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Want a modern, aggressive sound.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by oniman7, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. I have been chasing a very aggressive sound for a couple of months now. I have an Ibanez BTB and an active Jay Turser bass. My amp is a GK 400 RB through an MBE410. I will be switching to D'addario Pro Steels next time I change strings, and I think that side of my gear is good enough to at least get very close to the tone I want, even if it's not perfect. I will at some point be upgrading to a more powerful head/ cab, as well as hopefully getting an SR506 and some sort of EBMM with dual humbuckers.

    All that said, I'm starting to wonder if some of the tone I want won't come from a pedal. Below I will link to a couple tones I like. Could somebody give me some ideas on what might get me closer to the sound?

    Seven - Holographic Human Element - YouTube

    Breaking Benjamin - So Cold - YouTube

    Killswitch Engage - The End Of Heartache - YouTube

    Avenged Sevenfold - Save Me - YouTube

    Symphony X - Domination - YouTube

    Disturbed - Indestructible [Official Music Video] - YouTube

    As you can see, there's sort of a similar sound. The bass is present without being boomy, and it's pretty growly without being too trebly (in most cases). It sounds to me like it's pretty sterile, and I've always found I like solid state better than tube sounds. On the topic of amps, I've found I love a lot of sounds some guys are getting out of an SVT and 8X10, and I love the Markbass sound. But that's off topic.

    I'm looking at getting a Sansamp programmable drive, or maybe an RBI rackmount. I hear these are pretty universal, and I loved the sound out of all of the videos I could find of them. What else would people recommend? A compressor maybe? Some chorus occasionally? Sonic Maximizer? I know a little about effects, but not nearly enough to figure out what I'm doing with such expensive pedals. I have a Digitech BP50, and I may dedicate more time to experimenting with it so I can get a rough idea of what I'm going for.
  2. I love disturbed tone.
    It is 100% stingray.
    Its a prime example of stingray rock tone.
  3. Stingray is next on my list after a Soundgear 506.... my two favorite sounding basses (from what I've heard on the internet and at GC). I've got a love/hate relationship with Warwick tone too...
  4. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You can smell one of us a mile away (you'll know in a minute) but for what you are describing it's hard to suggest anything besides a VT Bass Deluxe. IMO it does grind and dirt (and even overdrive) better than the rackmount Sansamp stuff does (I owned an RPM preamp). A "modern" sound can come from manipulation of your EQ, typically scooping or some other shaping. What you are after is the dynamics and grind from the right bass mixed with some gain.

    Honestly, the only thing that will probably replace my VT Bass Deluxe is an ACTUAL Ampeg tube amp. Sometimes people use them in front of their SVTs to get more control over their overdrive and gritty tones. That's really saying something IMHO.
  5. An EQ pedal with some tone tweaking, with spice from an overdrive pedal, could get you in the ballpark sound you're after. I use a B7K myself, and the gain and eq knobs can give it a truckload of aggression, which is my basic go-to sound anyways.
  6. The guy from Disturbed has his own pedal.

    EBS Sweden AB - Professional Bass Equipment

    "The EBS MetalDrive delivers high-gain distortion for use in modern metal music and other music styles that call for a mean, distorted sound. It is based on a customized MultiDrive made for bass player John Moyer of Disturbed. The Black Label Pedals provide great tone for guitar, keyboard and other instruments as well. Smooth working effects with very little or no noise and a fat tone that keep the bottom solid."

    I'd recommend the B3K but it may be too "top-end grindy" for what you like.
  7. Thank you all for the replies!

    I checked out the Tech 21 VT and was very impressed with many of the tones. With many demos, I found the tone to be very flabby. On others, I found it to be very aggressive and impressive.

    The EBS I actually found to be incredibly fuzzy and muddy... I like a clear, distinct sound, and that wasn't it.

    I looked up the Darkglass, and so far, the tone I heard out of the B7K was the most impressive I've heard so far, on the right settings. What kind of price range can I expect on one of these?
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Most of those guys use either Ampegs or Sansamps. They also blend clean and dirty sounds and now and then might add some light chorus to thicken it up. The VT will certainly get you in that range. A lot of these guys might use some other pedal as well. Personally, for that kind of sound, I really like the Rat (you'd need one modded for bass unless you blend clean and dirty signals, though) and the stock EBS Multidrive (never had a Multidrive but I'm told it's the same as what's in the EBS Microbass II, and I did have one of them). But it's such a personal decision that nobody can make for you...you'll know it when you hear it.
  9. Michael (Dragonforce) used/uses an RBI preamp in the studio. I think he used a Caparison Dellinger bass when recording "Paradise Lost", which has EMG PJ pickups. Live he is known to use a Stingray among other basses. Live he uses Ampeg gear.

    I'd say go for a Stingray and an RBI preamp (if you want a rack), or an Ampeg head.

    EDIT: Like Jimmy said, most of these dudes are using Ampeg/Sansamp. Can't go wrong with the classic to get a modern sound. ;)
  10. B7K is pretty expensive... around $430.
  11. Low enough action to get the fabled "Fret Click" (without too much buzz, though some is inevitable). If you aren't already set up for that, probably more important than any pedal.
  12. sansamp will likely do it. i know that makes up the majority of the killswitch engage bass tone. just dont over scoop the mids or you will be lost.

    keep in mind that studio tone and live tone are very different. in the studio, we can make tiny boosts and cuts and run signals through gear you likely wouldnt put on a pedalboard.
  13. I actually have my 5 string bass tuned a hole step down and it has some loose tension. It's a smooth sound, but if I really dig in and strike it, I get that same kind of attack even from open strings.

    To be honest, the attack is one of the things about my current sound that really annoys me, and i'm trying to round it out a bit.
  14. brentonbassist


    Aug 10, 2010
    I recently got a Darkglass B3K and it is the most amazing overdrive pedal I've ever owner. I currently have a VT Bass Deluxe (have owned a SansAmp BDDI, have a Tech 21 XXL Bass, had Boss ODB-3 & EHX Bass Big Muff - this things owns them all!) also, but am contemplating getting rid of it for a B7K and keeping my B3K too, to run them at different drive levels. It's a very crisp, grindy tone that can get very aggressive. To my knowledge you can only get them new from Darkglass' website, but from time-to-time they pop up in the classifieds, but go for nearly as much as new and get snapped up very quickly. I can definitely vouch for them!
  15. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    MXR Blowtorch. Inexpensive, easy to find, very, very effective.
  16. Personally I never liked the Blowtorch. I want to replace my ODB-3 in the near future, is the VT Bass worh the money?
  17. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    My suggestions would go somewhere in this order (calculating price as a factor)

    VT Bass


  18. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Flabby is a good description, the VT doesn't sound good with high output basses. I just got a Stingray (well, Ray35) this week and a Tech 21 Oxford, which slays the VT in my opinion for agressive overdriven rock tones, and can handle hot basses without getting mushy. I have a B3K due to arrive tomorrow too, looking forward to comparing them!
  19. BassMonstrum


    Mar 7, 2008
    I was thinking of doing the same; I just ordered the B3K and got my finger on the trigger on the B7K. Why?

    Because I run all dirt in front of a Sansamp BDDI and like the sound of it, but I'm curious what it would sound like with the B7K instead of the BDDI.
  20. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Output of the bass can be a factor but also the active EQ as well. It's best to start with the EQ on the bass flat when using with one of our preamps.

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