Delay with bass?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Garrett151, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    I'm sure tons of people here use delay with bass, but I cant think of a setting that would sound that great. Anyone use delay in a conventional band setting? Any suggestions?
  2. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
  3. If you're trying to hold down the rhythm delay makes things "confusing" because it's clashing with the groove. For intros or solos i've found delay works quite well. Otherwise it makes it hard for the listener to follow what's going on, because your job (most of the time) is to hold down the groove with the drums. I have a delay on my pedalboard but I only use it, along with other effects, when I'm creating noise to fill "space" between songs that would otherwise be dead air.
  4. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    Yeah, that's probably the most useful use. Does anyone use it for actual rhythm parts, like in the style of The Edge or David Gilmour? (3/16ths timing)
  5. I use it when tapping, and I really like how it can open up new possibilities rhythmically.
  6. I use a very short slap back delay on my treble PU only. Sounds GREAT with my fretless basses.
  7. fourfinger


    Apr 17, 2003
    Central Ohio
    I liked using a delay for one song: Where the Streets Have No Name by U2.

    I set it to play a single echo of each eighth note, turning it into a pair of 16th notes. This allowed me to play the whole song with steady eighth notes that sounded like steady 16th notes.
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    If you have a tap tempo it becomes a lot more gig friendly. I've written basslines that depended on delay a few times. A touch of delay can make bass solos a lot more interesting (especially when you're playing with people who think the whole band needs to drop to a whisper during your solo, effectively leaving you standing there with your pants around your ankles). It can also be used in conjunction with volume swells and an octave pedal to cop synth pads.
  9. scHism


    Aug 12, 2009
  10. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    Wow, great tone!
    Great responses guys, thanks for the ideas!
  11. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    I wouldn't really use delay on parts that are on the low end of things or it will muddy things up quite a bit. I use delay on certain higher range parts. I don't think it has too much use in a "conventional" band setting, but for more experimental stuff it definitely has its uses, you just have to use it on the right material.
  12. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    This past weekend, I was getting some good results with a little bit of slap back echo from my Ekko 616. I was playing contemporary Messianic Jewish and traditional liturgical music.
  13. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    That was exactly my thought before I started this thread.
  14. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    Alright I may try that. Although it's not every day that I find myself playoff Messianic Jewish music...
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008

    No, not quite everyone will find themselves doing that, but I think if you are creative and keep the effect just barely there, it can enhance your sound without getting in the way of it.
  16. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I use delay fairly often, but generally only for very brief periods of time. While I agree that its unjudicious use can muddy things up a bit, I disagree that its only utility is during song breaks or little solo vignettes. So, for using delay on bass during a song, here are my general rules:

    1. Avoid delay during syncopated passages;
    2. Avoid delay when playing scalar passages;
    3. Avoid excessive feedback time (one exception below);
    4. Do use delay when playing pedal tones (i.e., root, 5th octave) over extended passages. For this, use short feedback (maybe two-three repeats of the last note(s) of a pedal tone - you'll find you need to use your feet a fair bit to pull this off);
    5. Do use delay (very occasionally!) at the end of a big ending to either ramp the sound up into space or to bring it down into the bowels of the Earth. For this, you'll need to have your repeat time either near the fastest or slowest repeat depending on whether you want to throw down or ramp up the pitch so you have the greatest amount of travel on your sweep knob. If you time it right, and bring the feedback up high at this point, you can bring a big ending into a segue to the next tune with some effectiveness. Been there, done that - it works if done at the right time;
    6. Do use delay to prove to the drummer that he is most certainly out of time there :spit:
  17. Garrett151


    Mar 23, 2011
    Wow, great ideas! Thanks for the insight.
  18. I play reggae and dub. Requires alot of triple-quarter note delays and stuff and I use different delay alot on soloing or slow or very open sounding transitions just to fill space(think Pink Floyd) Its best to think like a guitarist. Have a specific effect in mind for a particular song, then the secret is to use it at usually 20-30% mix with a crossover or a EQ with the lows cut out so as not to muddy the bass part of your sound. I almost always run two separate channels into my amp dry/effect or use the effects loop with a volume so that I can quickly adjust the effect in the mix.

    Also slapping in tempo with reverse or digital delay is always a cool attention getter. dont over do it, though
  19. *Use a digital delay if you don't want things to get muddy.
    *Delays can be VERY rhythmic and actually add a lot of depth to the rhythm when used properly. Tap Tempo, I'm looking at you.
    *Don't let your trails go on for more than one measure. I use this as a good rule of thumb to keep things contained.

    If you check out my band in my sig, I use a dab of delay on several of our songs. All done with a tap tempo, digital delay (Line 6 Echo Park to be exact).