REALLY heavy bass tones

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by necrobot, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. necrobot


    Dec 29, 2009
    I've been researching how to obtain heavy bass tones but there doesn't seem to be much talk about it. Ever listened to black sheep wall? or admiral angry? if you haven't you need to. I personally hated breakdowns until i heard these guys. the bass player is in both bands and i'm trying to figure out how he gets the sound he has. I'm thinking maybe he teams an overdrive pedal + bass booster + tremolo (fast rate) but i can't be certain.... (listen for the bass and you'll know what i mean) So... has anybody got any ideas for which pedals to avoid/use? has anybody got any tips on how to avoid all that ******** noise that sometimes comes with an overdriven bass? thanks, i'm trying to create that.. tear wrenching tone that can be performed live to make people get heartache.
  2. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    I'm an old hardcore head and that's pretty crappy haha, but hey, to each his own.

    Sounds like new, floppy strings, direct line or solid state amp with mids and bass rolled off, and a Rat with the filter on a treblier setting.
  3. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Really heavy bass tones?

    Try Electric Wizard, Ramesses and Accept Death. Doesn't get much heavier IME.
  4. necrobot


    Dec 29, 2009
    each to their own indeed:) thanks for the reply.

    mids and bass rolled off huh? and i have no idea what a 'Rat' is haha:(
  5. necrobot


    Dec 29, 2009
    I used to listen to electric wizard but i kind of grew out of it, but yes.. the bass sound is exceptional i agree! but how to obtain it..... :(
  6. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
  7. +1 for the parallel signal idea. If you're on a budget, you can probably get by with a Boss LS-2 with a separate drive in each loop, or a drive and a clean, as MIJ pointed out. Also, the Pigtronix Disnortion is one of the few dirt pedals out there that have parallel overdrive and fuzz built in. I actually have both the Disnortion and the LS-2 on my board. :D

    Learning how to EQ your bass to sit in the mix with the guitars is also going to get your band to sound a lot heavier overall. In my band, I use a pretty big boost in the 80-150hz range, a slight boost in the 500hz range, and treble pretty flat for the most part. I use a Sansamp VT Bass as an always-on preamp/tone shaper, and that seems to filter out some of the really low (sub 50hz) range, which cleans up my tone and helps with punchiness and amp efficiency. With that setup, I can get some REALLY thick sounds without myself or my band sounding muddy. It helps that my guitarists aren't just wannabe-bassists who dime their bass knobs, too.
  8. jrmy


    Dec 19, 2009
    Rhode Island
    Another great blendable fuzz is the Malekko B:assmaster - it's a really nasty fuzz, and you can blend a cleaner signal in as well (though I'm not sure if it's completely clean - been a while since I turned the fuzz on mine down to check). You can also tweak the harmonics of the fuzz.

    In terms of fuzzes that are purely heavy on their own, you should check out Dwarfcraft - either the Eau Claire Thunder (which is one of my grails of heavyosity) (crazy-ass demo vid at .
  9. necrobot


    Dec 29, 2009
    Wow, i didn't think i'd get such a good reponse, thanks so much.

    The pigtronix Disnortion? I may look into that. I was thinking of using my BOSS ODB-3 becuase i find it's a boost in itself and it can sound pretty heavy.

    So, basically the idea is to grab a LS-2 and put my natural bass tone and an overdriven tone through at the same time? I just wonder if it would really make a huge difference or not.
  10. Heavy sound starts with a heavy amp!
  11. tech 21 xxlb into boss odb-3 is pretty heavy
  12. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Bass -> ODB-3 (low gain setting, blended 50%) -> BDDI used as preamp (40-50% drive setting, blended 50%) -> All-tube power section of an amp (e.g. "power amp in" on SVT-CL or -2 Pro) -> Cabinet(s) with 10" speakers and the tweeter turned off or set very low (Mesa cabs are perfect!). It's worked flawlessly for me for years. Just my $.02.
  13. RCCollins is definitely right about the amp. If you're playing through a 25 watt 1x10 combo, no pedals in the world will make you sound heavy, but if you get a decent rig and dial it in right, you won't NEED any pedals at all. You need to start with a good solid tone.

    As for blending, it makes much more of a difference if you are using either a really treble-oriented drive or a drive that sucks out your low end. In a perfect world, you don't need any blend pedals to retain your low end, but they can be pretty useful. It seems like the ODB-3 has a blend built in to it, if I remember right, so putting that in an LS-2 loop would be kind of redundant.
  14. necrobot


    Dec 29, 2009
    Well, i'm using a Yamaha RBX170 (double octave) with very heavy gauge strings out of an Ashdown MAG 300H head with 2 a South Australian handmade valve Woogie cabinets (4x12)

    I used to use my BOSS gt-b6 and then i realised i could be getting a much nicer tone with single stomp boxes, and besides i ride my bike to shows and the darn thing just DOESN'T fit. it's built like a sh!t brickhouse.
  15. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Unless a distortion has a built in blend, (or is the VT pedal!) yes it does make a Huge difference when using a distortion not made for bass. (like a Rat or a non-bass Big Muff or a Guyatone FZ...) Even bass overdrives can use some clean low end.
  16. heavy bass tones eh? 3 things.

    1. a tube amp (driven hard)
    2. a good bass (high output pickups help)
    3. new strings (and how well you can manipulate them)

    if you use a solid-state amp, forget it. sorry, but the words "heavy" and "solid state" are like water and oil to me.
  17. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Redlands, CA
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    That's ridiculous. Tell me all those old Kyuss recordings with solid state bass heads aren't heavy and I'll call you crazy!
  18. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Watch out, you can trip over things with your nose so high in the air!

  19. HogieWan


    Feb 4, 2008
    Lafayette, LA
    I use a Line 6 POD X3 and it allows 2 simultaneous rigs, so I use a distorted tone and a clean tone together almost all the time, some of the cleaner patches just have the distorted signal turned down a lot.
  20. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    sickest beast - Dude, really? A quality SS head with lots of power and a good EQ section can do wonders for heavy music or tone period...
    Is a good, od'd tube amp killer? Yes, but the right person, situation, bass, and sometimes pedals can beat it on the right SS head.