| Jeff Schmidt, Bassist
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September 20, 2009

Melodyne beta test on my tune - FURY

Melodyne software by Celemony promises auto-tune control for polyphonic material (like solo guitar, piano, bass etc..)

I got my Beta version today - and tried it out on my solo tune - FURY.

I was blown away.


This will totally change music. In fact- someone else posted that it will create a whole new genre of music - and I agree. Simply amazing.

I'm sorry comments are totally screwed here - but feel free to shoot a comment to me on my Twitter or Facebook.

Oh - if you know someone who can help me port this totally jacked-up blog from Moveable Type to Wordpress - lemme know.

Oh yeah - I can't access the back end anymore so - it's a bit of a challenge. It might help you've got some hacking skillz. :0

Lemme know.

January 26, 2009

New Video Blog - Demo ideas to Reel Reel Tape

Goin old school bitches!

Like I mentioned in my Sporadic Gig Syndrome post - I opted to flesh out some new ideas for my house concert on friday night (with Steve Lawson, Lobelia & Gustaf Fjelstrom) rather than boning up on my Outre material.

As I don't have any gigs lined up right now - I don't feel any incentive to keep working on these tunes. Just how I roll.

So I figured I'd record them as they stand now for posterity. And also to remember what the hell I played 5 months from now when I want to finish these things.

Then - it hit me. I should record them to the Fostex G16 tape machine I picked up over the summer. I had yet to use it. It would be a great test.

This vid blog documents the effort. Well - about 9 minutes of it. It actually took several hours.

Jeff Schmidt Video Blog 7 Jan 09 (Demo ideas on Reel to Reel Tape) from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

The video only includes samples of tracking 2 tunes - but I got video on all of the complete tunes. I'll put those up in another post when I get some time to knock it out.


December 17, 2008

Guess The Bass contest!

Was messing around with normal bass tones and came up with this ridiculousness.

There's a simple 1 bar bass pattern repeated over a drum loop in the player below.

I play the pattern twice with 4 different basses. So, bass 1 gets two passes, then Bass 2 gets 2 passes etc...

Your job - guess which bass is playing which pattern.


The basses are all running thru the EXACT same processing chain which contains amp mod, distortion, eq & compression.

The settings were not changed from bass to bass.

The basses I used - 2 Fenders and 2 MTDs.

The Fenders:
American Fender Standard P Bass (2008)
Made In Mexico Fender Jazz w/ Nordstrand J pickups (passive)

The MTDs
MTD American 535 (active)
MTD Kingston w/Nordstrand MM style pickup (passive)


I also played the pattern 1 extra time at the end with one of these basses using a bit crushy type distortion effect. There's nothing in the sound that really gives it away so take a stab with a guess for bonus points!

Enter your guess by email - outre @ beautiful-bass dot com

You can also register your guess in the comments.

NEW: If you use Twitter - you may register your answer there as well. Just @jeffschmidt me your answer or send me a direct message.

I'll pick a winner by random drawing from all the correct entries I get by 11:59PM (PST) Dec 31st 2008.

Winner gets a free copy of my CD Outre, a free copy of the ultra rare physical CD version of Ruiner Severhead - The Jesus Fist Tapes which was only sold at 1 live show - and a free copy of my next release (whatever that may be and whenever I might make it).

Happy Holiday & Good luck!



December 12, 2008

Still Silhouette Reverb Effect explained

Next to "what tuning is_____ tune in" another really popular question I get is about the reverb processing on my solo tune Still Silhouette from my CD Outre.

If you're not familiar with the tune you can grab a free listen on the Last FM OUTRE player.

Its fretless piccolo bass with increasingly strange reverb effects building in the background throughout the piece. When I asked for this kind of effect I had David Torn in my mind.

The effect was created old school style by my producer Cookie Marenco from OTR Studios in Belmont CA.

I was just smart enough to capture a bit of video of Cookie explaining how she creates the effect while we were in the studio.

Today, I got a few e-mails and myspace messages about this track (I think there's a post on a bass forum about it) so I found a bit of the video and uploaded it to the interwebs.

Still Silhouette Reverb Effect explained from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.

Obviously this is the old school way - with vintage Lexicon PCM and Super Prime Time verbs, delays, Eventide Harmonizers and real time parameter manipulation (performance)

Not exactly something I can bring out on shows without dropping about 20K in gear and as much IQ to be stupid enough to bring it all out to venues.

Thankfully, there's a reasonable alternative.

I created an effect chain in Ableton Live on my laptop with plug-ins.

It's not exactly the same thing - but it's very, very close to the effect created for the CD.

The main key to the alternative sound is the use of an effect called "Crystalizer".

It's a cascading pitch-shifted reverb/delay process.

You can find it in plugs like SoundToys and Guitar Rig. While the SoundToys version is waaaay better (I think it's based on the Eventide algorithms) the Guitar Rig version is what I have on the laptop and it works just fine.

You can hear that effect in performance on the 2 "ruiner severhead" videos I posted "SEVERED" AND "BOUND".

The combination of these processes is something I've come to call SMOKE because I can't fit "cascading pitch-shifted reverbs & delays" on the return label.


ok - I realized it's totally easy to just show this Ableton Live chain on video. I don't have a screencast app so I just pointed the camera at the computer screen - ghetto style!

Using Ableton Live to create the Still Silhouette Reverb FX from Jeff Schmidt on Vimeo.
As you may have already been thinking - this is very secret info that most artists would never, ever share.

