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That Dub Sound...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by old_skool, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    ...How do you get it?

    Some friends of mine and I are putting together a Raggae band and I need that tone!

    To help you guys out my gear is as follows:
    Fender 5 string active jazz bass-> ( Bass Pod ) Workingmans 15 -> Goliath III. I put the Pod in () cause its not a main part of my set-up but if it can help me achieve that tone, all the better.

    So, whats your favorite Dub sound on those Raggae recordings of yours and how would one get that desired tone. Thanks in advance guys.
  2. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yeah...shes in the wrong place aint she? Sorry 'bout that boys.
  3. before i move this, here's how i get my dub sound: i strung my p-style bass with fender flats, put some foam mutes under the strings at the bridge, and on the amp i turn the bass way up and the high mids down, and maybe just a touch of overdrive.
  4. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I think dub-players try to get their sound to really fat 'oomph'. Going to neck pup and turning the treble down and bass up should probably to the trick.
  5. For me, it's pretty much like what DHC said, I crank up the lows and put the highs all the way down and the mids up a tiny bit. My MIM Jazz is strung with Fender flats too, and I have the neck pup turned all the way up and the bridge pup down almost all the way. The SWR website has recommended settings for reggae that I found was pretty right on on my WM-15.
  6. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Doe the POD have3 a low pass filter? Set the filter so that it's frequency is about 250-300Hz, set the resonance peak so that it barely opens, mix this about 50/50 with the original bass sound. (Watch those subs!)

    See the article on Bill Laswell in bass player for more info on this.
  7. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    i know it's not in your rig, but the sansamp bass driver DI has a sugeested reggae/dub setting that is...mmmmm - round and phat

    just in case you were looking for a GAS attack
  8. Wxp4759cb


    Nov 23, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    Instead of using a foam mute I palm mute. It works just as well and that way you don't have to (semi) permenantly turn your bass into a dub machine.

    Use the side of your hand down at the bridge. Use your thumb to pluck (not thump) the E and A string, and your fingers on the D and G strings.

    The muting gets rid of harmonics and overtones, so you get more fundemental. It also gives a cool tone.
  9. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    A good way to filter out those highs is a DOD FX25 Envelope Filter. Its a nice Dub machine. Turn the left knob all the way to the right, and the right knob all the way to the left- instant Family Man!
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I increase the bass frequencies and cut some of the highs. I also play certain songs with my thumb while using my palm as a mute. *as per john patitucci's intructional video covering reggae* it gives it really cool deep sounding percussive like tone
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I would PM Brad Johnson and/or JimK. I bet you they have really good answers to this question.
  12. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Hire Robbie Shkespeare, sit back and be amazed;)

    Lots of good answers already. The different hand muting techniques are cool if you're not predominantly playing Reggae. That's mainly what I use, a palm or forearm mute and it sounds pretty cool, like Marcus Miller's approach to an upright-like decay. I've also come up with some cool patches on my Boss ME-8B multiFX unit that combine a very slight touch wah (or envelope filter) to really define the lows and sometimes just a little octaver.

    You don't really "need" any of these but they are fun to play around with. A set of flatwounds, roll off the highs and you're there. I'm pretty sure I've seen Robbie use a Jazz bass and he goes deep.

    If I were playing Dub live I'd probably try to find an old Mesa Boogie Road Ready 18 and use it with my AMP BH-420 head.Talk about cranking some phat, tight lows.

    The other approach is to go for lows that are just as big but more open. Imagine the sound of blowing over the spout of a bottle... big and open, not tight but very full. I prefer big, dep and punchy myself. For dub I probably wouldn't even use a five string, I'd use my old G&L L2000E. Sometimes we 5+ stringers lose sight of the fact that a four can go pretty deep too.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The palm mute thingy works for me!
  14. old_skool


    Aug 17, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hey, Thanks a lot everyone for the help. I really appreciate it. Ill go try this stuff out and see if I can get what Im looking for.

    Another thing, Where do you play one your bass for raggae? I imagine over the neck pup or the neck itself. Thanks again.
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Generally speaking that's where you'll find the fattest sound IME.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Old Skool & Jazzbo-
    ...I'm not really an authority on this.
    I have never played in a Reggae band, though, I do like palm muting & doing MY(white-boy)idea of Reggae rhythms(in straight 1/8ths, swing, shuffled, hip-hopped, blah...whatever floats my boat at the time).

    I've never tried the foam thingee or flats...I imagine that would work. BUT, as Brad already touched on-
    That's for playing predominately in a Reggae situation.
    FX? Now that's really outta my realm. :)

    I have seen more than a few using a Fender Jazz.
    IIRC, those early Paul Reed Smith basses were popular with Reggae bassists(didn't those PRS basses have THREE pickups?!)

    I imagine they do what I do & what everyone else here has said...neck pickup dimed(that's for Brad) ;) and the BRIDGE pickup backed off a "skosh".
    I suppose 'dead/dirty strings' would work better than fresh/clean ones...My struggle has been to use my hands to extract the sound I hear in my head.
    And I'm not even close...

    Also, playing over the neck pickup as you mentioned seems the way to go.
  17. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    On the gear side: One of the amp settings on the Bass POD is called the Sub Dub, that's one good place to start (it sounds huge). Also, if you can score a powered sub that might be cool, you can probably rent one if you want to try it out.

    Other than that, basically what everyone else said: flats, muting (whatever technique you're most comfortable with), and roll off your tone knob a bit. Also play with something of a light touch, don't pound on the bass. I find soft hands to be huge for reggae tone.
  18. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    I tend to play over or by the neck pup, when i palm mute, its either by the bridge or neck pickup. Sometimes I even play on the neck.
  19. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I often play way up over the fingerboard when I play reggae. I move back over the neck pickup when I need a little more definition. Flatwounds make a big difference. I play a semi-hollow fretless with big humbuckers and tapes through 15's. I use the DOD Envelope technique and palm muting some time, and I get gobs of bottom.

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