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octave pedal vs detuning

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by infamousxtopher, Jun 25, 2007.


  1. well not exactly, but hang with me while i explain the situation. i just started gigging with a new band, not quite my cup of tea but fun stuff, kind of an industrial, synthpop kind of thing. the thing is the band decided that they needed to tune down to drop c, god know why "it sounds harder" that's the response i got... anyway, i prefer playing four string, but can't string it and set it up properly for drop c, since it's my only bass and i usually play at least two other gigs a week in standard tuning, thank god. i'm quite adverse to get a bass just set up for this, since i feel it is pretty worthless to wail on a low b, or c in this case, for the majority of a set. i've played the first few gigs up the octave from where they want it and haven't had and negative comments, from fans, but the keyboardist, wants me to tune down. i explain to him that in that register you will only really feel the note as the human ear can not hear the fundamental that low, when i tune down, i feel that nothing that low cuts through and it ends up more of a rumbling than a bass line. on to my question, with that background out of the way. do you guys think it would be a good idea to grab a good octave pedal ( i'm thinking ampeg ) so that i can have that low note there and make the band happy, but still have the fundamental in an octave where i feel it can cut through the mix, or should i suck it up and buy a 5/6 string and just deal with it? thanks for your opinions on the subject in advance and for reading this way too long post.

    topher.
     
  2. saxnbass

    saxnbass

    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I'd just play with either an octave pedal or in the regular 4-string octaves/range. That's me though. I was in a screamo metal band with a 4-string that had a Hipshot X-Tender (D-Tuner) although the guitarist tuned quite a bit lower. I just played it in the octave I had available to me.
     
  3. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Have to disagree there. If that was true, my low B would be more or less the same as one octave above (or mud, which it is not). The reason you get a rumbling instead of proper bass notes when you tune down is most probably that there isn't enough tension in the strings for clarity.
    If you can buy a 5 string, that's the best solution. Second best would be a good octave pedal, but you can't be sure if it will work for you until you actually try it in the band. The 5 string will definitely do it as it is meant to be done.
     
  4. Mang, break the mould!!! - don't just cave in and do what every other industrial band on the planet is doing! That's boring and cliched beyond comprehension.

    Not to mention that it sounds terrible when everyone is perpetually invading the bass players territory for an entire set. It's the Spinal Tap thing, when you're on ten on your guitar, and everything on your amp is up to ten, where do you go? Well, they went to eleven...

    What I'm saying is, what if you decided that it would be cool to drop the riff an octave, but your starting point is C0? Where do you go? And if you go there, do elephants stampede?

    Stick with what you've got, maybe get some killer distortion or something - do something left field rather than just tuning down because it's the done thing!
     
  5. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    +1 for the string tension remark.

    I'd say get a Digitech Whammy IV because of its versatility. When I'm in your situation I tend to use the -1 oct harmony mode so it both cuts and rumbles.

    The keyboardist knows exactly what you'll sound like, but it'll keep the other frequencies less muddy -- the detuned guitars will be in the exact same range as your bass unless you're careful, so if you stay with what you're doing now you may just get lost anyway... Also, the keyboard is all over your range (depending on what he's doing). The Whammy harmony mode will work especially well here because when every one is in your range you can put your toe down (which puts you at a +1 octave harmony) and cut through everything.
     
  6. Swift713

    Swift713

    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I'm sure that the problem you're having is primarily string tension. However, what do you have for an amp? Or speakers? Some cabinets just don't cut it below E at band volume. I for one prefer my 5 string at this point but it sounds like you might be happier with an octave pedal.
     
  7. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    well, if they're in your territory, why don't you go into their territory? get an EHX Bass Micro Synth or maybe a POG and go up, not down from where you are (or both)
     
  8. Roland777

    Roland777

    Jun 1, 2006
    Sweden
    Yeah, like people before have said, C below E-standard is very much audible, don't know where you got the notion that things would be otherwise... Furthermore, it's not a massive problem tuning down to C, just get a .120-gauge and you're set. Now, on the other hand, if you wanna keep your bass in E-standard tuning because that's where you're usually at, that's okay. Let them know. But don't make up excuses for it. :p
     
  9. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    As others have mentioned... to combat the floppiness, use a higher guage.

    Heck, this may be one of the few times where using a "B" string instead of an "E" on a 4-string would probably be okay.

    Using a 5-string is easier, since to get a good "E", you wouldn't have to change out any strings.
     
  10. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    ...not to mention that a B will most probably not fit in the E nut slot.
     
  11. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    True. You could cut a wider slot in the nut for a better fit, but then you'd need a new nut to go back to an E string...
     
  12. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    not necessarily, I got away with it :) though I may change it eventually, if problems occur...
     
  13. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Inactive

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    My 4 banger is tuned BEAD. I just cus winder slots for the strings. Which wasnt hard cus the nut is a POS :oops:

    Works, though I like my SX jazz better :)
     
  14. saxnbass

    saxnbass

    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Daniel, where you been?
     
  15. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Hmm... true. It's probably better to cut it in a "V" shape to be able to get away with it. But I imagine it's more of a problem with a heavy attack (i.e., picks, slapping, etc.).
     
  16. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Anyway, to answer the original post: As changing strings is impractical due to other gigs, tuning down sounds like crap and you don't want to invest in another bass, a pedal is the only option if you want to play ball.
     
  17. sorry guys i didn't explain some things as well, i had been setting up my bass for each gig BEAD, no way i'm playing with a floppy c string :) but it's really a pain in the ass to do that once a week, i just need another bass :) i'm going to pick up the digitech BSW this weekend to see how the octave works out before buying something nicer/hell i might dig the bsw we'll see. and i didn't mean step on any 5 stringers feet, it is not the matter of hating the low b string, it's being on it all the time, i feel that the real low notes in this music are only needed at certain points which is whyy i'm hoping i can get away with the octave pedal, if not i'm going to pick up a new bass, and keep my old beater tuned BEAD for these guys, i should have a backup bass anyway. as for my rig not doing this low notes justice this is probably true, i use a hartke 1x15 at practiced but go to the board live, so i can't really throw the amp into the equation since it's null and void for gigs. thanks a lot for all your advice, you guys rock.

    topher.
     
  18. Saetia

    Saetia

    Mar 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    If you're in BEAD then why would you tune CGCF? You can cover what the band needs in that tuning, you just have straight 4ths instead of being in a drop.

    I'd say stay in B and use the C on the low B when needed

    Peace

    -Benny
     
  19. i'm not tuning down, i'm in BEAD, i was kind of ambiguous about that in my first post, sorry.
     
  20. Christian Waiau

    Christian Waiau

    Jun 16, 2005
    las vegas/maui, nevada/hawaii
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, Aguilar, Darkglass


    +1 on all that!
     
  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.

     
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