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The "Tool" effect

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Oreomeister365, May 26, 2004.

  1. I'm a avid fan of Tools bass sound, especially on the CD Leteralus. Justin's sound is very unique. I am trying to get my bass to sound much like his does on the song "reflection" for example (this is the same basic sound he carries out throughout the entire album, but this song has a good example). When he is playing this riff:


    I this really shows the effect Justin has. Each of the notes he plays are very bright and alive. When I play that they sound...bassy. I was curious, is this an effect that Justin always has on, or is it just the way his amp is set up? There were many possible forums to post this in but I chose "effects" just because, it sounded like an effect. Or is it the bass he uses, or maybe his strings. If so, do you know what basses/string he uses.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    you can do a search for his setup. I am sure it has been covered here TONS of times. It's on the little menubar on the top of the page. Welcome to talkbass.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Wal basses, Mesa Amps and Cabs, and many different effects.
  4. lots of pot, a british accent and acid dipped strings.
  5. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Just out of curiousity, how does that ridiculously wrong and implausible tab 'show the effect Justin has'?

    What you have there is just a bunch of fifths, and I haven't listened to the album in a while, but I'm pretty sure his main line is composed of mutes/harmonics as well as 'standard' played notes - and it doesn't look like that thing ;). There's delay and treble-kick and all kinds of neat production tricks going on there, so I wouldn't think you'd be able to replicate his tone without some nice gear at hand. Of course, you ought to give it a red-hot go anyway, just for fun.
  6. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Acid dipped strings?

  7. I know, that wasnt the main line, but a different line in the song..I'm just saying that that line in the song (I don't have time to look when exactly it is in it yet, I'll get to that later) but when he plays that line it shows the effect he has more than certain other riffs in the song.

    I think the song your thinking of is disposition, which I mix up a lot..http://www.mxtabs.net/tab_versions.php?path=Bass,t,2744,Tool,Disposition,102936

    edit: the first time he does it is 4:20 into the the song

    Acid dipped strings?
  8. *ToNeS*


    Jan 12, 2001
    Sydney AU
    Ah, you're right, dude! I did mix them up, went back and listened to it today. Bugger. Learn 'Disposition' anyway - cool line, very inventive use of same notes on different strings. I dig how he uses tonality rather than pitch to texture it. If only I could be as cool!
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This is sarcasm!! ;)

    The point is that, we get this all the time - but there is no way you are going to be able to just buy a cheap effect and suddenly sound like your latest bass hero - it just isn't going to happen - although Marketing people would love you to think so!! :meh:

    There are loads of factors that affect overall sound and the things that DD mentions are just as likely as any effect - i.e., not at all!! :D
  10. krazy_olie


    May 10, 2004
    I know he uses a tech 21 sansamp bass driver DI + he feeds it through 3 different amps, and he also uses drop tunings, so that all has an effect on his tone. Wal basses are verry bright, my teacher uses one growls alot
  11. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    I have a Rogue 4 string, DOD eq and park practice amp and I can get all the tones Justin has:smug:
  12. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca

    That's just funny. How do you get his distorted sound? How about the flange? Hmmm?
  13. Limo


    Sep 22, 2002
    Reykjavik Iceland
    Yes it is quite funny, isn't it??:rolleyes:
  14. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    This prolly don't help but.... a guitarist I know is an advid Tool.........fan. He uses a Line 6 head. He just went online and downloaded the tool tone into his head. I wonder if you can do the same thing with a bass pod :meh: Not sure prolly not...darn guitarists.
  15. bogart


    Dec 11, 2003
    big bear, ca
    you can come close to his tone. Turn the mids and upper mids way up on your eq. It really helps to play a high output bass like a spector or a wal or even a stingray. You'll need some effects. Flange, chorus, distortion, an delay to start. I suppose you could get a digitech bp-50 and do what ya need with it. You'll need to play with a pick and develop a mean touch.
  16. sloppysubs


    Nov 24, 2002
    Swansboro, NC

    he only uses 2 amps. mesa m-2000 and mesa m-pulse. that third amp in his rack is a back up m-pulse. he also has anothe rm-2000 and 1 or 4 400+ amps. all wall basses. check wals sight for specs. boss spectrum, digitech bass whammy, proco rat(modded), sansamp gt-2, and 1 or 2 other distortions, plus the amps dirty channels, boss chorus, boss flanger, boss bass eq, boss delay, he may have a line 6 delay modeler, but i couldnt see it that well at the show, some kind of envelope filter, sans amp bass di, demetor preamp and im sure a few other effects. 2 mesa roadready 8x10's, plecs, dr. martins and practice. you also have to factor in the eq's on his amps...at least 3 between the 2. and im told in the studio he rusn a direct from the bass, one through his chain of effects and preamps etc, and one direct off the bass di and possibly a mic-ed signal or even direct from his amp.

    all that said, and i dont mean to sound rude, get your own sound. its easier and less costly. i also wanted his sound so much, when i all these effects pedals...i went and sought professional help.
  17. nah it's not sarcasm, it's the honest to satan truth! :p
  18. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Justin's main effect is new strings and an EQ.
  19. Alright children.. Cut it out. If this goes on any longer I'm gonna have to give you all time outs.
  20. 80% of his sound is the Wal bass.

    Anything else won't come close.