Effects to use for a Hardcore Bass tone? [Bass-only band]

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by not_mueller, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    I just joined a new project with a friend of mine. Another friend he met is a very talented hardcore vocalist and we wanted to start playing some heavier music since we never really have had the chance to. The problem is we have no guitarist that we know that are really capable of playing how we want to. Enter our new idea - a bass-only band like Royal Blood. This has been working well in terms of riffs and writing, but tone is slightly lacking for a few reasons. First of all, the only effects pedal I own at the moment is a Zoom 607 Bass Multi-Effect pedal. I've been running fuzz, some light compression, some light EQ and contouring, and an octave up or octave down effect at the moment. The goal is to have the dry signal and a lower and higher octave. Down-tuning has made it sound a lot more aggressive and dark, but fuzz is a little too bright still. I'm looking at buying a micro-POG which should be fine for the octaves, so the only real concern I have is the distortion/fuzz aspect of it. I'm looking for a sort of Royal Blood meets Birds in a Row/Dillinger Escape plan sort of sound. I don't have a huge budget, though. What fuzz/distortion/overdrive (I really have no real solid clue where to start) pedals should I look at buying?
  2. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Old Zooms are going to be crappy for dirt - the newer multi effects from Zoom are way better - but the dirt selections are limited. I like the Fuzz Face model in my MS60B better than its other fuzz sounds. But, getting away from the digital models, you're going to likely want something more coarse and ripping than the sound you're using now, with less of the mids scooped out and a bit of a clean blend. I'd go for a B:Assmaster! Still has some brightness, but none of the fizz.
    not_mueller likes this.
  3. jw23mind

    jw23mind Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
    Rusty Box for sparse hardcore, Rusty Box>Tall Font Russian (darker med/low gain muff) for thick metal-core, muff alone for dark sludge. Three sounds from two analog pedals.

    Oh yeah and I agree the B:Assmaster or Diabolik are awesome as well. Also would do well driving the muff for additional sounds, but a bit more out-there compared to the Rusty Box.
  4. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    I agree with Rusty Box being a good bet on how to achive a good bass tone for hardcore.

    Personally I played in hardcore inspired math/noise rock band called Menfolk, that consisted of two bass players (I was one of them taking care of the more tebblely/melodic bass), one guitarist/vocalist and a drummer.

    I was playing through an Ampeg B-15S 60W all tube amp with a single 15" cab pushed hard to the limit of it's capabillities, and the other bass player who took care of most of the more traditional bass work was playing through an old Carlsbro 100W all tube amp and a 2 x 15" cab.

    For parts that needed extra dirt beside what the amps where naturally producing I was using a Boss MT-2 and the other bass player was using a Boss ODB-3.

    You can listen to the result here, most of it is recorded live in the studio and with miked up cabs:

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    opivy3056, jw23mind, Fangry and 2 others like this.
  5. Ti-Ron


    Aug 25, 2016
    Subbed - I'm curious to hear about what other have to say on this topic.

    I play in a trashy/sludge band with two bass players and I actually use a B7K and a Musket muff fuzz and like @jw23mind said, 2 differents dirts can go a long way.
    not_mueller and Fuzzbass like this.
  6. jw23mind

    jw23mind Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2017
    Reading MA
    Musket rules too! My recommendation if higher gain than the TFR is desired.
    Ti-Ron likes this.
  7. Ti-Ron


    Aug 25, 2016
    Yeah, and with two basses the mids knob is really usefull.
  8. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I would look into the Source Audio Aftershock.

    The range of tones that it can produce will certainly get you close to what you want, it's really tweakable. But what's more important in my view of the Royal Blood sound on a budget is being able to buy gear that has routing options present, so as you grow the sound you can invest in gear like the Iron Ether Divaricator to separate high and low frequencies into two effects chains, making essentially two instruments. The Aftershock then gives you two separate voices for dirt \ fuzz \ grind etc.

