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Ballsy Distortion/overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Andii Syckz, Jan 10, 2021.

  1. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    Been a long time since i started any new thread - though i seek guidance in the world of distortion/overdrive. Let me explain a few things:

    This is my current pedalboard. Signal chain is as follows:
    Bass > Tc Ditto Loop pedal > EB Jr. Vol > Digiflex passive DI box^ > MXR 10 band EQ > Afterglow chorus > 6 band EQ > fx loop box* > amp

    *Fx loop box send > MXR Bass D.I.+ > DOD 250 Drive > Fx loop box return.
    ^The Digiflex DI Box is to send my clean un-affected bass signal to front of house during gigs, or a second track during recording.

    I'm seeking out a driven tone such as these:

    I've played a few other drive/distortion pedals that i got kicking around such as an 86 boss DS1, Proco Rat new gen, & even tried a boost for kicks. The DS1 surprised me - the distortion was nice & even with the tone control slightly boosted, it wasn't harsh sounding as it can be on guitar. The RAT is a classic & definitely works, though if i were to do the rat circuit - i'd opt for the idiotbox blowerbox bass to keep the low end in my signal.

    I'm not much of a fuzz bass player, however i did acquire a way huge swollen pickle which i still need to fiddle around to find a good balance of settings (between the multitude of basses i have). So this is an option of mine, though perhaps more later than a now tone.

    The DOD 250 is cool for low drive to insane crunch, while the MXR bass D.i.+ distortion is kinda hit & mis. Sometimes it sounds gnarly, other times its hard to dial in (this is not because of the two EQ pedals that are set as such. The 10 band helps keep the output levelled when changing basses, while the 6 band helps the chorus shine through a bit more). However i might swap the chorus out for something completely different but thats another time.

    Any & all suggestions are welcome, from the common & known, to the obscure (not necessarily rare). Be it Bass specific or more for guitar, no matter to me.
  2. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    NIN use a Perscription Electronics Depth Charge (a Super fuzz varient), along with some others and a sansamp and Black flag was a cranked amp.
    Quite different sounds but using what you already have, the RAT is suprisingly versatile, from OD to fuzz territory.
    Move the 6 band EQ into the dirty channel after your RAT to boost the low end and experiment with the mids.

    Just to add...
    You could run the MXR M80 in conjunction with the RAT to accomplish the above if you wanted to keep the 6 band for the chorus.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  3. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm aware these multitude of videos are of different drive/distortion sounds as youve stated. Funny as i had bought the 6 band to actually be part of the dirt channel but somehow it sounded better right before. I'll have to test it again & see the variants. Also true for the Proco Rat with the M80.

    It's going to be lots of testing with my amps & gear altogether to find a sound relatively close to the above tones. Guess I'm not far off of the idiotbox blowerbox if ever xD
  4. expatmuso


    Sep 3, 2015
    Earthquaker Devices Westwood might help you. I haven't owned that many dirt pedals, I just picked up the Westwood. It's considered a middle gain pedal. I found it has a huge amount of headroom and a powerful EQ (bass and treble) which allows for a lot of versatility.

    will503 and Andii Syckz like this.
  5. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    @expatmuso - will keep this in mind, however i've tried a few TS variants (somehow not this one though), & was never all that more impressed. They were good, but not what i thought worth having for my bass. But will check this one out, maybe i'll have new light on TS circuit x)
    expatmuso likes this.
  6. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Ever tried an amp simulator like the various Tech21 Sansamp models, or modelling like the Line6 Helix HX Stomp?
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  7. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    I've tried a few tech21 amp sim pedals - I liked the vt bass & was even considering it, or if need be i'd settle for the Bass driver v2. The Helix would be the all in one package deal & although cool, i kinda like opting for a few key pedals in my rig to add their own flavour. I've got a good direct bass tone with my amps, not really looking to sound like bassmans or svts persay. Just wondering about a good all out distortion that's close in tones to the videos mentionned.

    However, i will say that NIN happiness in slavery i gotta mess around with my boss hyper fuzz & see how i can get that tone (though i mainly use it in my guitar rig).
  8. JCooper


    Oct 21, 2009
    I used to have and enjoy a DOD 250 (why’d I get rid of it?), and I feel like between that and creative use of some EQ you’re most of the way, if not all the way, there.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  9. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    A clean Blend with a bass boost after the RAT is also the set up used by Justin Chancellor (if you're a Tool fan), a beast of a bass tone.
    Otherwise try an OCD clone, another one that can go from overdrive to a really dirty almost fuzz and holds bass well.

