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Tool tone/FX sticky thread ver. 1

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bigchiefbc, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Here is my entry for a Tool sticky. Corrections/disagreements are welcome, but please have some photographic or other evidence to back it up. Please do not quote the BassPlayer article to correct me. All of the big JC fans/experts (TBird/Brad/etc) have agreed both here and on Tooltabs that it gets a lot of things wrong.


    All Tool songs are in DADG, except for "Crawl Away" (EADG), "Prison Sex" (BADG) and "Parabol"/"Parabola" (BEDG)

    All Tool songs are played with a pick except for "Wings for Marie"/"10,000 Days", which is finger-picked classical-style.

    Tool's first bassist, Paul D'Amour played on Tool's demo, on Opiate and Undertow, and helped write parts of Aenima ("Eulogy", "Aenema", "Stinkfist" and "Pupoopie"). His playing does not appear on Aenima, however.

    He first played an Ovation Magnum bass, which is heard on their demo and on the live tracks on Opiate ("Cold and Ugly" and "Jerkoff"). On the studio tracks on Opiate and the subsequent tour, he played Rickenbacker 4001s (white and black). For Undertow and the following stadium tour, he used a 4001CS Chris Squire signature bass. By his last tour with the band, he was playing an Ernie Ball MM Stingray. These were played through a Mesa 400 or 400+ and Mesa Roadready cabs. It has also been reported that early on (Opiate era) he was seen using SWR cabs.

    He originally did not play with effects (other than distortion on "Flood"), his grindy tone was due to the tone of the Rickenbacker and Mesa heads. It has been speculated that he used chorus on the studio tracks on Opiate, but this is unconfirmed. Live, Paul used a Sansamp GT-2 and Boss ODB-3 for distortion, and a Boss Chorus. By the last couple tours, he was also using a Whammy and a digital delay, but these do not appear on any of his recorded tracks.

    Justin Chancellor joined Tool during the recording of Aenima. On Aenima, he recorded two of the songs ("H." and "Forty-Six & 2") on a Stingray, and the rest of the songs were played on a bird's eye maple Wal Mk II, which has been his main bass ever since. He has since acquired three additional Wals, one which is identical to the first, one Mk III in greenburst, and a walnet fretless.

    His rig has remained relatively static since he joined Tool. There is also a lot of misinformation out there, particularly due to an article in Bassplayer that got a lot of this wrong. What I have listed below is what we have been able to verify by looking at pictures of his rig on-stage.

    Justin runs three signal paths, one going into a Demeter preamp, then to FOH. The other two go to in GK 2001RB heads. One feeds a Mesa Boogie 4x12 cab, the other a Mesa 8x10.

    His signal path begins at a Boss TU-2 tuner. He uses this to split his signal between his clean and dirty channels.

    His dirty channel goes to a Proco Turbo Rat, then a Boss GEB-7, then a Prescription Electronics Depth Charge, then out to the amp. The Turbo Rat and GEB-7 (boost low-mids and highs) are always on, the Depth Charge is used only for the distorted intro to "Flood" in concert.

    His main channel then follows this path:

    Guyatone VT-X Tremolo (used in "Lost Keys" and "Right in Two")
    Digitech Bass Whammy (used in "Eulogy", "Third Eye", "Schism", "Ticks & Leeches", "Lateralus", "Disposition", "Vicarious", "The Pot" and "Right in Two")
    Tech 21 Sansamp GT-2 (used for all distortions on Aenima and Lateralus, as well as on "Vicarious", "The Pot" and "Lost Keys")
    Boss CE-5 (used in many songs, most obviously used in "H.", "jimmy" and "No Quarter")
    Boss BF-2 (used in "Forty-Six & 2", "Pupoopie", "Schism", "Lateralus" and "Jambi")
    Boss DD-3/6 (used in "Pupoopie", "Third Eye", "Schism", "Disposition", "Jambi")
    Guyatone BR-2 (used in "The Pot" and "Rosetta Stoned")
    Colorsound Tonebender (used in "Jambi" only, as far as I am aware)
    Foxx Fuzz/Wah (used in "The Pot" live; in the studio, it was another unverified wah)

    Justin also has a second, smaller board that is placed close to his amp that he uses for "Lost Keys". This board contains a second Sansamp GT-2, Guyatone VT-X Tremolo and Boss GEB-7. He places it next to his amp so he can generate the necessary feedback while turning the tremolo on and off.

