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Yan_Hurei

Maybe bass distortion isnt for me.

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I have a boss bass overdrive, an ebs microbass 2 and a Darkglass Alpha Omega Ultra. And I can't find a distortion/overdrive sound I like on any of them.

I use a fender Jazz, Ric 4003, and Musicman Stingray. I play fingerstyle mainly.

I hear people say it makes you stand out in the mix where I feel the opposite is true.  I feel my bass distorted gets lost. My band all agrees with me, they prefer my clean tone which I'm very proud of how I sound. I definatley don't get lost but probably carry more treble than I would if we had less of a hard alt rock sound.  I like the clear bell ringing highs and beefy lows.

I've tried again and again to get it to work, in the end I just turn it off because I can't be doing with the sound of it.   Some people sound amazing with distortion, I don't think I'm one of those people.

Been doing my napper in as I thought by now I'd have found something I like, but I havent.

 

 

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I'm the same, haven't found my space in a band with any kind of heavy distortion. C'est la vie!

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I'm constantly trying out different effects to try and do something a little different in the mix, but other than the occasional bit of reverb and a compression, I've never found anything that improves the sound of the bass on its own. My guitarist users a fair few effects, so anything i do on top ( or rather underneath ) just ends up sounding mushy. I've never really been a fan of a distorted bass sound, even though I've always been a big rock and metal fan. For me the guitars should handle the distortion, the bass should keep that bottom end clear and pumping. Just my view for what it's worth. 

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56 minutes ago, Yan_Hurei said:

I have a boss bass overdrive, an ebs microbass 2 and a Darkglass Alpha Omega Ultra. And I can't find a distortion/overdrive sound I like on any of them.

I use a fender Jazz, Ric 4003, and Musicman Stingray. I play fingerstyle mainly.

I hear people say it makes you stand out in the mix where I feel the opposite is true.  I feel my bass distorted gets lost. My band all agrees with me, they prefer my clean tone which I'm very proud of how I sound. I definatley don't get lost but probably carry more treble than I would if we had less of a hard alt rock sound.  I like the clear bell ringing highs and beefy lows.

I've tried again and again to get it to work, in the end I just turn it off because I can't be doing with the sound of it.   Some people sound amazing with distortion, I don't think I'm one of those people.

Been doing my napper in as I thought by now I'd have found something I like, but I havent.

 

 

Under two guitars I often just run by bass clean in to the amp. The effects I use most in that band are EQ based, like amp sims. In that particular mix distortion would lose me under the guitars, so would Wah or envelope filter in most occasions, and so would chorus! Often because one of the guitars is using the effect I want to, but none of them do big round meaty bass, so that's what I stick to. Horses for courses, find what works best in your situation instead of what sounds good at home or on other peoples recordings. 

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Yup I get some great sonic ideas at home noodling, but as soon as I try em in a band setting it all goes to pot.  I've been trying for ages to get a good synth sound for the intro to 'Dakota' but nothing seems to work :(  To be fair I only have a Zoom B3 so maybe I was aiming a little too high!

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In my last band, a punk three piece I had a slight amount of drive on the bass so that when I dug in (so all the time, lol) I got that break-up type overdrive and it worked a treat to fill out the sound.

Whereas in my current band,  70s/80s classic rock with guitar & keys that sound is just too much so I have a clean & slightly compressed sound which locks with the drums and keeps out of the way of said guitar & keys. 

So I think type of music and instrument line up has a lot to do with it, plus keeping the drive levels down.

 

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6 hours ago, Yan_Hurei said:

hard alt rock sound.  I like the clear bell ringing highs and beefy lows.

Give some Tech21 stuff a try - Sansamp BDDI (of which there is a dirt cheap Behringer version, the BDI21 if you fancy dipping your toe in on the cheap), VTDI, YYZ, or DP-3X. The last 2 in particular - as the YYZ has a bass-heavy EQ'd clean channel and the DP-3X a crossover and compressor on the low end side.

Also the Orange Bass Butler - there's one in the classifieds!

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If you're looking for something that cuts through but still has a bit of beef to it then give the tronographic rusty box a go. Its an amazing pedal and cuts through like a knife. 

I use that and an Idiotbox Blower Box for all my dirt needs in my noisey band. 

Like others have said though, I guess it's about filling a sonic space that isn't been taken up by other members of the band. My guitarist has quite a beefy fuzz filled distortion tone, so I need some thing that cuts through and is more of a high gain driven tone. 

