Today we’ll be talking about the quest for the perfect bass tone

But first I’d like to tell you a few things about the ever-elusive component of life called Unobtainium. To be more specific, about a certain sub-type of it called Unobtainium Mutatio Semperium (UMS for short).

Even though by its nature UMS likes to remain hidden, many of us have come in contact with it. It morphs into different forms, comes in all shapes and sizes, colours and smells. Rears its ugly head in the happiest moments but also in the most uncomfortable of situations. It first appears to you as a random thought and after a while shifts into a daydream, until, finally, it gets its roots lodged into your mind and you can’t get rid of it. The more you think about it, the heavier it weighs on you. It becomes an invisible hand whose grasp can start pulling at the steering wheel. A seedling growing into a tree you dream of climbing on top of one day.

UMS contagion manifests itself in the little things ‘hey, I want that dress. I think it would make me look thinner’ or ‘hey, if I just buy this piece of gear I’ll be happy for the rest of my life’. Happens to everyone, falling head over heels for the perceived benefit of an idea. This wouldn’t pose much of a problem, it’s a pretty common occurrence in the long walk of life, might even be mistaken for the pursuit of happiness sometimes. But instead of keeping things simple, mischievous Mother Nature makes UMS an ever-mutating phenomenon. An ever-shifting desire.

A strangely specific and very localised example

You wake up one day – after having the same idea of The Perfect Bass Sound for the last 15 years – wanting something totally different. Without any well documented and peer reviewed explanation. You just feel like BOOM instead of CLANK one morning. And it’s very confusing as you fear that this new disposition might cancel out all the efforts of the last 20 years, searching and researching The Holy Grail of Bass Tones. You’ve heard BOOM all your life, all around you and that was what attracted you to CLANK in the first place. BOOM was plain. CLANK is more rare and it makes you feel more special. CLANK is harder to manage, therefore makes you work harder and you appreciate that. CLANK is gold.

Then you discover the traces of UMS around you and at first it scares you. The discovery puts things into a different perspective. You realise that you weren’t chasing a dream, but in fact you were dreaming of chasing your own tail. There is no such thing as The Perfect Bass Tone, there is just the pursuit that will ultimately take you to many places and let you try out many things. And you will end up keeping those that work for you and get rid of those that don’t.

And you come to terms with the fact that you don’t actually spend copious amounts of cash on The Gear That Will Get You The Perfect Sound. But instead you are paying for your own comfort and pleasure as you go for the ride. Like switching from taking smelly cabs to work to riding your bicycle, both will get you all the way, probably both will make you smell, but you’ll end up preferring one to the other. Which one, that’s ultimately up to you.

So here’s some BOOM for you

After this convoluted piece about how gear doesn’t really matter here’s a bass play through of ‘El Dorado‘, where I use too much gear, duh.

It’s a live version of the song off of our most recent record ‘Nouă‘, followed by a short and hopefully insightful explanation of how I recorded the bass for this video. If you like that sort of thing. Listening to my adorable English accent, I mean. As all in life, it’s a convoluted wörk in progress!


You can check out the whole live session I talk about in the video here – byron nouă – live la Cincșor.

Maybe even consider subscribing the Overground Showroom platform, there’s a quite a few cool concerts from Romanian artists, and the list is ever-growing.



There is an antidote to UMS, of course. It’s called NORC, but that’s for another episode.


Looks like I’ve been doing this for quite a while

Apparently I’ve been doing this for years now, must’ve had a lot of free time on my hands back in the day.

I’ve looked it up in the archives and the image below might be the very first instance of me photoshopping a bass (albeit not my own) into someone else’s hand:

hello, 2014.

(it’s supposed to be monster me)

Then I jumped straight into deep water trying my luck with Jaco Pastorius and boy did that cause a sh*t storm among 4 string purists. Looks like everyone felt the need of repeating the same old mantra – “Jaco only needed 4 strings” and “This is blasphemy”

Well, I’ll believe the first part when I see it in writing and signed by Jaco himself.

Jaco only needed talent and practice, my good dudes.

I continued on experimenting with ideas, mostly fueled by boredom and what I was watching at that particular moment in time, and did my most shared Photoshop with Yoda and my mini Thumb toy bass (5,8K shares – not to brag but that’s like a small country)

Eventually I ended up adventuring into cartoon territory as well, doing a brief stint with the Simpsons:

Then other people started image-manipulating basses into photos, the whole meme thing started getting boring real quick, so I quietly retired my graphic tablet from the world of photoshopped basses, why should I have all the glory?

Now that I think of it, I think my old drawings were the first attempt to put basses into people’s hands.

Here is a prophetic self portrait from 2003 sporting a 6 string Thumb bass, about 5,5 years before I managed to actually buy one. Eat your heart out, Nostradamus!

But what I actually wanted to say with this long winded incursion into absurdcusian history no one really cares about is that this quarantine made me pick up my pen again.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a story on my Instagram asking people which one of my basses I should Photoshop in Victor Wooten‘s hands.

Selecting Victor was not as random as it seems, he is one of my favourite musicians and I’ve just watched a couple of master classes with him online, so he looked like the perfect choice.

My Instagram dudes decided that my beloved Thumb should be the one to be photoshopped into Victor’s hands, so I did it and even made a video about it!

lookie below!


bonus – that one time I did a remove-only job, I still get a giggle out of it.