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To detune, or not to detune?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jordanlake, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. jordanlake


    Jun 17, 2003
    Baltimore, MD
    I am in a pop-rock band who wants to incorporate elements of Radiohead, Deftones, Kenna and STP into a great radio band. One of the ideas we had was to detune our instruments a whole step (for my 4 string D-G-C-F and C-G-C-F for a "dropped -D" tuning)in order to get a fatter sound. My rig is a Mesa 4x10 cab and the M2000 head with a BBE Sonic Maximizer. My EQ is set with the low mids raised a bit to give me cut and clarity when I play a counter melody.

    The problem I am having is getting the notes to punch through in the mix and my cab sounds like ass. My style is to be melodic on the 2 low strings below the 7th frett but in this tuning it all sounds like mud. I don't want to change my playing style but if I take the mids out of my EQ I don't think I'll be able to hear any articulation in my bass lines.

    Any suggestions?


    to hear samples of what we have been doing go to www.beaproduct.com

    These are in standard "Dropped D" tuning (DADG)
  2. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    What's the frequency response of your cab? Your cab might not be able to reproduce those superlow notes well if it can't work below 40Hz.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Ehm, cabs do work below resonance frequency, just not as sufficiently/loudly.

    Your Mesa cab will be fine.
  4. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    Like I said, they may not be able to reproduce those notes well. I didn't mean to insinuate that it wouldn't work at all.
  5. What kind of string guage are you using? When I'm in a situation where I know it would be best to tune down I like to have extra heavy strings on there. Your amp/cab should work fine, many people play with a low B through the same setup without any problems. You may also want to raise the action a bit as things can start getting floppy when you tune down on some basses.
  6. Get a 5-string and forget the detuning nonsense.

    Detuning is what we call a "kludge" in the computer industry.