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Distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scottos150, Dec 8, 2001.


  1. In hard rock and heavy metal is there usually distorion being used on the bass?thanks
     
  2. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Two things:

    1. This isn't the best place to post this thread...perhaps a moderator can explain better;)

    2. Heavy Metal has been in existence for so long and taken on so many definitions over the years, it's hard to give you a simple answer to your question. Many heavy metal bassists have tried all kinds of techniques to get heard, ranging from flatwound strings (a la Steve Harris of Iron Maiden) to heavy amounts of distortion (a la Billy Sheehan). Some believe in distortion, others don't.
     
  3. basslax

    basslax

    Apr 20, 2000
    Washington, DC
    i generally dont like the sound of disto on bass for some reason...

    i dont think you will hear it very much in any style of music, even metal. ive seen it more in funk than other kind of music
     
  4. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Wrong forum.

    So, I am moving it now.;)
     
  5. A lot of bassists use it some of the time. Most don't use it most of the time... did that make sense?
     
  6. it depends...sometimes the guitars are already sooooooooo distorted that it just muddies up the sound...but it can be used very well to provide more "melody' (see Ben Folds Five tunes "Uncle Walter" and "One Angry Dwarf and 200 solemn faces")

    If i played metal i would definitely try it once in a while, but i would make sure i still cut through.
     
  7. ya, i got me a distortion not to long ago, and i play hard rock, so i tend to use it more on little solo's and intros, where the guitars arent distorted to hell already. unless your goin for a no-low-end kinda sound. it doesnt give ya as much 'thump' as normal sound
     
  8. I think the best way to use distortion is the Billy Sheehan approach, which is essentially to run a distorted amp and a clean amp. You get the edge to your tone but don't lose the punch or definition. You can also balance the volume of each amp to get the right combination.
     
  9. *ToNeS*

    *ToNeS*

    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    i know Rage Against The Machine isn't exactly "metal", but take their bassist Tim Commerford for example - he uses light distortion on his Jazz quite frequently, and he is very prominent in their music because of this. you just have to strike a balance if you decide to go this way - too much and you'll clash with the guitars, too little and your bass will sound like sh*t.
    my old band had this one song where the bass played power chords (simple 1-5-1 stuff) during the verses, and what i'd do was run through a guitar amp with in-built distortion and boost the highs a little and roll over the mids. on my Spector this still sounded fat enough to provide the rumble, and cut through like a madman with a sharp kitchen utensil.