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Almost Perfect Bass Distortion? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4th September 2013
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Almost Perfect Bass Distortion?

Hey, I've been listening to alot of new bands & artist lately. I've been trying to figure out how to get a perfect distortion on bass without making it intolerable. Muse definitely has that tone but I'd love to figure out a tone which is a little less distorted.

I like what this guy has : Daft Punk - Get Lucky // George Barnett cover - YouTube
& this: The Wombats - Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) - YouTube

This is what I have so far: No Cover Charge / Blek / Lord Inside / Shaa'ir + Func
(Skip to 0.52)

Live I use a big muff bass pedal. I'd love if I could get suggestions for live as well as production scenarios. My main problem is that either the tone gets too distorted & there's no bass.. or theres no bass & only treble/mids left.

How do you maintain the balance? what software, pedal or gear do I use?
Old 4th September 2013
Gear maniac
I used to be a bass tone junky and always searching for that perfect distortion. I got into mixing and starting recording clean bass direct or micing an amp if direct wasn't working.

What I started doing was duplicating my clean bass track and slapping a distortion plugin on the double. I would high pass the low end out on the double and trash it with distortion, bring the distortion track down and then blend to taste with the clean bass.

There are a ton of plugins that are usable for distortion. I use the Massey THC a lot, Sans amp can work, decapitator, stock Distortion plugins can work fine. I mix in Pro Tools.
Old 4th September 2013
Blast9's Avatar
Definitely the secret is to blend.

The Wombats track is more P Bass with new strings/slight overdrive/SVT vibe rather than distortion. Scoop out the mids with EQ or engage the "deep switch" on your amp.

You could do that with a pedal like the Fulltone Bass Drive pedal. Brilliant pedal! It has a clean blend in there.

The Daft Punk tune is bass synth. You could get there with Big Muff and filter/synth pedal, again clean signal blended in there.
Old 4th September 2013
Lives for gear
LoFi_By_Choice's Avatar

Oddly enough, one of favorite pedals for bass distortion is a DOD Classic Fuzz.
Old 4th September 2013
I have a lot of luck with my Russian Big Muff.

Another thing I have luck with is over-driving a 1x12 guitar combo (fender deluxe 112) and blending that in with a DI. I always do it by reamp though.
Old 4th September 2013
Lives for gear
Unclenny's Avatar
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
Another thing I have luck with is over-driving a 1x12 guitar combo (fender deluxe 112)
There was another thread where this came up......can't recall. But that is the exact amp I use for this.........solid state.

Sometimes it's just right.
Old 5th September 2013
Lives for gear
rez's Avatar
for di bass i just love the overdrive on my sansamp bass driver, but if i need clean low end and some distortion in the mid frequencies i also double the track and hi/low pass them and then use the distortion only on the hi portion.
this technique is also fantastic to get your bass to be audible on tiny laptop speakers!
Old 5th September 2013
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
There was another thread where this came up......can't recall. But that is the exact amp I use for this.........solid state.

Sometimes it's just right.
I also love it for punk guitars. There's a weird mushiness that still retains definition with SS that my egnater in the same capacity lacks. It just growls.

I'm no tube purist by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a "record re-amped options by the dozen" kinda guy. Not a fun time to hang around the studio.

I keep all of my amps stacked up in a closet for close-mic sounds but when I'm in total reamp mode, it becomes hours of lifting, settings, printing etc. breaking the setup down and putting everything away is equally tiring and heavy without the energizing mad-scientist approach. You can't even appreciate 90% of the options until you've slept on it. Then, when I load 16 options onto my desk and play "mix and match," it's even more grueling.

Maybe one day I'll change next record is my jazz trio where I'm going to do everything live to 2 with no reamping, no overdubs, minimal editing. The hardest part is preproduction where I'm playing every guitar through every amp trying to find "my" sound...
Old 6th September 2013
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Thanks guys. Im going to try some of these methods & see what I like.
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