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the ''Alex Webster sound"

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by timotio444, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. timotio444


    Jan 5, 2010
    hi guys,

    first off my english isn't really good because it is not my native language.

    i play in a death metal band with 3 people (1 bass, 1 guitar and drum) so my rythmic role is pretty important. sadly i'm having trouble to let by bass sound out trough the aggressive drums and guitar.

    Alex Webster (cannibal corpse, hate eternal) doesn't seem to have any problems with that at all. in almost every song it's quite easy to hear his basslines. some other people who have the alex webster sound are:


    i don't know if i have to change my bass, amp, strings or eq-settings.

    my gear:
    spector legend 5 classic (factory strings still on it)
    behringer BXL900A

  2. Fathand

    Fathand 21st Century Distortion Man Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    According to the "making of" DVD (that came with one of their albums) and some interviews that I've read , Webster uses this gear to make his sound:

    - Modulus Quantum 5 (I think with EMG's)
    - Spector 5 (don't know the specific model, someone else chip in?)
    - Ampeg SVT4Pro
    - And while recording, sometimes he uses the Sansamp BDDI for some "live feel" (if I remember correctly)

    The sound on those videos + Webster's sound is pretty hot (EMG driven) & compressed, so would it help to add a compressor to your signal chain, boost the lower mids somewhat (and higher mids if you want some more clacking sound) and then just crank the volume? :)
  3. The problem is probably your amp, you have a good bass but you'll never be able to cut through in a death metal band with a 90 watts Behringer combo.
    You should start thinking about buying a bigger, higher quality amp.
  4. JeanBG


    Dec 28, 2008
    You will need a new amp, with a 90watt combo with 1x12" speaker you ain't going to get far especially for metal. Websters sound is fast fingerplaying with an EMG loaded bass into an ampeg rig...
    I don't know what budget you have to buy new gear, but i suggest buying a decent 4x10" cabinet with a 300watt head (minimum)

  5. RNV


    Apr 13, 2010
    Loxahatchee, Fl
    fEARful (I endorse them, not visa versa)
    I agree with the last two guys. You have a great bass, but not so much on the amp. I'm a believer that higher quality amps and cabs will make a cheap bass sound better over a high end bass making your amp sound better.
    Horrorble likes this.
  6. Fathand

    Fathand 21st Century Distortion Man Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    Ah, I missed the amp part on the original post... :meh:

    I agree with the previous posters, definitely get a bigger setup volume wise first before anything else.
  7. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    The Spector is an Euro5LX. His cabinet choice has been the Ampeg 810 (he said somewhere that he prefers the pre 2000 models because of the wood used on the cabinets is different from the current/early 2000 models. There has been discussions of it somewhere here on TB).

    But be sure to remember that the Websterish sound can be achieved with various pieces of gear. He has recently made the jump from being an Ampeg endorsee to being a SWR endorsee. http://www.swrsound.com/news/index.php?display_article=50
    So now it is "a pair of SM-1500™ amps paired with two Megoliath™ 8x10 cabs."
  8. He had a few different sounds in the years.

    In 1991 Cannibal Corpse released two albums, "Eaten Back to Life" and "Butchered at Birth". On these albums he used a Fender P-bass. On "Tomb of the Mutilated" he used an Ibanez Sabre. On "The Bleeding" he used an Ibanez SR.

    After that he started using his Modulus Quantum 5. He finally bought his Spector Euro 5LX (in that amazing black blueburst color), but still uses the Modulus, too. For a while he would rent a Spector to record (I wanna say one of the NS models). I remember reading he wanted to own one but could never afford it until he came across the Euro which he fell in love with.

    As far as amps go, I know was rocking the Ampeg SVT200T with an Ampeg 8x10 for a while, then apparently switched to the Ampeg SVT-4 PRO. I recall watching a video where he was playing the SVT-3, but I may be wrong. I've only had one coffee this morning, so I'm a little fuzzy.

    He uses DR strings and was rocking a lot of EMG pickups.

    As Implosion just said, he recently signed an endorsement deal with SWR and dual SM-1500 heads the Megoliath 8x10 cabinets to go with them.

