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Old 5th September 2019
Here for the gear
Nightmare Circus's Avatar

Rock/Metal Bass Tone

How do you get it? From what I've seen it's super common in metal at least to just convert the bass to midi and use a VST but I'm trying to avoid that if possible.

I have an ESP LTD F-404FM Bass with EMG40DCs, brand new strings, perfect setup and intonation, running it straight into my DI Box as hot as I can get it without clipping.

I've tried various versions of the "split bass technique" these include:


Low Track: Low Passed somewhere between 100-300 Hz
Dist Track: High passed somewhere between 600-1k Heavy distortion

Blend those to get your tone


Same as above but duplicate it yet again and use that track exclusively for the mid range


Take the original DI and scoop it heavily from 500-1.5k then take your duplicate and HP/LP it from 500 - 1.5k and distort that

As far as processing/EQ goes. I've tried slamming it hard with compression, limiting the low end track to never move. On the buss slam it again with compression and various different EQ situations. Typically High pass somewhere between 60-90hz and low pass at 5k. I've tried cutting 250hz heavily, 150 hz heavily (my pickups really want to live here), "smiley face" eq, bell boosting the lows (somewhere between 80hz-130hz) while cutting the "mud" 200-300hz. I have also tried using a hardware sansamp and running the DI out of my bass head into the interface and i can't dial in anything useful with those.

Basically I've tried just about everything on the internet and im still not getting a desirable result. At this point Im just feeling like I have to blame the pickups, even though my bass sounds incredible through my live rig. Is it the EMGs? Any tips appreciated. For references here is a link to a google drive with 4 rough mix tracks.