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slight distortion ??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by pfschim, Sep 17, 2008.


  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    heard a Steve Vai tune the other day .. Little Alligators, and the bass tone on the recording had a noticeable "crunch" to it, but not outright fuzz or distortion. Also, recall hearing some of Roscoe Becks playing on some of Robben Fords CD's and hearing a definite touch of this same kind of effect.

    So, my question is, how is this done ? putting a bit of cruch into your sound without it sounding like a total buzz-saw, and also basically staying with a true clean and full bass tone.

    I read on Roscoe's website that he uses an SWR Interstellar Overdrive, and also mentions one other overdrive pedal that may be out of production.

    I am not an effects player, but this is an interesting idea to me and I'm interested in how to get this kind of tone.
     
  2. EclecticElectrk

    EclecticElectrk

    Aug 26, 2008
    Brooklyn
    there are alot of pedals out there where you can boost the drive and although they arent distortion or overdrive pedals you get a little dirt in your sound. for example, the tech 21 sansamp bass driver DI can give you a sort of crunch sound if you boost the controls in a certain way. im sure there are tons of pedals that could do what your looking for
     
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Just a heads-up, no offense or snobbishness meant, but "slight distortion" as described is possibly THE most-discussed effect here. Not saying you can't ask, but that there are thousands of threads covering this topic pretty thoroughly that you might want to check out. :)
     
  4. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Overdrive<Distortion<Fuzz - Different degrees of waveform mutation (refer to the sticky at the top of this forum for more details).

    What you are hearing (based on your description) is some mild overdrive - possibly tube-based. There are many, many, many pedals that can provide this type of sound, and each one has it's own particular flavor.

    Personally, for subtle to moderate overdrive, I currently enjoying the Barber Electronics LTD.
     
  5. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm in love with my Polish Love pedal for some overdrive, but I'm also dying for one of the Sansamp units.
     
  6. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    I can't say enough good things about the EBS ValveDrive when it comes to light, tubey overdrive.
     
  7. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Again, hard to describe sounds in words, but "crunch" is an elusive thing in the world of bass. Fuzz and overdrive are not what I perceive as "crunchy" sounds. To me, only a small number of distortions can generate "crunch" when used on bass, and some of them need to be used with a pick to do it. The XXLB or Landmine in a blend can. Another option is the BassDrive.
     
  8. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    "Drive" pedals,
    Sansamp vt, Sansamp BDDI (programmable or not),
    Boss ODB-3, Hao Rust Ride, Gallien-Krueger Diesel Dawg,
    EBS MultiDrive..... just name a few "drive pedals", among a sea
    of many, many others.

    I can only suggest the Sansamp, it's the only one I gig on a regular basis with.

    but compared to Bongo and Spanky, I know much less and would look like a noob compared to these guys with effects ;)
     
  9. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Bongo - no offense taken. I did search first, and many posts did come up, but there was perhaps too much info, and too many unknown terms to me on this topic, and much of it did not seem to relate to my stated objective.

    I am not a traditional effects user/player. I last used a true effect pedal (other than a compressor) in 1971 .. a Big Muff. I am also pretty much in the dark about the sonic differences between fuzz, grind, distortion, dirt, crunch, overdrive, buzz .. which seem to be the terms used in the effects threads to describe these effects.

    So, I thought I'd ask the question citing some examples, and see what I got from the collected experience of the effects guru's.
     
  10. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    This is the key really - citing examples. I've read some descriptions TBers have used to describe pedals they've bought or played and thought it was completely the opposite of my experience with it. We all have different ears, not to mention very imperfect ways of trying to convey sounds with words. If you can link to a video or sound clip of what you're looking for I think you'll get some good advice.

    If you can weed through the "Dude, get a B:Assmaster, it pwns!" type posts. ;)
     
  11. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
    i must second the Barber LTD SR. it's my favorite overdrive, and i think it'll work well for what i think you're describing. it's nice and open and keeps your bass sounding like your bass... but it adds a little fur to it all.

    other than that, the Sansamp line of bass drivers is great. i use the RBI with one of my rigs, and it's great for adding a little dirt and character.
     
  12. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Yeah, Alembicplyr is definitely on the right track.

    And from what I've heard, the Barber OD is reasonably comparable to the Polish Love... and I still miss my PBDDI. :ninja:
     
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    ok, some samples of what I'm talking about.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/attah...nt.php?attachmentid=103222&stc=1&d=1221761894

    the Robben Ford sample is Roscoe Beck .. and the tone I hear is particularly obvious (to me anyway) when they go the IV in the progression. Its pretty subtle, but you can hear it.

    the Steve Vai sample is much more direct and loud, but again, a clear bass tone with what I hear as some form of overdrive or slight distortion.
     
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Ellenwood,Ga.
    The Ibanez Turbo Tube Screamer is an exellent choice also.
     
  15. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Do you use fingers or a pick?


    Sansamp with a little drive: (Caution, I like it bright with a hair of buzz).Also my fingers and picking are aggressive

    OD Spector w/Finger

    OD Spector w/Pick
     
  16. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    fingers only ... more of an old school tone objective then bright modern .. not too bright, but definitely articulate and present.
     
  17. ihateusernames

    ihateusernames

    Jun 26, 2006

    i believe in this advice. others are giving solid advice too, but my experience tells me you'll get close to this with the barber, an rbi/rpm/bddi/gt2 sansamp, or a boss odb3 can be set to sound similar as well (despite a strange reputation that is very mixed from player to player)
     

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