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Favorite drive pedals for bass?

Whats everybody using for their Geddy Lee, Billy Sheehan, Karnivool, Tool, etc.?

Got a new gig, need to start makin some patches. Thanx in advance.


LK
 

jon

Fractal Fanatic
If you make some great sounding overdrive patches with the axe, lemme know, i've been able to get ANY guitar sound I want with it, but have been having really bad luck with bass....my analog pedalboard still sounds waaaaay better. I've pretty much tried everything on the axe, so if another user has better luck with it, i'd be eager to know the secrets! :D
 

Bryan R. Tyler

Inspired
My favorite drive pedal is the Xotic Bass BB, which is a fairly simple sound you can emulate pretty easily with the Axe. One drive pedal I've always wanted to try but is very hard to get ahold of is the BJFE Blueberry Bass OD. It's supposed to do an excellent job of emulating an overdriven tube power amp. I made a patch on the Axe to try to emulate that sound based on the soundclips I've heard of the Blueberry- I posted it in my patches thread (it's called Natural Drive). I dig it and my Xotic patch a lot, and they cover most of my overdrive needs. Drive tones are pretty easy to achieve with the Axe- there's a good amount of overdrive emulations in it, and a lot of the amp models can be made into great overdriven sounds. The tougher ones to get IMO are a good variety of fuzz tones. Fuzzes can vary wildly, so without a lot of fuzz emulations to choose from, you're going to come up short, which is why I still have three fuzz pedals on my pedalboard (no drive or distortion pedals though).
 

jon

Fractal Fanatic
That's some pedals there I didn't even know about! :eek: I've found the drive blocks in the axe do just like the real pedals and cut off the bottom end of the bass :S I think the shred block kept it, but it's WAAAAY too much distortion! I prefer to use the drive of the amp blocks themselves, but I still haven't quite found what I'm after yet. I'm hoping we get some more bass-friendly overdrives in a future firmware update, and some more bass amps too. I've also found some good bass tones with the vox amp sims and the mesa sims..but they tend to be a little too boomy..just like the real thing.
 

Bryan R. Tyler

Inspired
Keeping the low end is something I've found exceedingly easy with the Axe thanks to all the routing you can choose from. Nearly all pedals that retain their low end do so by including a portion of the clean signal blended into the affected tone. Not only do most of the effects have a mix parameter, but you can always run a parallel line below it to mix in some clean tone. I have a couple effects where the distortion/drive is a high gain amp block (so no Mix option) with a parallel signal with a clean bass signal below it. You can then run both chains into a mixer block to adjust how much of each signal you want to be present.
 
Don't forget about that low cut parameter, either. That was one of the most useful parameters I found when I was dialing Bryan's Axe in late November, in both the amp and drive blocks. The mix is similarly useful. You could even run a dry signal around the drive block, and apply processing to that to process lower frequencies as you see fit. I intend to be making thorough use of the crossover block in the Axe when I get mine.
 

jon

Fractal Fanatic
Yea, I've been using that parallel chain with both guitar and bass. With bass overdrive it's the only way to keep the sound fat. I still find the frequencies the overdrives operate at are more geared to guitar and not as pleasing for bass.

+1 on that low cut parameter...I've found it VERY useful when using boomy amps like the vox and mesas.
 
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right_to_rage

Inspired
I like to use the T808 Mod into the SV Bass for a Tool style distortion. The settings I use are approximately Drive at 2, Tone at 9, Level at 10, Mix 70%, and everything else is the same except I cut the Mids -7.9 Db at 402 Hz. I keep the Drive on the amp at around 6 or 7 and the Master control set really low at less than 2. It works for what I'm doing so far, and I know it's not perfect but I'm getting better headphones with quality bass response this week so who knows!
 

Tom

Inspired
If you mean real pedals, I'm a big fan of the Tech 21 Bass Driver. As for Axe-FX pedals, the Rat gives me more or less what I'm looking for. In either case, be sure to have it blended in (I usually have it at 40%-50%) to let the clean signal through to the amp (or amp block) to retain clarity and tightness.
 

bfinn19

Member
Yea, I've been using that parallel chain with both guitar and bass. With bass overdrive it's the only way to keep the sound fat. I still find the frequencies the overdrives operate at are more geared to guitar and not as pleasing for bass.

+1 on that low cut parameter...I've found it VERY useful when using boomy amps like the vox and mesas.
Where in the chain does the drive lie? Obviously at/near the beginning. Any compression before/after the drive?
 

jon

Fractal Fanatic
Compression will depend on how much drive you use, as it adds compression itself.

The drive is usually just before the amp block, but there are no rules here.

If you're using parallel routing, try an amp like the SVT with something like the boutique or bassman, you can also try one dirty and one clean for the best of both worlds
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic
I recently discovered the BBE drive model for bass. Going in to Tube Pre amp. Sounds great. I would like to know what others use as well.
 
My main bass tone right now has just a slight overdrive to it. Parallel of FAS Bass and FAS Hot Rod with a light crunchy gain and boosted mids. I think the trick is getting only the frequencies you want to be distorted (usually highs, high mids)... to be distorted, and keep the rest clean and clear. I use a filter/EQ at the beginning of the distorted amp chain to keep only higher frequencies going in, and I keep everything going into the bass amp. you could also use a crossover, you would just lose the highs going to the bass amp chain, so it's a bit of a different sound.

When I record, I send these chains to separate tracks and turn the filter off and let the entire spectrum distort on that chain, and control what frequency band I hear distorting in the DAW. I can then replicate what I did in the DAW with a filter/EQ in the distorted chain. Since I only run light overdrive, you don't really hear much in a mix other than a little more clarity and instrument isolation (mostly because of where I chop the EQ). If I want more actual distorted bass tone, I'll add a drive pedal like a Tube Screamer or a fuzz to the distorted chain only to get a "grind" kind of sound, but still employ the above tactics.
 
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