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Posted (edited)

I use a lot of different drives across my bands. 
my ‘base level’ is a slightly gritty tone from the bass soul food or tc spark boost, which is augmented at times by different pedals, all using a mid gainy sound. Sounds big and fat with the bands.

currently those pedals are :

caline orange burst

ehx glove od

hardwire tube od

It’s worth noting that I play in hard rock and metal bands, and in both 3 piece +vox and 4 piece +vox environments  

im also intending to audition my new orange getaway driver in situ as and when I get the chance to play outside the boundaries of home 😳 Initial impressions so far are good, but still it remains to be seen (heard) within the mix

 

Edited by dudewheresmybass

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You want to know what is weird though, I love the Darkglass Ultra for it's EQ, I can use it for that alone.  I did some pick work the other day and that seems to make a huge difference, I shall play around a bit more.

 

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Over the years I have tried a bewildering range of overdrive/distortion pedals and never got on with any of them.

The best option by far for me was to run both channels of the (very uncelebrated but awesome) Electro Harmonix LPB-2ube in a Boss LS-2 loop so as to keep a totally unaffected signal layered with the drive of the EHX. That way I had total control of the volumes for each channel. It was awesome and I would have totally kept to it if not for the flipping daft power supply required for the EHX. I often check to see if they have updated the pedal with a more secure powering option. Sadly not yet.

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On 05/01/2021 at 17:58, Lozz196 said:

In my last band, a punk three piece I had a slight amount of drive on the bass so that when I dug in (so all the time, lol) I got that break-up type overdrive and it worked a treat to fill out the sound.

Whereas in my current band,  70s/80s classic rock with guitar & keys that sound is just too much so I have a clean & slightly compressed sound which locks with the drums and keeps out of the way of said guitar & keys. 

So I think type of music and instrument line up has a lot to do with it, plus keeping the drive levels down.

 

This. Distortion, Fuzz & Overdrive on bass can be a bit too much, and IMO, tends to get lost, even with all the new & improved sound sculpting options available today. 

Yes, the type of music being played, and the band playing it is important. If a driven sound is appropriate for the type of music, then an ear should be stuck out for how the bass will sit in the mix with the other instruments, especially if there are more than guitar, bass & drums involved.

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Well My guitarist play a Jaguar, it's quite high endy, so if I have a clean sound it does sit nicely.  I have been experimenting with the darkglass, I have found a nice compromise, I use the blend knob to keep 75% clean sound and 25% overdrive and distortion. It's a subtle change but I prefer it to a full on distorted bass.  Need more time to experiment, I have also used very mild distortion, going for a Chris Squire sort of effect, blended with a usable slap sound, watch this space, not the easiest thing to pull off, but I'm getting close.

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Only OD and distortion I've used that I like is by way of an Ampeg SVP-pro; more or less the pre-amp from the SVT-II.

Drive comes from the dedicated circuit using an AU7, so it's less full-on and more adjustable. 

Distortion comes from overloading the gain stage (an AX7)

It's possible to use both together for complete madness..

I still can't find much use for it in a musical setting, though!

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On 07/01/2021 at 22:08, Yan_Hurei said:

You want to know what is weird though, I love the Darkglass Ultra for it's EQ, I can use it for that alone.  I did some pick work the other day and that seems to make a huge difference, I shall play around a bit more.

 

The Darkglass Ultra pedals have incredible clean sections, and a lot of people use them as a master preamp for just that.

It does entirely depend on what music you’re making really.  If I used clean bass in my particular metal band, I would be completely lost in the mix behind two 7 string guitars and a heavy synth track.  The drive gives the bass the oomf to cut through the mix in a way that it needs to, whilst continuing to provide the low end anchor for the tracks.  The Darkglass X Ultra excels at this task, I’ve never heard a low end like it!

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One thing to keep in mind about "distortion" is that it doesn't need to necessarily be prominent in context while still qualifying as distortion. Isolated bass tracks can demonstrate exactly how distorted (or overdriven) a bass sound can be but still not necessarily come across as "dirty".

One of my favorite discoveries as of late has been the Gold Drive (evidently a Klon Overdrive model) that lives in the Zoom G5n/G3n multi-fx pedals.  In isolation, I've set it so that the distortion is audible, but not overbearing, while the drive distortion adds harmonics that contribute to better presence and clarity in the context of a mix. To my ears, it's remarkable. FWIW, I've also struggled to find distortions (other than blatant distortion effects) that largely keep the bass tone in tact while adding that special something that helps pop the bass out in the mix.

If you're going for heavy distortion, then I've only been able to make this work by using parallel wet/dry mix methods, otherwise 100% distortion  settings tend to bury the fundamental punch or clarity of the bass sound.

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