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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I recently became interested in creating music for a video game that one of my relatives is working on and was really drawn to the rich low sounds of cellos and double basses like the sounds you hear in horror movies. I was thinking of getting an electric double bass or cello but they are like REALLY expensive.

So the answer was to use virtual instruments (VSTi) but I still don't think they sound natural enough. Yes, the sounds themselves are real and high quality but the transition between notes sounds artificial. Somehow pressing keys on a midi keyboard doesn't translate well with string instruments. So I thought why not just turn my electric guitar into a sort of double bass, because why not. Well, after many months of working and tweaking it, my Frankenbass is almost complete.

The steps I had to take for this project:

1) Remove the frets from the neck and fill the gaps with wood filler, then sand smooth and paint with black enamel gloss.
2) Sand the sides of the fingerboard down to curve it so as to create an arch to make it playable as a bowed instrument.
3) Chisel out the back of the neck so that it is angled backwards then shim it up. This lowers the action significantly and reduces tension on the neck.
4) Remove the fretboard's original 6 string nut and replace it with a bass guitar nut, filed down so the action isn't too high.
5) Reposition the string trees (the guides) to guide the strings so they don't slip off the top nut on either end.
6) Cut the body of the guitar down so that it is thin enough to be played with a bow.
7) Cut a block of wood for the bridge and create "feeder holes" for the strings. Get the angle just right for the proper action.
8) Add a bass guitar bridge/saddle at the end of the instrument to increase the scale and allow the bridge to be placed farther back. This is an electric guitar so the scale is going to be very short.
9) Attach a piezo pickup to the bridge using a capo as a clamp.

I then purchased a cello bow and now I am in the process of getting a USB audio interface to record into my PC using Reaper. It actually sounds pretty good. I originally was using regular round wound steel guitar strings and an octave pedal to lower the notes one octave but it just didn't sound right. So I decided the only way was to just modify it to use the lightest gauge bass strings I could get my hands on and then it would be tuned an octave lower to that of a double bass. For the strings I went with flatwound chrome light gauge because flatwound strings don't accentuate the upper harmonics as much. When I'm playing I occasionally get a high pitch but this is correctable.
I attached some sound clips of me playing an open E scale as a ZIP file with a compressed WAV file inside.

I think it sounds OK but there is some sort of upper harmonic overtones that sound really annoying so I tried to eliminate those by using a low pass filter and a notch filter in Audacity. It doesn't sound exactly like a double bass but if I just figure out how to get rid of the upper harmonics it would be OK. BTW the white stuff you see all over the strings is rosin, which is put on the bow's strings to increase friction. The type of bow and the way it's played all affect the sound, even more than the instrument itself. Keep in mind I have not really played any bowed instruments so I'm still getting used to it and learning the notes/scales.


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