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Unread 09-03-2012, 08:15 PM   #1
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Bass Distortion

I was thinking about picking up a couple bass effects in the future and I was wondering, do you need a distortion pedal made specifically for bass (Like how you need a bass amp vs. a regular amp.) or will a regular guitar distortion work?

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Unread 09-03-2012, 11:07 PM   #2
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Depends on the range of the distortion pedal and what sound you're going for.

I've been using a ProCo RAT2 as my go-to distortion on bass. I've found that the other guitar-oriented pedals I've tried lost too much low end.
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Unread 09-04-2012, 07:43 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Depends on the range of the distortion pedal and what sound you're going for.

I've been using a ProCo RAT2 as my go-to distortion on bass. I've found that the other guitar-oriented pedals I've tried lost too much low end.
basically that's been my story too.
As far as bass pedals go, I have fallen in love with the Sansamp.
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Unread 09-04-2012, 01:59 PM   #4
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I use a bass V-amp to play guitar through so why not?
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Unread 09-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing bass through "guitar" pedals. Sometimes it will sound like crap, and most of the time it will sound fine. Certain types of effects can be optimized for bass (compressors, distortions, etc), but there is nothing wrong with trying regular guitar pedals with bass. Worst case scenario, it just doesn't sound good because it rolls off too much of the low end, which is the main problem that you will run into with distortions that aren't bass-specific. For example, I had a Boss DS-1 that I tried on bass, and I would totally disappear into the mix when I kicked it on because it sucked out so much low end. On the other hand, some guitar pedals pass plenty of low-end through. I had a Russian Big Muff Pi that would thunder like there was no tomorrow in the mix.

There is also the option of using a blender to mix distorted signal with clean, which will help you retain a lot of low end and attack. There are a lot of ways to do that. The Boss LS-2 is a good cheap option. At one point, I was actually running three parallel signals at once and blending them with an LS-2 for the biggest, gnarliest distortion tone you have ever heard.

TL; DR - Try what you want. There is no "right way" to do effects.
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Unread 09-05-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bassman1185 View Post

There is also the option of using a blender to mix distorted signal with clean, which will help you retain a lot of low end and attack. There are a lot of ways to do that. The Boss LS-2 is a good cheap option. At one point, I was actually running three parallel signals at once and blending them with an LS-2 for the biggest, gnarliest distortion tone you have ever heard.
Do you have a recording/video/whatever of that? That sounds really cool actually.
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Unread 09-06-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Here is a demo of a bass fuzz pedal with a built in blend:

Wounded Paw Attack Goat Bass Fuzz - YouTube

He starts getting into the blend part around 3:30.

I don't have any clips of my three-way rig. It was pretty fantastic, though.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #8
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I don't have any clips of my three-way rig. It was pretty fantastic, though.
How exactly did you have a 3 way rig? I'm still kinda new to effects so I'm confused on how you hooked all that up.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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Ok, let me see if I remember how I had this all rigged up...

The main piece of my pedalboard puzzle was a Pigtronix Disnortion, which I cannot recommend highly enough. The Disnortion has a parallel overdrive and fuzz, which means that the signal was split in the pedal. One signal went through the fuzz section, and one went through the overdrive, and then they were combined at the output. That way you had a fuzz sound that was blended with an overdrive, rather than just an overdrive being run into a fuzz, if that makes sense. The Disnortion also has a clean output, which I would send into a Subdecay Flying Tomato fuzz (which was really synth-like) and then into my Boss LS-2, which I had rigged up as a mini mixer. The dirty output of the Disnortion went into a Tech21 BassVT preamp that was set for mild overdrive.

That way I had up to three different signals going at one time. I always had at LEAST mild overdrive and clean, and then I could also run fuzz/clean, synthy fuzz/mild OD, fuzz/heavy OD/clean, fuzz/heavy OD/synthy fuzz, etc. It was kind of complex, but I could get a ton of ridiculous sounds out of it. On top of that, I would run all of that in the effects loop of my Line6 M13, so I could have compression/sub-octave, or pitch shifting feeding all of that, and then delay, reverb, chorus, tremolo, etc. coming after it. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a lot of use for all of that before my old post-hardcore band broke up. It was cool while it lasted, though.
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Unread 09-07-2012, 07:41 PM   #10
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Here's one of the Best Distorted Bass Players that I've ever Heard/Seen. Check this out.......Steve Bailey makes a 6 String Fretless Bass sound like an Electric Guitar.

Need some Inspiration - Watch this!

Steve Bailey & Victor Wooten _"Thumb Start My Harley" - YouTube
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Unread 09-08-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forgiven-Sinner View Post
Here's one of the Best Distorted Bass Players that I've ever Heard/Seen. Check this out.......Steve Bailey makes a 6 String Fretless Bass sound like an Electric Guitar.

Need some Inspiration - Watch this!

Steve Bailey & Victor Wooten _"Thumb Start My Harley" - YouTube
I've got to say that I'm not a fan of that sound at all, but if it floats your boat, cool.

Here's some examples of distortion sounds that I really dig:

Norma Jean- A Small Spark Vs. A Great Forest (Lyrics) - YouTube

Russian Circles - Geneva - YouTube

Thrice - Call It In The Air - YouTube (You can hear it pretty clearly around 3:30)

Thrice (Distortion comes in big around 1:30)
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