Guitar pedals OR Pre-amps for bass

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by The Scenic View, May 24, 2019.

  1. The Scenic View

    The Scenic View GARBAGE DAY!!!!!!!!!

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    Hey everyone I'm mainly a guitar player, but have always fiddled with bass - and blending bass with guitar pre-amp or distortion pedals. I've recently gotten ahold of a Revv G3 and couldn't help but try it with my bass. To say the least this pedal rules and it'll be on my pedalboard rig very soon. What are your thoughts on guitar pedals as distortion or a preamp for bass? Hear it below!

    Signal: Yamaha BB415 -> Revv G3 -> Scarlett 2i2 -> Two Notes WoS

     
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  2. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    That's a great sounding distortion for bass. Personally, I'd find a way to blend a little low-passed clean signal with the drive sound to give it a bit more girth without affecting the gain.

    I've recorded a few tracks with an MXR Distortion+ from the '80s or '90s. It had a really cool breakup but sucked out a lot of low end. Luckily, I recorded a DI signal concurrently and we were able to mix the two in the studio.
     
  3. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    I was thinking the same. That's why I asked you on Facebook what the signal chain was as I was wondering if you had some clean blend in there or anything. My instinct would be to blend it with some clean signal , a little of which has no cab sim too. That's how I generally roll. But this sounds amazing for straight up G3. I'm definitely going to give my G3 a go on bass ! Thanks for the idea
     
  4. Ed Fry

    Ed Fry Member

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    I only saw this doing my daily search for Focusrite to provide support where needed, but this sounds great.

    I have the same pedal board for guitar and bass just set up in my studio (I don't gig much) and some guitar effects work quite well, Tube Screamers, for example, keep a lot of the clean sound and just add on top. Also, a little reverb can help a lot I find, perhaps not in tracks like this but I do like a little dash.

    It's a distortion pedals don't have a clean/dirty out more often to cater for people that like going to amps in that way and record the clean sound for reamping.

    Ed F // Focusrite Technical Support
     
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  5. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    For my 'main' pedal I use a Tech 21 VTBass DI. I have had decent results with a Fulltone GT-500 and Bogner Ecstacy Red but as you said, they kind of just don't 'sound right'. That's where the VT Bass comes in, it's almost like an eq/pre amp kind of pedal that gives you back the low end & 'body' that guitar pedals tend to cut out.
     
  6. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    I don't really use pedals for a bass sound. I experimented with it sometimes and I did find that a distorted sound isn't down my alley. A passed clean is a must imo. Have you tried a fuzz pedal? It tends to work better with bass.
     
  7. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    I don't use that amount of distortion either but I do like a bit of 'grind' in my tone for sure. This is a couple of really good examples:



     
  8. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    Guitar pedals sound cool on bass, but they suck all the life out of it. It does the same to guitars, but they can get away with it because they have a bass player helping maintain dynamics and holding down the low end.

    When the bassist does it there’s no one holding it down for him and you can feel the power and impact get sucked out of the band when the pedal is turned on. To compensate, most bassists that do this will blend clean and dirt together to get the harmonics while maintaining dynamics and low end. Two tracks in the studio, two amp rigs live on the high budget end, or a pedal with a blend knob on the low budget end.

    In the OPs case, he’s basically playing rhythm guitar on a bass, so it sounds like a cool rhythm guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  9. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    if you're not familiar with this you might want to check it out : http://www.tronographic.com/rustybox.html
     
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  10. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    Actually I get a bit of 'grind' without a pedal. I have a Dingwall combustion 5 with a darkglass preamp straight into a TC electronic RH450 an RS210. With the right setting I can get the same sound as that first video by Tar.
     
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  11. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    Exactly what Screamingdaisy said.. If you listen to the basses in Muse and Royal Blood, you can hear that they both rely heavily on bass with lots of fx. They also both split the bass in 2 lines because the fx bass alone doesn't stand out. Royal Blood uses a guitar amp for the fx bass if I'm not mistaken.
    A Boss LS-2 line selector (or similar pedals) are REALLY helpful to get a fx bass sound while still retaining the bass in your mix.
     
  12. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    I've seen the Rusty Box around and have been tempted a few times to snag one but since I'm not in a band anymore, I can get pretty decent tones out of the pedals & plugins I have at home.

