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How To Make My Fuzz Stand Out In The Mix?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassist96, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Bassist96


    Jan 13, 2013
    Hi everyone
    I am currently using a MXR bass fuzz deluxe, it is an excellent Bass fuzz, but once I use it in a band setting I cant hear it at all, so how can I make the fuzz stand out?
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Turn it up and/or use a blend.
  3. More midrange, turn it up, more cleansignal, reduce overall volume of the band, speaker position (closer to ears), don't use fuzz, live with it.

    Not even meant funny. This is - next to losing bass frequencies and attack - probably one of the most basic problems when using overdrive, distortion and even worse fuzz.
  4. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Turn you mids up.
  5. johnbegone

    johnbegone Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    A mid-heavy fuzz will help. I used the Mojo Hand Colossus for this reason, gives you control over the mids. You could also try stacking the fuzz with an overdrive that might help boost your fuzz enough to stick out.

    I usually use a gated zippery fuzz (like the Wooly mammoth/Oxide/Duality) if I want to poke out in the mix. I'll use a "regular" fuzz if I want to set more a low end pad and not cut through the mix (I use my TAFM this way - but it can cut just as well as the others above if you set it up that way, also use the Muff in the Source Audio OFD for this).

    Hope that helps.
  6. +1 on the blend thing. I won't use any kind of fuzz/distortion etc pedal that doesn't have one unless I've got an effect loop that lets be blend in my dry signal.
  7. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    Get a Musket fuzz - that classic muff fuzz but with a mids control. It's tempting me away from the tfr, which is a great fuzz.
  8. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    keep the dry at same level as bypass, use the fuzz for the high end by rolling the tone all the way clockwise, scoop mids on your amp.. and you've got a tone with low end and a high end fuzz and sits in a band very well. scooping your mids helps put emphasis on the lows and highs :)
  9. rob_thebassman


    Jul 26, 2010
    Normanton, UK
    playing bass since 2005
    best way to be heard and it doesn't over power the rest of the band
  10. Agree: turn up, blend in clean, enhance mids. Clean blend would be the single most important of the three in my experience. Turning up the least, as it often just prompts everyone else to turn up more in response. That said, I find fuzz especially needs to be well above unity gain to work in a band setting.
  11. JonnyAngle

    JonnyAngle Dropping Acid Pedal Etching .com Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Maple Grove, MN
    I agree with this except BOOST the mids, don't cut them out.
  12. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1. Holmebass knows whereof he speaks.
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I had MXR Bass Fuzz Deluxe for about a week and took it back a few days ago.

    It sounded AMAZING in my studio..... Terrible in the band mix.

    I tried blending wet/dry differently, played with my mids, boosted just the fuzz pedal.... Nothing.

    Either find a fuzz that cuts or don't use fuzz. YMMV.
  14. Guinness20


    Jan 24, 2013
    Liverpool, UK
    The point about stacking with an od is a good point too - I love th sound of the tfr, but it's mid-scooped. But this is a clip of the same fuzz used with a b3k - soundcloud.com/bigbassbob/girltfrb3k.
  15. Midrange is key, but if you are playing with 2 guitarists and they both are using it at the same time don't expect it to cut like a knife.
  16. JBNeedsBeer

    JBNeedsBeer Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New Brunswick, NJ
    Slap around your guitarrist a bit to get them to turn their gain down to a reasonable level where the tone of their actual guitar still exists, then use the pedal to your liking. Or just get a pedal with a lot more midrange content. I like the first option, but the second is a lot easier.
  17. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    This is why I have rid myself of effects. Go to the store see one, check it out, sounds great buy then take home plug into my rig still sounds great. Go to rehearsal uh oh yuck! Just lost some more money. Oh well it's called bass for a reason. Now days I let the guitars carry that sound or I'll lean on my tubes more.

    Like some of the other guys said its much easier with the blend feature.

    Oh yeah one more thing good for pedals. If you have enough of them you can sell them and pay for studio time.
  18. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I say get a musket the mids knob is amazing
  19. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    By definition a fuzz is clipping your signal and reducing the definition of your notes. There's no getting around that basic fact. And the clipping also compresses your signal, reducing your dynamic range.

    Blending (or better yet biamping with a clean/dirty setup) certainly can work though I like it better with other effects types (filters, phasers, even overdrive) more than with fuzz. Personally I think a blended fuzz doesn't really fix the issue - your fuzz still isn't making an impact in the mix and your presence is only due to the clean blend.

    The simplest and often most effective answer for me is what a number of people have said - have your fuzz set loud, significantly above unity gain. And make sure that your low end volume is at least what it is clean, if not slightly above. A lot of fuzzes add volume in the midrange which fools you into thinking you are just as loud in the lows but often you aren't.

    Most importantly, don't set your fuzz sound at home - set it while playing with the full band. This helps for two reasons. One is that you'll likely find that the volume of the fuzz you need in the mix seems WAY too loud when playing solo. Secondly, slotting a mix is a BAND effort.

    The worst thing a band can do is have each member bring their "bedroom tone" to rehearsals and gigs. Both clean and dirty tones should be EQ'd for the sake of the whole and effects use is part of that. In a stoner/doom band everybody may be fuzzed out at the same time so it's important that you have the right pedals and everyone EQ'd properly to make that work. Likewise, King's X has dirt on the guitar & bass but slots each instrument well (including the drums) so that everything is distinct.

    Me personally I take the approach that if the guitar(s) are dirty I'm usually not and vice versa. Fuzz bass against clean electric or acoustic guitar really works for me whereas with distorted guitar a clean tone supports things much better and gets me heard in the mix.

    Just my $0.02
    torza likes this.
  20. anton72

    anton72 Supporting Member

    +1. Well said. I've been struggling to keep my fuzz sound the same with the band as I had it set at home but it all was useless. I'm thinking of selling it now cause I really can't find use for it in live settings. You can only hear it when the others keep silent...