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Question for knowledgeable hard rock/metal players.


BradWilbanx

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Hey guys,

 

New to this half of the HC but I figured this would be the best place for this.

 

Our bass player currently is using a Schecter Studio 5 into a Sansamp Bass Driver, into a Mesa Big Block 750 and finally into an Ampeg PR410HLF.

 

We are trying to achieve a very edgy sound without losing power and tone; or in other words: without being all fizz, highs and overdrive.

 

And we couldn't get that perfect sound so our bass player is debating on a new bass. The two he's debating on are a Fender American Deluve Jazz V, or a Ibanez SR405QM.

 

So having said that these are the bands and tones he likes.

 

Bring me the Horizon for rhythms/riffs

RED for the powerful chorus'

Protest the Hero, Skillet, and KSE are bands he likes the overall tone of.

 

I've also thought maybe looking into getting an SVT Classic Head cause I know alot of the tones he likes would seem to be easily achieve with that head.

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I'm not familiar with the bands you listed, but I play hard rock, metal, and modern rock primarily, and found that my Spector Q5 Pros worked WAY better in a band mix than the Schecter Stiletto Elite-5 I briefly had... While the Spectors stay clear in the mix, yet still have bite and growl - the Schecter would flat out disappear in a band mix...

 

 

I also had an Ibanez SR405, and the Spector's worked way better than that, also...

 

 

I like the amp and cab choices he's playing through - but I'd use a Spector, and lose the SansAmp, and be good to go...

 

 

 

- georgestrings

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ok cool man, Well the guy from Protest the Hero uses a Spector w/ a Sansamp, just curious why you say loose the sansamp? just curious, not trying to disagree just want to learn lol

 

 

 

I'm just not a big fan of the SansAmp - IMO, *most* of the time a bassist is better off getting the right amp/cab/bass combination, than using pedals to try to get there - and I really like the amp/cab setup he's currently running...

 

I'd try working without the Sansamp, THEN if he still needs it to cop a particular tone, then by all means use it... Also, I've found the Sansamp to be a bit noisier than I care for, and would rather use something else for a DI signal to the board - although I also play pretty clean, so my approach isn't for everyone... An example of my desired tone for this genre would be Rex Brown's(Pantera) sound - whom also used Spectors...

 

 

 

- georgestrings

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damn fine gear , he should have no problem with just experimenting with the eq and amp controls . I am a fan of the Sansamp but I would also drop it with this rig , the amp has a DI and overdrive so he's set . I would set the amp flat and clean for starters and just add a hair of grit if needed , I know those 4x10's are bassy and move tons of air so with that maybe a wee bit of tweeter would give it some cut .

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Like the other guys have mentioned, you don't run a Sansamp into a Mesa. It just doesn't make sense. The Big Block has a great tone on its own and overdrives quite nicely.

 

If you aren't getting a good tone with what you have, something is wrong. Ditch the Sansamp and start tinkering.

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Indeed. Sounds like you guys are trying to do too much.Unplug everything that isn't an amp, cab, or bass. Set EVERYTHING flat. Time to start fresh and decide on some new settings.

 

Once you get a good tone or three picked out on the BB's channels, start adding in other stuff.

 

That's a great rig.

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Yeah well I absolutely love the BB's tone and it is awesome live but for some reason in the studio it's just sounding really wooly and the edge or overdrive isn't kicking they way we want it to and with the BB's od on it's a touch too dark for our liking, but regardless we've decided for many other reasons we are gonna track guitar first and then bass. But he's pretty set on getting a matching Mesa Cab and a new bass so what would you guys suggest for a new Bass?

 

Fender American Deluxe Jazz V

Ibanez sr405/sr505

Spector (please suggest model)

Stingray or Bongo?

or at one point he was really wanting a Warwick $$

 

So anyway lol all that said suggestions?

 

And thanks for all the help.

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I have a strange suspicion that most of his tonal problems would be fixed by dropping the Sansamp and learning how to EQ a bass to cut through the mix.

 

Set his EQ flat on the bass and the amp. Then boost his mids if you need more note clarity and cut. DON'T give a bassist mid-scooped EQ in a rock/metal setting. It sounds great alone, but the bass will all but disappear when a drummer and guitarist(s) are added in.

 

(This is 5 years of bass playing in a metal band experience speaking. I set everything flat, then slightly boost my mids and I cut through a loud drummer and two guitarists wonderfully).

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And we haven't always used the Sansamp we tried two nights about two hours each trying to find a decent tone and had no luck, so when we talked to a engineer friend from Nashville he said to get the Sansamp and if nothing else run it direct into the pre. Would you guys suggest that over the micing of cabs etc.

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And we haven't always used the Sansamp we tried two nights about two hours each trying to find a decent tone and had no luck, so when we talked to a engineer friend from Nashville he said to get the Sansamp and if nothing else run it direct into the pre. Would you guys suggest that over the micing of cabs etc.

 

 

I think most people before me have got it right by telling you to drop the Sansamp. From experience, the Sansamps tend to add lows and a bit of wool to the top, which sounds nice with rigs like mine which tend to be more biting and naturally midsy. With the rig you've described though, its the king of wool! I do remember those Schecters being a lot like mid range Ibanez SR's: fairly bland, bassy tone. Not much in natural growl.

