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Reggae bass.... effects ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bassmike62, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 GAS resistance is utterly futile... Supporting Member

    'Morning guys,

    Been sorta immersing myself in that music for the last 4-5 days reading up about the few bass players I knew about and discovering a few others along the way.

    Searched for a list of "must-know" songs, dwindled it down to about 20-22 I liked (1/3 being from one Bob Nesta Marley) and apart from the deep tone, no effect seems to be used.

    I found a site (http://www.how-to-play-reggae.com/Do-you-know-your-reggae-bass.html) which provided a bit of insight and although it basically mentionned you can use whatever effects you like (probably written by a TBer... :p), but as mentionned, I can't hear effects on the songs I've listened to.

    I currently get my reggae tone with the reggae patch from my 60B and by rolling off Lovey's tone knob to the half-mark. It works for fine, but I'm always looking for ways to improve.

    Do you use effects in reggae ?
    How do you get that deep bass tone ?
  2. Only thing you need are some flatwound strings for that old school thumpy reggae. Sounds right even with my Ovation Magnum's tone knobs all the way up.

    Otherwise I agree you can use what ever effects you want as long as you can play and understand the feeling of reggae bass.
  3. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06 Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    I use a Tech 21 Red Ripper as a powerful LPF to get some very serious THUMP from my already thumps flats.

    Level: unity or slight boost
    Highs: 07:00
    Mids: 07:00
    Lows: 03:00
    RIP: 08:30
    Drive: 12:30
    LPF: ON

    This along with either some thumb plucked palm mutes, playing right over the fretboard by the body or (if you're that kind of bassist) a felt pick works wonders.
  4. TRyan5289


    Jul 18, 2012
    Davenport, Iowa
    I don't play reggae, or claim to be an expert, but...

    A chorus pedal, and a scooped eq is what comes to mind, IMO.
  5. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I don't mean to be mean, but no. Neither chorus nor scooped mids are even remotely normal for reggae.

    Though as mentioned earlier, anything goes as long as the rhythmic feel is proper.
    The_Lucek likes this.
  6. jking138


    Oct 6, 2013
    Flats are probably the biggest part of the sound, preference towards the neck pick up for that deep sound and thats reggae. I have the B3 so I have an idea of how the effects on the 6oB work.
    Octave could work, mix the octave at about 50 and dry at 100, turn the mids down (on the pedal sim), to add some extra low to shake the room.
    For another patch you could add in some autowah, or the z tron sim, 50/50 mix to add a touch of funk.
    You could also set up a synth patch, like Bob Marley's Dracula, (I know it is a synth with the bass guitar in the back) but could sound cool.

    Try the mono synth sim, roll the res and sens and others down a bit and use a saw tooth or square wave, 50/50 mix again.

    I think you might struggle to use anything else as traditionally there are very few effects used on reggae bass, not that you can't experiment.
  7. No effects.

    Get a jazz, turn all the knobs full clockwise. EQ flat.

    Play near the neck like it's 100 degrees and 99% relative humidity.
    synthesaur likes this.
  8. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Aug 11, 2012
    Upstate NY, USA
    I once heard a Steel Pulse bass line with autowah. For the most part, I don't hear effects on the bass in reggae, and I've listened to quite a bit of it.
  9. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    EQing will help. A cheap way to get a boosted super low tone is also the EHX Mole, cheap and does the trick.
  10. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    i have used compression and octaviders on occasion. just a tad of synth works wonders. recently, we toured as support for a name act and their bassie loved the tones i was getting. he really liked the EBS OctaBass!

  11. David Beers

    David Beers

    Jan 2, 2013
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio
    Here's a cool trick I learned to get super sub dubby bass tone: use an envelope filter, but turn the sensitivity all the way down so that it never opens. Tune in the resonance to get the right amount of oomph. Works really well with some envelopes, like my Maxxon. Extra sustain and super round, phat but clean bass.

    Other than that, yes flat wounds and tone knob off. You can use a delay for little breaks, set it fast and set it to divide the tempo into triplet for that reggae delay sound. Just to ring out a note here and there. Of course reggae bass is really about feel. Good luck!
    hintz likes this.
  12. David Beers

    David Beers

    Jan 2, 2013
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio
    P.S. You also want to scoop the midrange, as well as roll the tone knob back to cut treble. The ampeg cans most of the reggae cats used have a nice natural mid scoop that you will probably want to emulate.
  13. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Twin Cities, MN
    If your bass has a neck pickup, roll to the neck and cut the bridge pickup almost completely. I also like to attack the strings a few frets above the end of the fretboard. I would also work on palm muting technique while using your thumb to attack the strings. You really don't need any effects. You can accomplish everything with a few basic EQ and technique changes. In the end, have fun with it.
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Mostly no effects, it is really about the groove, not the tone. That said, I roll off amost everything above 2k hz.

    A "Baseballs" pedal is good for an occasional effect. Check this awesome Tarrus Riley reggae cover of Robin Thick's "Superman."
  15. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Yeah, most of the reggae I've heard had no effects on the bass but some certainly did.
    I've got a nice patch on the B3 I like with a fretless P.
    M filter with sensitivity and resonance on 3,
    stereo chorus with everything at noon but no low cut,
    analog delay with time at 220, feedback 12, and mix 25
  16. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    yeah, Swift... the slight bit of delay makes that bottom swell-up nicely!:)
  17. dvlmusic


    Jul 24, 2010
    Alameda, CA
    I played in a roots reggae band for about 4 years and I used my Jazz bass with flatwounds on and I would roll off most of the tone. The flats made an ENORMOUS difference in the fatness and thumpy-ness of my tone. Remember too that just turning up the bass knob on your amp may result in more mud and less clarity. Low mids go a long way to fattening things up and keeping each note clear.

    This track was recorded with the Jazz and I doubled the bassline on guitar with an autowah.

  18. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    No effects. No mid scooping. No chorus pedals. No delay pedals.

    What reggae are you guys listening to?

    Apparently they used to record the old reggae records by mic'ing up the back of the bass amp rather than the speaker. I can believe that! You don't really want definition or attack so much as a solid fundamental. A Gibson EB-0 would be a good choice (saw one in the background of an old reggae documentary). Reggae tone is as much about timing and playing cleanly.

    I understand this is the 'effects cure anything' forum, but other than some nifty low pass filtering there is no other effects. No time-based effects because you are the backbone of the music not another soloist. In dub reggae situations, everybody else gets treated with tape delay or spring reverb, but the bass is always dry.

    I've been able to get one pedal to give me a reggae tone. Believe it or not, you can tune an Ibanez SB7 Bass Synth to work as a cool LPF. By turning the sensitivity and frequency knobs right down, then slowly raising them again, you get the envelope in the pedal to open just enough to give a wicked sub-bass tone. It sounds like your bass is playing in a basement club over in the next street, but it does work for reggae... sorta...
    Jim Carr likes this.
  19. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Please leave your attitude at the door, thanks.
    willbassyeah likes this.
  20. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    BTW, it is common to use delay during dub sections.