How to get a punchy sound on bass

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Joey77, May 15, 2011.


  1. Joey77

    Joey77

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    Does anyone know how I could get a punchy sound out my bass but yet also clear enough to cut through?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. joshwilkesbooth

    joshwilkesbooth

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can anyone tell me what the best bass is for metal?

    Thanks :)
     
    Sartori likes this.
  3. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    Low mids. Emphasize 'em. For punch, I use rotosound 77's too.
     
    Sartori likes this.
  4. rpsands

    rpsands

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9,930
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Link an example of what you want to sound like :)
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    BC Rich Warlock. Next question.
     
  7. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN" Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    MEXICANADAMERICA
    play closer to the bridge and dig in alittle.
     
    Sartori likes this.
  8. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    8,751
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Uhm... not really... funny in this particular instance. I'm not even going to reward you attempt points.

    A lot of this is going to be technique / hand placement. EQ really won't get you "punch", per se. Good cabs help, though there's no hard and fast rule that xx type of cab is punchier than yy.

    The above is in my limited experience. Also, for me, rounds seem to get me more punch than flats. But, YMMV, and I'm sure someone has a bass that punches gorillas in the face with flats.
     
    Sartori likes this.
  9. gumtown

    gumtown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,120
    Location:
    New Zealand
    New strings and hard picks.

    What sort of punchy? To me that would be using the likes of an active bass through an Ampeg SVT amp..
     
  10. gumtown

    gumtown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,120
    Location:
    New Zealand
    ???:rollno:
     
  11. Joey77

    Joey77

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    29
    alright thnks guys but what did u mean about dig in a little pacojas? Also the sort of punchy tht I like is like duff mckagan (back in gnr days) or flea or even geddy lee's present sound. :)
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    32,930
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Give us your definition of "punchy." As rpsands said, give us a link to a sample. Otherwise, nothing you read here will have any meaning whatsoever.
     
    hsech likes this.
  13. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    Not sure if you realized, but that was a sarcastic comment to a sarcastic "best bass for metal" question, not the OP's punchiness query.
     
  14. Joey77

    Joey77

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    29
  15. gumtown

    gumtown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,120
    Location:
    New Zealand
  16. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Messages:
    8,751
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    You realize a lot of that is kick drum, right?
     
  17. gumtown

    gumtown Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    1,120
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Yeah I know :smug:
     
  18. Russell L

    Russell L

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
    4,575
    Location:
    Cayce, SC
    Aw, I know what you mean---punchy. Well, I had it tonight running the 15" in my Trace Elliot GP7 combo as an extra speaker for my Markbass 121H combo. The best sound I had all night was with the Little Mark II amp set flat while playing my '88 Jazz Bass Special only on the Precision pickup. (Ya'll stop and try to imagine that set-up, think about it). What I think of as punchy has only a moderate amount of lows below 100Hz, or so. On my Trace amp one of the sliders is 100z, and it's the one I boost, not the 50z beside it. I leave it flat. On other amps, it's the knob labelled "Low Mids" that gets used to get punch, but the frequency varies from amp to amp. For instance, I can't get 100z anywhere on my LMII, unless it's caught somewhere in the shape filters (VLE and VPF). Low mid knob is centered at 360Hz. Got to admit, that old inexpensive JB Special has some punch of its own, so you never know if it's the instrument you're playing that is what's giving you punch, or keeping you from getting it.

    Everybody wants punch. As a general rule, I'd say start flat and bump up whatever you have for Low Mid, and see what you get (maybe 2:00 on an active knob). Maybe add to that only half as much Low. The High Mids and Highs might be distracting, so you might wanna drop some of them a tad. Besides, when you get through with finding your punch, you will have to begin seeing how the heck to figure your philosophy of how you want your Highs.

    About the best I can tell ya.
     
    Sartori likes this.
  19. SMILEYSIXX

    SMILEYSIXX

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,615
    When I tthink of quality punchy bass tone, GNR definitely is not what comes to mind, but to each his own, I suppose.
     
  20. Joey77

    Joey77

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    29
  21. PaulMacCnj

    PaulMacCnj

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    1,507
    Location:
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    A punchy sound to me means....

    Use a bolt-on neck bass.
    Use higher tension strings.
    Use a compressor.
    Play closer to the bridge.
    Use a pick.
    Maybe even use flatwound strings.

    I say maybe on the flatwounds because you can still get a lot of punch from roundwounds using the other things mentioned.
     

Share This Page