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drone advice needed

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lousybassist, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. Lately, I've been listening to drone based music, à la Stars of the Lid, and would like to explore the how to:s of making similar soundscapes with bass guitar in hand. So now I'm wondering: how does one create layered drones live, in real time (without playing through a computer)? I know that it can be done with the right types of effects, but which ones? What would I need as a bare minimum?

    Those of you that have them, please share your drone recipes!
  2. asherthemachine


    Sep 22, 2006
  3. osciphex


    Jun 1, 2001
    might also add the EBow in there.

    In indian music there's a single stringed instrument called a tanpura whose only function is to drone one note endlessly (which becomes the tonal center for the entire band), it might be neat to do something like that with an Ebow on bass string.
  4. The above plus phrase samplers/loopers help a lot as well.
  5. delay and looper/phrase sampler are a must for these experiments.
    Other stuff I would advise: phaser, some kind of synth, some kind of overdrive / distortion and apart from the ebow, you might want to try to bow your bass guitar, (use a cello or double bass bow), I got some neat results with that, too bad a bow is about as expensive as a new pedal....
  6. +1 on the phaser or a good flanger or even a nice filter with an LFO. Anything that can create some good "motion" over time. This is a good area to experiment and create a unique tone palette for yourself. Try out different effects, settings and combinations.
  7. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    +1 for delay + ebow

    For low drones I usually use an ebow + whammy (-1 harmony) + delay + loop. An easier method would be to set a long delay with a pretty high feedback setting (not enough to self-oscillate though). This way you can get movement with your dronings. The DD-6 and DD-20 are both great for this as is the Akai Headrush.
  8. +1 to delays

    I like the sound that a Flanger can add too. Also, I have been having a lot of fun lately creating drones and weird sounds using the feedback loop on my Barge VFB-2
  9. shoegazebass

    shoegazebass Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    Sf Bay Area
    You can do quite a bit with delay/reverse delay and a good, deep chorus. My guitarist and I are both big SOTL fans and, although our current band doesn't do ambient stuff, we will play around with drones during setup.

    I don't have a looper but the guitarist does and he can get some great stuff going with his headrush and echoplex. :)
  10. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    My GT6B set to synth + Sound on Sound + chorus + slow gear set to low sensitivity (so I can control when it swells). I layer a simple rhythmic line then add on synth and swells. If I feed the output to my POG it's just crazy.
  11. speak_onion


    Jun 22, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Good suggestions above, but I'll add that it's cool to have a Tremolo. A really sickeningly slow pulse on at least one layer of your drone can be a good time. have fun!
  12. Thanks for all the replies! The thing is, that I have some of the mentioned, more or less required, tools: a cheap analog delay, a DD-6, a DynaVerb (which is too subtle for my tastes), a Barge Concepts VFB-2, a TR-2, an E-Bow, plus some other random effects. I guess that I really need a phrase sampler - I've got my eyes on the DD-20 - but it seems to me as if what I've got can get me somewhat close.

    Just the type of advice I need, I'll try this right away, thanks!
    If anyone else has more good tips for effect settings, signal chains, or other general experiences from experimenting with these things et.c.; then post away!

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