Ryan Martinie Bass Rig in Mudvayne
In this episode of Behind the BrBr Deng. You’re going to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Ryan Martinie Bass Rig from the band Mudvayne.
Through the use of Warwick basses, Ampeg amplifers the Ryan Martinie Bass Rig has been simple but especially effective at making bassists everywhere sit up and listen.
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Ryan Martinie and his introduction to music
Before The bass rig, tipping top tapper Ryan Martinie was born on August 6 1975 in Peoria Illinois to a family of musicians. Ryan would report in an interview with “For Bass Players Only”; His father had an Alvarez nylon guitar which was the first stringed instrument he picked up.
“My father had a guitar and it was an Alveraz Nylon string and that was the first string instrument I picked up”.
In addition to this, his uncle played the trumpet, grandmother played piano and grandfather the trombone. His grandfather had also been a choir director and most likely guided Ryans musical education.
Why Ryan Martinie chose the bass guitar
Regarding his choice to play bass specifically, the details have never really been clear cut.
Ryans automatic response when asked has always been “boredom”. Before attributing the bass to part of his musical education and personal expression.
Ryan Martinies musical influences
When asked which LPs changed his life, Ryan responded;
“I remember the first Jimi Hendrix song that I ever heard, “The wind cries Mary”, as well as the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the big band jazz stuff that my grandfather hooked me up to. I can’t necessarily name an album that took me beyond where I was, but I can cite many albums that I feel are still very much a part of me.
Ryan Martinies first bass guitar
Details of which bass Ryan started playing are a bit fuzzy. However he does acknowledge using Fender and Ibanez basses prior to Mudvayne but the models have not been disclosed.
Ryan Martinie and Broken Altar
Ryan continued to engage with creating music throughout his adolescence. Eventually playing with a band named Broken Altar around 1995.
According to interviews, Ryan had been performing with Broken Altar in Illinois and was spotted by members of the band Mudvayne.
The original incarnation of Mudvayne was formed in 1996 with Shawn Barclay on bass.
How Ryan Martinie joined Mudvayne
A German written Planet Guitar article described how Ryan joined Mudvayne;
They approached me and said whenever they needed a bass player they would find me.
And they should keep their word, because two years later
I got a call and the same evening the band was sitting on the sofa with me.
Since I found their music very interesting, I didn’t have to think long and got in.
The band gave me a completely new outlet for my musical work.
Suddenly it wasn’t all about high speed play and musical master brbr like my previous band.
Ryan Martinie recording “Kill I Oughtta” – 1997
Ryan is credited on Mudvayne’s first EP release “Kill I Oughtta” in 1997. However it is likely most contributions were from previous bassist Shawn Barclay.
Earliest video recording of Mudvayne
A video from 1999 claims to be “the first known live recording of Mudvayne” and taking the video at its word. Ryan is using a standard Ampeg 8×10 during this time and quite likely the Warwick Thumb bass.
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig and recording “LD50” – 1999
Recorded in 1999, “LD50” took influence from Stanley Kubricks classic ‘2001 a space odyssey‘, psychedelicsand American serial killer Ed Gein. Ryan has shared in interviews that he joined the Warwick family in 1999 and selected a Warwick Thumb NT into his bass rig.
This model was played almost exclusively up until 2021. His first Warwick Thumb bass was a 5 string made of bubinga and he used it to record LD50. Ryan explained in an interview at the Warwick Bass Camp in 2016;
We got an advance, and I was able to go to a music store.
And I sat and played a bunch of basses and there happened to be a thumb there.
It was the first one I bought. I fell in love with the sound out of all the ones I played that was the one for me I’m still in love with that particular warwick bass it’s still my baby,
it’s the one that i wrote and recorded LD50 on. It’s beyond nostalgia though.
Ryan Martinie using a fretless bass on “LD50”
Played on the song “Nothing to Gein” a subtle sound of a fretless bass can be heard.
Ryan Martinie fans have long claimed this the work of a Pedulla fretless buzz bass. However these claims have not been proved.
Ryan Martinie amplifiers, effects and strings on “LD50”
In an interview from 2001, Ryan would recall the recording experience with Planet Guitar;
“I experimented with my sound for a long time and with my pedantry I drove pretty much everyone in the studio crazy. It took me three full days until the sound was finally the way I imagined it.“
When all was said and done Ryan was now using SVT II Pros with Pro 8×10 Cabinets. Pro models include a tweeter horn and bass reflex port whereas standard 8x10s do not.