    Those Darkglass pedals are pretty impressive to say the least. Sadly, so is their price tag ... :( That being said, running my Tech21 VT Bass into a Zoom B3 (that has more than a handful of eq pedals in it), I was pretty bang on as well. I'm sure if I ran it through my bass rig (Mark Bass LMII into a Peavey TVX 4x10), it would knock my socks off but the room where I have my music stuff is pretty small & I can't turn it much past 2 without everything shaking.. lol..
     
  13. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    No no, not a Darkglass pedal, the built-in preamp. I think it is called the tone capsule. :D
    I have the most basic setup, just one bass guitar and an amp with a 2x10cab
     
  14. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    Gotcha. :agreed:

    I never knew they made a pre-amp circuit for basses, which is why I assumed it was a pedal. Learn somethin' new every day.. ;)
     
  15. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    I agree on some guitar dirt pedals but sacrifices a lot of the low end. I was using a Boss DS1 over a decade ago before switching to a Vox Satchurator. That was the closest pedal I had to maintaining some of the low frequencies. It was good enough for live shows especially for all the effects heavy stuff I was doing.

    Recording wise, I ended up recreating it by splitting it with a clean signal but the dirty sound was from the orange channel of my Peavey Triple XXX. This was that recording, the distortion is all over the 2 bass solos.



    After that I stopped recording distorted tones that way. Record through a preamp before the head/cab so I have 2 signals (sometimes split the pre so I have 3). It's much easier and it gives me more options if I want to change my mind.

    Nowadays I've dived headfirst into the Darkglass train. First replacing the Vox with a B7K Ultra, then eventually my Hartke head with a Microtubes 900. Perhaps it's overkill, but I guess that's just my guitar playing roots. I do keep the blend at 50% so at least I still keep the clean low end when adding mild drive, then just kick in the pedal for full grind. Recently I've been using a One Control Crimson Bass Preamp to smooth down the grit of the Microtubes for a more 60s meets dub sound, as well as a Duality for fuzz tones.

    Most recently, for recordings, I've gone as far as keeping the amp settings dead flat (5) and just shape the whole tone on post. This is the latest result:



    I was floored by what my co-producer did with the bass tone, and I was shocked that it was just a compressor ran at super high settings. Should this band perform live, it'll be fun to recreate that tone.
     
  16. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    More and more, I’m starting to feel that a good heavy bass tone is more about the EQ than distortion. So long as the pick attack and/or fret clank is audible it’s going to sound aggressive if you play aggressive.
     
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  17. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    That's why if I do use an od pedal of some kind, I have the VT Bass and or B3 after it to tweak the frequencies to where they should be. In as much as I would love to have a Darkglass pedal, they're too expensive for just messing around with at home. If I were still in a band, I'd probably consider getting one but for now, the pedals I have seem to get the job done.
     
  18. Bloody_Inferno

    Bloody_Inferno Silence is Violence

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    Oh absolutely. Which is why my co-producer and I insist to record on flat settings and tweak later. I didn't understand it at first but realised all the possibilities.

    Granted that I also had to pull my weight and make sure I played my best. That and picked as hard as possible.

    Also while expensive gear is nice, it's not necessary to achieve the sound you want. My pre Darkglass tone:



    That was just a cheap Ibanez SR through an MXR Bass DI+ with my old Hartke head/Sovtek cab. Split 3 signals and the extreme compression settings.
     
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  19. Merrekof

    Merrekof SS.org Regular

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    I found myself in a similar position a couple of years ago.. I fiddled around with different basses, amps and pedals to get that growling, grinding bass tone and I never really got it.
    The most important part in my chain was eventually the Dingwall Comb5 with a Darkglass 3 band EQ preamp. That was basically a huge, HUGE step up. It made every od, dist, fuzz, eq,.. pedal completely obsolete for me. Before I played with an LTD B5-E, Sandberg TM2, Ibanez SRX595, BC Rich NJ beast,.. none of them even came close to the Dingwall.
    There is probably other gear out there that will also get the job done, I just wouldn't know what. :)
     
  20. Screamingdaisy

    Screamingdaisy SS.org Regular

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    A couple for me...

    - Mesa PH410, which puts the highs in the right spot and dishes out Justin Chancellor for me more or less regardless of what I plug into it, and

    - SVT/810e. The original growling, grinding bass tone. I avoided this one for awhile because I wanted to a be a bit more unique, but it eventually sank in that this was the sound I was going for and I was making it way harder than it needed to be.
     

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