    I've been looking for a NIN inspired tone recently and I've had success with either an OCD or TC Electronics MojoMojo into an M80+.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  10. gpTron


    Dec 15, 2020
    VT Bass. I think that's what JMJ used in those live sessions. At least I remember him posting that here.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  11. Andii Syckz

    Andii Syckz

    Jan 2, 2011
    I feel i can too! The DOD kicks @$$ & it does have a great range. I think my grippe is more with my mxr m80's distortion channel. As stated, sometimes its awesome, others its lacking.

    Had contemplated the mojomojo for sometime - however after getting the 6 band EQ, I didnt see the need. + the dod 250 does a lot already on its own - little eq shaping (post or pre) greatly gets it ahead of most that ive tried.

    Played the OCD & clones, good but again, with a little tweaks, i can get close.

    Looking into a clean blend option (if that can save me from using two amps/cabinet setup). Any recommendations?

    +1 on my own vote for that sansamp preamp pedal - might try to find one & have it in my rotation of pedals
  12. Greg75

    Greg75 Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Smallsound/Bigsound Mini -- covers everything from boost to bias-controlled overdrive to fuzz to grind/distortion. Separate levels for clean and dirt. Huge range in all adjustments. Pedalboard friendly footprint.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  13. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I'm not an expert on dirt, but this reminds me of a nice tube drive, fairly organic. Not modern in it's character.

    I really feel that a joyo California sound can get you there with the right bass and attack. I used one today with my thunderbird (like the NIN video you supplied) and it provided that sort of sound, and on the cheap. If it fails to meet your expectations, you are likely not going to lose money.

    Andii Syckz likes this.
  14. I can get the sound of the first NIN song with the Sansamp Bass Driver, and although the Black Flag bass tone is an overdriven amp, I get it stacking an Xotic Bass BB at very low gain before the sansamp.
    Andii Syckz and Rich67 like this.
  15. Bass Jones

    Bass Jones Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2018
    Austin, Texas
    I've been tempted to try out the Pork & Pickle...

    Andii Syckz and dedpool1052 like this.
  16. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    I'm very happy with mine.
    Between the outboard controls, and internal trimpots, it's incredibly tweakable.
    Bass Jones likes this.
  17. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    It took me a while to jump into this, but I’d been looking at the Hilbish Pessimiser for a while and I’m glad I finally got one. I think it can get you some of what you’re after, but it won’t do it all. It’s got a clean blend, and an active EQ section. Even at minimal blend and the lowest gain setting you’re gonna get quite a bit of distortion on the dirty side, so it can sound layered. The trick is to get the blend set right. The active mid EQ has a significant impact on the sounds, as does the High. The low EQ will bring in plenty of heft when boosted. The clean blend sounds a tad rolled off in the highs. Not quite like a Damnation, but similar. Sadly, there aren’t many good demos out there. The price is a tad high, but can be found on sale for around $180, sometimes lower. The size is HUGE, which might be a problem on your board.

    All that said, it’s a common assumption that the pedal is based on the Boss ODB3, which is what King Buzzo used before switching to the Hilbish. The ODB3 certainly has similarities, at least to me. That’s a much cheaper and smaller pedal. I wouldn’t normally seek out a Boss drive pedal, but this one could be worth a look.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  18. I have no specific suggestions for those tones, but as a recent convert to the Swollen Pickle, I highly recommend this video when you decied to give it a shot. It's a fantastic fuzz that takes some tweaking, but is one of the most versatile fuzzes ever.

    Way Huge Swollen Pickle MKII review on Bass - Seymour Duncan User Group Forums

    If you go for a Rat, I tried the Blower Box and Volt Thrower a while ago, but found both of them to have a bothersome high end harshness that I couldn't dial out. (I'm honestly not sure I'm a Rat fan!) My favorite Rat thus far has been the Iron Pig. It's incredibly tweakable, and I'm keeping that one if I ever "need" a Rat tone.
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  19. Erik herman

    Erik herman Gold Supporting Member

    Darkglass Alpha Omnicron and a Big Game CVTL Deluxe for me, they make a smaller more streamlined pedal called the Solace State, it’s a take on the Peavey F800B distortion circuit. I have an F800B and it really lives up to the sound!
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  20. Smooth Operator

    Smooth Operator Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2017
    South Jersey
    All them pedals but no compressor?
    Andii Syckz likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 24, 2021

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