We met up with the bass player and musical director Oliver McEwan during soundcheck at Voxhall (Aarhus, DK), where he showed us his set-up and shared his thoughts about how he gets his bass to sound perfect. Oliver is one of the busiest bass players in Denmark, playing with top acts like Medina, Mads Langer, Johnson and many more.
The centrepiece of gear
The newest addition to Oliver’s pedalboard is the Caveman Audio BP1 Bass Preamp.
“Before I started using the BP1 Bass Preamp, I thought I needed more options on the pedal. But it turns out the gain knob does more than turn up and down.
It has everything I need because the gain at 12 o’clock is neutral, and as soon as you go above 12 o’clock, it starts adding harmonic distortion, which beefs up the whole bass sound.” – Oliver McEwan
Oliver is always trying to improve his bass tone and is constantly searching for the right tools to help him improve his sound.
“My first experience when I added the BP1 was like lifting a blanket that had muffled my sound. It just opened up the sound, which I loved because not only was there like an EQ difference, there was a dynamic difference that I had to play a few concerts before I noticed. It was like it placed itself better in the mix for every song.” – Oliver McEwan
Learn more about the BP1 Bass Preamp: https://caveman-audio.com/bp1/
“The BP1 Bass Preamp from Caveman Audio is a shortcut to great sound.”
Oliver’s basses on tour
Oliver uses a Sandberg California TT-5 as his main bass.
He is also bringing a Yamaha Silent SLB-200 upright bass.
Pedals & effects used live
These are the effects that Oliver uses when playing:
Caveman Audio BP1 Bass Preamp
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up
TC Electronic PolyTune
Dark Glass Super Symmetry
Dark Glass Vintage Deluxe
Dunlop Bass Q Wah
T-Rex Goliath Fuel Tank (Power adapter)
T-Rex Bass Juice
Oliver uses the Dark Glass Vintage Deluxe and Super Symmetry on his pedalboard. When playing with Johnson, he uses it as an always-on compressor.
He also uses two different Drive pedals: the Dark Glass Vintage Deluxe and the T-Rex Bass Juice.
The Bass Wah and the Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver is used for extra thickness when playing solos/fills.
There are only three musicians on stage in this particular Hip-Hop set-up, a Talkbox/synth player, a drummer and a bass player, which leaves a lot of space for bass fills in the show.
TC Electronic Sub ‘N’ Up Octaver adds both low end and a bit of octave above, used for solos in the show.
The T-Rex Bass Juice adds a bit of crunchy sound, used as a distant mild overdrive for the groovier punchier songs.
The Dunlop Bass Q Crybaby Wah is used for solos and fills.
For keys, Oliver uses the Moog Subsequent 37, which he has an expression pedal for controlling the filter’s expression.
In two parts of the show, Oliver also plays the keyboard. For those parts, he is using the Korg Stage Vintage SV1.