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sub-bass/filter sound - electronica-based playing

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Chris Paget, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    There is a sound that bassists of live bands that jam a lot but are largely influenced by electronic music (disco biscuits and related projects especially), and I have been trying to put my finger on what this sound is for a good while.. sometimes it involves envelope filter or inverse wah tones, but I think more than this is a really sub-bass sound where maybe the mids are cut out, but there are some slightly "airy" overtones combined with a really deep sub sound. It's more of a subtle effect than a straight env. filter, and sounds like it's sort of replicating the bass in techno music or electronic dub music. Sorry for the non-technical description, but any idea what pedals are being used? Maybe a really versatile env. filter? If I can find a good example, I'll post it.
  2. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    I think the word "resonance" would also be pretty key in describing the sound. Lots of resonance.
  3. undeadbass


    Jun 27, 2008
    New York, NY
    My POD has a good one (the original - the new ones most likely have the same sound, but I haven't used them, so I can't tell you) called "Sub Bass" - the manual said Justin Meldal-Johnson developed it with them! It sounds exactly like it's called - and when paired with octave-down with the original note turned down, and played an octave up on the neck, you get this incredible deeeeeep tone!
  4. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Banned

    Nov 8, 2007
    from the original Pedalboard of the stars thread:
  5. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    Definitely nice work!! Brownie is the man!!! I saw a Conspirator show a few weeks ago. First time I'd seen a bisco-related show in a little while. Very tight!

    I've seen really good things from pod before too, but haven't looked into it for bass. Will be checking it out :bassist: Thanks guys.
  6. rnilson


    Mar 8, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    I use this tone all the time in my DnB Electronic Project.
    This is how I get it.

    Dub Tone:
    Fuzz>Octaver Down with the pure siginal 1/4 sub octave 3/4>Wah Down with the tone turned back>Reverb at 12 o'clock, compress the signal for sustain.

    DnB Tone:
    Same minus the Fuzz & Wah.
  7. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    Mind my asking what Octave pedal you use? :eyebrow:
    Sounds like a nice formula
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Bill Laswell is the king of that sound and he just uses an old DOD envelope follower filter. Set it to just barely open up on your loudest notes, and then adjust the cutoff and resonance to get the "burp".

    It also helps to have an amp that really pushes the lows, a lot of that sound is below 100 Hz which of course is the hardest freq range to amplify.
  9. LOVE that setting - I just wrote a tune that's kind of a DnB type deal and that, paired with a little fuzz and a super slow, wet phaser, is killer!
  10. Akeris


    Jul 23, 2006
    New Jersey
    When I do stuff like that I use an old Arion Octaver (supposedly a Boss OC-2 clone) set so theres no dry signal, then I play an octave up. It really has that "airy" quality, IMO. But it's not fuzzy or filtered or anything. If you want that I say Arion/OC-2 is a good starting point, just add stuff after.
  11. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    One thing that is very important in understanding these sounds is to understand the music that they REALLY come from... I have nothing against jam bands and all that, but they tend to play very 'filtered' versions of the original sound... there is nothing wrong with that, at all, I am just saying that the jam band version of drum'n'bass is really just a normal jam, sprinkled with a little taste of drum'n'bass... the same way jam bands have a bit of the flavor of jazz at times, but very few of them are really great improvisers (in a jazz sense)....

    maybe the drummer has a piccolo snare and a zildjian breakbeat ride, and the bassist uses an OC2 with a Moogerfooger, but it isn't really drum'n'bass, it just has a bit of the flavor.

    again, this is totally fine, but just needs to be understood...

    if you want to really get into those sounds, you need to check out what inspired them to inject some of that flavor into their playing. Check out some old school jungle and drum'n'bass, then start playing around with analog synths (or software simulations thereof) and then start figuring out how to make all those things come together on a pedal board for the sounds YOU now hear in your head.

    OC2 > Woolly Mammoth > Subdecay Noisebox > BugCrushMicro > Moogerfooger > XO Bass Balls > DOD Phasor > ???? is where I'm currently at... I am having a midlife pedalboard synth sound crisis, though, so it might all get changed a million times... gotta get it sorted out before my tour with Jojo in October!

  12. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
  13. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    ..just think I answered my own question with a sound sample.. not quite the subtle effect the name portrayed, but maybe with a couple tweaks it might get a little closer.
  14. Chris Paget

    Chris Paget

    Sep 1, 2008
    Thanks for all of your replies guys. I think I'm gonna search out a combination of octaver and quality envelope filter (thinking OC-3 and EBS BassIQ) and hope for the best! Cheers:bassist:
  15. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    This needed to be posted again. John knows what he's talking about. Check out the group that he plays in, Jojo Mayer's Nerve. Jojo is a world class drummer...check him out.

    The sound that your describing you can get to a T with a Boss OC-2 (better than the 3) and a Moog LPF.

    John, would you mind rattling off some suggestions for listening in the vein of some old school jungle and drum'n'bass?
  16. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    Thanks, emjazz. I have pretty broad tastes, but as far as straight-up drum'n'bass and jungle go, some of my favorites are:

    Roni Size (check out 'Brown Paper Bag' for a super ill upright bass line)
    Dillinja (not sure what the names of the tracks are, mostly on mixes)
    Omni Trio
    Shy FX
    there is a great album by Mad Professor/Lee Scratch Perry called 'Super Ape Inna Jungle' which is really cool super early jungle, totally insanely massive bass sounds, and sort of primitive dnb drum programming, with some fresh toasting on top.

    lets see... I also love lots of the Warp records crew (although nothing they have is really dnb, per se)... Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, etc...

    There is a lot of stuff that has inspired me that I have never known the name of, because it has been stuff I have heard at a party or club or rave that a DJ was spinning, but I dug it and picked up on some of the vibe... that goes for lots of House stuff, Dub Step, 'Clown' Step, Garage/2-step... etc...

    so much 'step'...

    internet radio is great for just absorbing a genre without knowing where to go crate digging for records.

  17. (b)Assman


    Jun 22, 2008
    Champaign, IL
    Ya, resonance can give you a good electronica/synth sound. I use Gearbox for things like that but you could try taking the synth route too. There might be some pedals but don't know about that.
  18. For some outstanding dubstep, check out Skream - sick sick sick sick, and +1,000 to Roni Size and the New Forms album. If you want to BT some live (and legal) Skream, check out themixingbowl.
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks so much John. I've been playing with a great guitar player up here in Boston who's really into electronic music, drum 'n' bass, jungle.....At this point I'm not very strong at setting up a good bass line and developing it within that style. I am however getting some great sounds with the effects that I've accumulated but I want to develop the other aspect of it....the most important really. I'll be sure to check out some of the music that you suggested, as well as some of the styles that you mentioned that I'm not familiar with. Thanks!
  20. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks for these suggestions as well.

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