's violin." - Krusty the Clown

  6. #6
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    Octave pedal.

    There are two kinds:
    -Monophonic - tracks only one note at a time. Monoponic pedals are everywhere. The Boss OC-2 is kind of the gold standard as far as I know.
    -Polyphonic - can track multiple notes at a time (chords). Polyphonic pedals are harder to find. I wanted polyphonic so I could drop a single octave and get into guitar riff range.

    There are octave options on pretty much any multi effect and, for monophonic stuff, most are fine. Polyphonic is a harder beast to tame. I've found two that are worth your time: the Electro-Harmonix Pitchfork and the Digitech Drop. The Pitchfork can go 3 octaves down - well past bass range - plus do any other harmony interval and blend. The Drop is made to detune a guitar for super low riffing and can only go up to one octave down. That said, the Drop tracks better and has way less latency (processing delay) than the Pitchfork.

    Both will make your uke sound rubberband-y. Not because they alter the signal, but because that's just what a uke sounds like at sub octaves.

  7. #7
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    I bought a DigiTech RP 360 to plug my Risa sticks into. I have to look into which pedals the 360 emulates as I believe everyone Ive looked at only drops 2 octaves. I have a low G strung tenor stick coming I plan on trying to play around with the EADG tuning for ease of playing rock/metal. I theorize better than I play though so...

    I find with my soprano stick if I drop an octave the solid ukulele can sound quite like a guitar, dropping two octaves I wouldn't call the sound rubbery but a bit processed. This is more noticeable to me at least the higher the note.

    I know I need a uke bass but I do have an 80's Aria that does the exact thing just much bigger. Sitting playing at my desk is not an option. Well I'm babbling a bit the question was answered but I would like to thank you for asking it and everyone for the great replies. I learned a bit reading the responses.

    Thanks
    This space reserved for a smart or witty comment or a famous quote. It may also be used to promote my accomplishments should I ever accomplish anything worth sharing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippie Guy View Post
    Octave pedal.

    ....
    Cool! Thanks, Hippie Guy. That gives me something to go on. Now to do some shopping... um, research!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inksplosive AL View Post
    I bought a DigiTech RP 360 to plug my Risa sticks into. I have to look into which pedals the 360 emulates as I believe everyone Ive looked at only drops 2 octaves. I have a low G strung tenor stick coming I plan on trying to play around with the EADG tuning for ease of playing rock/metal. I theorize better than I play though so...
    Great. Thanks Inksplosive AL. I'll look into the DigiTech too.

    I appreciate the great responses. Meanwhile, I've managed to look up the name of the performer I saw, and I've sent him an email inquiring about his setup. I'll share what I find.
    "The ukulele is the thinking man's violin." - Krusty the Clown

  9. #9
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    Oh hey Tommy the RP 360 streams through usb to a computer allowing easy lag free access to DAW software. If you are playing through an amp and do not need this feature there were different less expensive models. Zoom also puts out a great multi pedal which is similar to the RP 360 yet battery powered. It also offering the streaming I want to say the Zoom G3? The zoom allows multiple effects of the same type at once allowing for some really crazy effects. There are also less expensive zoom pedals without the streaming usb feature.

    ~Al~
    This space reserved for a smart or witty comment or a famous quote. It may also be used to promote my accomplishments should I ever accomplish anything worth sharing.

  10. #10
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    One octave generator I was considering went up and down 5 octaves. Sorry, don't remember which one.

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