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Ambient "post rock" effects?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by crispy_unknown, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. crispy_unknown


    May 9, 2005
    Hi, I've just started a new band which is focussing on heavyish post rock alla this will destroy you, russian circles, if these trees could talk, caspian, the heavier side of godspeed you black emperor etc.

    There are 3 guitarists using all kinds of effects but mostly reverb and delay and I just dont fit into the mix, I use an Ashdown ABM preamp which is just sounds so... clear? clean? Not sure how to describe it. It seems to sound ok when I give it some valve drive, kill the treble and boost the mid lows but it doesnt quite hit the spot.

    My question is what is there I can use to fit in with ambiant reverby, ebow guitar wailing without sitting on the top of the mix or turning myself right down? Ive been after a compression pedal for some time to crunch my sound a little so thats on the list but is there anything else? It seems as though my fundamental tone itsnt really suited. I know nothing about effects so really dont know what im asking, appologies! Any advice would be great guys.
  2. You could try using dirt pedals: overdrive/distortion or even fuzz. Just a tad of overdrive might put you right back into the mix and help you match the overall sound of the band better.

    Now before you ask 'which overdrive pedal': there are hunderds of threads on 'the best overdrive pedal' to be found in these forums, often with soundclips. So use the search function, read, listen and learn.

    One of the most important features of an FX pedal for bass is that it retains the low end well, so that your pumping bass line doesn't disappear the moment you kick the effect on. So if you go into a music shop and try a few pedals, try to look out for that.
  3. VisualShock


    Feb 19, 2008
    North Wales
    a very slow panning wah (crybaby bass wah) might do something to help. also look for a tap-tempo delay that you can use for a 1-slapback sound (see Tool - Disposition)
  4. crispy_unknown


    May 9, 2005
    Thanks guys, now I have some stuff to investigate! Think I'll hover around this forum for awhile having a read...
  5. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Inactive

    Nov 8, 2007
    If you've got three guitars covering the spacey, ambient sector, I would focus on shaping your tone to cover the other end of the spectrum--the dark and the ominous.

    The first thing that springs to my mind is something like the Devi Ever dark boost, but YMMV.
  6. ItsMichaelYeah


    Jun 4, 2008
    I'm On the same Boat Starting an Ambient post rock/ Instrumental band. I'm using a Musket to cut right through in certain parts. I'm also using more reverb than delay. you might also want to look into an octave pedal to help those lows. I use a Compressor pedal all the time. I also run through a ampeg SVT-CL. I must say I feel really good with how my stuff sounds in the mix of it all.

    3 guitarist is a hard thing to battle.
  7. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Fuzzzzzzzzz! And excessive volume!

    If you're looking to fill up the mix, turn up the fuzz until you feel you start losing definition in the notes, then back it off just a tad. It may sound funny on it's own at first, but trust me, in the mix it will sound so goooooood! If you can find a fuzz with a clean blend, that might be a good thing too, but I've never tried it. When I want to cut through a little more, I just turn the fuzz off, and my bass/amp does the rest.

    As for volume, I usually turn it up until my drummer starts complaining and I can feel it in my stomach.
  8. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    interesting thread.
  9. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    When I think of bass in most post-rock songs I think of a tube tone, with the SVT showing up quite often.

    Before getting into effects, I think you may want to consider whether your basic tone fits. You could move to an all tube amp (the SVT is the torchbearer but the Peavey VB-2 is more affordable and would probably fit the bill) or a tubey sounding hybrid like the Mesa Walkabout.

    Or you could keep your current rig and give it the SVT flavor with a Tech 21 VT Bass pedal.

    After you get your basic tone more in line with the sound you want you could further experiment with effects if need be.
  10. PunkRocker33133

    PunkRocker33133 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    Northern VA
    My hardcore band has moments like this, and right now I'm using a Peavey VB-2 into a cheap Peavey 215, with a Fuzzrocious Grey Stache on all the time, a Boss FZ-2 for really heavy stuff, and a Boss RV-3 for reverbs
  11. I'm not exactly in an "ambient" band, but my post-hardcore band has some sort of ambient moments. Those usually involve one guitarist chugging away while one does delayed ambient stuff over the top of it. Depending on the song, I'll throw in delay, sub-octave, chorus, etc. I always run some overdrive, courtesy of my Tech21 VT bass, and compression from my Symetrix 501 as well.
  12. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Very good advise!
  13. A nice warm distortion (so yea tube amp would be best) and lots and lots of delay. You may want to look into a volume pedal to accompany the delay so you can fade in noise and do swells and that kind of thing, used to work a treat for me.
  14. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
  15. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    My thoughts exactly...

    Crispy, think about it: If your band already has three guitarists :)eek:), filling up the air with all manner of effects, then how can you ever hope to find your own sonic space amongst them ...by relying chiefly upon effects? :eyebrow:

    Instead of trying to compete with the guitarists on their territory, distinguish your sound by going in the other direction - by going where only the bass can go (but not the guitarists): deep, phat, super-powerful, etc. Only then, as Jared suggests, experiment with "seasoning" your tone, using effects as necessary...

  16. Superdave


    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm going to have to agree; with everyone else out there in the stratosphere, you need to be grounding everything with the drums. I'd look into overdrives and fuzzes, but stay away from delays and reverbs for now. Once you get that bass tone locked in, you can work other pedals in.

    As far as specific dirt pedals, I've always heard good things about the Fulltone OCD, the Fulltone Bass Drive, EHX Bass Big Muffs, and Proco Rats (if it's with the LM308 chip the better).
  17. crispy_unknown


    May 9, 2005
    Thanks guys! I like the general consensus to throw out the effects and work on my tone because, to be honest, it looks like a damn minefield. I'd rather spend my time playing then researching strange noises like I have for the last hour or two.

    But I couldnt possibly get rid of the ABM, I know it inside and out, after 5 years it really is second nature using it and outside of this band, I just really love the tone. Plus I still havent come across anything with an EQ as simple and flexible as this. Besides, there is no way I could afford a new amp, I can barely cover food and rent this month!

    I digress, anyway this Tech 21 has come up a few times in this thread and around the inter webs and doesnt seem to cost the earth so I might poke my nose into that. Turn a few nobs and it sounds like a dirty fat tube amp and I dont need to get rid of the beloved ABM or slip a disk carrying said dirty fat tube amp? spot on. Screw compression, delay, reverb etc I'll see what happens with that and go from there.

    Thanks guys, now to wait until pay day...
  18. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    A good fuzz, a simple analog delay and a wah pedal will take you anywhere you need to go.
  19. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    Sounds like a VT bass is a good option to explore. I also recommend the digitech Bad Monkey, gives some really beefy yet defined overdrive. Also, when EQ'ing your amp (or pedals should you go that route) be sure to keep some solid mids in there. This will help you fill in your own niche in the mix.
  20. blastjv


    Jan 8, 2010
    Philly Area
    I guess the valve drive on the ABM doesn't do it for you? I had heard great things about them, but never tried one myself. Almost bought one once to check out, but deal didn't happen. I would have thought that the OD that is supposed to provide would get you at least close to where you want to go....

    I think you're on the right track though...


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