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phunkyhick

Overdriven bass tone thread

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I've been real interested in overdrive tones lately, and I thought that I would post what I know about it in a thread, and see what others post. Please add any info that you know about any and all bass overdrive tones.

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If you want to get a guitar-like sounding overdrive, it's better to use two amps. One clean and one dirty, with the lows boosted on the clean one & cut on the dirty one.

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OH MY FRIGGIN GOD!!! I've been in bass overdrive HEAVEN lately!!! We do the Pearl Jam song, 'Yellow Ledbetter' in a band I play with. Jeff Ament uses a really sweet overdrive/distortion with a fretless on that song. It sounds SO DAMN COOL!! So, I fiddel around with my POD, and, Whooop!! There it is!!!! We played that tune last night, me with my Warwick fretless. DAAAAAAYYYYYUUUUMMMMM!!!! Oh, it sounded so FRIGGIN' COOL!!! Give that tune a listen!

I have used distortion/overdrive in my quest to sound like Chris Squire. The POD makes it easy! The Bass POD Pro XT that I use has a preset called 'Seattle Coffee' THAT is one killer distortion patch!!! It kicks so much ass!! I LOVE IT!!! I am addicted to using overdrive and/or distortion!!

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I haven't heard a better overdriven bass tone than channel B of an old SVT on 10. Except it's louder than fuck. If I could get that in a pedal......droooool..... :D

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Hmmmm. I saw your most-recent post on the How You Play Bass thread. You know a thing or two about distortion/overdrive. Whatcha lookin' for? I'm recently converted to distortionism. And I lOVE IT!!!!! So, I'll just lurk here and see what happens.............................:D

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The greatest electric bassist was also one of the first to use overdrive on bass. You don't really notice it, but a little overdrive is essential in his tone, not a heavy sound, but warmer than sex on the beach with a hottie. It is especially apparent on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" record, when he hits low E's.

 

Gear:

 

-Fender P-Bass with foam on the bridge cover, dead flatwound strings, and high action. Plucked aggressively with his index finger.

 

-He generally recorded direct, VU meter of the tube console slightly in the red, then through Fairchild limiter and Pultec EQ.

 

-He is most often associated with the Ampeg B-15, which he occasionally miked in the studio. He also used it live. He had it cranked almost all the way up so that he could control the dynamics with his fingers.

 

-He would also sometimes use a Kustom 200 with a 2x15" cab in live situations.

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Originally posted by jpo259

Hmmmm. I saw your most-recent post on the How You Play Bass thread. You know a thing or two about distortion/overdrive. Whatcha lookin' for? I'm recently converted to distortionism. And I lOVE IT!!!!! So, I'll just lurk here and see what happens.............................
:D

 

I do know a fair bit about it. I own 2 tube amps, 2 OD pedals (technically 3 if you count the Bassballs, which I run in DIST mode)

 

I'm a big fan of it, and I'll be posting everything I know, mostly about recorded tones of famous players. I've got a good bit on Ament, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Originally posted by phunkyhick



. I've got a good bit on Ament, so keep your eyes peeled.

 

 

Will do!!! But, .......I have never been into overdriving tube amps, obtaining and using stomp boxes, or even really trying too hard to emulate any particular bassists' tone/rig. I am a complete fan of the Bass POD Pro XT. I can get so many different distortion and overdrive effects in that thing and have lots of control over them. I believe digital effects are perfectly useable in a live situation. And, like I said earlier, I fiddled around with my rack-mount POD XT* and, voila', I had perfectly passable Ament Yello Ledbetter tone!!! AND.......if the crowds' reaction was any indicator, they liked it, too!! (I hate to blow my own horn, but, people were going gaga over the bass tone and how I played it on that song last night! Now, the singer is fantastic, and, he plays guitar very, very well. THE DRUMMER Is wonderful!! And we really, really did that song justice last night!!). BUT, I'm curious. I will stay tuned!!!!!

