What do you like in a distortion/od?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tristan, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Tristan


    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hello bass players!

    I am a 4th year electrical engineering student and I am doing my final design project about bass overdrive and distortion. I am going to clip bass signals using a variety of methods (diode,bjt,mosfet,jfet,etc)... and analyze the result in time and frequency domains.

    I would really like to know what bassists look for in an overdrive/dist. I am a bassist myself, and I know what I like, but I want more opinions.

    The dream is to make something quality, simple and custom available for a reasonable price, but for now I have to settle with research. FILL ME IN!
  2. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    after a few months with my EBS MultiDrive (Thanks JammaDave) i really, really like the way that it responds to input. if i crank the gain on it all the way up and put it in Tube Sim mode, and i barely touch the string then i get this huge, deep, soft tone with barely any fuzziness. i can control the dynamics of the overdrive just by playing harder.

    i also like the fact that i dont lose bottom end at all, in fact i sort of get more with the saturation.

    i bought a SansAmp GT2 to play guitar through, i tried it on bass and wasnt terribly impressed. i suppose i am just spoiled to the MultiDrive.
  3. BassGod


    Jan 21, 2004
    I recently bought the Marshall Guv'nor II, and was very impressed. So I guess I like a full on, thick distortion, but that isn't buzzy or terribly harsh. Also, a built in noise gate would be helpful, (like the one in the Ibanez Smash Box) and it's something the Guv'nor lacks.

    Graeme :bassist:
  4. i like the quoted "fart in a can" boss ODB-3 overdrive. that's what bass distortion should solund like IMO
  5. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    My ideal overdrive box would be something that adds the characteristic overdrive growl and thickness to the signal without making the top end hairy and distorted.
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    clean/distortion blend to keep the g**tar**t from crying.
  7. NO clean/blend to MAKE the G**tar**t cry :bassist:
  8. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    -clean blend with phase reversal switch affecting distorted sound.
    -tone control that sweeps an appropriate frequency range and can give a mid-scooped sound (i.e. NOT just a 'tacked on' tone control taken from a g****r FX pedal as many are).
    -something that retains playing dynamics and still lets you control the saturation / distortion level with your playing.
    -something that still retains the inherent tone of your bass, and integrates the distorted sound rather than just layering it on top (tricky to to, this one especially).
    - something that runs at 18V or more internally to stop unwanted clipping (eg of the input or buffer stage if there is one).

    Good luck! ;) :)

  9. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    A sound like Geddy/Squire :p. Basically a growly, snarly overdrive that responds to your playing.
  10. fenderx55


    Jan 15, 2005
    i like a creamy colorful overdrive, like my ehx Double Muff Pedal. I love that pedal. But it's pretty versatile as well; switch it to double and it goes from being a fuzzy color to a grinding distortion. I like to make the guys in my band yell at me by turning that on and then adding the boss odb3 to the mix. i hate that pedal. i want it to die. anyone want to buy it?
  11. Ozzyman


    Jul 21, 2004
    It's it possible for a growly bassy overdrive that's sensitive to input signal like Tim C. from RATM. And three-way switch that can switch over to a compressed distorted sound (ala Boss MetalZone but applicable to bass freq.) Then the third setting on the switch is a fuzzy sound like Cliff Burton and his Anesthesia solo.
    I think the knobs should probably be:
    Level - Output Volume (maybe a input knob also, to make up for passive basses weak signals)
    Blend - To keep some of your bass tone.
    EQ - Bass, Mid/Mid Freq, Treble (or other combinations, space permitting)
    Drive - In Overdrive Mode, it would be used to find that "sweet spot"; In Distortion Mode, it would allow you to get a softer distortion to a full onwall of distortion; In Fuzz Mode, it would be used similar to the Distortion Mode but with a different sound.
    Compression - compresses INCOMING sound, so it will double as sort of a sensitivity knob for the Overdrive sound and of course as compression.
    Noise Gate - Maybe this could be a switch or automatically be turned on for distortion and fuzz modes.
    I hope this all makes sense. :D
    *shrugs* I'm probably living in a dream world...
  12. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Hey mike, I have been meaning to talk to you... I hope your starting to feel better. Thats to bad about you shuting shop, but your heath is more important!.


  13. Thunder_Fingers


    Jun 24, 2004
    ooooooh... the limelight Distortion! :hyper:
  14. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Drop me a line whenever you feel like it ... and I got a little something new on the horizon (not for bass specifically though).... :)

  15. I want something that allows me to blend the the uneffected and effected signal. I want TRUE BYPASS. I want to be able to control how hard the thing is overdriven. I want a pedal that is able to replicate (doesn't have to be perfect) the way that a marshall head overdrive chanel works - the two drive knobs (i think it was two drive, might have been one drive, one volume). I'm not really interested in tone controls etc, but they can't hurt. I would rather that the pedal just keeps as much of the colour and tone of the bass as possible. Would be good to have a knob to control output level too.

    Hope that helps.
  16. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    If I could, I'd find two pedals in one that would include:

    The Fulltone Bassdrive that I LOVE so much that's fat and warm, and

    An option to distort ONLY the harmonics and make 'em as growly and distorted as I like without affecting the mids or lows.

    But, to keep 'em separate, but in the same pedal...that would be something!:D
  17. ironfist


    Feb 5, 2000
    I'll add a resounding fourth to the wet/dry blend knob. This should be a feature on every bass overdrive/distortion pedal in my opinion.
  18. protoz


    Nov 30, 2000
    Wet/Dry blend
    True Bypass
    Ability to go from gentle OD to full out fuzz
    Very durable switch (not like the BOSS plastic switch under the metal casing. Metal button please)
    battery and AC out

    Crazy ideas:
    Make an effects loop on the OD pedal so you can have less attenuation when running everything in front of the amp.
    bass-->super pedal-->amp
          other pedals
    2 input jacks so you can have 2 basses connected for quick switching
  19. Tristan


    Jan 28, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    awesome stuff guys...

    once the T-Tronics "Ground and Pound" bass OD/DIST is complete i'll let you all hear it.