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not_so_new
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3rd April 2006
Old 3rd April 2006
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Distorted bass

Hey all.

So what are you using to distort bass tracks for rock? I am not talking distortion like a noticeable effect I am talking more about distortion as a mixing technique.

I suppose most folks are using a Distressor for this but I am wondering what other tricks are out there. I have my little toys for distorting bass tracks but I want to open myself to new things.
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Aux send from Bass Track ----- to compressor w/ fast attack---- to Mic in on a Class A Neve pre -- boost gain to taste --- mix in with original signal.
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Chandler TG Channel
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Thanks guys....

So Nathan and Aaron are you guys using the preamp distortion during tracking or at mix? Not sure I want to pint myself into a corner at the tracking stage but I do preamp distrtion during mix down like Gravity does above sometimes.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Thanks guys....

So Nathan and Aaron are you guys using the preamp distortion during tracking or at mix? Not sure I want to pint myself into a corner at the tracking stage but I do preamp distrtion during mix down like Gravity does above sometimes.
Gravity is right, Neve modules are great for distortion, especially the mic input. which reminds me.. one of these days I have to remember to put output pots on mine....

tracking:

my new thing is to run into the U5 first then take the line out of the U5 thru a comp into protools... then take the mic out of the U5 into the GERM and that into a comp into protools... bass is usually mono so you can do both... I'll do a bunch of passes tho... verse parts, alternate, chorus, over the top effect, etc etc.. i figure if i'm confused print a few and decide later...

mixing:

D/A > germ > comp > A/D

if i use the thick switch i'll usually stick an EQ in there to back it off a lil. depends.. i'm still figuring out the GERM.

pedals are cool for bass too... you can use a pedal for just the top end and filter it thru a Neve module or something... that's fun and allows you to get more hardcore with the distortion/fuzz...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
tracking:

my new thing is to run into the U5 first then take the line out of the U5 thru a comp into protools... then take the mic out of the U5 into the GERM and that into a comp into protools... bass is usually mono so you can do both... I'll do a bunch of passes tho... verse parts, alternate, chorus, over the top effect, etc etc.. i figure if i'm confused print a few and decide later...

mixing:

D/A > germ > comp > A/D

if i use the thick switch i'll usually stick an EQ in there to back it off a lil. depends.. i'm still figuring out the GERM.

pedals are cool for bass too... you can use a pedal for just the top end and filter it thru a Neve module or something... that's fun and allows you to get more hardcore with the distortion/fuzz...
External pedals are my usual suspects here, I also do bass re-apming to a live bass rig with some distortion there as well. Again these are my typical bad-o-tricks stuff but I am looking for new thigns to try to spice it up a bit.
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Originally Posted by not_so_new
External pedals are my usual suspects here, I also do bass re-apming to a live bass rig with some distortion there as well. Again these are my typical bad-o-tricks stuff but I am looking for new thigns to try to spice it up a bit.
new things, eh? i'm just mystified by the germanium so that's where i'd start.. if the rest of the chandler gear sounds this good i want it all...

ever used a zvex woolly mammoth? zvex machine? there's a crazy pedal.. could be too industrial for ya.

I'll mess around with some stuff in the eventide sometimes... or a cheap Zoom amp simulator... those can be fun if you need something to fit into a mix. sansamp you've prolly done a million times... izotope trash?

there's an old program called Metasynth that runs under OS9 with a really cool waveshaper... that can be lots of fun...

what kind of sound are you looking for?
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If you are mixing ITB...or... are open to plugin choices, then I would recommend the Blockfish Compressor from Digital Fish Phones.

Most excellent for overdriving bass to that creamy thickness that locks.

Much Respect,
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Nothing better than the Sans Amp PSA-1 for bass distortion or bass in general IMO. The ability to 'select distort' via it's extremely flexible EQ bands is amazing.

Which gives me an idea I might try on the next bass session:
Bass into Little Labs IBP - one side to PSA-1 for a 'SVT'-style sound and the other side to an original Sans-Amp pedal for a more distorted tone.
Phase adjustment via IBP, maybe a bit of compression too. This could give some nice blending options in the mix I guess.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
new things, eh? i'm just mystified by the germanium so that's where i'd start.. if the rest of the chandler gear sounds this good i want it all...

ever used a zvex woolly mammoth? zvex machine? there's a crazy pedal.. could be too industrial for ya.

