How to get this crunchy punchy tone?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by PennyroyalWe, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    I’m chasing this p bass w/flats tone, and can’t seem to coax it. I’m thinking it’s got to be a technique, set up, or a strings thing? I’m after this grippy, rippy, crunch from the frets like in this video .
    The gear I have to work with is a Squier CV 70’s p, currently strung with well broken in fender 9050L (45-100) through a rumble 500, and it sounds pretty mellow most times. I can get a decent punch from it if I play a little more aggressive, or turn the gain up on my amp, but I can’t get that fret crunching sound when I slide or do hammer-ons no matter what I try. Any suggestions?
  2. I’m also interested.

  3. Your gear is fine. My P-bass with flats is a Squier Affinity and I get that fret sound in all of my amp setups. Maybe one thing to check is your setup. Straight neck (with little relief) and pretty low action (just before fret buzz, and you can get pretty low with properly levelled frets).

    Technique-wise, I play closer to the neck, relatively hard but not that much, with a firm grip from my left hand.

    Hope it helps!
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  4. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    Hmm, that’s about how it’s set up now. The CV 70’s actually has the lowest action out of all my basses, with the strings about .06” at the 12th fret. I’m thinking it’s got to be something I’m not doing with my hand, like perhaps I’m muting the string while sliding out of habit? Idk. Even trying to deliberately get that fret crunching sound, it isn’t happening.
  5. With your right hand, are you playing more of a free stroke or a rest stroke? Rest strokes might help.

    EQ-wise, don’t be afraid to get the treble knob a little higher. With flats, it won’t get as bright as with rounds.
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  6. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Flats, very little neck relief, low-ish action.
    Inconnu and PennyroyalWe like this.
  7. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    I’m not sure I know the difference between free and rest strokes?
  8. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    From what I could tell on my phone screen, those silks suggest Rotosound strings - your sure he's using flat wounds?

    To my ears, that just sounds like the default tone I expect out of a P bass, so I'm going to say tone pot wide open, amp EQ basically flat, with the bass maybe rolled off a little (but I'm essentially guessing, based on the crummy speaker on my phone).
    DirtDog likes this.
  9. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    In the comments they say they’re using either GHS precision flats or lakland flats, but unsure which.
  10. Wood and Wire

    Wood and Wire

    Jul 15, 2017
    Comments made by the person in the video, or by viewers?
  11. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    By the video creator, I should have clarified.
    Wood and Wire likes this.
  12. PennyroyalWe


    Sep 2, 2018
    After a bit of googling, I use rest strokes nearly exclusively.
    Element Zero likes this.
  13. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    The video poster doesn't describe his post bass signal chain at all.
    A compressor would certainly bring out the fret noise.
    He might be going direct
    maybe through a pre amp or DI pedal
    looks like Reaper or Pro tools is the DAW
    maybe using a plugin for compression / saturation / amp simulation or whatnot.
    Any number of post recording FX could also be applied.

    a Squire P + flats + rumble 500 is nothing to sneeze at, tone wise.
    Perhaps adjust the pickup height If you want to get "more aggressive".
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  14. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    It seems like the video creator would be the best source of this information.
    Please share when you get a reply!
    Good luck
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  15. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Lakland flats were rebadged GHS Precision flats.
    PennyroyalWe likes this.
  16. sean_on_bass

    sean_on_bass Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Make sure your tone knob is wide open. Fender Jazz basses get a similar tone with flats, neck pickup only, and tone close to maxed out. Also don't scoop the EQ, you need mids in there to get this sound.
    Inconnu and PennyroyalWe like this.
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