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thebrig

Is there a worthwhile de-tune pedal out there for bass?

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Our singer struggles with a couple of our songs in standard tuning, we don't really want drop the songs, and sometimes there isn't always room to take more than one bass, so my question is this, [b][i]is there a worthwhile de-tune pedal out there for bass[/i][/b] that I could use to quickly tune down a half/full step for these songs?

I've done some research on google and YouTube etc.. and it would seem that most pedals struggle with bass.

So has anyone used one, and are they okay for the odd song here and there?

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I'm sure someone will correct me but I'm not aware of any pedal that will [u]reliably[/u] detune and won't demand a pristine technique to help it track well. If that [i]is[/i] the case maybe the better option would be for you to relearn the songs higher up the neck but still a half/full tone down and use an octave pedal to add the depth of sound back.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1449755820' post='2926529']
Tune your bass down a full step & use a capo for the half step & standard tuning stuff.
[/quote]

Just wondering but why would he need a capo unless he was playing open-string chords?...

Edited by AinsleyWalker

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[quote name='AinsleyWalker' timestamp='1449759273' post='2926576']
Just wondering but why would he need a capo unless he was playing open-string chords?...
[/quote]

Because open strings & fingering patterns would remain the same as he plays them now relative to the capo.
It's certainly the way I would do it but that's because I use open strings whenever possible.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1449760006' post='2926585']
Because open strings & fingering patterns would remain the same as he plays them now relative to the capo.
It's certainly the way I would do it but that's because I use open strings whenever possible.
[/quote]

Ah ok, perhaps it's because I play a Ray but I tend to avoid open strings if possible, so in my mind capo or no capo his fingering would be exactly the same. Would personally take a 5th fret over an open string 9 times out of 10, more warmth!

[b]EDIT:[/b] Depends what I'm playing actually, with distortion/fuzz on then perhaps I would maybe go for open A over 5th fret E. All depends on the part I suppose :)

Edited by AinsleyWalker

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I wonder if anyone could come up with the equivalent of a Hipshot drop-D tuner head for all the remaining heads as well so you could flip all 4 or 5 tuners a full step and back again reliably? they probably influence each other too much or mechanically get in each others way maybe?

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I use an EHX pitchfork and it does the job well enough for me. We do 6 songs in Drop D and there's no noticeable difference in sound when I use it. I think it's a great bit of kit.

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[quote name='RhysP' timestamp='1449755820' post='2926529'] Tune your bass down a full step & use a capo for the half step & standard tuning stuff. [/quote]

This is how I'd do it too. I've always found tracking terrible on pitch changing effects - much simpler doing it this way.

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Use a d-tuner and re-learn the song in drop D, as the only notes you don't have available in standard tuning are the Eb and D

I did that for Sweet Child Of Mine and Basket Case as our current guitarist plays them in the original recorded key (tuned down a semi-tone from standard) and I wanted to use one bass. I've now had to re-learn then again to play them on a five string without changing tunings.

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Alternatively, you could play the Eb and D higher rather than lower and see how that sounds

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[quote name='KevB' timestamp='1449764324' post='2926642']
I wonder if anyone could come up with the equivalent of a Hipshot drop-D tuner head for all the remaining heads as well so you could flip all 4 or 5 tuners a full step and back again reliably? they probably influence each other too much or mechanically get in each others way maybe?
[/quote]

LeFay actually make one already. If you check out Grant Stinnett on YouTube you can see him use one to good effect playing about with the tuning mid song.

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[quote name='KevB' timestamp='1449764324' post='2926642']
I wonder if anyone could come up with the equivalent of a Hipshot drop-D tuner head for all the remaining heads as well so you could flip all 4 or 5 tuners a full step and back again reliably? they probably influence each other too much or mechanically get in each others way maybe?
[/quote]Michael Manring has them on his Zon(s) so they do exist. He also has them at the bridge. I don't know if they were custom made though.

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Gibson have a gadget that will change the tuning of a guitar at the touch of a button.

I don't know if they fit them to their basses, possibly the string tension on a bass is too high?

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[quote name='Lw.' timestamp='1449765214' post='2926660']


This is how I'd do it too. I've always found tracking terrible on pitch changing effects - much simpler doing it this way.
[/quote]

This is what I ended up with after much mucking about with pitch effects and 5 strings I'm tuned to BEAD and use a capo

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Some of the suggestions here are sound, but to be honest, I would bite the bullet on playing 5's.

I struggled for years with various ill chosen 5er's for no other reason than experimentation. We didn't get on at all. I then found myself in a position where to be able to play in a particular band I needed to buy and play 90% of their set on a 5er. I did a bit of research and ended up with a lovely Lull and haven't looked back. To be fair, I never gig without a four to hand should it be required, but the situation I put myself in freed my mind around 5 string basses.

I play pubs to Festivals and everything in between. I've yet to play a venue where I haven't had space for my Hercules twin stand and one of my bands is a 10 piece!

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I've been a dedicated 5 string player since the late 80s. The models that I particularly rated were Hohner: this model
[size="2"]http://www.bass-guitar-museum.com/bass-3489-HOHNER-5-STRING-PROFESSIONAL-B-BASS-V-Electric-Guitar[/size]


Yamaha TRB: this model isn't too pricey and has nice wide string spacing, too.
[size="2"]http://www.thelowend.net/gallery/viewtopic.php?t=3638&sid=59fc6afd0fb449c7f535631fe545d365[/size]

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[quote name='stevebasshead' timestamp='1449755547' post='2926525']
I'm sure someone will correct me but I'm not aware of any pedal that will [u]reliably[/u] detune and won't demand a pristine technique to help it track well. If that [i]is[/i] the case maybe the better option would be for you to relearn the songs higher up the neck but still a half/full tone down and use an octave pedal to add the depth of sound back.
[/quote]

From what I understand, analog pedals do it by tracking your notes. For these pedals, you need a good clean technique so that there's a strong fundamental for the pedal to latch on to. Another consideration is that analogue pedals can't handle polyphony very well, for the same reasons.

On the other hand, digital pedals just process the whole signal and you don't have to worry about tracking. The downside with digital pedals is that there is sometimes a little bit of lag/latency due to the digital processing, while with analog pedals, its instantaneous.

I've got the EHX pitchfork which I use when I can't be arsed to bring a 5 string for the few songs that need it. Its digital, latency is good compared to the zoom multifx that I have. It does the job well and as it can also do upper/lower simulaneously and blendable signal, you can use it as an effect rather than just for pitch shifting.

My main criticism of the EHX Pitchfork, and all other pitch shifters I've tried, is that they sound somewhat artificial, particularly in the lower register. But its a compromise. I can live with it for the couple of songs that we do which need a 5 if its one less bass to take to a gig, but if we had more then I'd probably think about using a 5 for the whole set.

Edited by mingsta

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