    Alex rules. Case closed.
    Horrorble likes this.
  9. Lowest End

    Lowest End

    Mar 20, 2010
    I've actually spoken to Neil Kernon (producer of "Gore Obsessed" and "The Wretched Spawn") about this very thing.

    Neil says that the vast majority of Webster's tone comes from Alex himself - his style, attack and performance. Alex has very strong hands and a sharp, hard attack with his fingers that pulls the most out of whatever bass/rig he's playing.
  10. stflbn


    May 10, 2007


  11. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    You are doing it wrong :eek:
  12. timotio444


    Jan 5, 2010
    thx for all the reply's and suggestions, but i'm just a 17 year old boy who works at a local supermarket so i sadly can't afford a superexpensive bass amp. i can buy a Ampeg SVT 3 Pro for 650 euro's, so would that also do the job? or a GK 700 RB II for 580?
  13. Argali

    Argali Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2008
    What's funny is, I think his best sound is on The Bleeding, when he was using the Ibanez SR.
  14. Willem


    Dec 26, 2005
    Hey timotio444

    First: read this thread on his technique: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=378173
    Very good stuff!

    Like others stated you have a great bass and need more power and bigger speakers. That doesn't mean it has to be expensive!
    I see you have like 700 euro to spend on an amp and a cab.

    I myself play this for a cab which is great for the money if you can move it:
    It sounds kind of like the ampeg 810 cabs! If you can find it secondhand, €250 max!

    For heads, at least 300 watts. Lots of choices. Look second hand and, seriously, look for watts! If you find something at a price you like, you can search in the amp section of the forum if it has enough power and a good tone!

    Good luck!

    ps there are other cabs too than the one I pointed out, but it will definately help you be heard over the drummer and the guitarist. I play metal with 2 guitarplayers so trust me on this!
  15. I would love to see Alex playing an Ibanez Sabre bass again, it was just so metal, the tone and look of it. I know it probably wouldnt suit the Cannibal music nowadays but for old times sake he should start using it again.
  16. Hotblack

    Hotblack Pay the cost to be the boss. Supporting Member

    May 20, 2002
    Provided content for Genzler Amplification
    Be patient and look for used gear. The classifieds section on this site is a good place to start.
    In the meantime, start trying out everything you can, even stuff outside of your price range. See what is available and what you think will best achieve the sound you are looking for. Try out tube preamps, solidstate, lightweight heads, 4x10 cabinets, 2x12 cabinets, etc...
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Alex Webster had the cover of Bass Player last month, May 2012, they interviewed him and gave the gear info/player background on a couple other major players in the death metal scene.

    He currently plays his Spector signature model 5 string, 3 Spector Euro LX 5s, all with EMG 40DC pickups.
    He runs those through 2 SWR 750x heads with 2 SWR megaoliath 8x10 when in Europe, he runs 2 SWR SM-1500 heads with 4 SWR Goliath 4x10 cabs when in North America

    His only current effect in the Darkglass B3k, can't blame I effin love mine, great tone, and doesn't lose the low B in the dirt.

    He also uses a Radial Tonebone Bassbone (clean DI) Radial ProDI passive DI box (dirty DI, post overdrive) and a Boss TU-2

    On recording Torture he was using Spector Euro 5 LX through the SWR 750x head and SWR Megagoliath 8x10 (miked with an AKG C-12) a Boss ODB-3, teletronix compressor, and a Avalon U5 DI

    That is what Alex currently uses, in your situation, you'll need to upgrade from your behringer 90w amp. You need at least a 4x10 and a couple hundred watts, and nothing behringer.
  18. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    I bet the OP bought a new amp within the past 2 years

  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Dangit... got me again! AARRRRGGGHHH!!
  20. Worldeeeter

    Worldeeeter Banned

    Mar 29, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    I bought the Alex Webster sig bass a couple months ago, and I LOVE it! I play it through a Mesa Carbine M6 2x12 combo (600w), and I get monster sound from it. The EMG BQC preamp in that bass is amazing.
    +1 on the used gear - save your $$$, sell the Behringer, and find a 200-400w head with an 8x10 cab in the classifieds. You'll be in business!
    Oh, and, if you find a Spector that you can afford, jump on it. The Spector "growl" is one of the main reasons AW's sound is so distinctive.

    Attached Files:

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