So much eqpt, so few sounds...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matt_FL, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I've been playing bass for a few years and have a decent selection of equipment, but I find myself quite clueless to generate anything other than a clean sound.

    I'm using a MusicMan Stingray 4-string, a Hartke 350W amp, Hartke 4x10 cabinet, and I also have an ART Nightbass effects unit.

    So many times I hear a variety of different bass sounds from other players and can never seem to be able to duplicate it. For example, some have a "soft growl" other sound very punchy or "burbly". A few songs I play have some slap/pop, a lot of other songs are more rock or even gospel sounding (I never like to use a pick)

    For example, Dave Larue on the Steve Morse Stressfest album, or even the bass solo in Yanni's "Live at the acropolis". Have you heard that solo? Also J. J., the bass player for "Sixpence None the Richer". I saw them many years ago live and he was awesome. He had a Yamaha 6-string bass (SG1206?) and Hartke amp, and had that "growl" sound and played a very melodic bass line.

    What I don't know is if I actually need effects at all (are these people using distortion?) or if it's the bass setup or strings or fingers. I haven't had much luck with the effects unit. Sure I can select a delay, chorus, flanger, etc. etc., but I don't know how to make the sound I want!

    I'm sure there must be many more sounds lurking in my Stingray that just need to see the light of day.... :)

    Any ideas? Help? Anyone?


    PS I just found this site and it looks great - also overwhelming to sift through it all!
  2. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Well, a pick will give you a much punchier, almost growlier sound. Overdrive would also work. Im sure that somebody on the net will know about those bassists equipment. Have you tried fan sites?
  3. well,
    i'd say play around with the eq a bit. actually, you've got a possible 4 different eqs to work with. you can set the nightbass to have two eqs (the one on the front and an additional patch) and your bass and obviously the hartke's eq.
    technique is also a big thing, playing at the bridge will sound different than if you play up over the neck, also although you said you don't like picks (don't worry, me neither) but they will definatly change your sound and add a bit of growl. Also, play around with the pickup selector/blend control. (bear with me, i only have a fender jazz to work with) when you set the controls to full bridge and no/little neck pickup, you get a pretty growly tone. i don't know how you'd do it on a musicman, i don't have any experiance with them.
    a distortion pedal might help, i have a nightbass, and i really don't like the distortions, they sound like they belong to a guitar shedder circa 1988. i have a boss odb-3 to help that.

    anyways, my advice would be, play around with the tone controls. try different setups, like with and without the nightbass, try different tone settings, like turn up the bass on the amp and use the neck pickup on the bass, just stuff like that.
    also your bass will sound different playing with your band than playing by yourself. so, play around with your band (hopefully they will have the patience!!) and you should be able to get some good tones from your setup.

    Good Luck,