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lookin for that certain tone...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kahanamoku, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. kahanamoku


    Aug 6, 2007
    Hey guys. I was wondering if anybody could give me some insight/advice as to the rig Justin Chancellor (Tool) might be using in the song "Sober". I visited Wikipedia and checked out his equipment but there a lot to digest there. I play a sort of middle of the road rig right now but as I continue to upgrade, that's the sort of tone I'm really after.

    Right now I'm waaaaay off. I'm playing a Fender PJ into a Fender 400 Pro stacked on a KMD 1 X 15. I'm going direct into the amp.

    What should I upgrade first? Should I be looking for a pedal first, or would I be better off going straight after something like a Stingray ($$$)?

    I know I can't expect a miracle without spending a lot of loot but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.
  2. change your bass first, I'd say. Since you know the tone you're after, go for a ric, 'ray, maybe a nice ibanez. you'll never get all the way there, but you can get kinda close...
  3. bazzhed4


    Aug 2, 2003
    Aberdeen MD
    Justin Chancellor was not in tool during the undertow album. Thier originalo bassist was a guy named Paul D'amour and my memory escapes me as to his rig during the recording of undertow(the album that Sober is on).

    IIRC Justin Chancellor joined tool shortly into the recording sessions of Aenema and played all of that album. I could be wrong though. And if my memory is correct...(again i could be wrong on this) Justic chancellor started using stingray 4 strings but changed to his signature Wal basses shortly into the recording, because he couldnt get the right sound out of the stingrays. His amplification has almost always (until recently) been mesa boogie. he used m2000's and 400+ amps for a while...then swithced to the Mplulse series...and used them for quite a while but on their latest album switched to gallean kruger(sp) amps.

    Justins tone has a lot to do with his playing style and his effects...along with the fact that he uses one of the best basses out there.

    I am in a Tool/APC tribute band and i will say that while i dont think i have the perfect justin tone...its the best i can get with the gear that i have.

    Heavy pick attack...with lows and highs slightly boosted is what i use for my "justin" sound. Scoop the mids a little...not too much...i like to add a just a lttle bit of upper mid on my eq (Bass400+) and i turn the chorus effect up on my pedal for the heavy intro songs like 46 and 2, sober, the pot, and weak and powerless(apc)

    My main tool bass is a spector korean neck thru 4 string from the late 90's and it has served me well. its the cheapest bass i own and i love it for tool.

    im sure others will chime in on their experience trying to lock in on tools sound....they are one of my favorite bands of all time and if anyone wants to give me some more pointers...they will all be geatly appreciated.
  4. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    The bassist on Undertow played a Rickenbacker. Can't speak about the amps he used, but I imagine a GK would get you there.
  5. I know my Sons friends can nail that CLANGING Tool Sober sound using my old BassPOD XT Live and just about any bass. I'll try to find out the combination.
  6. kahanamoku


    Aug 6, 2007
    Wow, thanks a ton guys. Don't think I could have gotten a better post than bazzhed4's. Thanks bro. I'm not a HUGE Tool fan so I would have never known about the Chancellor/D'Amour thing. "Clanging" is the operative word here though. That's what I'm looking for. I thought about putting a B string in place of my E and dropping real low as a short term solution. Anybody ever tried that before?
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Nah, everything they do is in drop D tuning. A regular, or slightly thicker than usual E string should be fine. If you drop tune your bass, you'll lose the ability to do the stuff Justin does on the higher strings.
  8. bazzhed4


    Aug 2, 2003
    Aberdeen MD
    no problem bro. anything else i can do id be more than happy to help.

    another thing to take into consideration is the fact that tools sound is so unique..."crunchy" is the term i like to use. something that a lot of people that i know do for a tool sound is to play with your action a little bit. drop your action so you get a fair amount of fret noise when you are chording. a LOT of Tool music is chorded bass notes. In sober for instance...the intro riff is a just a drop d open chord played with heavy picking and a lot of the effect of the song is the strings making contact with the frets. i personally use a fair bit of chorus and i play the chords down by the bridge during the intro for extra bite. then when the song kicks i lighten up my picking...and move up toward the neck to mellow it out a little. It seems to work pretty well...i have had many compliments on my "tool" tone.

    now if i could just learn how to play better....my tone is great...its my playing that sucks.
  9. kahanamoku


    Aug 6, 2007
    Hahaha... that's always the problem isn't it. Well you certainly tackled a difficult enough project. Good luck to you. You have recordings anywhere?
  10. slidoom


    May 10, 2007
    the intro is not played on an open d..

    d--0-0-x-x-x-x-0-0--x---x-x---x-x-- x7



    all strings are being strumed

    if you watch this vid a fellow tber known as walbassplayer..he shows how the intro is played and the rest of the song....
  11. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Banned

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    That video is very good, and the tone coming from that Wal is excellent, even with a pick!
  12. bazzhed4


    Aug 2, 2003
    Aberdeen MD
    hey slidoom...you are correct. but just to clarify...i didnt mean that i played an open d...i meant open d chord. in my limited vocabulary of music...( im not trained...i just learn by ear) an open d chord is open on low d string... 5th fret on a string...and open on high d string. sorry about any confusion my lack of knowledge has caused...but like i said before...i suck and i only play by ear...no training ever.

    i didnt realize that he also played the g string d note also. i always played an open 5 open on DAD strings respectively. ill have to throw in that extra 7th fret in there the next time i play to see what it sounds like. the rest of the song is almost perfect to the way i learned it. i didnt know i was as close to the actual song...i was just playing what sounded right.

    also if he is monitoring this thread i would like to get walbassplayers input on something. i hear something in the ending that i do that he is not doing...i would like his input. pm me if your watching bro.

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