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Getting a Gene Simmons Monster Tone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Growly Lytes, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Im a big Kiss fan & picked up the lastest cd Monster.
    After hearing the Growl Gene`s getting now its maddnes i really want to try & get this sound.
    Im wondering if anybody would know what he uses to get this kind of sound ?
    I know he uses Ampeg amps but who knows what he uses when recording these albums.Ive heard the same sound when he is on stage too.
    A couple people said his sound hasnt changed but i can really hear it.Sounds like he now uses the bridge pickup also.Im sure he never use to but theres no way he could get that much mid growl with just the neck pickup.
    When i try to get this bottom end growl through my Sansamps the sound is distorted more on the top end rather then the bottom,where i think for Gene its the other way round.
    Anybody know what he uses in his set-up or how to get a sound thats close to it ?
  2. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    It might not be Gene who is playing bass in the studio, even if he is credited for it. I've read a few times over the years that he hasn't played in studio for a long time. So I guess that trying to identify the players and their gear would be a logical move.
  3. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Sounds like a return to the Ripper, first off, but definitely just an Ampeg.
  4. Savage_Dreams


    Jan 8, 2007
    in the past, yes, but monster and sonic boom are just straight up band albums. no extra people, no outside writers. they pretty much at this point have dropped the secrecy of who did or didnt play what on all the albums. theres no reason to think that they would be lying about monster at this point.
  5. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    My mistake. Carry on :)
  6. VitalSigns


    May 8, 2011
    Central NY
    He used the Ripper on Sonic Boom, so I'd imagine he used it on Monster as well.
  7. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    True theres footage of all of them on YT recording Sonic Boom.
    Gene is using a Gibson but it aint a Grabber.Then another clip where he uses the Punisher while recording that is.
    What really gets me is the sound not the player.The Growling thats going on is just in your face.He never had this sound before except for Sonic Boom.
    Does somebody have an idea of the chain of equipment he uses ?
    How to get the bass to distort or Growl on the bottom-end rather then the top-end ?
  8. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    I know that his bass has to do with the Growl but it cant be all it comes down to can it ?
    Ampeg amp Ripper bass & what else ?
    Theres massive amounts of i can only call Growl on Sonic Boom & Monster,its a very nice tone !
  9. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Melbourne, FL.
    Rippers have a very aggressive tone to them, especially with fresh bright strings!

  10. Plstrns


    Feb 4, 2010
    I can get his tone with a Peavey Cirrus and a VT pedal. Hands, strings and setup have more to do with tone than the bass they're used on.
  11. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    Crystalman85 likes this.
  12. Gibson Ripper has as mention a very aggressive tone and the Ripper Ampeg combo which I had used for years myself growls like no other! In my hey day I was punching my Ripper through 2 ampeg Svt heads out to 3 8/10 cabs talk about growling!
  13. NOT


    Jul 15, 2011
    To get a real Gene sort of growl, you'd want to use a Grabber. I can completely rip off his tone off of Alive! with my Gibby Grabber and Gallien Krueger MBE-III.

    Also the GS Punisher II bass has a very aggressive tone.
  14. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Yep it is.Even the Cort Punisher has an in your face tone coming out of the lower regions.
    Im pretty shocked by those MM pickups it has full`on mids this bass puts out.I quess its all in the bass & preamp & also how you play the thing.The harder you play the more growl that comes out.
    Im happy he uses Sansamps cause thats what ive got RBI/RPM & the Cort Punisher.
    I ran one cab clean & one dirty last nite & it was great never have done that before,im quessing he does something like that too.
    Thanks guys.
  15. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Now, all we need is for Gene to play songs from The Elder live...
  16. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    Ha, i dont think he knows any of them apart from the most easy song on there,
    World Without Heroes.
    Also i just went looking on YT & noticed the Big Muff.
    This seems to really sound like what he uses.Is it possible that he is using a Big Muff pedal ?
    Cause it sounds alot different then a Sansamp !
  17. TheBassDude3


    Dec 23, 2013
    Hey Growly Lites,

    I too searched for a long time to get Gene's current bass tone. I largely based my search off the tone in a YouTube video from one of the KISS Kruises where a fan sat in front of Gene's rig and picked up every little detail of his playing and sound.

    I play in a band and wanted his bass tone and finally found it. Here's what I do:

    Bass: Cort Punisher II - P Bass pickups selected, not Jazz Bass pickups - this bass switched to the P bass pickups will give you the sound of Gene's EMG pickups on their normal setting

    Strings: Rotosound 66 Swing Bass Strings - Not the ones Gene uses but they best mimic his tone with the Punisher. They're also the choice of John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, and Duff McKagan to name only 3 of many who use them.

    Amp: Any Gallien-Kreuger or Ampeg should get you the right tone. I cranked my gain up to full and then put the treble and bass settings at 5 and the mid setting at 10. Gene's tone has a lot of mids which help cut through the mix.

    That's it my friend. No effects, just the right combo of bass, amp, and strings.

    Keep rockin' lml,
  18. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    LOL! Took him a year and a half since your request but he listened. On their last KISS Kruise, they played "The Oath."
  19. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Dec 4, 2009
    Downunder Oz
    Bass player
    The Oath wow what a song
  20. odin70


    Dec 26, 2007
    My favourite Kiss bass sound is the two tracks pl with a Music man bass. Naked city from Unmasked and R & R hell from Creatures. Fantastic sound.