Beginner question, I always hear talk about clean and dirty stuff what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by emericaSKATER22, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. emericaSKATER22


    Feb 14, 2012
    Just a little lost thanks guys!
  2. OnederTone

    OnederTone Aguilar Everywhere Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Thornton, CO
    Clean means a clear, clean bass tone...

    Dirty is a tone with a little bit of distortion, fuzz, hair, grit, grind, dirt...

    Something pretty simple but hard to explain without referencing itself!
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 clean is clean, dirty is distorted to any degree.
  4. Clean is how you girlfriend to be.
    Dirty is how you want your mistress to be.
    Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum is where you want your wife to be...

  5. ffutterman

    ffutterman Talentless Bass Enthusiast

    May 7, 2010
    I'll drink to that!

    Unfortunately, the English language is almost incompetent when it comes to describing sound as anything beyond "loud" or "quiet". That said, the difference between clean and dirty would be like the difference between a kid in a choir singing a note and a 50-year-old guy that's been chain smoking and drinking nothing but whisky since age 7 singing the same note.
  6. Otso


    Mar 6, 2006
    Just for the sake of clarification, aren't the terms "wet" and "dry" also used for this, especially in the context of having two rigs in use simultaneously, one having the dirty task and the other the clean one?
  7. Batmensch


    Jul 4, 2010
    Media, PA.
    Not necesssarily, but it can mean that. I always understood "dry" to mean a flat uneffected tone from an instrument or mic, i.e. no EQ or effects of any kind, "wet' can mean ANY kind of artificial alteration (not just distortion) , from the simple addition of more bass or treble, all the way up to a full board of any combination of special effects.
    "dry" = unaltered tone. "wet" = altered tone.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Pretty much. Wet/Dry usually refers to:
    Dry: Straight bass tone
    Wet: Effected bass tone. As in wet with FX.

    If the only effect happens to be some form of overdrive/distortion/fuzz/etc, it's usually called dirty instead of wet.
  9. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    For the win. This is infinitely quotable, and wise advice... haha!