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Down tune Help!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 4stringmf, Nov 17, 2018.


  1. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    Hi guys, I really need some advise. I am wonder if there is a pedal out there that I can use to down tune my sound. Basically, I need to tune my 5 string from (for example) B standard to G# standard. I'm terrible at bridge and neck adjustments and always "F" it up when I try. I would like to avoid going with a heavier gauge of strings if I can.

    Thanks for you help in advance!
     
  2. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    Hang on. What is "G# standard" and why do you think you need to tune your 5-string that way?

    EDIT: And what is "downtuning your sound"?
     
  3. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    Well what I was trying to say was that want to tune down the whole bass a step and a half. Its for a doom metal band.
     
  4. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    You should understand that you really won't be hearing the fundamental of the Ab but an octave above it. That Ab is roughly 26Hz with a wavelength of 43.6 feet and not really heard as a note at that point, just rhythmic flappiness.

    Please say this was a guitarist's idea to tune your bass this way.
     
    PB2578 and 4stringmf like this.
  5. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Many years ago I did a thing:
    Pitchshifting---a blind shootout for your perusal

    TL;DR for what you want to do, the Digitech Drop is the best out there. Downtuning notes that are already that low is a challenge, and the Drop does alter your clean tone (it's subtle to some people and less subtle to others), although I suspect you are running some dirt and don't care that much about your clean tone to begin with? So try the Drop, if that doesn't work for you then there probably isn't a pedal that will do what you want to your specifications/standards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    wintremute, zoonose, mcnach and 4 others like this.
  6. Drop-large.
    least latency & it's true bypass

    If you want even more functionality, get the Whammy DT:
    H75897000000000-00-500x500.
     
    dBChad, zoonose, fhm555 and 5 others like this.
  7. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Basically your asking for some sort of pitch shifter. There are lot's of thread on TalkBass now that you know the correct term.

    From what I understand, pitch shifters don't work very well for super low frequencies because they have sample a full wavelength before they can generate the new frequency, so there is a noticeable lag. Additionally tracking at super low frequencies is typically pretty bad. Digital tends to track lower frequencies but may not sound as good as analog. Maybe I am wrong on these concerns?

    IMHO, if you really need to tune down to G#, the best solution is buy the right gauge of strings and have your bass setup professionally if you can't do the work yourself. You're also going to need a pretty incredible amp and speakers as the fundamental of G# is 25.96Hz.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  8. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    Yes it was a request from the guitarist....and honestly, I'm not a fan at all of doing this. I just don't want to alter my hardware for something you can barely hear. I hate the clanky "Korn" sound. And I am running some dirt with the signal.
     
    saabfender likes this.
  9. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    That's it! Thanks! I knew about the whammy part, but I didn't know about the "drop" pedal..... This is exactly what I had in mind. Thank you!
     
  10. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    Thank the Lord. OK, well, this moves the question from Effects over to Band Management. Classic telling-the-bassist-what-to-play crap. I haven't checked Sweetwater recently but I didn't think they have a pedal that fixes that.
     
    ObsessiveArcher and Fingerer like this.
  11. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Video of Digitech Drop with 4 string bass.

     
  12. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    Taking it to a professional is what I wanted to avoid......Especially since it is set up perfectly the way it is. I'll be running a Stingray5 through an M-Pulse 360 and PH 4x12
     
  13. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    I found this very interesting......

     
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  14. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I get what your saying, but the bass won't be perfect if detuned to G# without a proper setup.

    Hopefully one of the pitch shifters will do what you want. I wouldn't want to be dealing with this myself, but I do find the technology interesting. The Digitech Drop tracks pretty well to the open E string and drops by an octave, which is lower than you need to go. You might be better off dropping an octave than a minor third. I don't know if the Drop is polyphonic...is this required? Sorry I don't know the repertoire and if it would be required to play 5ths or 4ths for drones.

    I would be concerned about damaging my speaker. When you operate a ported speaker below it's tuning, the excursion of the drivers increases very quickly so it becomes very easy to push them past their excursion limits.
     
    BassmusM6674 likes this.
  15. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Here's a similar comparison
     
  16. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    The Drop is polyphonic
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  17. 4stringmf

    4stringmf

    Mar 2, 2008
    San Francisco
    That would be a question to ask a Mesa tech..... Thanks!
     
  18. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    Downtuning like this is the common practice for today's metal bands. I was briefly playing with a few guys that wanted to play in drop G. I bought super thick strings and intonated and set up my bass to play in that low of a tuning and it still sounded like pure unadulterated butt. Luckily for me, the guitar player didn't properly set up his guitar for it so he couldn't stay intonated. I was able to talk him into just playing in drop A and not telling the drummer.

    If it's still something you want to do, I recommend actually getting the right strings and downtuning, and then you will most likely have to use some sort of Darkglass distortion in order to even be heard in the mix.
     
    Wasnex and scuzzy like this.
  19. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    Also you should probably get a bass that is either 35" scale, or a multiscale one. The longer scale will allow you to use thinner strings which will sound better at that low of a tuning.
     
    Element Zero, Wasnex and scuzzy like this.
  20. scuzzy

    scuzzy

    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I understand down tuning. I know you don't get the fundamental most of the time, but still, it's a different sound and feel. Folks who don't do it seemingly loathe it. I don't understand why the give an ish either way.

    The pitch shift pedals may work, and if they do bravo, but you may be better off just getting a budget minded, longer scaled bass and getting it specifically set up for G# standard. I would look into an ibanez btb 4 string. They are 35" scale. DR ddt strings excel at drop tuning. You never know, you may actually like it. Drop tuned basses and grit are a really inspiring combination.
     

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