    This signal then goes into his Demeter preamp, then a a Radial JD-7, which sends one signal to FOH, and the other to his second 2001RB head.

    The Bassplayer article said that he takes an XLR directly out of the Wal, straight to the preamp. However, he has never been photographed using the XLR jack on his Wal, and the picture below only shows a single 1/4" cable plugged into his bass, so this is incorrect. Some people have also said he splits his signal a second time using the Dry Out from the Bass Whammy, but the close-up picture below from the last tour shows nothing plugged into that jack.

    There is a picture of him in the studio playing with a bunch of Lovetone boxes, but none of them have been confirmed as being on any recording and have never been on his live board.

    Attached Files:

  2. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Thanks for this.
  3. Through alot of extensive research i agree on most of the stuff you have listed...EXCEPT for a couple of things. I have talked to (that means on the phone) probably the first fan boy of Paul who lived in the L.A area during their breakout.

    1.He NEVER saw him playing the Ric CS live until they hit it big and were invited to play big festivals, after the release of Undertow

    Do a search for "Maynards Dick" on YouTube from '92, already playing the black and white Ric (a year before Undertow came out)

    He also told me, about his small amount of effects he was using live
    Boss ODB-3
    Boss Chorus
    SansAmp GT-2 (old style with the selector slider/switches on them) These were apparently on top of his rig/head

    2.Justin's main Wal is a Birds-eye Maple not figured (last show in Toronto i stood about 12 feet from him for half of the show) is def birds-eye

    This was also the first time i noticed that he has switched from using the old style "Diesel" 8x10 to the Powerhouse series, again i saw this up close!

    I also noticed (and have never seen a pic of him using 2) that there was only one Demeter pre-amp in his rig, and from research on that, this is where his 3rd line (direct out) is being used

    If i can find any clear enough pics in regards to his rig and the 1 Demeter i will edit my post.
    Was surprised that you didnt mention about his Radial JD-7 splitter that he uses. I was lucky enough to attend a lecture at my school where David Bottrill talks about this piece of gear. That lecture i have recorded along with alot of other interesting things that went on in the studio and at Maynards house, when he was doing the vocal recordings for Aenema and Lateralus

    That is all.....Good post sir!
    crguti likes this.
  4. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    Keep them coming...
  5. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    Gotcha. Brad was where I got the info about the CS being used on the studio Opiate tracks. So were you told that it was a regular Ric being used on those?

    Thanks, Paul's effects were the big missing thing from my post. According to BossArea, the ODB-3 was released in '94, so that was definitely live-only. Do you know what he used on the album version of Flood? Was it the Sansamp? Also, do you know which Boss Chorus?

    D'oh, you're right, I totally spaced on that.

    I had read about the Radial, but can't see where it is in the signal chain. Where is the 3rd signal being split off?
  6. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Awesome, now we just need one for Timmy C!
    TheDayMan and mattbass6945 like this.
  7. The guy i talked to was only going to the live shows at small clubs in the early days. So not for sure what he used in studio, but im shure Brad thinks/hopes it was the CS (obviously cause he has/had one). But why would he record with the CS then play a normal 4001 live, then switch back to the CS for their first stadium shows. That doesnt make sense since there isnt one vid of him playing the CS before the Undertow album came out. Im sure it was used for recording some/most/all of Undertow but not studio Opiate tracks.

    Dont know the Chorus model he used

    3rd signal is out the Jensen D.I on the back of the Demeter
  8. Im also 100% positive that he uses Clayton 1.0mm picks! Why?...because i am lucky enough to have one from the hand of GOD himself. A friend of mine was given (well caught ones that were tossed his way...pic of Justin throwing picks below) a FEW of them after a recent show this past summer. So he mailed me one of them!

    This bastardo was also lucky enough to get all 4 strings off Justins bass from that show....and if i have to i will mail him one of my micrometers so he can tell me the diameter of each one if anyone is as interested to know as i am.

    here is a pic of the pick and from his seat from the show discussed!
    if you look carefull you can see his small board for lost keys consisting of GEB-7,Tremolo and another GT-2
  9. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    OK, gotcha. I'll change the wording a bit then.

    Ah, ok so the third signal is post effects, and goes straight to FOH. I will update that. Thanks for your help!
  10. no problemo
  11. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    OK, all needed changes made in the original post.
  12. Nikoubis


    May 3, 2007
    Athens, Greece
    Good info here.
    crguti likes this.
  13. BlackElan


    Feb 26, 2009
    If you guys want to get real technical his Wal had Canadian Birdseye maple top which is what Wal was using back around the early to mid 90's as one of the options. His neck has hornbeam in it which Wal ran out of in the later 90's. That is probably why when he had a backup bass made it sounded completly different.

