Mike Dirnt sound

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by danniee, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    I have been googling and searching everywhere for what I thought would be very easy to find, but no luck. I am trying to figure out how to get the Mike Dirnt sound on bass. I guess it is a pretty typicall punk sound. But the forums I have checked, including this one, all give different advice and some don't even seem to know what they are talking about.

    I use a Squier P-Bass which is connected through a preamp and then I play through AmpliTube2 in Cubase. I get pretty close with the Bass knob set to around 3-4, Middle set to 0 and Treble to full. I don't use EQ because I don't think Mike Dirnt do, at least not live??

    So please, anyone have any useful links or know what they are talking about and are familiar with the sound of Mike Dirnt, feel free to give advice.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. JulienJeff


    Mar 1, 2009
    P-bass, tube amp and you should have a similar sound
  3. bassforce

    bassforce Guest

    Feb 7, 2007
    P-bass with roundwound strings + ampeg all tube amp or sansamp.
  4. Wasted Bassist

    Wasted Bassist

    Nov 11, 2008
    Fargo, ND
    P-bass, new strings, and a tube amp. That's as far as many people will give you. Try adding some mids. I use a Spector Legend and a Fender Bassman combo to get a pretty convincing Mike Dirnt tone when my band does the occasional Green Day cover.
  5. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    Thank you, but I am thinking more in terms of amp settings.

    On my AmplitTube amp I got the following knobs

    Gain knob
    Hi and Lo buttons
    Bass knob
    Midrange knob
    Frequency knob
    Treble knob
    Master knob

    What are the ultimate settings for the Mike Dirnt sound?
  6. You're not really going to get that sound from a software plugin.
    The sound he gets is from playing loud with a pick through an all tube amp. If that's not something you've ever experienced before, it can be hard to describe.

    Generally the best EQ settings for that kind of tone are just set flat, and have a great amp. I don't think messing with the EQ in AmpliTube is going to achieve anything.
  7. KPAX

    KPAX Inactive

    Mar 22, 2005
    I read an interview (probably in Bass Player) where he said he specifically likes to boost the 2kHz frequency.
    That sounds right for his type of tone.
    Whether or not you can boost that frequency on your gear depends on your amp and EQ. 2KHz is high mids to low treble.
    I don't know what frequency your treble is centered at but a lot of modern amps have it high (GK has it at 7kHz) and cranking it can screw up your sound. I also don't know what frequency your mid control is centered at but generally speaking, cutting your mids too much can make your sound disappear in the band mix.
    Mike Dirnt has a focused sound with not a lot of lows but also not a lot of high treble. Go for the 2kHz. You mentioned having an EQ, I'd definitely try using it.
    You have a p-bass which is good. I'd advise low action - let it buzz and grind.

  8. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    I beg to differ. I do believe that you can get pretty close with good software plugins because I have already achived a pretty decent tone. But still, I would like to know if I am going in the right direction. Thank's to "KAPX", your post was very informative, but to be honest the terms are a bit too advanced for me since I know not much about frequencies and mixing. Are you saying to hold back on treble and use more mids? I always thought in punk a lot of treble was used and almost no mids??

    So exactly how should I turn the mids and treble knobs as well as the bass knob?

    I don't understand exactly how to set up the EQ. And you are right about the 2KHz thing. I have also read that it is the sound he is aming for.

    And what does it mean "let it buzz and grind"? You mean it should sound dirty almost with a lot of noise? Because that is what I get when I turn the knobs for the more raw sound.

    Thank you so much. Looking forward to more input.
  9. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    Alright, I boosted a bit at 2KHz with the EQ and pull back the treble knob slightly, mids knob set to zero and only 3 on the bass knob. I boosted a bit at 800 in the EQ. I think I got a pretty ok sound, but I don't know if it will hold in the mix. Maybe I am doing something wrong with the frequencies that I dont understand.

    Please take a listen and tell me what you think.

  10. TribalEagle


    Mar 19, 2005
    Finland EU
    It was in total guitar bass special where he said something like " I love that 2khz".. but he has allso said that now days eq on his amp is set allmost flat. I saw a picture of his current setup (fender) and eq was flat except bit reduced at 300hz.
    I have that total guitar somewhere.. I try to find it cos there he speaks a lot about his signature bass and how he gets his tone.
  11. Wasted Bassist

    Wasted Bassist

    Nov 11, 2008
    Fargo, ND
    Not a bad sound. Now to recreate it through an amp with a band.
  12. pigsonthewing


    Jul 7, 2009
    New Yawwk
    Dude you have a really good punk tone there, and i you've ever heard of the band Anti-Flag, at the beginning of the song "Stars and Stripes", the bass sounds exactly like yours
    and it does sound Mike Dirnt-ish to me also :bassist:
  13. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    Wow, that's great to hear guy's! Really kind of you to taking the time to help me out here.

    I am a guitar player and singer and have been for almost 15 years, but I bought myself a bass three days ago to use for my home recordings and WOW! I never knew bass was such an amazing instrument. I love it even more that the guitar. When I pick up the guitar after I have been playing bass for an hour or so, the guitar feels like a little toy ha ha.

    Thanks guy's! I'll keep checking this thread for any feedback.

    I am still a bit curious about the EQ because even though the bass sounds ok now, I wonder what to think about in the final mix. I heard stuff about a bass disappapearing in the mix. I want the sound I have in the clip I posted but maybe I need to give and take here and there in the EQ to get it right in the mix also. I hope you understand what I mean.
  14. Wasted Bassist

    Wasted Bassist

    Nov 11, 2008
    Fargo, ND
    In the mix, it may help to boost your mids a tish. It'll help your sound "cut" a little better. And yes... I'm trying to use the most ambiguous terms possible.
  15. kgoism


    Mar 26, 2008
    not bad, but i feel like dirnt has just a tad more bass/low mid and a wee bit less treble. But really, you could pass with that sound.
  16. Green Day tunes in drop D as well, so best to keep that in mind. If I remember correctly, mike tends to pick behind the pickup when he plays, or at least used to when dookie came out (gives a higher tone), but then again back then he used to use a gibson ripper or grabber (different tone entirely). As for software and eq settings... I don't know about that, so I won't try to give any comment on those things.
  17. danniee


    Jul 29, 2009
    Thanks guy's! It's correct about him playing near the bridge to get a higher tone and I am doing that as well. Not to emulate his sound necissarily but because the constant buzz becomes quiet when I keep my hand on the bridge lol.

    Once again, thank you for your input, all of you. I'll remember also to put in some more "mids" in it for the bass to come forward a bit more in the mix :)
  18. I can't add anything to the above comments regarding how to get his tone, but I just went to the Green Day concert in DC last night and I have to say that the bass sounded grea - it clearly cut through the mix and you could feel it in your chest. Overall, it was a great show.
  19. kcamsdog1387


    Jun 22, 2009
    Seacoast NH
    When I used to play a lot of punk, I really boosted the lower mids on my Squier P and seriously, set your action low because the slight buzz tonally makes a difference. I play about 1/4 of the way between the pickup and the bridge. Try getting some natural overdrive by having the gain high, but adjusting the natural volume to your liking. Oh yea, and pick the hell out of those notes.
  20. I'm pretty sure he tunes to E flat standard.
    jafp likes this.