With this info you will, without question, be able to duplicate everything I do and render me completely useless in the global marketplace.

Use it wisely.


June 05, 2008

video blog 6-4-08 (Don't Tase Me, Bro!)

the most studio wankery piece of the Ruiner Severhead project is a tune called "Don't Tase Me, Bro!"

Massive studio trickery, heavy use of samples and all kinds of brutal processing. I think the session easily topped 30 tracks, and had GIGS of raw material - mostly noise made from horrible bass abuse. ;)

I finally figured out how to play it live - by myself. Just as noisy.

Check it out.

grab the original track - for free - to kids - no forms to fill out.

Direct Download the mp3 HERE.

or - just listen to it.

Easily, the most exciting thing for me right now is knowing that no matter how far I push my studio & production vision - I can still find a way to bring it to a live environment in a way that goes beyond mere "backing tracks".

October 23, 2007

10 Questions - 10 answers

I just answered 10 questions for

I post it here.

1. What are you up to right now, musically?

I just finished my solo bass CD "Outre"

Right now I'm working on material that I'll put out under my alter ego "Ruiner Severhead". It's darker. More offensive. More distortion. More mayhem. It's a concept album about the rise of Christian Fascism. I'm planning a Christmas Day 2007 release.

2. Who are your main musical influences and why?

Depends on my mood. Right now it's dark, heavy & scary musics - but leading up to the recording of Outre is was instrumental piano, guitar, cello etc... jazz, classical and new age.

Music is like food. There's the stuff you like and you eat that regularly. But it's important to mix it up. Try something you don't think you'll like. I've always liked dark and heavy music - but got away from it for many many years.

3. What made you want to play bass in the first place? What did you dream?

My best friend and I both first picked up the guitar at 13. But he was better at it than me so in order for me to join the band I had to play bass. I dreamed of being the best bass player ever. Whatever that meant.

4. What equipment do you use? Is good equipment important to you?

For solo it's an MTD 535, and Pedulla PentaBuzz fretless. A Boss GT-6b processor. That's it. For the Ruiner Severhead stuff I use all kinds of weird noise making pedals and software plugins.

Good equipment is very important to me. Once you play really nice stuff for a while - it's really difficult to tolerate less than great gear. Great gear can be very inspiring.

5. Have you exceeded what you thought you may become when you first started to learn the bass?

No . . I have not exceeded the ideas I had when I first started.

But I've adjusted my expectations and now I'm happy that anyone even cares about what I do.

6. If you have one, what is your favourite technique?


7. Do you have any good practising tips for newer players?

For beginners - focus on getting a handle on basic technique and theory. Even while doing that - start making your own music.

8. Do you ever get stuck in a rut, or get "writers block"? Do you do anything to remedy this horrible dark place?

I don't think it's a horrible dark place. What makes it horrible and dark is thinking you need to say something - but having nothing to say.

It's a place every creative person will enter time and time again. It's part of the cycle of creation.

Periods of creation are followed by periods of silence. These silent times are the time to find new inspirations and motivations. Only if we expect to be constantly creative do we view these silent periods as horrible.

After finishing "Outre" I thought I would/could bang out another solo bass CD pretty quickly. But I felt empty at the thought of it and all my solo bass ideas sounded exactly like what I just recorded. I needed to do something else.

So "Ruiner Severhead" was born and I found great inspiration in that. But even that has a limit. So I'm going to finish material that and then wait for the next bout of inspiration to tell me what's next.

9. How can you see the bass evolving?

It seems more and more players are interested in doing more than fulfill the traditional role of the instrument.

I think we'll see a lot of players trying different things. We'll probably see more players modify the bass instrument itself - which is what I do with piccolo strings and alternate tunings.

Extended Range basses will come of age and there will start to be some really interesting music being made with them.

As far as trends that I think are a dead end - the whole be-bop melody on bass thing seems to be reaching a tipping point.

It's been 30 years since Jaco covered Donna Lee and now there's crowds of people who think doing Parker licks on bass is hip. But maybe that's just me. I tire quickly. ,-)

10. Any parting words of wisdom?

Don't try to stand out from the crowd. Avoid crowds entirely.

August 11, 2007

E-bay goodness!

Just put a bunch of my least used gear up on e-bay.


well - except for the bass. high bidder hasn't paid up yet.

Pass it on if you know someone who might be interested.


Gibson Echoplex / footcontroller & manual

Lexicon MPX G2 Effects processor

Boss RC-50 Loop Station

Boss DD-20 GigDelay

KORG KP2 Kaos Pad

Tech 21 Sans Amp Programmable Bass DI

Focusrite Trackmaster Platinum recording channel

Warrior 5 String Lefty Bass

These are ALL No Reserve auctions - so I suspect someone will get some screaming good deals on this stuff.

Better these things collect dust in someone else's house than mine.

August 27, 2006

6 String Review

I got a 6 string - review -pics etc... HERE.

Continue reading "6 String Review" »

July 12, 2006

Gear for sale.

I'm quitting this bass thing and selling all my gear.

Continue reading "Gear for sale." »

July 10, 2006

String thing

I haven't talked to many Bass players who really like the sound and feel of brand new, right out of the package strings. I have a set on the MTD right now that is about 2 months old and I friggin LOVE IT.

Here's a question Mr. String manufacturer. If they can make BRAND NEW jeans that look like I pulled them of the rejct pile at goodwill - how come you can't make NEW strings that sound and feel like they're 2 months old?

I don't care who steals this idea - I really just want it to happen. So . . . go . . . make it happen.