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How to get a low-end "clicky" sound?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by domestichatebas, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. domestichatebas


    Nov 14, 2004
    I've been trying to get this sound for a while now. I use an Ampeg SVT4PRO head and an Ampeg PR410HLF cabinet and the sound i want is the low-end "clicky" sound (like KoRn, Coal Chamber...etc) just to name a few. How can I get that sound? I have my mids off and my 150 Hz on my EQ turned all the way down. Do I need an effect or is there some special way to set my EQ so I wont have to buy an effect?
  2. I think a straight neck with really low action is a better way to obtain this sound. I'd say probobly 3/64 or even lower at the 12th is how you would want your string height set too. Also, a set of SS strings and the highs cranked will help as well. I don't think that you need to completely roll off the mids though. I think that you can keep it flat or slightly cut, but all the way down will make your bass sound sort of sterile. As far as effects go, I think adding a Sansamp over-drive pedal makes quite a bit of difference if you're going for that over-driven, buzzing type of sound.
  3. It might not hurt to use a pick as well. The sharper attack a pick has over fingerstyle will add to the effect.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Drop tuning helps too. Slack strings will give you more click. But if you want to duplicate Fieldy's recorded tone, that will be kind of hard to do. The way he gets as much click as he does is by miking the tweeter.
  5. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    A couple of clues I think that may help:

    - Piezo tweeter
    - Try boosting the 10-12 KHz and also the 30-100Hz
    - Roll off the middle freqs (from 500Hz to 4KHz)

    Good luck!

  6. waxbass


    Nov 13, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Sorry Hammy, but I have to disagree here. True, a pick will give you more attack, but fingerstyle played real hammerie will get you clicking way more then a pick.

    Technique is definatley part of that sound. When I need more click I just play more sloppy with my right hand and more toward the fretboard where the strings are looser.

    Try really slapping the strings with your two fingers instead of playing tight on the string.

  7. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I don't know about that..

    I know when it comes to finger-style, the advice has been to use curved fingers instead of straight, because that way you're pulling UP on the strings (uh - I mean 'up toward the sky'), instead of essentially pushing them down (er - that would be 'down toward the fretboard'... Sheesh - maybe we should establish some sort of X-Y-Z Cartesian coordinates for this kind of thing.) - inwhich case the string will be pushed into the fret above the one that's being stopped. With low enough action, and treble in the tone, that next fret is SO close to the string when it's fretted, that you can hardly keep it from clicking, even with very light straight-fingered plucking. It sort of amazes me that I can get a little click on every gentle straight-fingered pluck, yet still not have fret buzz, even if I pluck hard.

    A pick, on the other hand, tends to always move the string parallel with the frets, just like what the curved-finger guys are trying to do.

    Since I, along with domestichatebas LIKE the click (and when I don't want it, it's usually along with a tone that involves turning down the tone control anyway, which in itself takes most of the click away), I play mostly finger-style with straight-ish fingers plucking down toward the bass.

    Now I've been getting better at thumb-trailing for tighter muting control, and this has necessitated a little more finger curve - hence the associated difference in pluck angle - I notice the difference. I get less click when I thumb-trail than when I anchor my thumb. I like the fret-click, but that thumb-muting has really tightened-up my playing - especially now that I'm doing faster and more stacatto-ish kind of playing. I'm trying to keep fingers as straight as practical with the thumb trailing anyway - they don't have to be really curved.

    I'm not sure though.. domestichatebas: are these guys you're talking about finger-style players? If not, then I'm probably spun as to the kind of click you're talking about.

    (Oh-oh - I just remembered that this is in the Setup forum. We might get bounced to 'Technique'!)

  8. Gentlemen, this is getting further into technique and I'll ship it there unless someone else has something to tell about instrument setup for the poster.

    But first, this...

    My opinion was based on my style, at my level of mastery of the instrument. To be clear, I am not a pick player, but I enjoy, occasionally cutting loose with a pick on something nasty. I prefer the hardest available (I love alumnum) and I tend to play with it rather percussively. So, in my experience, it pretty much IS this way.

  9. troll


    Aug 31, 2000
    Chicago area
    A lot of it is the instrument and setup, the other part is technique.

    I switch between a nice hook (pulled upwards sort of thing) type finger style, and a hard straight down attack which gets the clacky bright sound you desire. Doing this consistantly takes a lot of work and finger strength and stamina, but if done right, sounds pretty good. I also throw in a healthy dose of slap, strumming (mostly chords) and some tapped parts too :)

    Yes, have a good rig with tweets is also essential.

  10. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    That's exactly it, drop tuning is not necessary just move up closer to the neck and pluck down hard on the strings. It's a sound I used for several years.
  11. I thought this thread was meant as a joke....
    I guess everyone has their own style :smug:
  12. my friend likes his sound exactly like how you describe. (Korn) The way he does it is he tunes his bass BEAD but he does so with a normal set of strings (45-105 or so) This combined with insanely low action and active pickups with lots of treble gives him taht clicky sound. (that i personally can't stand but that's besides the point) I must say he does sound a lot like fieldy in terms of tone. I'll leave it up to you to determine if thats a good thing or not.
  13. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I do it, just boost the lows/mids and play with a pick, as I use 'em almost exclusivly. Works just fine, and sounds similar to the players you mentioned.

  14. mnadelin


    Apr 6, 2003
    Kalamazoo, MI
    It would also help if you suck. ;)
  15. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    OOOOKAY, so the only players that like or use that sound suck? Well like the old saying goes "Opinions are like buttholes, everyone's got one" or is it "Those that voice their uneducated opinion are buttholes"?
  16. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yup. What I was talking about wouldn't work without super-low action; definately not.

    A bassist's setup should always be intimately associated with their technique, so I'd imagine it's not all that uncommon for threads in either foum to walk the line between technique and setup. ...not like it's a punishment to get kicked-over to technique or anything, though...

  17. just play with low action. and dig in. simple enough, use low tension strings like rotosounds and ti strings.