I'll mess around with some stuff in the eventide sometimes... or a cheap Zoom amp simulator... those can be fun if you need something to fit into a mix. sansamp you've prolly done a million times... izotope trash?

there's an old program called Metasynth that runs under OS9 with a really cool waveshaper... that can be lots of fun...

what kind of sound are you looking for?
Well... I guess I am looking for new ways to do old things. Distorted bass tracks but not like a big over the top effect more like a little grit to help the track gel, rough it up a bit you know. As of now I do this with the re-amp track and a pedal and maybe some preamp distortion on the input of the mic track. This works well but I am looking for new tools.

Things like the Zoom are probably more over the top than I am talking about here. My latest is a Rust Ride bass distortion pedal, pretty cool but it falls more into the effect department.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Thanks guys....

So Nathan and Aaron are you guys using the preamp distortion during tracking or at mix?

I track with the OSA MP1-L3 DI which has more low frequency extension (or is less mid forward however you want to look at it) than the TG. Then in mix, the D/A of the bass track goes into the line level of the TG Channel in line input (after the compressor). Usually the TG Channel is set at unity level (input at zero, output can vary from unit to unit, run a tone) which gives plenty of growl, but a click or two on the input goes a long way towards getting a nice amount of THD. I do the same thing with guitar amps with the Great River NV/TG Channel, but I'm comfortable tracking with amps as it's pretty easy for me to get them 99% of what I'm looking for during tracking so it's just fader up during mix.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
If you are mixing ITB...or... are open to plugin choices, then I would recommend the Blockfish Compressor from Digital Fish Phones.

Most excellent for overdriving bass to that creamy thickness that locks.

Much Respect,
I have nothing against plugins, if they sound good they they are good right?



I hear about the blockfish now and again, I might have to check that out. You use it for anything else?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker
Nothing better than the Sans Amp PSA-1 for bass distortion or bass in general IMO. The ability to 'select distort' via it's extremely flexible EQ bands is amazing.

Which gives me an idea I might try on the next bass session:
Bass into Little Labs IBP - one side to PSA-1 for a 'SVT'-style sound and the other side to an original Sans-Amp pedal for a more distorted tone.
Phase adjustment via IBP, maybe a bit of compression too. This could give some nice blending options in the mix I guess.
thumbsup

It's been a while since I messed with a Sans Amp, I might have to pick one up again just to see what I have been missing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Well... I guess I am looking for new ways to do old things. Distorted bass tracks but not like a big over the top effect more like a little grit to help the track gel, rough it up a bit you know. As of now I do this with the re-amp track and a pedal and maybe some preamp distortion on the input of the mic track. This works well but I am looking for new tools.
here's a more controllable one that works really well... filter input of a minimoog...

if you wanna get creative you can play the filter and vca like a gate..


tried a culture vulture? vitalizer?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
I track with the OSA MP1-L3 DI which has more low frequency extension (or less mid forward however you want to look at it) than the TG. Then in mix, the D/A of the bass track goes into the line level of the TG Channel in line input (after a CS Trakker or Purple MC77 for compression). Usually it's set at unity level (input at zero, output can vary from unit to unit, run a tone) which gives plenty of growl, but a click or two on the input goes a long way towards getting a nice amount of THD. I do the same thing with guitar amps with the Great River NV/TG Channel, but I'm comfortable tracking with amps as it's pretty easy for me to get them 99% of what I during tracking so it's just fader up during mix.
Very cool.... About the same here but I don't always compress first, YMMV I guess.

So I guess it is cool to hijack my own thread for a minute, how would you compare the Trakker to the MC77? I hear the Purple is allot like an original 1176 and I love 1176 on bass. I have been thinking of a Purple but the Trakker has so many features that it seems like it would be more versatile?
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i've never found anything better than reamping. my fav is a Fender Dual Showman head and dual 15" cabinet, the 'Dick Dale' setup.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
here's a more controllable one that works really well... filter input of a minimoog...

if you wanna get creative you can play the filter and vca like a gate..
That is an interesting idea.... cool.