Lastly, Ryan reports that he tunes his bass CGCGF live. While the album is believed to be recorded in F#BF#BE.
Ryans bass was strung with a standard set of taperwound DR strings from .45-.130.
Producer Andy Wallace creates Ryans sound
Andy Wallace was also given praise for the final touch up to the sound. Ryan beamed;
“Andy changed my sound so drastically through the use of EQ and compression
that I was quite shocked at first. Before he wriggled the sound,
it had a lot more bottom and punch . In retrospect,
I’m very happy that Andy saw the whole thing more globally,
because he prepared the sound in such a way that it fits perfectly with the other instruments.
And that’s the most important thing after all. Now I love the sound. “
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig on Mudvayne videos in 2000
The album LD50 was released in August 2000 and peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. Three music videos were released from LD50.
Bass used on “Dig”
Dig, a brilliant song to hit the mainstream and flood the internet with a tsunami of ridiculous memes. Dig won the inaugural MTV2 award, which was established to honour the best overall achievement by an act whose video premiered on MTV2.
- In the dig video Ryan is playing his 5 string bubinga.
Bass used on “Death Blooms”
The follow up video “Death Blooms” shows a new bass in Ryan’s arsenal. A second Warwick Thumb 5 string in black.
Ryan would state in future interviews this 2001 model bass was made for him by Warwick and has always been his favourite bass.
- Warwick Thumb 5 string bass in black
Bass used on “Nothing to Gein”
Lastly, the video for Nothing to Gein compiles live footage from tours during this time and shows the 5 string bubinga.
The 5 string black and bubinga basses have been a mainstay in the Ryan Martinie bass rig and the foundation of his sound.
Ryan Martinie bass rig on tour in 2001
Seen on festivals like “Tattoo the Earth” and Ozzfest in 2001. Ryans primary bass on the road was the bubinga 5 string NT with the black 5 string as backup.
Amplifiers and cabinets were hidden behind stage banners or obscured by terrible quality videos.
However, referring back to The Planet Guitar interview from this period. We can presume Ryan was using SVT2s, With PR8x10s and a DBX 160A compressor.
It is possible to catch glimpses of Ampeg PRs during US domestic shows and they can be seen in various configurations of either one or two 8×10 cabs.
For shows outside the US it’s not uncommon for Ryan to fall back on the standard Ampeg 8x10s like at the RockAM ring in 2001.
Ryan Martinies 4 and 5 string Bubinga
A 4 string bubinga Warwick Thumb debuted during Ozzfest 2001. The bass appears with a typical jazz pickup configuration and bronze looking hardware.
The 5 string bubinga counterpart by comparison has black hardware, two angled MEC single coils near the bridge of the bass and 5th string.
Much of this equipment can also be seen on the debut DVD Live Dosage 50 – Live In Peoria released on December 11th 2001.
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig recording “The End Of Things To Come” – 2002
The follow up studio album “The End Of Things To Come” was released in November 2002. Ryan stated in a Guitar World interview in 2003 that he used his live rig. Adding;
“It’s the sound that I’m used to and comfortable with.”
He also confirmed the continuation of Ampeg SVT-2Pro heads and PR-810 cabinets. Additionally, Ryan would add;
“I also used an SWR Workingman’s cabinet. Pulled the speaker out of it and hooked it up through one of Greg’s Mesa cabinets to build my midrange tone.
That delivers all the bottom and top end that you want from the SVT combination and the SWR/Mesa combination gives you the midrange.”
The article also stated Ryan’s bass is now tuned GCGCF and still using DR strings. Which were later verified as Black Beauties on the subsequent tour.
Ryan Martinies special tuning for tapping
On why this unusual tuning Ryan declared;
“You’ve got two sets of octaves, so your shapes change, as far as the chords that you play.
Also, the placement of harmonics is different, so you can do different combinations that are slightly unnatural sounding.”
The End Of Things To Come Bonus DVD – 2002
“The End Of Things To Come” also comes with a bonus DVD also accompanied some versions of the album and depicts the 4 string bubinga used during the recording process.
Two music videos were released promoting the album;
- “Not Falling” which shows Ryan playing a brand new black 4 string thumb bass
- “World So Cold” showing the 5 string bubinga.
