It's been quite a while since I used a completely passive bass. I probably would've kept plugging away with basses loaded with active EMG's for a good while longer if I hadn't happened to play my brother's Geddy Jazz when I sat in to do "Subdivisions" with his band at his wedding reception a couple of weeks ago. Despite going through the song with a harried WTF look on my face (because I had almost no level coming out of my mic, either in monitors or mains - apparently something went awry with the mic at the keyboard stand position), I did have room in my brain to think that his Jazz felt and sounded really good.
Came home and decided I needed to try a Jazz again. After scouring classifieds, I ended up going with a Lakland JO4. Got it and tried re-tracking some bass on the newest piece I'm working on now and damn. The action is really low so it gets a fair bit of that Geddy-esque aggression from fret clank without even putting any overdrive on it. Just the plain, un-doctored sound of a Jazz played with a little fervor and it muscles right through, as well as having that just-right bottom end that fattens the mix but isn't overbearing that seemed a challenge to dial in on my active basses. It's just easy to record and has a lot of personality - it may be a very familiar/traditional personality, but it really does just work.
I guess I'll finish out the rest of what I record for this album with this bass. Dammit...trying not to be another me-too guy playing a f***ing Jazz just went out the window, but maybe this is one time to just not fight it and use what works.
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