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New bassist here and new bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by prbrianpr, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    Hi friends, Im new to the world of music, I started listening to metal for a year an liked it so munch, now I started a metal band, I can sing but we cant find a bassist so I bought one, so I going to play the bass and sing at the same time. Well I bough one Stagg XB300 only because looks very good and I dont have the money for a BC rich. I have a month with it, and learning by ear and from internet bass sites. The bass is passive, I now know that most metal bands use active basses and that I can change my bass to active with active pickups and electronics kit. Now I dont have $150-$200 for a active kit, still I can use my bass for playing metal? I just plugged it to a normal amp, the bass sound like bass, not distorted like metal basses. What I can do?

  2. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    The vast majority of active basses are those that have passive pups and a active 2-3 band eq. Some with selectable treble center and some with selectable or sweepable mids to. Bass center freq will ussually vary from 80hz to 40 hz. I prefer the latter for bass center. Simplist thing would be add a nice yet inexpensive 2band active eq preamp. I like the Basslines Blackout a lot. To include liking it more then many of the more expensive offerings. They cost only about $49 btw. Their stacked bass/treble pot version would simply replace your passive tone control. You also get your output jack replaced by a stereo one so that the other side of it acts as switch for tunring preamp on and off. Is a pretty easy mod to install it. After that you just need room for the std 9volt battery.

    So for about $50 you can turn your nice passive bass into an active one.

    A fair amount of metal bassists use overdrive as part of their sound. Myself included. I use overdrive with electronica music to.

    Later on, if you decide to replace your bass with one you like better. You can use the preamp you put in your current bass for it to if its passive. Just restore passive tone pot and std jack.

    The best sounding active basses to me are those few whose pups are good enough that Id like them passive as well. Not as well as they sound with preamp added in most cases though. I like the sound tweak active preamp gives for more modern & more hifi tone etc. Generally a preamp does two things to your tone. 1 It gives extended low bass and upper treble. As though the pups full potential is opened up. This is the result of changing signbal to lowz from HiZ. The 2nd benefit is that extra tone shaping that active bass and treble controls give you. Even though most just adjust these a little bit boosted to a little bit cut, rather then maxxing htem out either way. Active treble control is not the same in its rolloff as passive tone pots treble cut in many cases. Esp when your going for treble centers around 6kz. (I use the upper rather then lower treble setting for the Blackouts treble switch selector cause I like that portion of the treble signal better for small boosts and cuts.

    Can you use passive bass for death and black and thrash metal? Of course you can. Lots used BC Rich passive american warlock basses for that. I think they sound even better made active with preamp added myself. And the nice upper end import bc richs have 2band active eq onboard stock for most of their basses now.

    First Id say add active 2band eq to your bass. 2nd Id say go audition various overdrive pedals or the overdrive sections of some multi effects units. Cause again overdrive is often part of the basses sound.
  3. Once you get into the realm of distortion, overdrive or fuzz boxes you may not even need a preamp. Alternatively (to considering an active bass if you feel that's important) you may want to look into getting an active DI box... you get a preamp and DI box (something most gigging musicians should have in their arsenal anyway) in one and you won't have to alter your bass. Your XB300 is certainly suitable for metal... it's only shortcomings may be regarding playability with regards to fretwork... inconsistent fret level which is pretty common at the XB300's price point and can easily be sorted out by a competent tech/luthier.

    As for getting the right 'tone' for metal it's a matter of personal preference (see bullet below since it seems you may be on a tight budget) when it comes to stomp boxes but one thing you will need to spend good cash on is an appropriate amp. Even a high dollar bass will sound like stinking baboon rectum if played through a lousy amp... however a low dollar bass will certainly be gig-worthy when played through a good amp.

    • Although I'm primarily a traditional bassist (clean signal) I do on occasion entertain my guilty pleasure by playing along with TON and shaking my house by running my basses through a Digitech Bass Driver which suits the genre pretty well. In the 80s the best box I had at my disposal was a Proco Rat which worked admirably but the Digitech will cop that and more. The full on fuzz may be what you're looking for. Check out the demos at Digitech's site:

      Bass Driver | DigiTech Guitar Effects
  4. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Who told you that you need an active bass for metal?

    I play mainly metal, and use only passive basses.

    Honestly, you can use almost any bass for metal. I use a Rickenbacker and a modded Peavey, but I've seen everything from BC Riches, Spectors, and Warwicks to Gibsons, Fenders, old Guilds and Kramers. There is no right or wrong bass for it.

