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Tips for getting that "evil" tone...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bass Tees, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    I've been experimenting with some ways to get that "evil" tone out of my bass (ala Tool's "Sober")...

    I seem to be getting pretty close by, of course, dropping all my strings a step-and-a-half, taking all the mids out of my EQ, cranking up the bass and treble all the way, and playing near the bridge with a pick.

    Anybody have any further suggestions?
  2. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Rickenbacker 4001CS
  3. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    Yeah... I was thinking more along the lines of something that won't require me to buy another guitar. Thanks though. :smug:
  4. experiment with strings.
  5. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    I've been trying new strings pretty frequently lately. The set I have now are Elyxir Nano's. Not sure how good they are for evilness, but man do they sound good.
  6. Peavey T-40 with Low Riders :bassist:
  7. Liist

    Liist Banned

    Mar 9, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Guitar Center has a nice collection of pedals that you could experiment with.
  8. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    It you want evil, you need mids.
  9. +1
  10. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    That's the funny thing. Eveywhere else I've been reading, everyone says pump the mids. I guess I'll go back and try that too but the mid-scoop is sounding pretty mean through my amp. Guess it just goes to show that it's all about preference.
  11. CelinderMotoMan

    CelinderMotoMan Banned

    Apr 4, 2007
    Flint, Mi.
    Buy 777 packs of strings but..... here's the EVIL part....only use the 666th pack. Do the same with picks, amps, ect.
  12. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    Good idea but it sounds awful expensive.
  13. Boost the crap out of your low mids around 200 to 300 hz. Are you trying this out by yourself or with a band? What sounds good solo in your bedroom almost never works with a band. Try setting everything flat and then boost and cut frequencies until you hear something you like. Try just boosting the bass and treble a little with big low mid boost without cutting anything. It will sound evil and it will cut through a lot more if you don't cut your mids. Contrary to what many metal heads(including me until recently)heavily scooped mids are not your friend.
  14. fresh strings as often as you can, IMHO
  15. Bass Tees

    Bass Tees

    Feb 11, 2008
    Thanks man. This is the type of input I was looking for. My band has been gradually moving toward a harder, edgier sound. I just bought a new amp that has a lot more EQing possibilities, and I'm trying to dial in a nasty sounding tone. I'm have to cut through 2 heavily distorted guitars and a very loud drummer. I'm going to give your suggestions a try and see what happens. :bassist:
  16. sonicnuance

    sonicnuance Commercial User

    Aug 30, 2003
    California, USA
    Engineer & Owner, Sonic Nuance Electronics

    I try to dial my tone in by at least playing to recordings, but it always needs tweeking at the gig (why I like graphic eq pedals). When I play the settings solo it is usually a "meh" tone.
  17. Cool. I used to try and plow through two guitars and loud, loud, very loud drummer with scooped mids, heavily boosted lows and distortion. It did not work. I was felt but not really heard. I started messing with my eq heavily over the last few months and I have found that: 1 - If you have a contour knob set at zero and pretend it's not there.
    2 - Starting flat and boosting and cutting frequencies to your tastes rather than making assumptions about what sounds good is far more productive.
    3 - You have to do this with at least the guitarists in your band playing or you will probably eq way too much bass and you won't cut through.
    4 - You probably will find that your tone is a lot brighter than you like when you play alone but with the rest of the band it will sound great.

    I don't know what kind of amp you have but with my Peavey Firebass I boost the lows about 3db, the highs about 1 or 2db, mid shift on about 250ish hz boosted about 9db. Try messing with your preamp gain too. You might be able to ad a little evil that way.
  18. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    sell your soul to the devil if you sign up now you get a free gift
    i got the dvd player
  19. Masher88

    Masher88 Believe in absurdities and you commit atrocities

    May 7, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    Yeah...Rickenbacker... 4 string, tuned BEAD. Play with a pick. Have some kind of tube overdrive (pedal or head) Stainless Steel Strings. Be a good bass player too.
  20. pondus


    Mar 28, 2006
    I borrowed the Wal bass from Tool bass player for a session I did in LA in '94 with producer Ken Andrews because he wanted an aggressive rock sound. The bass did not sit well in the mix at all, so I ended up playing a cheap $200 Squier and my old battered Yamaha BB 1000, both of which blew the Wal out of the water. Conclusion; it's the player who coaxes the sound from the bass according to how and where they contact the strings - eg it must feel familar to feel comfy. String tension has everything to do with feeling that "mojo" as you bite into the strings, so yeah, changing the strings and/or dropping the strings by a tone will have a big impact.
    If you really want the super aggressive evil sound, forget Tool and just imitate everything that JJ Burnell ever did for the Stranglers. Possibly the most balls to the wall bass sound ever. Go with the P-bass, a solid state amp like the Peavey Mark IV from the late 70s, and a bigg ass loosy goosy 15 inch speaker in a closed cab. Stay away 10s and from horns in the cab, they make the sound too harsh when you crank up the "evil" frequencies.

    Ofcourse this is just one man's opion. ;)


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