Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Distortion!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Davidoc, Sep 11, 2000.


  1. I have some guitarist friends and they think distortion is the best thing in the world. I don't get it. One just buys every type of distortion he can find. Another's encouraging me to get bass distortion.

    I don't get it. What's so great about it anyway?
     
  2. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    Iowa
    Hmmm...it hides a lot?? :)
     
  3. CamMcIntyre

    CamMcIntyre

    Jun 6, 2000
    USA
    if you do get a distortion i recomend over drive. Oh yeah haven't you learned from this site that guitarist know very little? :D
     
  4. ~Loxley~

    ~Loxley~ Guest

    Apr 9, 2000
    I think it depends on what type of music you're playing... I love distorted guitars, but not distorted basses. I've always thought it kinda sounds like someone burping :D

    ~Loxley~
     

  5. Distortion is good if u want to punch through those (as one post put it) "wankfest solos" but I personally dislike distortion on a bass. Nothing like a nice well rounded pound from the bass. :D

    Don't waste ya money man. If one guy has three distortion pedals, borrow one, as you would rarely use it ;)

    Merls
     
  6. gmstudio99

    gmstudio99

    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    If you've learned anything from this site, it's 'play what YOU want to play', not what your "friends" insist on.

    Distorted bass almost always seems to lack a serious bottom end. You'll notice that as soon as you step on the pedal, your bottom will drop out like a bad case of Montezuma's Revenge...

    And this thread will probably end up in "Effects".

    -GM
     
    mbelue likes this.
  7. Gard

    Gard Commercial User

    Mar 31, 2000
    Greensboro, NC, USA
    General Manager, Roscoe Guitars
    And this thread will probably end up in "Effects".

    -GM

    ...wow, 'ol GM's becoming a psychic....in addition to already being a psycho... ;) :D


    And we're movin' on up
    To the Effects....

    (with apologies to the composer of the Jefferson's Theme song)
     
  8. I agree, it hides the music unless you're playing something simple.
     
  9. Actually, I find fuzz/distortion to be VERY useful if used creatively. If you play with a light touch your box can give you a very "synthy" tone, almost octaver like. Laswell does this I beleive. I purchased what I think to be one of the most versatile boxes I own from Paul Crowther, maker of the "Hotcake". (He was the drummer in Split Enz.)It is the "Prunes and Custard." Godawful name I know but what a phenomonally huge tone I can squeeze out of this box. It has something called a "Harmonic intermodulater" in it (what that is I'll never know.)It has a crunchy sort of fuzz that doesn't break up until you dig in. There is a "mix" knob that you blend in the "intermodulation" with to get a sort of resonant sweep like a bass balls or something. It is NOT a envelope filter but is wonderfully touch sensitive (the harder you play, the more of a sweep.) This thing has the most subharmonic, synthy fuzz tone I have ever heard and I really can't compare it to anything else. I use it for tubey fuzzed out dub riffs as well as crunchy OD rock stuff. A better box for bass I have yet to find. Paul is VERY freindly and replied to each and everyone of my e-mails. I LOVE this box; please check it out!! (It also sounds like s**t on guitar, lovely on bass though...)
     
  10. Saint

    Saint

    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    If you listen to early Rush, Geddy Lee has a mildly distored tone on many of his parts. It's tasteful and adds some grit, without being overbearing or hiding the tone of the bass. I really like that sound, but , alas, I've never been able to duplicate it. If I could, I would use distortion, but I can't, so I don't.
     
  11. FOE_Bass

    FOE_Bass Guest

    Jun 29, 2000
    Grass Valley, CA
    I think distortion and other effects, can allow the creative mind to flow freely. I have a chorus pedal and to distortion pedals. One is the Boss Bass Overdrive, set to a real mild natural overdrive, and the other is a DOD FX50-B, which by the way I don't think they make anymore, set to a really hard almost unbearable crunch distortion. I barely ever use the last one, but it's fun to dick around with.
     
  12. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I thought I'd bring this long dead thread back to life, just to show how far we've come with regards to the use of OD and distortion on the bass. I bet folks would've thought the B3K psychotic in Y2K.

    :)
     
    andrew, Fuzzbass, Vlad5 and 1 other person like this.
  13. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    See... it's so common place now nobody cares.
     
    CHILDISHGAMBINO likes this.
  14. Y'know, if I had a B3K back then, I could have saved a metric poop-ton of money by not buying all the other dirt pedals I've acquired over the years. Funny to see how things change though :D
     
    Vlad5 and Matt Dean like this.
  15. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I know what exactly what you mean... this thread can now go back to it's necrotized slumber.
     
  16. Crystalman85

    Crystalman85

    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    The use of distortion on bass can add some edge to your bass sound. it's true that some distortion can obliterate lows. that's why there are blend controls on these pedals. other than that, there are so many bass distortion pedals to choose from. the darkglass b3k/b7k is one of the most popular bass distortions to choose from. if you never use distortion on bass before, I personally would recommend testing them out and see if bass distortion is right for you. it's okay if you don't want to use distortion on bass. it's not really for everybody, but some bass players happens to like it. and I happen to be the kind of those bass player who like to use distortion on bass. I find it to be very unique. overdrive on the other hand is the most common effect to use on bass. if you play in a band with 2 guitar players using heavy distortion, a bass overdrive would be a good solution. I would recommend the darkglass vintage microtubes. it'll give a nice sounding overdrive for your bass.
     
  17. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    Over the last 5 years alone there have been some good bass overdrives/distortions built.
    It's not a new thing, but it certainly has gotten better for those of us that like a bit of harmonic variety in our instrument signal.
    Anyone that wants a 'growly' bass tone is looking for distortion.
    In fact, every tube amp creates harmonic distortion, which is why they are loved.
    The harmonics ring out subtly (or not so much) and add depth to the signal, experienced as 'warmth'.

    But adding an effect pedal to exacerbate this distortion?

    ...um, yes, yes please, and can I have more please?
     
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    It's hilarious to see the "noooo, never use distortion for bass!!" posts. Nothing wrong with not liking it, but anyone who knows anything about it understands that distortion can be done without loss of low end, without obliterating dynamics, etc etc etc.
     
    torza, CHILDISHGAMBINO and aens_wife like this.
  19. A lot of bassists seem to have the if you aren't doing it the way I do then you are wrong attitude.

    I like the "Hmmm... It hides things." comment. I disagree. It you make a mistake with distortion then it is not covered up at all in my experience, it is now a louder even messier sounding mistake. Maybe if you don't know what you're doing and you have dialed in a super muddy awful sound then you can cover up mistakes but no one can hear what you're actually doing anyway.