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Any suggestions on punchy metal sound?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DarkArchitect, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Hi all, this is my first thread. I am an old school metalhead that has been playing bass for a long time and then had to quit quite sometime due to relocation, job, private life etc. Recently I decided to make a comeback and bought myself gear which I can call quite decent as follows:

    Ibanez BTB 675 NTF 5 string bass (strings are Elixir)
    Marshall MB30 for home practicing
    Digitech BP355 processor

    I have been practicing and trying different settings on my gear, but can't say that I have found exactly the sound I am looking for. Below is an example of the sound I am trying to achieve on bass (group Vendetta, album Brain Damage)

    I am playing with fingers (sort of taboo for me, never want to use a pick) and I do not like to use distortion. I like chorus effect and that punchy sound like in the link above. I know that equalizer setting play a great role in achieving the sound and I usually cut the mids down.

    Any suggestion to achieve such sound? What are the key aspects of settings of effects, amp, bass to receive such sound?

    I appreciate any help, thanks.
  2. Don't quote me on this as could vary from amp to bass eq etc but the intro is Almost a semi scooped tone? But to get that on mine I'd leave everything flat, bump the low mids on my bass (ibanez k5) and then slightly bump low and then High's? The k5 eq is not a usual eq depending where the mids knob is though and my genz Benz I don't touch most the knobs but use the high accent button to get my tone... ( I slap in some parts of my metal band)

    @Proton Lenny gets a similar sound in some of his demo's although that could just be my ears... ?
  3. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Punch is usually a bump up in the lower mids, so don't automatically cut them out.
    the_Ryan likes this.
  4. Bassgeer


    Nov 6, 2011
    Darkglass is pretty much the definition of punchy metal sound. And clanky metal sound. And grungy metal sound. There are alot of other great pedals out there but for me, when I think metal I think Darkglass. Cog effects makes some pretty sick stuff too, their Knightfall overdrive looks amazing.
    gregmon79, noahw1, bjelkeman and 7 others like this.
  5. A comp might help punch through, key words being "help" and "might". Your mileage may vary depending on how hard you stomp on the GAS...
  6. Wow, looks like I have been away quite for a while, did not know about Darkglass, checked them on the internet and sounds really nice like this...

    I will try bumping up the lower mids, let's see...

    And thanks all for the replies!
  7. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
  8. Crazy Otto

    Crazy Otto Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2016
    I know you said you don't want distortion, but....I can vouch for the Cog Knightfall (the pre-production diodes version, anyway) -- the clean blend on it is the critical ingredient. Don't care for the mids on Darkglass stuff, and it's also VERY expensive.
    DarkArchitect and Driven Crane like this.
  9. Yes, I have noticed that Darkglass is quite pricey, almost double what I have paid for BP355, I have no rush, will keep on trying on BP355 to get some decent sound, it has so many parameters and finding what you want definitely takes time.
    I am not totally against distortion unless it sounds nice, like on Darkglass and Okko ;) Need to add a bit maybe, not going to extremes, a bass should sound like a bass imho ...
    theunknowndude likes this.
  10. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    Can I throw in here and suggest that a change in strings might help you no end.
    I had trouble with punch when I used the elixirs on my ibanez btb5. Once I put some roto sound swing bass on there it cut and punched beautifully
  11. That's something I definitely will give a try. Long time ago I used Rotosound on my 4 string Washburn and I remember they were quite nice. Trying to decide between Rotosound and D'addario at the moment. Given the cost, this is quite cheaper thing to try, but still there are things to deal with in the gear, equalizer settings in the first place...
  12. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I had a BP355 back in the day when I first go into effects. I now have around 30 stompboxes. I also own a Darkglass B3K and a VMT. The B3K is well worth the price and will sound much better than anything the BP355 has to offer OD/Distortion wise. The BP355 is all digital while the Darkglass is analog.
    DarkArchitect and FaithNoMan like this.
  13. When I used to play along Anthrax Sound of White
    You can get a B3K on the used market as well.
    DarkArchitect likes this.
  14. I am an old school metal player myself. Very old. And metal taught me to play. I play a ton of music now, but I still perform metal classics regularly. I use SWR gear, not known necessarily for their big metal sound, so I add a bit of overdrive to my sound. My secret weapon in this is a 1992 Tubeworks Blue Tube pedal. It isn't distortion. I am not a fan of distorted bass. In a mix, I use this pedal to manipulate my fidelity. A SLIGHTLY overdriven tone sounds clean in a mix, tho I know it is not. But it takes my extreme highs and lows and muddies them a bit. I've never changed the tube in it, so it also adds a slight compression at the attack of my notes. Very convincing old school tone from a very modern sounding amp. Overdrive, not distortion, helped me achieve a sound that I was lookin to apply to my rock and metal shows.
  15. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Do you intend to play in the bedroom all by yourself or do you want to cut through the mix?
    Those are two completely different animals. Nice and punchy sound at home means scooped mids. This makes the bass sound fuller and richer at lower volumes.
    In band context, you'll be inaudible unless you turn up the amp until you drown out everything else. This is what the mids are for.
    Whenever i take a head home from band practice, i to up on the lows and way back on the mids for home practice.
  16. rodv66


    Jul 4, 2016
    Damm love that darkglass. Gotta get the wife to buy me one for my birthday. Hurry up September.
    DarkArchitect likes this.
  17. mimsy89


    Oct 17, 2013
    This 1000% - i personally like a bit of grit/distortion on my bass but an overdrive with a good blend option will be ideal to help punch through but not be too overbearing. look for a patch on the digitech that has a blend option you'll be surprised how much of a difference it can make
  18. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I'm going to disagree with some of the posts here. That tone has only a light amount of tube grit. You don't need a heavy over drive to get that sound, just some good gain.
    A bright, tight stainless steel round wound string would be good. Maybe look at D'Addario steels or DR Lo-Riders.
    For that tone DO NOT scoop you mids. The attack you hear is the high mids.
    Have your neck as nearly straight as possible, dig in, and adjust you pickups so when you hit the strings hard it is bouncing off the last fret not the pickup.
    Dilbert, DarkArchitect and Crazy Otto like this.
  19. blacktocomm


    Feb 19, 2013
    You might wanna check out a Blower Box. Very wallet friendly and I personally prefer its sound over a Darkglass.

    Bassgeer and DarkArchitect like this.
  20. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    Yep, don't rule out a compressor for metal. they can give an agreeable chewiness that is not unlike overdrive, but without the saturation. works well with aggressive fingerstyle.

    YMMV blah blah :)
    Swimming Bird and DarkArchitect like this.

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