Have You Found Your Tone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Flipowitz, Feb 26, 2021.

  1. Flipowitz


    Jul 25, 2020
    So recently I was screwing around with my slap tone, you know, putting random effects on my processor and hoping I like it. I'm really into improvising slap solos using low notes, such as going into A Standard (ADGCF) and just kind of seeing if I can make it sound cool (For an example of what I like to improvise and base it off of, check out 7sloth's "Combustion" - Meshuggah cover on YouTube, really cool and innovative.) I didn't like the tone for the low notes, so I was fiddling around and came to a clean sound with the max compression I could possibly put on my processor. What came out was one of my favorite popping sounds of all time from the 4th string. I'll put a video up at one point, because I suck at describing stuff. Anyways, has anyone found the tone they feel to be almost perfect for their picking, slapping, plucking tone? It's always interesting to hear what people's tone is, or what their favorite tone is.
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  2. WhoopingHonky

    WhoopingHonky Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2019
    I'm getting close. After putting way too much money into pedals, I am trimming things back a bit to nail the core pieces and add in more as I get satisfied with what I have. I'm running DI all the time, and finding I am not really a tube tone guy, so it's been a bit more challenging for me to find the right preamps and so on.

    First piece was the DSM/Humboldt Bass Station. Running the gain low, this is mostly for the speaker sim and DI. I'm considering switching out for the Darkglass Element or another speaker sim, not 100% yet.

    Second piece was the Darkglass Harmonic Booster. I'm using it more as an EQ pedal than anything at this point, the character knob is sitting around 9 o'clock, but I have a fair boost at 300-400 hz.
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  3. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    I’d say I love the tone I get from all my basses and guitars. Sometimes I try new pedals or different strings for fun. If I don’t love it I don’t live with it. I’m not a tweaker but I’ve learned how to manage my gear. I know what EQs and compression do, etc. I know there are many details that affect my tone but I feel like I’ve learned how to make my junk sound like my junk.

    However, being happy about my tone does not exclude me from GAS.
    C Stone and Fuzzbass like this.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Ha, ain't that the truth? I've been thrilled with my tones* for over a decade, but I've still gone through a ton of gear since then. The biggest change by far was when I decided to switch from rack rigs to lightweight-amp-rig-plus-overdrive-pedals... that was back around 2015. After 5 years of experimentation I've mostly settled on my gear, and have made no significant purchases the past 2 years.

    *Yes, tones plural. I'm way too fickle to settle on just one. I have a variety of basses (active and passive, rounds and flats, P/J/MM/HH, etc), and a variety of overdrive pedals. My amps and speakers are mostly flat/transparent -- exception being my Bergantino NV610 which has the SVT 810 vibe.

    I've mostly avoided specifics because my taste might be wildly different than anyone else's. My basic principle is to have a reasonably flat amp/speaker rig (aside from the Berg), and get my tonal variety from combining different basses and overdrive pedals. My basses sound wonderful clean, but I like at least a bit of overdrive at minimum (any genre), and substantially more for hard rock/metal.
    Matt Dean and Killing Floor like this.
  5. Phe


    May 30, 2005
    Oulu, Finland
    Nah, it's all about falling in and out of love, be it a bass, an amp, an effect or a playing style.
    I think of "my sound" being more of note and articulation choices rather than sound design. And even then you shouldn't get stuck and be complacent.
    Frodolicious likes this.
  6. Phe


    May 30, 2005
    Oulu, Finland
    Ha, should've re-read the title, not sound but tone. Well, part of my post still applies.
  7. I’ve done a bit of falling in and out of styles and tones but I guess also depends on my bands mix and how it fits.

    because I slap and play finger style my fretless wasn’t much use and I then gravitated to a low mid heavy style with my fretted and used an overdrive that also had clean mix in it. So low mids for days with a bit of overdrive boom in it is my core tone. Distortion / grind / chorus / reverb applied to some songs to taste
  8. Yes for the greater part but there are nuances and little bits of improvement and exploration constantly happening. As my ability to hear, feel, touch and my access to equipment has all evolved it has greatly improved and impacted my performance and tone which has always been important. I may not have the speed or endurance of my former self but my skills, knowledge, craft and tone are far better. I am still Slammer.
  9. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I have found my tone hundreds of times.
  10. amper


    Dec 4, 2002
    And lost it again as many times! :D

    Seriously, though. If I had to say, “my tone” is a collection of different tones, depending on the context.

    Let’s just say for rock bass, my favorite tone is a Jazz Bass V on the neck pickup, with frets and rounds, played fingerstyle dug in hard, through a clean amp with two 1x15” cabs, with a touch of compression (preferably from a multiband digital compressor with a higher ratio on the lows than on the mids and highs to enhance the attack while still controlling boominess and bloom), and a slightly mid-scooped eq.

    For more intimate work, I prefer a StingRay fretless with piezo, flatwounds (preferably Rotosound Jazz Bass 77 Monel flats), and a small combo amp (like my Mesa/Boogie Walkabout Scout 12 combo). I still use the compressor and add an acoustic resonance enhancer effect to bring out the “woodiness”, plus sometimes a little bit of reverb, if the setting calls for it.

    I think that about covers it.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2021
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I may not have found my perfect tone, but I'm not certain if that really exists, If it doesn't, then I'm at least in the right neighborhood. I have a few instruments that have somewhat different vibes that I use for my gigs - they're all different, but have certain things in common.

    A couple of times a year, I take a vacation, where I don't play bass for a week or two. Last year, there was a 3 week one. Whenever I get back, and pick up one of my basses (having not played in a week or 3), my reaction is "I get to play this!?" I didn't have that reaction until a couple of years ago, now I have it every time - I build my own basses, and with a lot of experience, I know what I like and how to build it - well, most of the time.
  12. Matches


    Mar 17, 2012
    Portland, Or
    My pedal has everything on it. Using the right combination of pedals, I could probably bend space time. Then, one day I pulled out my Zoom b3 set it to DBL COMP then put it through an Alembic SF-2 using both channels then into two Carvin combo amps, one 600w 15" and one 500w 2x10. After years and years of trying to find my tone,
    I finally found it.
  13. dzcandemir

    dzcandemir Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Dirty Jersey
    I have my tone through my svt classic. I just like to add pedals for different sounds and effects.
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  14. rufus.K


    Oct 18, 2015
    Each of my basses generally has its own sound.
    "My tone" is a synthesis of the instrument, amp, and room every time