    Amplification is pretty important in a metal band, though... in my opinion. I'd say $150-200 added to your budget for a good, reliable, and loud rig is a better use than buying an active kit if your bass sounds fine as it is.
  5. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    thankyou friends, so if I understand its better to spend the money on a Amp that have distortion and effects, where I find this? I saw differents active EQ in ebay at cheap prices also see others very expensive. For me, I dont know if my bassis a good bass, for me it sounds like a bass and its very solid also heavy but I go to the GYM so for me the weight not is a problem, but for my brother is very heavy. I saw the space for the electronics and I think that it have a good space for the active setup. Maybe on the future I go for a expensive bass or upgrade my bass, I like a lot the gothic look of the solid body. for now I need to learn how to play it, I only have a month learning :smug:
  6. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    Most bass amplifiers do not come with a whole lot of effects.

    What kind of amp are you using now? And what's your budget as far as your setup?

    Also, before you go active, what don't you like about the sound of your current bass?
  7. That's awesome that you're a metal singer and want to play bass. You're on the right track with that bass.

    Are you using a pick? I'd recommend learning with one if you want to go balls out metal. Lots of cats here use finger style (me included) but I also play with a pick when doing metal and it's worlds better, trust me.

    Strings are very important. You want new, bright strings. If you're playing darker death metal go with heavier gauge strings if you're on the punk side of things go with medium light.

    So, pick and strings are intrinsic to your metal bass sound.

    Don't worry about the quality of your bass now. By itself it probably sounds like ass but with a guitar in a band setting it'll blend into the mix and come to life.

    I agree that money best spent now is saving up for an amp. You're probably going to go the combo route to start. Don't worry about effects on the amp. They're usually garbage.

    You want a big speaker and a lot of wattage. See if you can afford an amp with one 15" speaker or two 10" speakers. That'll set you up nicely to play loud with drums and guitar. Check out used gear so you can get a good deal. You'll eventually upgrade this stuff, so you don't need to break the bank on it now. You sound kind of young, so I'm assuming you're not swimming in cash and you don't need to be but keep in mind the quality of one's equipment can and will give you an edge in the local metal scene.

  8. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    Ok I saw the Digitech bass driver on ebay :)
  9. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    well I have a normal amp with 6 line in so I connect Mic and bass. The amp only have bass, treble and Delay. I dont think that the bass sound bad, I sound to me like a normal bass. But I heard the bass in some songs at it sounds like distorted idk like thashy sound, mainly in youtube covers. I mainly like Slipknot, Deathstars, Black veil brides, Bullet for my valentine bands like that. Also like bands like Papa Roach, Linkin Park (only numetal songs) and evanescence.
  10. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    I don't think you need to use a pick to play metal. I use mainly a pick with one of my metal bands, and mainly fingers with the other one.

    I also think that as far as speakers go, one 15" or two 10" might not be enough, depending on the drummer and guitarist(s) involved.

    Of course, amp questions might be better asked in the amps forum.

    I agree that strings are pretty important, though. For myself, I use D'Addario XL's. Bright but still warm. I've also tried GHS Boomers and didn't like 'em. Too... well... boomy.
  11. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    A normal amp? What do you mean by that?

    A lot of bands may be using distortion pedals, or may be getting overdrive just from turning up the gain on the amp, especially a tube amp.

    Of course, I don't listen to those bands, so don't take my word for it.
  12. Alas, if you want to play metal in a metal band you will compete with loud guitar players (unless they use solid state amps such as Line 6.) So you need to cover the low end.

    Start saving money for a used 500W amp and a 4x10 cab. As for distortion-like sound, some amps like GK has a nice growl but you could always add a Sansamp pedal in front for more metal-like distortion.
  13. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    Now Im playing with fingers, a pick doesnt change the sound? I use a plastic pick and it sounds more high
  14. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    cool,.. i actually started playing bass and singing at the start of my career, also! we did metal and psychedelics. later focused on playing the bass. i had a crappy bass, crappy amp, and a Fuzz pedal that rocked.

    forget the active pups and get something you really need. for me it was a more powerful amp. gl
  15. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    Well I am on a new band, we are starting now, one guitarrist have now one year and half with his guitar for me he knows a lot and is very fast, also have 2 more guitarrist that bought their guitars now in december, I bought my bass, and we are talking with a baterist, all have 16 years old except me, im 22.
  16. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    When I use a pick, it's a 1.5mm or 2.0mm tortex. Thinner sounds and feels weird to me.

    But you don't HAVE to use a pick. Lots of metal guys don't, lots do. Use whatever is more comfortable for you.
  17. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies! Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Philadelphia Burbs
    Have fun friend! There is so much to explore.
  18. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    I saw a lot that for metal uses 5 strings basses, but all the bands that I know uses 4 strings, I think Black Veil Brides uses a pick but I saw slipknot uses fingers
  19. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    There's no right or wrong way, really.

    I only use 4-strings, and use both fingers and a pick. A friend of mine uses a six string and uses only fingers. Another person I know uses four strings and a pick. It's not especially important.
  20. prbrianpr


    Jan 1, 2012
    For what I need to buy another strings? for more lower notes?

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