Mudvayne – Access to All Things 2003
Mudvayne would spend much of 2003 on the road and release a second live DVD from this period.
Tim Mattefs was Ryans bass tech and admits Ryan uses 4 basses.
Throughout this period Ryan primarily played his 4 string bubinga thumb with the new black 4 string thumb as backup.
In terms of 5 string play, the black 5 string was also spotted on some dates.
Ryan Martinie returns to 4 string basses
4 string basses were now becoming Ryans primary instruments at this time. Ryan addressed the switch on a Mudvayne Q and A website post and explained.
“Many of the songs that we play live do not utilise the B string enough for me to consider it a necessity.
So I changed some of the parts slightly to fit a 4 string format.”
Ryan Martinie and the Warwick Vampyre bass
During rare moments on the tour, Ryan would play a Warwick Vampyre. When asked his thoughts on the bass by a fan in 2010 Ryan responded;
“ I never really used it in the studio. The neck is really sweet, I love to play it, It’s really a treasured item.
But in terms of the Vampyre bass compared to the thumb they are really two completely different instruments,
it would require me to have a different bass rig or make my tech make major adjustments whenever I would use it live.”
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig during 2003 tours
During a 2003 TV spot with Carson Daly, glimpses at Ryans racks can be observed. The equipment looks like the SVT2 pros as confirmed at the time of recording and also an Avalon DI.
Mudvayne Q&A’s from 2004
During the mid 2000’s and long before the use of social media. Bands would regularly source questions from their message boards and reply to their fans via their websites. Mudvayne did exactly this in 2004. A fan asked Ryan;
“When and if ever are you going to make a signature bass?”
“I have five custom Warwick Thumbs but no talk of a signature line yet”
Confirming the 5 Warwick basses seen on the recent tour. The next question of interest was regarding effects pedals.
“What kind of distortion do you use on your bass?” “I don’t – Never have”
Why on LD50 are the guitars in B and live and you guys play in C?
Why don’t you play your bottom string? I’ve heard rumours about your bass being in GCGCF why?
The key on LD50 changes for the live setting due to problems holding tuning.
Responding all at once;
I do use my B string but I chose to use it sparingly due to the already very low tuning and yes GCGCF is our current tuning – Why? Ask my guitar player .
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig on “Lost and Found” – 2005
Released in April 2005 “Lost and Found” was met with unenthused grunts from the press. Despite the popular singles that soon followed. Ryan would confirm his equipment in the May 2005 issue of Bass Player Magazine.
The new additions to his rig now includes an Ampeg SVT-4PRO head and standard 8×10 cabinet.
We also get a confirmation of an Avalon U5 DI in the rig. In terms of recording Lost And Found Ryan remarked;
“I did a lot of slapping on “Dig” and because of that, a lot of people attached slapping to us.
‘Here’s Ryan from Mudvayne doing his slapping bit’ things.
I wanted to break my ties with that unless it was necessary for the song.
As a result Ryan began tapping the bass across two strings creating a faux octave sound.
“I’m not a pedal guy, but I like the sound that people get from octave pedals.
So, to organically create that effect, I used my right-hand middle and index fingers to tap two strings at once:
I come down on the strings fairly hard so they actually bounce off of the neck.
That way I create some top-end click, but I retain the tonality.
At the same time, I use my left hand to hold and/or move the octave.
The whole chorus of “Happy?” uses that technique.”
Basses seen on the Lost and Found videos
4 music videos were released to promote the album.
- The 5 string black thumb seen on “Happy” and “Forget To Remember”
- The 5 string bubinga on a compilation video for “Determined” alongside the black 4 string.
- An animated video was released for the single “Fall Into Sleep” but the band is not present.
Ryan Martinie Bass Rig on “Lost and Found” tour 2005
Much of the equipment on tour remained very consistent.With Ryan swapping between the bubinga basses or the black basses in either 4 or 5 string models. Depending on the country played, you may see Ryan using the Ampeg PRs or standard 8×10 cabinets.
“By The People, For The People” – 2007
In November 2007 Mudvayne released a compilation album aptly named “By The People, For The People” featuring a track listing chosen by fans and the band responded in kind with a special acoustic or live version of the track.
Ryan Martinie recording “The New Game” – 2008
Not much was released regarding the recording of the album “The New Game“. However two music videos were released “Do What You Do” and “A New Game”. Ryan used his normal assortment of Warwick basses in 4 or 5 string black or bubinga with the backline now hidden off stage.