 

If he wants a new bass, I'd rule out the Ibanez, the 505's aren't bad but are maybe not what he's looking for. I'd be pushing for either a Spector (I don't know their product line as well, but the couple I've demo'd before were Euro series basses, and they had punch!) or a Musicman, either Stingray or Bongo (Stingrays will probably be easier to come across at a decent price as they're more common). If he wants to look at Warwicks, I probably wouldn't go with the $$ line, they're fantastically versatile, but its likely he wouldn't find the tone he's looking for in his head with all the options available to him. Try looking at a Corvette or maybe even a Thumb (try before you buy).

 

I suspect a lot of it too though is the cab. But that's because I'm not much of a fan of Ampeg cabs, so I'm biased.

 

I think the best thing he could do is call up as many favours as he can with other mates and other bands who have access to the basses we've listed in this thread, and just play them through his rig. Piss the Sansamp off while you do too, it'll only colour your judgement

 

 

 

Oh and if you still can't get it right in time, Sansamp to desk.

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Yeah well
I absolutely love the BB's tone and it is awesome live but for some reason in the studio it's just sounding really wooly and the edge or overdrive isn't kicking they way we want it to
and with the BB's od on it's a touch too dark for our liking, but regardless we've decided for many other reasons we are gonna track guitar first and then bass. But
he's pretty set on getting a matching Mesa Cab and a new bass
so what would you guys suggest for a new Bass?


Fender American Deluxe Jazz V

Ibanez sr405/sr505

Spector (please suggest model)

Stingray or Bongo?

or at one point he was really wanting a Warwick $$


So anyway lol all that said suggestions?


And thanks for all the help.

 

 

OK. Firstly, it sounds like he is just looking for an excuse to buy new gear. I am all fine with that, but again, it sounds like you aren't making good use of the gear you currently have. Seriously. Throwing new equipment at the problem won't do any good if you can't figure out what you're doing right/wrong to begin with.

 

Secondly, all of those basses are pretty much completely different (neck profiles, sound, etc.) Again, it sounds like he's just looking for an excuse to buy new gear without knowing what he's looking for.

 

I would recommend taking more time with the current gear and learning it inside out.

 

Also, as an FYI, when recording, it's usually easier to go from a clean source and changing it in post-processing. If this isn't an option, recording the bass direct and clean, and then add either his cab mic'd, or the BB's DI. Blending these two sounds, will take some of the harshness off of the recording. Do NOT use the sansamp DI for tracks.

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awesome we'll def try this. Should we boost the active and passive mids or one or the other?

 

 

Leave the bass flat and boost the amp's mids first if needed. The tone might be a little harsh alone, but it works in the mix with a full band.

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And we haven't always used the Sansamp we tried two nights about two hours each trying to find a decent tone and had no luck, so when we talked to a engineer friend from Nashville he said to get the Sansamp and if nothing else run it direct into the pre. Would you guys suggest that over the micing of cabs etc.

 

 

 

 

I got really good results going to tape with my Spectors by setting them flat, and DI'ing straight to the board... I used the DI on my X2's receiver, which to my ears sounds WAY better than the Sansamp... Ordinarily, I give a slight boost on both bass and treble controls, and slightly favor the neck pup on the Spector - when playing live, but discovered that flat, and pups equal went to tape best... I also used Boomer mediums on it - maybe he just needs a different type of string...

 

 

 

 

- georgestrings

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i use a sansamp and it sounds great both live and in the studio. i agree that since the sansamp is an amp simulator, running a dirty signal into a dirty amp makes no sense. what i'd do instead is send the sansamp's parallel out to the amp and adjust it to taste as if you were plugging directly into the amp. send the dirty sansamp signal out directly to the board, and put a mic on the amp. now you have 2 decent bass tones that you can blend in the mix.

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Dont buy ANYTHI G until you test everything you already have , but, here is the thing: Put brand new strings on the bass and see how much and to what extent you like the "improved" sound.

 

Not week old strings, not month old strings that have hardly been played. BRAND new, "open the pack and put them on" new strings.

 

May change your whole world.

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We put brand new strings on Thursday morning, As I've said before we messed with the EQ on the amp, bass, and I tried several micing techniques I know to be true over the years. Now as I've said a few times we have tried the amp and bass flat and without the sansamp as well. So as much as I hate to say it maybe it's just his playing style/technique? And he uses a pick by the way.

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the Sansamp is good for simulating a tubey sorta sound using a sterile SS amp.

 

with the MESA i don't think it's necessary.

 

i'm not a big fan of those Ampeg cabs. you might look for something with more clarity. so naturally i would recommend a Berg 322 or a Berg 610. expensive, but no more so than a new bass.

 

if your looking for a dirtier tone, maybe try some sort of bass OD pedal. i use a Fullton to get a John Wetton/Crimson tone on a few tunes.

 

as stated above, play with the amp EQ. i might recommend try boosting the low mids.

 

and new strings are also a good suggestion.

 

but if he's GASing for a new bass, none of the above will matter.

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