 

 

 

 

* I've been using the POD Pro XT for over a year. When I finally gave the Pearl Jam song a listen (I haden't really listened to it prior to last week!), anyway, when I gave it a listen, I heard what I heard. When I got my rig set up, I went right to a preset I had set up ('Ten Tube Tone'-emulates Aguilar DB-750), and changed out the 'Bronze Master' distortion (emulates 'Brass Master distortion box) for 'bass overdrive' (emulates some stomp box-don't remember which). Dialed in a few parameters, plucked some strings, did a few slides, and, in about 1 minute, I had JEFF AMENT IN A BOX!!!!! Whooo Hoooooo! THE CROWD LOVED IT!!!And that's all that mattered!!!!

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While Jamerson used it a bit to warm up, Casady is one of the first to really use all out distortion. "Crown of Creation" has very prominent bass distortion. You can also hear it on Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile", Hot Tuna's "Burgers", and his new solo album. Casady has done a good bit of experimentation with his tone over the years.

 

Casady on active vs. passive electronics: 'In the early, experimental days, the idea of active electronics was all about improving the tone. Phil Lesh's requirements were a little different from mine, but generally we wanted more access to the tone that's already there

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Originally posted by jpo259




Will do!!! But, .......I have never been into overdriving tube amps, obtaining and using stomp boxes, or even really trying too hard to emulate any particular bassists' tone/rig. I am a complete fan of the Bass POD Pro XT.

 

I personally think tubes sound better, but Ben Kenney got some great sounds on the new incubus record.

 

And lug, I will get to Timmy C, I got a lot on that guy.

 

And I will say up front that I am somewhat lacking in info on Chris Squire tone, so if anyone can add it. Once we get this thread pretty filled up, maybe we can make it a sticky. in the FAQ.

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Larry Graham was one of the first to use fuzz on bass. You can hear it on several Sly & Family Stone songs. I'm lacking in specifics here, but here is what I know, mostly from this link: http://archive.bassplayer.com/artists/graham.shtml

 

Basses:

 

-Vox bass (very early)

-Fender P (very early)

-Fender Jazz in '70's GCS, probably in Family Stone, too.

-Fender Jazz w/ active preamp in GCS. Looks similar to MM sig Jazz.

-Moon Larry Graham signature bass in 82.

 

Amps:

 

-Sunn in early Sly Stone, then moved to fender

-Acoustic 360 (this is what he is usually associated with), used in Sly and GCS

-Recently, he has been using a 650 watt Hughes&Kettner rig with 410 and 215 cabs.

-Seen him in stage photo (not playing) with an Ampeg Portaflex and a fender amp. Guessing it's from the 80's

 

Effects:

 

-In Sly, he often used the fuzz on his Acoustic 360

-Roland Jet Phaser

-Mutron Octave Divider

-Morley Fuzz Phaser

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i read that ben kenney used the bass POD a bunch on the new album but he used an orange guitar head when they wanted the bass to really sound offensive. thats what i remember reading but i could be wrong. makes sense though, his tone on that song they released first was awesome. i would find it pretty hard to believe those werent tubes.

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John Entwistle's live tone at times was VERY distorted to the point of feedback (pinball wizard-Woodstock) using overdriven tube amps (Hiwatt & Marshall). Later he used a STRAMP to give him much grindier distorsion. And when he used the ashdown rig, he used a digitech processor for distorsion, but IMHO that sounded fake and whimpy. He was really the first to use bass overdrive, but it was more a necessity of volume, but made a cool sound nonetheless!

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This one is pretty simple. As of late he has been using a Warwick Thumb and a Hartke with a frown on the EQ, but his Cream distortion tone is noteworthy. He played with a hard attack

 

Basses:

 

-Fender bass VI

-Gibson EB-3

 

Amps:

 

Marshall stacks

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JPJ used a bit of distortion, most noticeably on "Heartbreaker" It is most likely the fuzz in his Acoustic 360 head, played through his Fender Jazz.

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I nearly crapped my pants when I heard the distorted bass solo part in Know You Enemy (RATM).

 

Timmy C has probably the best tone and distorted tone ever.

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Here's a good one, Geezer Butler. He detunes his bass, and plays with a very aggressive attack, often clacking his strings against the fretboard, sometimes with a heavy pick, sometimes with fingers. Check out his early recorded tones with Sabbath, and also the "Reunion" CD. Great tones on the Reunion CD, a little trebly for my taste, but still cool.

