I need a detuning pedal that sounds normal!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by oldschoolkyle, Feb 19, 2014.


  1. oldschoolkyle

    oldschoolkyle

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    I have the new Whammy Detune pedal so i can tune down to C# in one of my bands... but when you hit a note... it almost pulsates and doesn't sound like a regular downtuned bass. I was hoping it would since I spent $300 on this pedal and it only does the job minimally... I am going into the studio in a month and I am worried the pulsating of the notes will be too much for the stuio...

    anyone know of any great detuning effects i could use?
     
  2. CHILDISHGAMBINO

    CHILDISHGAMBINO

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    Down tune your bass. I don't think you're going to find any pitch shifter that sounds like actual down tuned strings.
     
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    Don't use effects as crutches to compensate for being afraid to leave your comfort zone. Physically tune the string down to C# for best results. Here's how, step by step:

    1. Turn the tuning peg until the string is tuned to C#
     
  4. oldschoolkyle

    oldschoolkyle

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    I used to do that... but I play in 440 (standard) a lot of the time and tuning the entire bass back and forth a couple times a week messes with intonation, neck tension etc. too much...
     
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  6. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    +1
     
  7. oldschoolkyle

    oldschoolkyle

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    you all act like I dont know how to downtune a bass lol

    I know how, but I cannot keep doing this to my bass, it isn't healthy
     
  8. iggy

    iggy

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    I love the step by step instructions. They seem confusing however.
     
  9. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

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    If you just need something for live use, the pitch shift on the Zoom pedals is fairly clean. $99 for the MS-60b, and it also has a Bass Pitch model specifically aimed at monophonic shifting in the bass range.

    Definitely downtune in the studio, though.
     
  10. millahh

    millahh Supporting Member

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    This sounds obvious...but get a dedicated bass for the downtuned work?
     
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    That's just not true, in my very extensive experience. I've been playing in altered tunings for over 20 years and haven't lost a bass yet. The difference in tension between a string tuned to E and a string tuned to C# is well within the design parameters of the instrument. :)

    Anyway, for the $300 you spent on the downtuning pedal without even trying it to see if it would work, you could have gotten a nice second bass, so you can keep one in E tuning and one in C#. I use a $150 SX bass for D tuning and it sounds great. ;)
     
  12. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

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    to this point, nobody has figured out a clever way to suspend the laws of physics. Due to the time needed to determine the exact pitch of the fundamental of a low bass note, there will be processor delay. The higher the note played, the less delay since the pitch waveform is shorter (40hz is a longer wave than 440hz) and thus will take less time for the processor to figure out the note played, and thus transform into another pitch.

    Options:

    - play every note possible WITHOUT the pitch shifting, and only engage the pitch shift for the notes that need to be shifted (you probably don't like that option, but it works if you only have a couple notes to shift, and its better than shifting all notes and dealing with the weird coloration of tone and time lag)

    - play everything an octave higher, with the pitch shift set to drop one octave. (you probably won't like this)

    - get a Hipshot tuner that allows you to mechanically drop your lowest string from "normal" tuning to C# (I have one to drop tune from E to D, and they work very well. The problem will be with picking a string tension that you can live with for both tunings.)

    - get another bass that is set up and tuned for the alternate tuning. If you already spend $300 for the detuner, then you are only a couple hundred short of getting a decent quality used bass for the alt tuning, plus you'll have a backup in case of emergency.

    just my 2 cents.
     
  13. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

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    I have wanted this for years but all the pitch shift I have tried (including the Zoom 60b) pretty much suck.
    The 60b is "passable" at a 1/2 step up or down with drums & guitard ... any more that that & it is toast IMHO
     
  14. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

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    seems a few of you have already made some of my points. It shows that we are all pretty much on the same page with our suggestions...
     
  15. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right? Supporting Member

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    There is no truly great downtuning effect, I'm afraid. I understand your concern here. I don't think it's entirely fair when someone (such as yourself) asks a question like this and they are only given an answer that they had already ruled out. Concerns about intonation, string tension, etc., are totally legit. However, that doesn't mean that the thing you're looking for exists.

    I think the Eventide Pitchfactor does okay at bass frequencies---probably the best I've ever used. But it still doesn't sound exactly like "your bass, only downtuned." There are physical limits to what any downtuning effect can do.
     
  16. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    It is very easy for a trained ear to hear a vocal track that has been "autotuned" less than a half step in a high-end studio using top-of-the-line equipment. So the idea there is an inexpensive bass effect that will change your pitch 3 half steps but you won't be able to hear a difference, I just don't think such a thing exists.

    One thing you could do is speed up the tape when you go to lay down your tracks, so that the song is in E instead of C#. Then you play your bass parts in E. When the track is played back at the proper speed, your bass line will now be slowed down to C#. This might sound a little weird, but it would probably be more natural sounding than a digital effect. (This is assuming you still use analog tape; most studios have gone digital these days.)
     
  17. lz4005

    lz4005

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    You're still playing in 440 when you downtune. That's not what 440 means.
     
  18. CHILDISHGAMBINO

    CHILDISHGAMBINO

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    This is your best option. I didn't mean to sound like a jerk or anything but I have been through this myself and the best solution is a second bass to use for down tuned stuff. Or you could string you 4 string BEAD which will work for the C# stuff and it is still standard tuning but with a low B instead of a G string. BEAD tuning tends to confuse some guitarists who listen with their eyes but it worked for me when I played in a metal band. For the price of a detune pedal you could get a decent used bass or a brand new squier and set it up for C# tuning.
     
  19. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

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    So far :)
     
  20. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

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    Fancy re-tuning pedals (rather than crude flip-flop Octave pedals) have to see one complete cycle before they can track the note. At lower frequencies this cycles are longer, thus it takes longer to come up with the goods. This is why midi guitarists will sometimes string their guitars with only high E strings, so that this latency is less noticeable.
     
  21. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right? Supporting Member

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    I'm pretty sure c=λν isn't going away any time soon. :bag:
     

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