Quote:
Not yet. The Culture Vulture seems like allot of money for a somewhat limited piece. I know they make great gear but seems kind of one trick pony, maybe a great trick but not something you would pull out for every project. ?? Am I wrong?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rader Ranch
i've never found anything better than reamping. my fav is a Fender Dual Showman head and dual 15" cabinet, the 'Dick Dale' setup.
Yeah I usually use a bass amp but the thread in the so much gear forum on guitar amps for bass got me thinking about that again as well
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I don't think it matters which fuzz it is, when I worked with Mike Stone (Queen), he added MXR Distortion+ on bass.
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Overloading Neve's

Ive plugged in mic amp on my 1066's often to distort for bass, could this possibly be bad for the unit though?

Ive also distorted bass with an LA2A on 100 and 100, is this bad for the circuit? It sounds good to me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
The Culture Vulture seems like allot of money for a somewhat limited piece. I know they make great gear but seems kind of one trick pony, maybe a great trick but not something you would pull out for every project. ?? Am I wrong?
I'd make whole albums with a CV. I'd subtly and not so subtly use it all over the place.. one of my favorite things is "distressing" sounds in new and interesting ways, so this box is right up my alley.

I'd track with it, I'd sweeten with it, I'd also use it on a parallel stem during mixing for depth... so I think I'd get my money's worth.
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Here is something that I find sounds great on bass in the mix. Mult the bass, then send it to a Mesa V Twin guitar pedal, put the pedal on the clean channel, turn up the pre amp gain to something uber conservative like 1.5 / 10 (all eqs at noon for starters). Turn up the master and adjust the pre amp (in VERY small increments) while listening for the sweet spot between tube's subtle compression and where the overdrive starts kicking in and squashes the bass. Bring it back on a seperate track and blend untill you have a smile.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetblack
Here is something that I find sounds great on bass in the mix. Mult the bass, then send it to a Mesa V Twin guitar pedal, put the pedal on the clean channel, turn up the pre amp gain to something uber conservative like 1.5 / 10 (all eqs at noon for starters). Turn up the master and adjust the pre amp (in VERY small increments) while listening for the sweet spot between tube's subtle compression and where the overdrive starts kicking in and squashes the bass. Bring it back on a seperate track and blend untill you have a smile.
Cool.... nice one.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
I'd make whole albums with a CV. I'd subtly and not so subtly use it all over the place.. one of my favorite things is "distressing" sounds in new and interesting ways, so this box is right up my alley.

I'd track with it, I'd sweeten with it, I'd also use it on a parallel stem during mixing for depth... so I think I'd get my money's worth.
Good points... I would like to check it out but it will have to come later, I have other stuff on the list first, this never ends you know.... damn.

LOL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
I hear about the blockfish now and again, I might have to check that out. You use it for anything else?
You probably heard about it from me. I extoll its glory every chance I get. It's a very exciting compressor with lots of color options. And it's one of the rare plugin compressors that actually retains character and useability when you crank it! I love it. Great on bass, drums, vox... anything that needs an edge to it. The saturation is not a toy. Very musical. I recommend all the digitalfishphones stuff... especially cause it's free... I mean, duh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
Hey all.

So what are you using to distort bass tracks for rock? I am not talking distortion like a noticeable effect I am talking more about distortion as a mixing technique.

I suppose most folks are using a Distressor for this but I am wondering what other tricks are out there. I have my little toys for distorting bass tracks but I want to open myself to new things.
Culture Vulture or maybe the Fatso.
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SWR Interstellar Overdrive (tube preamp/EQ/5watts poweramp with EL84/D.I.-doesn't do the dishes) mixed in to taste. Or reamped on a Hiwatt DR 100 with either direct out from the THD hotplate (never more than -8dB attentuation) or mic'd (phasealign or suffer!). Show me a cheaper/easier way to get such tasty OD and I'm gonna use it. Tried plugIns - nope. Tried Sansamp - nope. Tried the Pod - nope. Tried lesser amps - nope.
Didn't try the Hedd or the Distressor...next stop: the Germanium....
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5th April 2006
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I've been using Amplitube, mixed with a clean Sansamp singal. Sounds weird solo'd but sounds great in the mix.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
I have nothing against plugins, if they sound good they they are good right?



I hear about the blockfish now and again, I might have to check that out. You use it for anything else?
I use blockfish on every project, great plug regardless of price (or lack thereof)
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