    With some careful programming in the Aftershock using the EQ options, you could simulate this parallel frequency routing, and tame your highs.
    not_mueller likes this.
  9. I've done this with a pog and a bass vi. It definitely worked really well. With a 4 string, make sure you have a guitar and bass amp.
  10. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    For the price of a couple of good pedals you could get a relatively inexpensive guitar amp and split the high part of your signal into it.
    That's really the key to the Royal Blood sound. Distortion and highs out of a guitar amp, lows out of a bass amp.

    This video has some good tips for getting that sound on a low-ish budget:
    not_mueller likes this.
  11. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    I didn't expect so many replies this quickly! Thanks for all the advice. I like the boost in the Rusty Box. The problem is, at $250 it will be hard to grab another dirty pedal and a POG. Anyone know anything like the Rusty Box but cheaper?
    Also, I forgot to mention - I run a Fender Rumble, the 25W version I believe, only 3-band EQ and the overdrive and contour button. I also have two basses, and I'm opting for the Dean Zone XM (I believe that's the name). Budget tools, but they've worked well right now. Should I consider using the overdrive button on the Fender? In my experience its muddy and dull.
    Again, thanks for the help, have to look at the rest recommended but out of the first two replies I prefer the B:Assman over the TFR but, again, B:Assman is a little pricey if I'm also looking at buying a POG and another dirt. Any cheaper imitations of anything recommended is super helpful! Thanks again for all the help so far.
  12. P-oddz


    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    If you are looking for cheaper pedals, maybe look into Joyo pedals. They do clones of other pedals at a fraction of the price. Not sure of models specifically for what tones you are looking for but there will be some drive pedals that could give you some flavor in the vein of what you're looking for.

    FWIW, I did some clips of the Orange Juice here:
    Joyo Orange Juice - the little pedal that could (audio clips)

    The issue that sticks out to me, is that in your last comment you mention running a 25W Fender Rumble. Not to make things even more difficult for you, but it really doesn't matter what pedals you buy if the end result is still running into a 25W practice amp with a single 8" speaker. Bigger amps and more speaker = bigger sound, and there is really no work around for that.
  13. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    It may be 50W I'm not positive, but I won't be worried about filling up anywhere too big as we'll probably only play smaller venues. The amp is getting an upgrade ASAP after pedals though, for sure.
  14. EMoneySC2


    Aug 25, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    To heck with the guitar amp and POG, IMO. Be a strong and independent bass who don't need no guitar amp. Check out Extinction Level Event:

    They've got 3 bass players and no guitar.

    The Source Audio Aftershock could get you a good gnarly and clanky bass tone, then just go for it. You could use a POG, but then you'll sound synthy, and that tone doesn't do it for me in a metal setting. Just my 2 cents.
  15. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I don't play well.
    I think you should acquire all of your pedals from doing bass battles, taking them from your slain bass foes.
    mexicanyella likes this.
  16. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    Not a bad idea tbqh.
    I considered this, my only real fear is that I will lose the bass end of the sound. Treble is not as much of a concern because a lot of bands hardly get very much treble sound anyway, more of a baritone range.
  17. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    My thinking is, Bass --> Rust Box --> ODB-3 --> Zoom 607 (Octave down harmonizer effect) --> Fender Rumble.
    ODB-3 goes for pretty cheap online, which makes me feel a lot better about getting the Rust Box. In addition, the ODB sounds much more aggressive than the fuzz pedals that were recommended, and the Rust Box would give it a nice boost and agression.
  18. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Bro, I would seriously think about taking your effect pedal money and invest in a reasonable amp instead. No amount of gizmos are going to fix the problems associated with starting a band with a 25W practice amp.
    jw23mind, Ellery, P-oddz and 2 others like this.
  19. EMoneySC2


    Aug 25, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    If you have a good distortion sound you'll still have plenty of low end.
  20. not_mueller


    Oct 12, 2017
    I should mention this is what I run through at home and use on a daily basis, but my bandmate's father is also a professional and has a real nice markbass amp for rehearsal and probably performance as well.