How can I get this tone???

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Pedro SS, May 6, 2022.

  1. Pedro SS

    Pedro SS

    Apr 20, 2020
    Hello everyone! Long time no see.

    Recently, I've been playing on repeat a record from an underground/unknown band from Germany called Backwater (btw, if is there any metalhead reading this, I recommend it).
    The thing is, as a bassist, what really hooked me was the killer distorted sound from the bass that cuts though the mix.
    It doesn't seems to be done by a very complex combination os pedals in series, but I found it very peculiar. It's like a Motorhead style, but the distortion kinda resonates in a "lower" frequency.
    I REALLY want to achieve this sound, therefore, I need to know what kind of pedals will help me do that. I already watched a few videos on YouTube of people reviewing several distortion pedals, but none of them got anything close to the sound of Backwater's bassist.
    Sorry if I'm not being clear, it's very difficult to describe sound via a text. So, nothing better than you guys give it a listen to see what I'm talking about.

    I'm hoping to achieve exactly the bass tone from this track (skip it to 1:09, when the bass starts playing):

  2. Pedro SS

    Pedro SS

    Apr 20, 2020
    Oh, and right at ~ 4:27 it's clearly audible, when the bassist hits the open E string.
  3. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    What a violent bass sound :). First impression was bit like Jon Stockman sound in one of Darkglass Alpha Omega promo videos. Not the same but similar, maybe more oldschool tough. Notice that that wasn't bare pedal sound there but split signal path.

    No idea how sound was made actually in German band's recordind.
    Last edited: May 6, 2022
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  4. Pedro SS

    Pedro SS

    Apr 20, 2020
    Split signal?! So this is gonna be a little more complicated than I expected hahaha. The recording is from 1984, so it is indeed on the old school/vintage side.
  5. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    I don't know about '84 how they did it. Jon's sound was split signal to studio pre after the pedal (DI) and second signal to amp after the pedal (jack out).
    Last edited: May 6, 2022
  6. kevmac


    Mar 17, 2019
    Rhode Island
    Check out the YouTube channel Rodney McG .He's the ipso facto metal bass expert.I had a question on a tone and he asked for a sound sample of my tone to help me attain what I thought impossible for me.He is a monster player and all around nice guy.
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  7. Pedro SS

    Pedro SS

    Apr 20, 2020
    Thanks for the insight, I'll definitely try to talk to him at the comments section. If he can guide me to nail this tone, I'll be immensely grateful.
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  8. Jefus

    Jefus Does this amp make my bass sound fat? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    Maybe not quite these settings, but I'm guessing an Asgard v.2 would get close with enough tweaking.
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  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    To ME that sounds like an overdriven Ampeg Tube amp and a detuned bass.

    Or if you want a pedal, check out the MAE Black Math:

    And if that recording is from 1984, they could have quite simply used an old Big Muff:

    Last edited: May 6, 2022
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  10. T-34

    T-34 Wanna go headless? Supporting Member

    May very well be Muff in one channel and clean bass in another to preserve the lows. Could've also been simply overdubbed on recording...
  11. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    So, the bassist played P/J basses, Yamaha and ibanez.


    Given the era, my guess is a Marshall guitar amp cranked. Found a live show and sure enough, looks to be a Marshall head on some bass cabs

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  12. stigbeve


    Sep 24, 2014
    If you like that bass tone you might like the album
    Old Smoke by Barishi
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  13. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    From first listen, to me it sounds like an old solid state amp cranked up nice and loud, played with a pick. Probably judicious use of EQ as well. Pretty cool stuff !
    Could also be a big muff in front for dirt, but my guess is something like a Sunn Beta Lead or Coliseum driving a couple of 15's.
    Bald-N-Bassy likes this.
  14. higain617


    Sep 12, 2013
    Try a Boss Blues Driver.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  15. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    I like it! This is good stuff! Mini-bass solo at about 6:00!

    The key is definitely to try and maintain some semblance of lows while distorting the top. I would start by just experimenting with (cheap) distortion pedals. Actually, can you crank an amp or are you doing it at home or on headphones? That will make a big difference in approaches.
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  16. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Funny I was also going to suggest a heavy fuzz with a clean blend. I say that because if it is a ramped up Tune amp that is great but it’s way easier to experiment with pedals. Blackhawk Amplifiers specializes in heavy pedals that function well with bass. The guy is super cool too. Ask him if he can help with the sound.
    Warlock_Surfer likes this.
  17. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    Ok bear with me here...and I have brought this up in other threads before, but it just might be the actual speakers in the cabinet that are making that unique distorted sound. Years ago, I had purchased a used Avatar 212 cab and had it shipped to me. When I opened the box and plugged in the cab to my Peavey T-Max head, it made the most amazing, dirty, shredded, metal sound I had ever heard....and its the same sound that I'm hearing in this clip!
    I was both crushed, because that was obviously NOT the tone I was hoping for and knew immediately that the cabinet had been damaged in shipping, and excited as hell because the tone was crushing! And If I had been looking for the ultimate in metal bass tone, I would have kept it and learned the whole Type O Negative catalog!:bassist:
    Turns out, after removing the speakers/opening up the cab, the entire magnet structures had come loose/unglued from the speaker baskets, and had slid down to where they were both barely hanging on the backs of the speakers. :D
  18. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
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  19. definenredefine

    definenredefine Nobody likes a drummer... Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2022
    North Carolina
    That is a MEAN bass tone. I like it.
  20. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    That's a fierce tone, very prominent. I would say to use a distortion or fuzz with a clean blend or you could mix the two signals with a Boss LS-2. There's not a lot of treble in the tone but quite mid heavy. Maybe a blues driver/tubescraemer type pedal with the gain maxed.