Madness Tone

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tobias Wilcox, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. I've always enjoyed Mark Bedfords (Bedders) early Madness tone. I know he played Precision and rounds - what is the main component of this tone as far as EQ / gain goes?
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  2. Nick von Nick

    Nick von Nick Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2014
    Huge fan of Two-Tone anything, so here's my best input:

    In the video below, he's definitely using a couple Peavey Heads and a corresponding can. Lord knows I can't discern which ones. The band is lip syncing to the song, but the gear is probably what they carried with them. There might be a wee bit o' chorus on the track.

    Every video/picture I've seen of Bedders playing a P-Bass has him plucking directly over the pickup. His tone is brighter than most of the ska/reggae bassists - much closer to punk, but still punchy and pizzicato (no pick). I'd venture that most of his tone is from his technique. None of the gear stands out as drastic to his sound. Contrast this to contemporaries: on one end you have Paul Simonon, who was much grittier and pick-driven. On the other end you have Jah Wobble, who is heavy on the fundamental. I'd put Horace Panter closer to Wobble, and then Bedders somewhere after him (closer to the middle of that spectrum).

    In my experience, for a brighter ska sound, definitely accentuate the bass around 80-100 Hz. I like to roll off a lot of the high end over 4kHz. Adjust your mids to taste, but focus on the low mids for your biggest boosts. If you're looking for an effect, I've had great luck with a Tech 21 Q-Strip in that realm. If you want the Madness sound out of that pedal, definitely tweak the mids and click on both the HPF and LPF.

    I hope that helps!
    ~Nick von Nick
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