Ryan Martinie recording “Mudvayne” – 2009
Released in December 2009 came the the self-titled album “Mudvayne“. Ryan would share in the March 2010 Bass Player Magazine article hinting that his secret weapon was the use of a Neve Preamps. Additionally, Ryan exclaimed;
I really don’t care about my live rig because I’m on in-ears now
and it’s all about having a great monitor engineer,
so the actual rig itself is kind of a secondary thing to me.
It’s the bass and a nice D.I. I use Avalon D.I.’s I use them in the studio and I use them live.
They break down a little bit, iffy on the road, but man, that’s a beautiful D.I.
Ryan would also chime that he’s looking forward to using Jonas Hellborg preamps through Warwick but had not yet incorporated them into his rig.
Mudvayne hiatus from 2009
Ultimately, there was no tour to support the self titled album release which in turn had little promotion; and in turn garnered weak sales.
A 3 part music video was produced for the album but the band did not feature in the videos.
After the release of the album, nothing more was heard from Mudvayne for 2 years. The only news that came forward was in 2011 from guitarist Greg Tribbet.
Confirming on Twitter that Mudvayne was currently on hiatus while he and Chad Gray concentrated on Hellyeah for another 2 years.
Blabbermouth.net would also reference a statement Ryan made in 2010 Warwick interview, pointing out much of Ryan’s comments were said in the past tense and with finality.
“I think that what we did is valuable. It’s become a cog in the wheel of music in some sort of way.
We are a piece of musical history now . . . I always saw the band to be important as an aspect of my life,
as something that was supposed to take us places that are positive,
and in that sense everything that happened with the band has happened for a reason.”
Mudvayne reunion in 2021
On 19 April 2021 a new Mudvayne YouTube channel would initiate the “Monolith Algorithm”. A brand new Mudvayne website proudly displayed that the Mudvayne had reunited to play 4 festivals that autumn.
The Mudvayne reunion was finally happening after 12 long years.
The new YouTube channel would regularly post clips of rehearsals. During a rehearsal of minus 1, there are a few frames of Ryan playing one of his Warwick 5 strings and just over his shoulder, looks to be a Darkglass 8×10 cabinet now in his bass rig.
In a second rehearsal video a 1×10 Darkglass cab can also be seen. There could be a Darkglass amplifier hiding in the shadows as the form factor and silhouettes are of a similar shape to Darkglass amps.
At present, Ryan is not listed as an official Darkglass artist but it would be interesting to keep an eye on this in the future.
Ryan Martinie joins Fodera basses 2021
Following the Mudvaynes first reunion show at Inkcarceration on 12 Setepmeber 2021, new teaser clips were posted onto the YouTube channel.
In these clips, Ryan is now plays a custom made Fodera bass. This bass in particular dons the nickname Blondie and a counterpart model in all black nicknamed Black Beauty was also spotted soon after. Fodera themselves would later post;
“We had the immense pleasure of working with Ryan to develop a new model based on our Monarch body style.
to meet the demands of his tone and playing style, as well as his ergonomic preference.
What we developed together was an instrument with incredible ergonomics and playability
with a tonal range that can cover everything from jazz fusion to progressive rock to heavy metal.”
The Ryan Martinie signature Blondie is made of Korina, capped with a Quilted Maple top, and paired with a 3-piece Wenge neck and Ebony fingerboard.
Ryan has kept his slanted pickup positions but now replaced the MEC pickups with EMG.
The Fodera YouTube channel would publish a video of Ryan touring their shop in December 2021, followed by a chat with Ryan. Unfortunately not much was discussed regarding the switch to Fodera.
Mudvayne news during 2022
Finishing up with news from the past few months. Ryan and Soften The Glare released their self-titled third album in March 2022. Behind the scenes clips shows Ryan using his Fodera alongside an Ampeg cab and Warwick LWA head.
Mudvayne still have new dates popping up during summer 2022 throughout the US, playing alongside Rob Zombie and Static X. There is plenty of time to catch the Mudvayne reunion.
New Mudvayne album in 2023?
In terms of a new album release, Chad Gray appeared on the Drinks with Johnny podcast with Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ in April 2022. Chad cautiously shared;
“I’m really excited to hear [Avenged Sevenfold‘s] new shit and Mudvayne is hopefully going to be working on some new shit soon, too.
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