    I got a JD7 and a old black Demeter preamp with the Jensen DI, if you guys want pics I can post shots of the back of it.
  14. I didnt mention the fact that it was "Canadian Birds-eye" because its pretty common knowledge, especially if you have followed TT's over the past few years. I have spoken to Paul about supplying him with any "Canadian" exotics considering i live within 30min of 2 major exotic hardwood suppliers in southern Ontario. So if your going to request anything like that from Paul, let him know that i still offered to to the legwork and find some wood and take pics of it for him/customer to say yay or nay.

    As far as the "2nd bass" that Justin is so called as "quoted" as saying (that it sounded COMPLETELY different)in one of those articles (which i might add, some are COMPLETELY WRONG) as everyone knows that......here is my take and it can ONLY be 2 possible things

    1.The article is FOS

    2.Someone royally f#%ked something up in the build process, and thats why they sound different

    Reason for these bold statements? Have a listen to this ALL the way through (especially to the parts that dont have the whammy)

    I have 2 Wals from COMPLETELY different eras

    One from 1982 MKI with the hornbeam (in the neck)and something very similar to maple (facings)

    One from 2003 MKII with dark Walnut facings without the hornbeam in the neck

    With a SMALL eq (rack,pedal/whatever) adjustment i can easily make both my basses sound INDENTICAL.Thats if you can get the exact set-up on both basses. With the adj of the pots from the inside,individual pole adj on the pick-ups, pick-up height adj etc etc the amount of different combinations is crazy. If you have really ever compared Justins studio sound compared to his live sound (that means actually going to mutliple shows in different kinds if venues ie: outdoor and indoor, and not going by someone elses mic they have in their **** cam or good one, its NOT the same ) you will know that his sound is very different from studio. Brad has been quoted as saying that his ambient sound in his room is NOT the same as whats getting on YouTube.

    I assume that he (JC)also knows this (live sound vs studio), which brings me back to his statement about them sounding COMPLETELY different. You can believe whatever you want about it, my MKII sounds no different than JC's and it has way different facings and no hornbeam. ITs ALL about the set-up. In my Vicarious vid, no effects (other than the same pedals that i have) has been added or changed in my recording through my interface. Just EQ.....enough said about that.

    I have just acquired the white face Demeter and ALL i found it does is add some warmth to the mids. Also i dont think our tribute will be playing any arenas anytime soon where i will need 2 heads and 2 cabinets, its easy enough to get his sound with one cab and one head, so i dont see myself getting the Radial anytime soon

    So rock out with your **** out :bassist:
  15. ok, so no more long rants from me. Im just saying if a Wal is made how it supposed to be, they are going to sound really close! I hope to prove this in the near future, with a new one of my own! :D

    any gear questions, feel free to pm me
  16. As far as I know, Paul co-wrote Stinkfist Eulogy and Pupoopie. Not the others you mentioned. And its not known if he or Justin played on No Quarter. Thats just what I have heard, and I could be wrong....
    FuzzFacetious likes this.
  17. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    I just looked into it, and yeah I f*&#ed that up. According to the Kabir in the official FAQ, he wrote Stinkfist, Eulogy, Pupoopie and Aenema. Changing it now.
  18. interesting tidbits, and I have seen them 3 times but never close enough to study! (thought the tone on the lateralus tour was sick... as in he did a solo interlude by himself playing disposition and his tone literally kicked me in the guts!)

    one question though, in the bassplayer magazine I think it is, he stated that he had to rock back and forth on his heels to play the intro to right in two using the whammy and the tremolo... yet in the picture above he has the seperate small board with no whammy on it... I was unlucky enough that they didn't play this live at the last show I saw them at in Australia but seeing the new small board makes me wonder if he alters this for playing live then?

    does anyone also know what distortion he uses to play on swamp song live? when that was done live last time I saw them in 07 it just had an awesome tone that was different to most the others on the songs they played. I really want them to tour Australia again!!!!

    great information!
  19. Ayliffe


    May 8, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Mind sharing these eq settings? :p
  20. vegas532


    Nov 10, 2006
    Pensacola, FL.
    The small board is used for Lost Keys.

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