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What should a distorted bass sound like?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Special_Ed, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. Special_Ed


    Oct 3, 2004
    Help. I am a newbie and I am using a Fender bossman 25 watt practice amp. I also have a Ibanez PUE5 tube "thing" (for lack of better words) http://www.accordo.it/upload/ibanezpue5.JPG

    I can't seem to get a good sound. Any ideas? When I use distortion it makes my bass sound hollowy, thin and seems to take the "bass" out of my sound. If I crank the bass up all the way and take the trebble out it sounds like im farting if I play the low notes. Any suggestions? Should I get a new peddle made just for bass guitars? What brand?
  2. Well, I'm not a pro on effects, but I know a little bit. I think the problem you are having is basically because the effect you are using is designed for guitar, not for bass guitar. When manufacturers design guitar pedals, they tend to ommit components that are necessary for the effect to respond well to bass - namely larger capacitors. The result when you plug a bass into it is a very hollow sound, with no low end. There is one way to avoid this - buy a box that lets you blend some of your clean, uneffected signal with some of the distorted one. The clean signal will keep your low end.

    You could also buy a different effects unit. I don't know of any cheap, good, bass distortions tho. Most of the good ones are a bit pricey.
  3. Should sound like whatever you want it to sound like...
  4. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    Try a Boss ODB-3. This unit has a blend knob that lets you mix the distorted and dry signal. I usually keep it about 50/50, which keeps a good amount of low end in the signal. These units can be had pretty cheaply used, I paid $40 for mine.
  5. That's only really good for heavy distortion though, the overdrive isn't all that great.
  6. Tech 21 Bass Driver DI.
    This little box has so many tone and distortion options, it will make your head spin. Get one. ;)
  7. krazy_olie


    May 10, 2004
    Best cheaper distortion for bass is the ibanez pd-7, beats the odb-3 on most things, i've tried the boss and own the ibanez.

    Up the scale the sansamp bass driver DI is supposed to be great as is the fulltone. ooh and EBS multidrive rocks apparently
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Distortion effects create upper harmonics not present in the original signal, this makes the sound a lot treblier than the clean sound. To compensate you need to roll off the high end. And yes, the low end will sound "farty" when you are using distortion.

    The Ibanez pedal might not be right for you or it may be a matter of learnng to tweak the EQ settings to taste.

    One trick is to roll off the treble on your bass BEFORE feeding into the distortion. This will help a LOT in keeping the distorted tone from being too shrill. If your bass has multiple pickups, use the one closest to the neck.
  9. Listen to the Geddy Lee bass intro to "Rush - Red Barchetta". That's a very good distorted bass sound. I get a similar sound using the OD patch in my Zoom 708 II pedal. Geddy uses an Avalon U5 Tube Direct box - for that "clean" sound / SansAmp R.B.I. Bass preamp by Tech 21 - for that "dirty" sound http://www.2112.net/powerwindows/VTtourbook.htm

    Good luck to you!

    --joe http://www.simple-groove.com/
  10. Special_Ed


    Oct 3, 2004
    Thanks all. I'm writting these suggsetions down so when I get paid next I'll have some idea what to look for.

    Brainrost, your suggestion definatly helps, but at this point and time I think I should get a better effects peddle.

    thanks all
  11. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    +1 little buddy...

  12. davepack

    davepack Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Denver, CO
    get a sansamp BDDI
  13. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I agree with getting a Sansamp BDDI. Although it is a bit more ambitious then merely just wanting distortion, it can do that and a whole lot more. You can go from subtle warmth all the way to overdriving goodness. It's really a cool little box. I didn't quite know what to expect when I made the decision to buy one from a fellow TB'er, but when I got it home, I realized what everyone was saying about it. It's great such a wide variety of sounds and not only that, but it has connectivity options like the DI. Not sure how to exactly put it in to words, but what everyone else has said about it in a million other posts can say it for me.

    Really one of the keepers in the gear that I've bought recently. Is it a grinding, buzzsaw impersonating, rectifier distortion replacement? No...you'd probably have to look elsewhere for such a sound. But if you want that big grey area between sorta warm and pretty overdriven, this would be the thing. Very cool.

  14. How very helpful... :rolleyes:
  15. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Yet very true. Harry knows that distortion ranges from the slightest to most intense and is still great. Your choice of effects is just as artistic and personal as your choice of notes and rhythm.
  16. And yet he still didn't actually answer any of the questions asked in the original post.
  17. Tritone

    Tritone Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Santee, America
  18. Special_Ed


    Oct 3, 2004
    I want to keep the nice low "boom" sound my bass normally gives with some distortion added in it. No matter what I do with this effects pedal I end up lossing my low end bass sound.

    So overall, its not sounding how I like it to. :crying:

    Are you certain I can get a nice low boom w/ distortion out of this pedal? If so then It's gotta be my amp. . . .
  19. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    You need a overdrive/distortion with a blend control... Sounds like you need the boss bass overdrive, I personaly hate it - but it sounds like your bag...



  20. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
    I've been there, and you're quite right. The Big Muff is a great OD but where does the bottom end go !!
    The blend knob on the ODB3 is great.