For a good part of this past year, the Brighton, UK based band Poly-Math have been in the studio working on their new album. Much anticipated by fans, the crowd funded double album is currently slated for a January release. Stonefield artist Joe Branton is their bassist and he’s been in touch to tell us about how his Stonefield M Series bass has been performing in the studio and to elaborate on some of the other gear that he’s put into the mix as well.
Joe told us, “For the latest Poly-Math record we were looking for two very different voices for the bass; on one hand we needed to create some very simple low-fi woody sections, and on the other and we needed an extremely aggressive tone that could fill out a lot of the hi-fi parts, leaving the guitar to roam around in its upper register. Both were easily achieved with the Stonefield’s comprehensive tone switching options.”
He went on to explain, “For the traditional bass sound we could select an especially low-mid clipping option in the midrange circuit and then roll off a lot of the treble, which created a very traditional, almost acoustic or hollow-body, feel. The tone shaping options of the Stonefield also allowed us to treat the instrument almost as a baritone guitar, creating a very usable super drive tone once the tracks had been mixed back in with the original bass run. The aggressive sound I’d mentioned was created in this way by using the various tone switching options and recording the bass twice; once with the signal running clean through a Hudson Electronics Broadcast preamp and an Ampeg B15, the other with a high mid clip selected on the tone circuit and all of the low end rolled off. This signal was run into a Fender Champ and Vox AC-15 simultaneously for an extremely high gain, vintage fuzz tone. It’s very, very cool to think that all of these sounds are coming from a single instrument.”
We got in touch with Stonefield founder, Tomm Stanley for his thoughts on what Joe and his bandmates were up to and learned that the Stonefiled's unique tuning system was put to the test on this record, and in a very unique way. “Sonically, these guys do some really cool stuff in their music and as I’d been in touch, asking Joe how the bass was performing for him in the studio, among other things he told me that they were using the tuning action of the gearless headstock friction stays for special sound effects. Since the strings can be tightened or loosened much quicker than with a geared tuner they found that by having a second person holding the headstock tuning key on the instrument as Joe played, they could create massive dive bombs and other sounds that were especially effective when run through an EHX Bass Micro Synth and Zander Effects Tape Deck.” Tomm added with a chuckle, “I’ve gotta admit, I never thought of that when I designed the thing.”
For more on Poly-Math and for information on the album make sure to look in at their Facebook page @polymathbrighton and you can find more detail on Stonefield basses, cases and accessories by logging onto their website at www.stonefieldmusic.com as well as their Facebook, Instagram and YouTube sites, all under Stonefield Music.