Distortion users!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by uly_, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Hello TalkBass distortion/overdrive/fuzz users!

    I just got back from our rehearsal room with a feeling that I don't really *need* distortion 'cuz it wont be heard anyway by distorted guitars, yet I think my distortion tone is good (/ego off)

    So lets discuss!

    What type do you use? distortion/overdrive/fuzz? eventually: whats the pedal(s) called?

    How do you use your distortion? just kick a pedal in when needed or do you have sort of "steps", one for mild, one for more dist and the last for going crazy?

    When do you use it? And if you got more "steps", when do you kick them in? When guitars are distorted or when they're clean?

    I came to think about it when we practiced today, that it wont be heard anyway when the guitars are distorted, maybe I should use it for when they are not? :smug:

    Have you ever been thinking the same way as me? That your dist/OD/fuzz tone was great but it wont be needed?

    Anyway! thanks in advance for your replies!

    A question in addition: How do you feel the best way is to cut through a mix consisting of 2 distorted guitars without being too loud?
  2. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    I use a crappy MXR distortion (two knob kind) pedal that I found lying on the floor of our rehearsal area.

    It doesnt have much low end to it, but with all the preamps I use I can get a wicked sounding crunch for A-string B and up. I use it on occasion to emphasize stuff in a chorus or when we are making noise between songs. I think I have a vid clip somewhere. Some distortion in first song- www.myspace.com/leftbrainnband
  3. lowmid

    lowmid Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2005
    Owner & builder CMC Audio
    I've got like 4 gain pedals in my chain: one first is a simple clean booster (the potentia boost from basstyra :bassist: )
    and second I've got an original marshall guv'nor with an input cap mod , I use it for mild grit.both are installed into the marshall and everything is true bypass with relays
    when I kick both on I get heavier distortions

    and third I've got my russian muff for going wild!!

    I plan to customise the pedals: fine tuning of the gu'vnor EQ (better bass voicing)

    and changing the muff box +to ad a basstyra clean loop

    I'm considering building a schaller superfuzz copy to install with the muff to have a double fuzz pedal!!!

    I love overdrive
  4. sk8inbassist17

    sk8inbassist17 Guest

    Oct 23, 2005
    Atlanta, Ga USA
    I use the MXR M-80 for my distortion. I really like it, it has all the low end I want and gives a really nice crunch to my bass lines. I use it alot sometimes I think I use it too much.
  5. i have use a Boss ODB-3, and that works well in my band...i set the blend knob pretty far towards the clean side, and turn the gain up for a really distorted sound...that seems to give me some good low end and distortion at the same time...i'm happy with it :)
  6. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    i use an old marshall bluesbreaker pedal (the black one), an odb 3 and the valve harmonics switch on my VXL .

    The marshall is great for nirvana/ green day type sounds, the VXL handles my Cliff moments (NOT Cliff RICHARD!!!), and the ODB3 i use for a little grit and bass boost
  7. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Cornell , IL.
    My Yamaha bbt500h head has drive,heavy,fuzz, and distortion 'channels' or maybe it's just variations of the same with different eq settings. Whatever, I use the preset 'heavy' selection on a few songs such as godzilla and some of our originals. I change with my midi floor pedal.
    Having 2 guitars or one that plays mainly rythym reduces the need for distorted bass imo. Some songs are bass heavy (Audioslaves 'set it off') and need some 'flavor' adders.
  8. BassGod

    BassGod Guest

    Jan 21, 2004
    The Bluesbreaker intrigues me, I'm looking for a gritty overdrive, and I have nothing but good things to say about my Marshall Guv'nor II. Have you (or anyone else) tried the Marshall Jackhammer in overdrive mode? How does it compare to the Bluesbreaker?

