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Metal bass tone

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by katalyzt13, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. katalyzt13

    katalyzt13 some dude

    May 22, 2012
    Sorry for brevity, posting on my phone.

    Trying to get good metal bass tone on recordings. For reference the album Nations To Flames by A Storm of Light. Using Ibanez SR series bass, have Podfarm, Amplitube and Gearbox or a Fender Bronco 40. Willing to buy pedals or plugins if necessary. Please help!
  2. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey
    Darkglass B3K.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    Metal bass tone


    Scoop out the mids and get drowned out by the guitars ...
  4. VeganThump


    Jun 29, 2012
    South Jersey

    That was very helpful, I'm sure the OP is very thankful for your post.
  5. karl_em_all


    Jul 11, 2013
    Dimension X
    Dime the tone knob on your bass when recording. Use a DI track and a mic track. This will give whoever is doing the mixing more options and better control for shaping the tone.
  6. JellinWellen


    Oct 18, 2012
    CRANK the mids, Cut the lows, SLIGHTLY boost the highs.
  7. There are probably 50,000 other threads that give you this answer but I'll bite.

    For EQ, boost your mids a bit - just enough to cut through the guitars and drums. If your band is anything like most modern metal bands, you're gonna need some mean presence. Maybe even boost the bass just a hair to not lose out on depth but leave the treble flat. You can do this either on your bass or amp.

    For pedals, invest in a nice overdrive or distortion pedal. The Darkglass B3K is easily the best bass overdrive you will find on the market with a huge range of tones on offer. However, it comes with a hefty price tag. As an alternative, look into the Digitech CM-2 overdrive. Its a guitar OD but it works amazingly on bass.
    For a distortion, nothing beats the ProCo RAT 2 or Turbo RAT pedals. When I want a wild distortion, those pedals absolutely nail it for me. Like a buzzsaw revving its way through bones!

    Apart from that, you're realistically gonna want a nice rig as well. A lot of your tone will be defined by what amp and speakers you're using - arguably more with the speakers. Look into dumping some cash into a nice amp and a 410 cab to give you the power and clarity to complement the effect pedals - at least for now. GK amps are excellent value for money and you can get them really cheap used. The 700RB-II is one I've been wanting to get for a little while. Cabs are very subjective and it all depends on personal taste. For metal, lots of players like to use Hartke, GK and Mesa equipment in my area. Of the three, Mesas sound the "heaviest" but are pricier but definitely more relevant for the style of metal you're going for (modern).

    I play in a hard rock/alt metal band (think similar to Tool) and I get away with this setup:

    Bass: Fender Jazz
    Amp: SWR Bass 350
    Cab: Ashdown ABM 410H
    Effects: EHX Bass Big Muff -> Boss GEB-7 EQ -> Dunlop Bass Wah -> Boss BF-3 Flanger -> MXR M80 Bass DI

    The BBM coupled with the EQ pedal can give me a really crushing, stoner-ish tone while the MXR is great for dialing in a little bit of grit for when I want to be felt but not overpowering the mix.
  8. Hamlet7768

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

    Jun 5, 2011
    El Raro's recommendations should work for the tone you're looking for. You definitely want grit, and a lot of it, to nail the tone I'm hearing on this album (kickass tone by the way).

    Also, a Sansamp Bass Driver might be helpful, or the VT Bass.
  9. katalyzt13

    katalyzt13 some dude

    May 22, 2012
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Saw one post about putting together a performance level rig - I'm just recording in my bedroom so running a 4x10 cab seems excessive to me. Gonna try to implement some of this advice and go from there.
  10. DethByDoom


    Sep 23, 2012
    MXR M80.

    A little gain/dirt can help cut through. Tube gain will bring out the mids a bit.

    Record a di and a cab mic on a good cab.

  11. Since you're playing through Amplitube, try mucking around on some amp models and 810 cabs on the software with the EQ/effects advice thrown around here. Generally speaking, the more speakers you're "running" through, the more air you're pushing which means your tone will be more cleaer and defined so see what different cab models do for you and your sound. You should be able to get a pretty decent replica of what you can expect from a live rig setting.

    Live effects do help, though. If you can't justify getting a rig, at least invest in some effects. The MXR M80 and the Sansamp BDDI are fantastic staple pedals that will give you amazing tonal edge - both clean and dirty. The great thing about them is that they are, effectively, preamps with DI outs which you can connect straight into a mixing unit and then into a computer for recording purposes.
  12. DethByDoom


    Sep 23, 2012

    Modeling... a SVT Cl and 810 would be a solid choice.
  13. Yup, 810's not 410's. My bad.
  14. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you're looking to try something different for your recordings, you should invest in effects like overdrives, distortions, and if you want to add some more flavor, modulation effects. it'll make your rig sound more unique. the darkglass b3k is the most popular choice for a bass overdrive. if you're interested in bass distortion, check out the ebs metaldrive. this pedal can deliver warm distorted bass sounds without obliterating lows.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Just have to add modeled effect like from IK Amplitube, and Podfarm can have way lower artifact noise like 60hz hum, and you can save a preset when you find a setting you like.
    Amplitube Custom Shop will let you try Amps, effects, cabs and mics for a couple of days to see how they work out for you.
  16. Can't listen (The Walking Dead is on) but DO NOT use an Ampeg model. Let the flames begin.

    I've worked in two different 6-piece metal bands - 2 guitars, vox, drums, *keys*, and me. I don't care how you EQ it, the Ampeg tone won't work. It's voiced for music made sixty years ago - has a natural mid scoop to the tone at 750 hz, too much bass, and gets too dirty when you're cranking the gain to an acceptable level of touch sensitivity.

    Instead I would choose a cleaner-sounding amp (I use GK amps, but have played many others), run plenty of gain for touch, crank the mids as suggested, leave the bass flat, and add Treble to taste. And honestly, you have to find a tone that you HATE in your bedroom - too clacky with treble, burpy with mids, and no real ass to it. Because I hate my bedroom tone. But put it in the mix - clear as a bell and is completely clear in the mix.

  17. Get a sans amp

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