Who is this guy?

My name is Ian Allison and I am a big Lakland fan. I make my living playing in Minneapolis and touring all over the US doing gigs and session work with a wide variety of artists including Lorie Line, Down and Above, The Mark Knoll Band, Quietdrive, Peter Eide, Dropping Daylight, Kenni Holmen, Just.Live, Brian Bates, The Irresistibles, Cate Fierro, The Glad Rags, Nate Sabin, and Stefan Van Voorst. I have co-written, produced and licensed songs to ABC, ESPN, MTV, USA, E!TV, and the Oxygen Network. Currently, I head up the bass department at North Central University in downtown Minneapolis where I am fortunate enough to teach, and subsequently learn from, approximately 20 bass students.

Why I Love Lakland Instruments

The origins of my enthusiasm stem from the quality of Lakland basses and also from two encounters I've had with Lakland's customer service.  I've worked with Carl Pedigo (Lakland's Shop Master) on several occasions.  He is always extremely attentive and caring - both to the instrument and to my needs as a customer.  He once even gave me a ride to my bus stop after I had picked his brain (and probably his patience) for over two hours . . . on his day off.  Unbelievable. 

I own several Lakland basses and every time I pick one up I am constantly blown away by how great they are.  These instruments are fantastic .  The combination of traditional stylings, contemporary craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail make Lakland basses speak with an authority that is both an aesthetic nod to the great basses of yesteryear and a bold tonal assertion that is unmistakably Lakland.   Each and every one of their basses has a voice something unique and assertive.  And this got me thinking . . .

Questions

How can Lakland, as a company, textually demonstrate their line of basses to players that want to check them out but have limited access to do so?  What would motivate a bassist who is unfamiliar with Lakland basses to seek one out?  What are the sonic differences between a Joe Osborne and a Daryl Jones?  How does the Hollowbody with flats sound in a rock context?  How about a Jerry Scheff in a jazz application with the bridge pickup soloed?

The Project Calling all Tone Junkies and Bass Nerds!

I want to begin to answer these questions with an ongoing project that I have started for Lakland.  What if you could hear all of the Lakland models in sound clips on the website with all pickup combos and string choices?  By allowing an audio comparison of all the models of Lakland basses over consistent genre track beds, you can now get a feel for each individual instrument's voice. 

So ENJOY!  I hope that you find this project to be fun and enlightening.  I know I've come to some startling conclusions regarding my notions of what should and shouldn't work with particular bass sounds in various styles of music. Overall, I hope you have a blast listening to the differences in how the tone of these basses sits or stands out in a mix.  That's the most interesting aspect for me.  And ultimately, I hope this project motivates you to get a Lakland bass in your hands.

The Genres

My goal is to demonstrate the versatility and various sounds and textures of Lakland basses in a controlled recording environment.  For each individual genre and track, I use the same accompaniment and same mix.  The only elements that change are the bass, pickups, and string type.  And YOU, the user, have the ability to change these parameters. I feel that this will give you an idea of what you might be looking for in a bass.  Additionally, you may be surprised by a bass over a particular genre that you wouldn't immediately think would work for you.  Greasy, funky slap track on a hollowbody with flats anyone?

The Players

I could not have even begun to think about tackling this project if it would not have been for the time and ridiculous playing of the brilliant musicians that helped me out with this project.  Thank you thank you thank you!

Ian Allison Bass, Engineering, Editing, Mixing and Mastering on all tracks
Zachary Young Drums on Fingerfunk, Ballad, Hard Rock, and Pick Punk
Zach Miller Drums on Motown, Slap, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz, and Country
David Young Guitars and Engineering on Fingerfunk, Ballad, Hard Rock, and Pick Punk
Ken Wilson Guitars and Steel on Motown, Slap, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz, and Country
Pete Shu Keys on Slap, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz, and Country
Wayne Thomas Engineering on Motown, Slap, Gospel, Reggae, Jazz, and Country

The Recording

I record all of the bass tracks on a Pro Tools system through a Demeter preamp and Apogee converters.  No EQ is used at all in the recording of the basses.  In mixdown, I generally use light compression on the basses, with a conservative 3:1 ratio.  The compressor is a software-based McDSP CB-1.  I set the tone controls wide open on all the basses and in the case of active basses, all EQ controls are set flat.  The tracks are mastered with McDSP software.

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