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Is it possible to get a mean sound without clank?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tupac, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    All the "mean" tones all seem to require lots of clank. Rob Trujillo, Flea, Alex Webster, and like all have their action set as low as possible. This is what I'm aiming for. Is there really any purpose to mastering playing at the bridge or with high action if it will probably end up finding it's way down?
  2. mcm


    Oct 2, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    oh yes.....flats in the chromes flavor. low action and pull the hell out of it. done.
  3. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Depends on what you define as a "mean" sound. I think Billy Sheehan's tone is mean, as is Steve Harris's. Neither of them use a lot of clank to my ears.

    That said, at least a bit of clank is good for a percussive edge. Bassists have been using it since John Entwistle and Chris Squire at least.
  4. bearhart74

    bearhart74 Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Tony levins funk fingers.. check him out on the Secret World video
  5. jabsys


    Mar 30, 2011
    Steve Harris has loads of clank

  6. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    The jury is still out in my mind. I've heard what people think is clank is actually his fingernails scraping the strings, giving a pick-like sound. Listening to that, it does sound like there's quite a bit of clank, so I'm probably wrong.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Harris is one of the biggest clankers out there.

    The answer is- No

    Nothing will sound like clank going through a rig that gets along with a clanky sound (my preference is a tiny bit of overdrive on the front end for a spongey feel, cab with thick low mids to add punch and kind of cushion the clank frequencies). When they say "tone is in the fingers" this is really the case. You can't dial in or process that sound, it has to be pulled out of the bass.

    I've been playing in prog metal bands since 2000 but have been doing a hip hop project for the past year or so. Totally different playing style. I went from an aggressive percussive RH style to more of a smooth/light attack that digs in a bit with very controlled muting and dynamics. It's opened up my playing a lot!

    I use slightly different gear/EQ for both styles. What I've developed from hip hop doesnt really apply in my (pretty developed) aggressive sound unless I am doing lead-y kind of stuff.

    I have pretty low action. I see no reason to raise it. I think you just need RH control and the right sound dialed in to not clank if u dont want to.
  8. Duckwater


    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    Indeed, he hammers the strings with the tips of his fingers with super low action and compression, maximizing his clank.
  9. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Okay, I stand corrected on Steve Harris and clank.

    That said, I also have quite a bit of clank, and I play much closer to the bridge. It's mostly in how you dig in and set your action.
  10. grendle


    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL

    only other way to get a good mean tone is to turn the clank into more of a boomp, ala ryan from mudvayne. thats more a mid growl but he hits closer to the bridge so the attack is less pronounced. still mean, but just a little less aggro. either way it's all in the attack and the mids. just my .02
  11. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    I have clank and quite a high action, I think.