 

Basses:

 

-Fender P in early Sabbath

-Vigier basses, as of recent he has switched to Laklands.

-Lakland Hollowbody Deluxe

-Lakland 4-94

-Lakland Bob Glaub

-Lakland Joe Osborn

 

Amps:

 

-"Black Sabbath" was recorded with a 70 watt Laney head through a 4x12 guitar cab with one speaker missing, and two blown speakers.

-He currently uses Ampeg SVT2-PRO's, cranked very loud, running through Ampeg 8x10's,4x12's, and 2x15's.

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Originally posted by phunkyhick

"Crown of Creation" has very prominent bass distortion.

 

The new POD XT/POD PRo XT (Bass) has a preset called Crown of Creation!! Now I am curious! I will have to find that tune and listen. Then, I'd like to dial up that preset and see if there is any resemblance!!! Ya'll keep in mind that the POD Pro going STRAIGHT into a good, clean power amp STRAIGHT into GOOD speakers really allows it to shine live. Also, I send a signal STRAIGHT to the house from the POD. I also use both the model output and DI, or clean, output on the POD. I can mix a little or a lot of clean and that just adds one more dimension to what the thing can do, both live and in the studio. Here's my dyed in the wool opinion: Too much signal is lost going from a 12'-25' cable to a stomp box or stomp boxes, to another long cable to the amp. I can't stand loosing ANY of the bass, the instrument itself, any of it's charachter and definition. I think too much cable and things in the signal path ruin it. I am very much a believer in the modern digital effects, such as the POD. And, there sure are a lot of digital effect units on the market these days for bass and guitar. The days are long gone of me ever wanting to obtain this amp or that cab or this stomp box in order to get 'that guys' tone. I can get perfectly useable creations with one 2-space rack unit. Ya'll oughta hear 'NIB' used when playing NIB!!!!!! A little EQ tweaking gave it some balls, and DAMN......!!!!!!!!I don't think it would be worth the time or effort to try to get that particular Geezer tone any other way! It sounds AWESOME!!!! POD for President!!! :D

 

 

Oh, wainting on Ament!!!!!!!;)

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Cliff Burton of early Metallica, metal bass god second only to Geezer. Used Big Muff on bassDon't have a lot of info on him.

 

Amps:

 

Mesa Boogie 4x12 and 1x15

Ampeg SVT 1540

 

Basses

 

-Ric 4001

-Alembic Spoiler

-Aria Pro II

 

Effects:

 

Morley Wah

Big Muff

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Let me get an easy one out of the way. Then I'll do Ament, it will be a long one.

 

Basses:

 

EB Stingrays

Wal 4 string (BSSM)

Alembic Epic (OHM)

Modulus Flea w/ Lane Poor PU's and Aguilar OBP-1 pre

 

Amps:

 

GK amps

GK cabs, 10's and 15's, since By The Way

Mesa Boogie cabs 10's and 15's

 

Effects:

 

-Boss Bass Overdrive

-The distorted envelope filter on Sir Psycho Sexy is a Mutron with a nearly dead battery.

-He ran his Modulus through a Marshall for some distortion on By the Way

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Here's one for ya:

 

 

JPO259

 

Uses Demeter HBP-1 Pre

Line 6 Bass POD Pro XT

QSC PLX-3402 Pwr Amp

Aguilar GS-212 cabs.

 

He gets UNGODLY distortion by firing up'Seattle Coffee' preset. Sweet, mellow fuzz easy as pie! And all flavors in between!! Easy, cheesy, and non-disease-ey!! And, heck, he's a musician, a bass player. He knows what distorion sounds like. What comes out of those Aggies is distortion!!! 21st Century bow to the 20th Century groundbreakers!!

 

 

 

 

WHERE'S AMENT??????!!!!!;)

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Question, Mr. Phunkyhick: Do you have any information on precisely what gear Ament used to get the tone he has on 'Yellow Ledbetter'? I am curious. I know my ears found a perfectly suitable digital example (using a fretless, of course) on the POD. Your thread has me curiuos. I am thinking of getting ahold of some good bass distortion tracks and seeing how the POD compares sonically live. So far, I've got a killer Ament Yellow Ledbetter patch!!!

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