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Distortion Pedals ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LiquidCougar, Feb 26, 2008.


  1. LiquidCougar

    LiquidCougar Chief of Warranty Police

    Dec 25, 2006
    Warwick, RI
    Okay.. I have read and searched all over for information on bass distortion/overdrive.

    I am an electronically knowledgeable person, I know that overdrive and distortion are essentially the same thing; only to different degrees.

    The thing I'm having trouble with is finding the right effect to get the sound I want.

    Bear with me now...

    We're tuned to CGCF, and I have my bass toned way low.

    The pedal I'm using now is designed for a guitar (like most). It's a DOD FX 86B Death Metal Distortion pedal. For the most part, I love how it sounds playing in our studio through my stack. The level is at about 11:00, the low knob is all the way up, the mid and high knobs are all the way down. The problem is, I'm still sacrificing too much low end. When I hear myself played back through the mixer, it sounds absolutely terrible.. like a wicked tinny high guitar. I'm working on my levels in the mixer as we speak to see if I can help it at all.

    I don't use the distortion much, mostly just for sustained notes and accents here and there. What I'm looking for is a metal guitar-ish sound, but really low. One example I can think of is the song "Eons" by 311, beginning at 0:55. I know there's a way to get my bass closer to that kind of sound.

    The other bass player in our band tells me that a sound like this could possibly be accomplished using a synth pedal.

    I've also learned that I'm probably going to have to try out a number of different pedals to find something I'm happy with. I've tried a couple so far, only to the same end.. too much high and not enough low.

    Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions?
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Three suggestions come immediately to mind: The Landmine and the 3XFX Fatman are both killer metal-guitar sounding distortions with intensely strong low end. The third idea is a clean blender, which immediately turns any low-end-losing guitar distortion into a bass machine. Search here on "blender" for specifics.
     
  3. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    I've found some sounds that I like out of a Boss Ds-1. It does lose some low end but I've been able to even this out significantly with my EQ. With some tweaks on the low end the DS-1 gives a brutal growling sound beyond what the ODB-3 can provide. I guess the next question everyone will be asking is what your bass/amp combo is. I would tend to agree that a bass synth might either give you the sound you're looking for, or enhance the distorted sound that you've got to enhance the lows. Have you considered an octave pedal? I know this sounds like I'm just throwing ideas out, but in my experience, for bass, a distortion pedal either needs to paired with something or tweaked in some way to maintain that low end.
     
  4. LiquidCougar

    LiquidCougar Chief of Warranty Police

    Dec 25, 2006
    Warwick, RI
    Thank you.. I will look into it.

    These ideas are exactly what I'm looking for. I need them so I'm not in the store tomorrow having no idea what I'm looking for.
    I have a Crate BT-350 head plugged into a Peavey 1810 cab. My bass is a B.C. Rich NJ Series neck-thru Warlock.
     
  5. assboglin

    assboglin Banned

    Jul 13, 2007
    I've seen that youtube video, and personally, I think it sounds like fuzzy mush. Sounds terrible to me.

    I have to second the Landmine, that is, if you're into a very saturated sound. That thing is over the top, but still pretty beefy.
     
  6. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    I am searching for the same thing as you, a gritty distortion that can retain the lows. Here are a couple of clips of the landmine that bongo recommended - http://www.pedalgeek.com/cgi-bin/new_shop.cgi?config=&uid=SkaaOgAA1204077994&command=link--lmld1 - scroll down there are bass samples. Some other pedals that might fit the description are Tech 21 XXL Bass Edition, Pro Co Turbo RAT, Tech 21 Sansamp GT2, Radial Tonebone Hot British, Marshall Guv’nor, Gallien-Krueger Diesel Dawg, Boss HM-2, 3Xfx Fatman/V2, MI Audio Crunch Box.
     
  7. LiquidCougar

    LiquidCougar Chief of Warranty Police

    Dec 25, 2006
    Warwick, RI
    Good, but not quite gritty enough. Way too fuzzy.
     
  8. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    +1 that clip is fuzzy madness.
     
  9. Just listened to the landmine clips... I like that one... YMMV.

    Matt
     
  10. I actually own this pedal (Bass Juice)... The video is not the greatest example of what it can do. BUT... I really like the Landmine... Hmmm.

    Matt
     
  11. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Most distortions sound fuzzy on low notes to me - I think the wave is just too slow to sound like anything else.

    Maybe try a sub-octave generator - fuzzing the original guitar signal but keep the octave clean, and playing all your stuff an octave higher.
     
  12. NKUSigEp

    NKUSigEp

    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    Aguilar Agro - some clips on my band's myspace below (200 PROOF should especially interest you...it's a lot heavier sound than the others).

    And also, if it's only when you hear yourself played back after recording - you might want to invest in new monitors.
     
  13. LiquidCougar

    LiquidCougar Chief of Warranty Police

    Dec 25, 2006
    Warwick, RI
    I know it's not our PA.. Everything else sounds killer in here. Our drummer (my best friend) and myself tend to be a bit anal about PA setup and sound quality. We're both part-time sound guys.
     
  14. LiquidCougar

    LiquidCougar Chief of Warranty Police

    Dec 25, 2006
    Warwick, RI
    Further research reveals that a blender pedal may be exactly what I'm looking for. Thank you bongo.

    I think I'll look into this also... sounds like it could produce an interesting sound, anyway.
     
  15. The blender may be just what you need.

    Another option is to biamp - I do this most of the time, using a Peavey BAC-2 bass chorus (instrument level crossover, hardly use the chorus), with lows going to my Eden Nemesis bass combo and the highs going through a Boss OD3 (overdrive, I love the sound but probably too subtle/low key for what you're after) and through a guitar combo (Mesa subway blues). If you have a guitar setup, this may well be worth trying, with your current distortion pedal if that's what you like. It certainly keeps the lows and lets you have raging (or not so raging) distortion on the highs. Alternatively, I'm getting a bit sick of lugging my guitar amp everywhere, so I'm thinking of getting a Digitech bad monkey (analog OD with a speaker-sim output) and using that on the highs and sending the distorted highs and clean lows to a little mixer before they go back into the amp.

    Good luck,
    Steve
     
  16. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    How about an Equaliser pedal, after the distortion, in the chain.
    Set just to boost low end, I used to do this before for some pedals.
     
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    An EQ can't actually "put back" sound that has been cut off. It can only boost (or cut) what's already there. You can bump up the low mids that way, and it may sound big and bassy, and that's fine if it's what you want to hear. But there's a big difference between boosting the low mids and not losing the lows in the first place.
     
  18. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    What about setting it before the distortion, boosting the low end that already is there, so the distortion wont cut too much?
     

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