Sansamp instead of pick?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by taught, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. taught


    Jan 5, 2015
    Hello there!

    My problem is that I really like to play with my fingers but I need that punchy pick attack tone.
    'Well go ahead and use a pick then!' - you would say.
    I did, and I tried. I am practicing since then, but for me it is muuuuuch more harder to play this way. I feel totally uncomfortable and I don't like to play this way at all!

    Lately I was wondering that could I replace the pick with well known Tech 21 Sansamp bass driver DI? With the presence and blend effects?

    So my goal is to achieve the pick tone without an actual pick.

    Big Brother likes this.
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    It always annoys me when I forget to cut my fingernails before a rehearsal or gig, gives me a pick-like attack I don't like. ;)

    Maybe that's something you can try, let your nails grow a bit.

    A Sansamp or EQ will give you more treble but not the attack.
    Jamvan, The_Lucek, SteveCS and 7 others like this.


    May 4, 2006
    Courtenay, BC, Canada
    Try playing with the tips of your fingers more so than the pads and dig in a little harder. That will give you a little more of pick like attack. Combine that with longer nails and you'll get pretty close to a pick sound. I like the way a pick sounds but I tend to get too excited and break strings. A g-string flying across your face is no fun. Well not that kind of g-string anyway.
  4. taught


    Jan 5, 2015
    Thank you guys.

    I already tried every angle and spot of my fingers, was'nt even close to the pick sound :D

    I'll try the nails though!
  5. taught


    Jan 5, 2015
    By the way the final goal is not exactly the "attack" rather than the TONE of the pick.

    If I turn up my tone knob on my bass, it sounds like I am hitting a steel plate with a steel lace. It's an EMG passive PJ pickup.
  6. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    A lot of the tone is because of plucking the string with a harder and pointier object though, creating overtones you don't get with your fingers.
    petrus61, nshuman and P-oddz like this.
  7. Practice is the answer here. No shortcuts :)
  8. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    IME, you will not get a pick attack out of a pedal. You need to attack it with a pick. I didnt use a pick for years. A couple years ago I started picking one up more and more and got more comfortable with one. Im really glad I did. It never hurts to broaden your horizons and playing skills. A pick/finger player is a great value to any band. And yes, there is a pick tonal difference in using one or the other as you already know. But for me, I too wanted to get that pick attack sound/tone. I had a plethora of pedals to help me get there. But they didn't. I had to pick up the pick. And I dont regret it. And I continue to get better at it every day I use it. It will also cause you to write differently at times. which is great IMO. Breaks the monotony sometimes.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  9. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    I feel that the easy answer here is to try banjo style finger picks.
  10. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    What?!?! THATS easy????? ;)
  11. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I tried finger picks a couple years ago but could not make it work at all. Turns out I didn't know how to use them and had put them on the wrong way, making the picks into hooks that kept getting snagged on the strings. It was just impossible to play that way. :)
    SunnBass likes this.
  12. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    No, a SansAmp (nor any other pedal I know of) will change the sound of finger playing into the sound of pick playing. I'm kind of amused by your post because I started on guitar and of course played with a pick when I first switched to bass. I struggled with finger playing, and even took lessons to help with the technique.

    Slow, steady, daily practice is the way to master this. Guitarists are big on "alternate picking" where one follows a strict up/down picking pattern, even when changing strings. My suggestion is to practice scales with a pick at a slow tempo (a metronome can help here); concentrate on alternate picking and picking cleanly. DON'T RUSH...speed with follow with practice. Practice a bit every day and you'll be fine in a couple of weeks. :)
  13. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    I agree with the fingernails comment, it'll get you really close to a pick sound.
  14. Lower your action. Slam them strings on the frets. That'll get you some of the overtones.
  15. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Look up some lessons from Bryan Beller on YouTube or search for some old interviews or Bass Player magazine columns. He's done a lot of stuff regarding getting pick attack and tone with fingers (he plays bass for the Metalocalypse band and lots of other rock/metal groups but does not use a pick).
  16. I would much rather use a compressor for that purpose than a Sansamp. With a radical setting on a good compressor, you get a more aggressive attack. It might not sound as if you use a pick, but it might be what you're after. The Sansamp work in a way like a compressor, but they don't allow to finetune the attack- and releasetime as most compressors do. And that is what you need if you want a punchier and more audible "pick-like " attack.
  17. Eugene B

    Eugene B

    May 7, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    Endorsing Artist for Bergantino Audio Systems and Payson Fanned Bass Strings
    I also found that pedals didn't help me get a "picking" tone with my fingers at all; I doubt you'll get one out of a SansAmp. The closest I came to a "picking" sound with my fingers was by turning my bridge pickup slightly higher than my neck pickup, boosting the treble slightly (I have active electronics but you could also do this on your amp) and playing over the bridge pickup rather than the neck pickup. Fresh strings helps of course. Even with this though, after a couple of months I stopped trying and just learned how to play with a pick.
  18. IMO, to emulate this, you're going to need EQ & compression.
  19. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I played with a pick exclusively for my first 20+ years and couldnt play anything but the slow easy songs with my fingers. I liked the clear attack of the pick anyway so it was no big deal. Then about 8 years ago I wanted to learn to use my fingers and it was difficult for a while. I couldnt get it to work. I figured I would just keep working on it so i would sit in front of the tv and alternate fingering up and down the scales for hours. It took a while but it worked. Now I play 90% of the time with my fingers. I still use a pick but only on the songs that need that type of attack. I say, keep working on it with a pick.
  20. P-oddz


    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI