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Looking for advice on Bass Distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by allintime, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. allintime


    Apr 10, 2018
    Hi, first post here. I'm relatively new to playing bass seriously after messing around for 8 years. I've joined a cover band playing 90s rock, and I could use some help getting a solid distortion sound. Some of the songs we're playing have bass distortion (I think), and I want to get close to the tone on the recordings. The songs are Desperately Wanting (Better than Ezra), All Over You (Live), and Lump (The Presidents of USA).

    I grabbed a used Bass Big Muff Nano from the local GC, but was disappointed. The sound lost a lot of low end and it was difficult to find a good balance between level and gain. It just sounds too fuzzy, and not like the deep distorted bass sound of the songs I mentioned. Specific questions I have are:
    Do you have any tips for dialing in the big muff to get the tone I'm after?
    Is this the right type of pedal I should be using?
    Is there other pedals that I should replace it with or add to the chain?

    My gear: Brand new Cort B4 Plus MH (sounds awesome!), an old Gallien-Krueger Backline 210 Combo Amp. Pedal chain: korg pitch black tuner > Bass Big Muff Nano > Behringer BLE400 limiter enhancer > amp. I also have a boss BD-2 I can throw in, but it doesn't help the low end at all. Maybe I can do more with that? Thanks!
  2. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    i just think you want an overdrive pedal, not a fuzz.

    go to the guitar center and try some overdrives like the aguilar Agro.

    Fuzz vs overdrive vs distortion actually give you quite different sounds, imo. Explore them all
  3. King Weapon

    King Weapon

    Sep 20, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I was actually going to recommend the Agro as well! It doesn’t lose lows (depending on how you set it) and has a wide range of Drive sounds.
  4. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004

    Also, the big muff NANO version doesn't have the bass boost setting which the full sized model does. I have the full sized model, and the bass boost gives some..gnarly ass stuff.
  5. allintime


    Apr 10, 2018
    Thanks for the advice, that Agro does sound like what I'm looking for. I might start with something cheaper though since I just spent all my money on the new bass and a case.

    For the bass big muff nano, I can't seem to get the same tone as I hear in the youtube demo videos. Any advice for good settings? In the full band practice the fuzz was barely cutting through, so not sure if I got a defective one or the previous owner mess with it. I almost preferred the BD-2 sound if the bass didn't die out so much. I heard there's a mod to it that I might try.
  6. Lots of great options and opinions vary. But used, something with a blend or mix, possibly a pedal with 2 or 3 band tone.

    I really like the flexibility of the EHX Hot Wax, two different drive circuits, 2 band Eq and clean mix.
    ObsessiveArcher, Nunovsky and jcerio like this.
  7. Being and Bass

    Being and Bass

    Apr 9, 2017
    Second to the EHX Hot Wax if you are just getting into distortion. It lets you fiddle, but you will always stumble into good sounds. And with the two circuits I guarantee you will hit tone gold (and when stacked they are amp-melting).
    leegreenman and jcerio like this.
  8. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If money is no option, check out the darkglass vintage deluxe or the vintage ultra. but if you are on a tight budget, check out the electro-harmonix hot wax or the source audio after shock.
    hintz, Nunovsky and chaosMK like this.
  9. Beheroth


    Aug 26, 2016
    it's a muff, muff are scooped
  10. allintime


    Apr 10, 2018
    I'd love to get a darkglass but yeah I'm trying watch how much I spend. I'll keep an eye out for a hot wax. Just to be thorough, any opinions on the EHX Bass Soul Food for getting the sound? Seems a bit more in my price range, but not sure how it compares to the other pedals you've mentioned.

    Also, I'd like to pick up an envelope filter (for the song Love Fool by The Cardigans, and just for fun). I was looking at the bass balls but reviews say it's almost unusable live because of how it kills the signal. Anyone experienced this or know a work around? They are cheap and easy to find used from GC, which is why I ask about it.
  11. symbolic_acts


    May 24, 2004
    before auto-picking a bassballs id say check some other ones. The MXR envelope filter, for example, is far more versatile.
  12. 2010P

    2010P Inactive

    May 13, 2017
    Said it before and I'll say it again. The Shift Line Buzz is all you need.
  13. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    Proco Rat.
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    fuzzrocious cat tail pedal or a mesa d180 head
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  15. Cardiff Giant

    Cardiff Giant

    Jan 30, 2018
    Something with a blend feature would be ideal. That way you can set how much overdrive you want to add to your signal, while still keeping the low end and avoiding a scooped EQ and getting lost in the mix. I use a Darkglass B7K Ultra for that reason. The B3K is similar without the pre-amp.
    Charlzm likes this.
  16. Agosix

    Agosix Supporting Member

    May 7, 2013
    Woodhaven NY
    Wren and Cuff Supa Phat Phuk
  17. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    Source Audio After Shock. done.
    or for a budget buy...
    DOD Boneshaker, has a semi parametric EQ, you set the frequency, you set the level of each frequency. Make no mistake though, this is a distortion, not an OD and can get quite brutal.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  18. Saw this video just today. Pedal looks awesome.
  19. If you want something on the inexpensive side, a used Digitech Hardwire CM-2 Overdrive will get you a good bass overdrive for short money (Used $40). I used one for years before upgrading to a Darkglass.
  20. I use the Ampeg SCR-DI, which has the elements of Scrambler overdrive, a pre-amp, and a direct input (DI). I don't use the pre-amp much with my EBMM, but the DI and Scrambler are useful and decent. You can pick up a used one for $100, and it's built like a tank.
    allintime, Rumble Thunder and chaosMK like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 14, 2021

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