(My Ibanez SR300E Iron Pewter.)

A deaf playing the bass

After a break of many, many years, I’m playing the bass again.

Similar restrictions apply to my ambitions with the bass as they apply to photography: I am hearing impaired and have a hole in the frequency range where human conversation takes place. As a two-year old, I got ill with Pneumonia and heavy fever; they gave me Penicillin, and as is known now, Penicillin can destroy your hearing. Well, better deaf than dead – I was told by my late grandmother that the Pneumonia was about to kill me and only a strong dose of this stuff had managed to save my life.

The tools

Since I also want to experiment with sound and different genres and not only record but also try to compose a little, I acquired a few tools that I want to learn how to use:

    • Ibanez SR300E-IPT (The bass)
    • Fender Rumble 25 (The bass amp)
    • Lenovo IdeaCentre Gaming 5 17IAB7 Intel i5 12400F, nVidia 3060 RTX, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB NVM SSD + 2 TB Crucial NVM SSD + 1 TB Crucial SATA SSD, Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    • Sharp 50″ 4K Screen
    • Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB (6.3mm jack plug and XLR audio input)
    • Shure MV7X (XLR audio output)
    • Nektar Impact LX61+ MIDI Controller Keyboard
    • Akai MPD226 MIDI Controller With Sliders
    • Yamaha ATS-C300 (Soundbar/Subwoofer Combo for the Sharp Screen & PC, Fender Rumble looped in via Focusrite Scarlett)
    • Jam Origin Midi Bass (turns my bass into a MIDI device via software – it works and is frigging awesome!)
    • Steinberg Cubase 13 Pro (My main DAW)
    • Ableton Live 12 Standard
    • Propellerhead Reason 12 (The virtual synth rack that I plug into Cubase and Live; I don’t use it as a DAW)
    • Steinberg WaveLab Elements 12
    • MPC Beats
    • Audacity 3

The good news is that with every session that I play the bass, the fingers get less rusty and I’m slowly getting a feeling for the instrument again.

The bad news is that the learning curve for the software is really steep. I have the brain of an IT guy, not the brain of a sound engineer. I guess that most of the time “I’m thinking it wrong (TM).” But, as always, if I throw in sufficient hours and energy, I’ll get there eventually.

I recently added a Nektar Impact LX61+ MIDI Keyboard and some Akai controllers  to the mix Рand I cannot even begin to explain how great it felt to play some John Carpenter style (horror movie soundtrack) music with that keyboard using software synthesizers in Cubase/Reason/Live.

Spending time in my studio makes me happy, and investing those hours is a real pleasure, not a chore.