  9. My MXR has all of the raunch I need for my playing style. I play metal, rock, and industrial styles and happen to find this distortion my most used pedal of my whole pedalboard. If I want super raunch I turn the gain and blend up. If I want more clarity with distortion I'll turn the gain 3/4 full and the blend about 1/2 to 5/8. Usually I'll have it at the full gain and blend when my guitarist is soloing and I'm doing the rhythm.
  10. Droog

    Droog Guest

    Aug 14, 2003
    I have an old original grey DOD 250. Now it sucks for low end. What I do is run my bass into an AB/Y box so that I can utilize both of my amp channels. I use one channel for a clean sound, then kick both channels on for my OD/boost. It works pretty slick actually. I am not going for a distorted sound more like an OD with some grind to it.
  11. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    I think this thread is more about how we use distortion, rather than what we use.??

    Distortion IMO should be used as an effect, not just to try and make you louder. Players like Colin Greenwood from Radiohead use distortion for a specific sound, on songs such as 'National Anthem' or 'Exit Music'.

    There's nothing more powerful than the clean bass tone if you want to keep up with the guitarist.
  12. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Houston, TX
    I have quite a few gain pedals, my main one is overdrive which I leave on all the time for that SVT type grit, then if I need a more distorted sound I click on the booster before the od that I have which increases the gain but doesn't boost the volume (It's amazing what you can do with 2 pedal interacting together).

    For all out distortion or fuzz I tend to go for something that is tonally different from what the guitarist is using that keeps the bass well.

    One of the things to remember when using distortion is you are not a guitarist, not jump up the neck and solo just continue grooving as as long as you have enough bass coming out the pedal you'll always be noticed.

    I tend to think smoother distortions and fuzz's work better anything to harsh tends to be harsh in the high end so then you just sound like a nasty guitar.

    It all depends on your style of music if your playing with classic rock what I said above applies, if your doing muse or mars volta style stuff then just have a gain pedal that sounds crazy and insane and you will be fine :D
  13. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Aye that was about what I meant with this thread hehe, sorry if it came out wrong though :)

    i like the idea of having a booster after the dist/od/fuzz Tayste, I just don't seem to get why it dosnt boost the volume aswell? :)

    Thanks for all of your replies!
  14. I use a Russian Big Muff boosted with an EBS Multi-comp.

    Rips and roars. comes in real handy cause theres only one guitarrist and while hes playing around I need to fill the space usually reserved for the bass AND the rhythm guitar.
  15. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    Thats cheat! I also just want 1 guitar in my band :crying:
  16. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Houston, TX

    Nope it's a booster before the od/dist/fuzz what happens is you lower the volume on the pedal effectively putting a cap on it or a limit then when you kick in the booster it has a similar to effect as you digging in more, as you know if you have a reactive od pedal the more you dig in the more od you get out of it as digging in is basically just increasing your volume, a boost works in a similar way only allowing you to add far more volume going in to the pedal that what you get by digging in.

    What tends to happen is you get almost 2 gain settings in a single pedal so if like me you like to set it at about 9 o clock for light grit if you wack another 10-15 db's into it it's like having the gain at 3 o clock which can be quite useful and save you spending anoth $100 or more on another od pedal and then figuing out how your gonna turn on off as the other turns on.

    Works for me, you guys might find it rubbish, but thats how it works ;)
  17. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005
    A-ha! Now that explains why when I turn up the volume on my compressor (having my fuzz after my comp.) my fuzz gets a lot more gritty.

    I had in mind to get another of these fuzz pedals to get a 2-stage-fuzz, but might aswell just look for a booster then!

    Thanks a lot for the tip! :hyper:
  18. uly_


    Jul 4, 2005

    You think this will be a cool boost for getting more dist out one pedal? :) I came to think about the switch: If it's set to treble boost it would be better to boost the distortion?

    Or would it? I'm confused :D :eyebrow:
  19. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson!

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    I use both my SansAmp PBDDI and my Tech 21 XXL bass for distortion, fuzz and OD. The XXL is good for guitar-like distortion, and my PBDDI has a setting for clean (SVT) fuzz and OD. I find that in my band it helps to have different levels of dirt to cut thru.