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How can i get closer to that Joe Principe tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by FBS1996, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. FBS1996


    Feb 14, 2011
    I really love the tone of his bass. To me, it sounds perfect, especially in this song: YouTube - ‪Rise Against - Endgame (New Album) with Lyrics!‬‏. At the moment, I've got a Fender P Bass (Joe uses them), hopefully, I'll get some SD 1/4 pounds soon (he uses them to) and I've got a Vox amp (I'm aware Joe uses Ampeg, Mesa and Fender but I really don't have enough money to get another amp). Is there any way I can get closer to his tone? I have enough money for the SD's and probably enough for a decent pedal

    Edit: I also really like the tone he gets in this song:
  2. Superdave


    Apr 20, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    Sounds like a P bass through an overdriven tube amp, like you said. I'm assuming the Vox is solid state? If so, best way to get the tone, I think, is to pick up a tube overdrive pedal. Fulltone Bassdrive, Fulltone OCD, Bad Monkey (cheap and everyone seems to love this thing), or an Ibanez Tubescreamer.

    I also read an article in Bassplayer about him playing with strictly upstrokes or something?

    Check out youtube videos of these pedals and see which one you dig.
  3. FBS1996


    Feb 14, 2011
    thanks for the post, I'll check em out :)
  4. Here's an easy way to get closer to the Joe Principe tone. You will need:

    - A Fender P Bass
    - Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound for P-Bass
    - Boss Bass Equalizer GEB-7
    - Boss Bass Overdrive ODB-3
    - A good pick
    - Skill

    First, you'll need a Fender P Bass. The American Standard stock pups already sound close to the SPB-3 so if that's the Fender you have you may not need the Basslines. If it's not the American Standard, install the SPB-3 on your bass. Then, the GEB-7 is great because it's a graphic EQ, which helps you adjust the EQ more precisely and it's much more versatile. It's much better than bass/mid/treble. On the amp, set the bass at about 1:00 or 2:00, the mid at 3:00 or 4:00 and the treble at/almost at max. On the graphic EQ, set a +10 boost on the lowest frequency, a +5 on the next (these two frequencies are the bass), a +10 boost on the other two (low-mid and mid-mid) and a +15 boost on the last three frequencies (hi-mid and treble). Adjust your EQ around this and it will sound great. Then, with the overdrive, leave the highs untouched, boost the bass and set the balance and gain around minimum (7:00 or 8:00). This will create a warm overdrive, but it's just a soft overdrive and it's balanced in a way that the result will be a touch of overdrive on your overall clean sound. You must play with a pick, of course, but a good one. Try a Jim Dunlop .88. Also, try to angle the pick in a way that makes it scratch the string. It will create a little bit of treble. And last but not least, you will need skill, as you need to know enough technique to get a great sound like that.

    Now, if you want the true Principe tone, you will need:

    - An American P-Bass (either one of the American Vintages or the American Standard)
    - Basslines SPB-3 Quarter Pound for P-Bass
    - Fender TB-1200, Ampeg SVT-4 or a MESA amp
    - Tech 21 Bass Driver DI
    - New strings
    - Very good picks
    - Lots of skill

    You know, install the pups on the bass, play with good and new strings, good picks, lots of skill, etc. But the secret is in having a good amp and the Bass Driver DI. Choose any of the amps above, but try to choose the TB-1200 or MESA amps with overdrive, specially the Big Block as it has a great overdrive. If you have the Big Block Titan, on channel 1, boost the bass, cut a bit of the passive mid, boost the active mid after choosing a high frequency for it and boost the treble a lot. No overdrive. On channel 2, boost a lot of the bass and treble and cut both mids (with the active mid on a mid frequency or a little bit high). Add a bit of overdrive and set its level around the same position of the knob that controls the amount of overdrive. Set the levels of the channels in a way that the clean channel is around 85/90% of the overall sound and the overdriven channel around 10/15%. If you have any of the other amps I mentioned above, like the TB, set the EQ and overdrive (if the amp you choose has it, but amps like the SVT-4 don't have it but are still great amps for this tone) around what I have already told you. Then, with the Bass Driver DI, set the EQ in a way it balances both two channels equally or leave it flat (Big Block Titan) or either leave it flat or adjust it to your needs (other amp). At last, use the blend knob to blend the amp and the pedal until you like it. After all of this, make your own adjustements to achieve the perfect Principe tone.

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