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Best Fingerstyle Bass Tone For Metal

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by ArtisanBass, May 25, 2006.

  1. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    Does it have some overdrive, does it have a lot of distortion? It is someone who hits hard the whole time? Is the action on the bass really low so the strings buzz some? I'd like to hear some thoughts. Thanks.
     
  2. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    Yeah, so I was thinkin nobody would be jumping on this one.
     
  3. SickBoy

    SickBoy Croatian Panzer division

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    I'm not a bassplayer, but I really dig DiGiorgio's fretless tone...
    In fact, any fretless tone. :)
    I like the fact that it cuts through without being sharp and clicky...
     
  4. Nitronium Blood

    Nitronium Blood UM BOARDS' JESTER

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    I like that deep throbbing bass.

    The bass one in No More Tears by Ozzy, is the bestest to my ears.

    Tool's somwhat introvert 'in an extrovert way' bass tone is nice too :)
     
  5. moose209

    moose209 Bottom chugger

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    Fingerstyle playing is a tough one - as even the worst bass can sound amazing in the right hands. The only thing that I find really helps is to accept that it can sound nasty and use that fact - guitarist have been doing that for years!

    Too much 200 can make it sound sweet on it;s own but in the mix it's gonna fuck everything up - you'll find you'll need a touch more overdrive than you would imagine though.

    Mixing a clean nice eq track with a distorted, lightly compressed before and after the distortion track - with the bottom end sloped off really works if you want the bass to be a major part and not just the foundation of the guitars. I seem to remember Andy saying that the fundamental was around 160 for the bass - I agree a lower order harmonic is there or there abouts and by distorting it up you just do exactly that - distort the foundation of your mix making it blurry and fuzzy, so I always strive for a clear bottom end and find a narrow band for the bass to cut through in the middle - avoid anything near hi-mid though - it just starts to sound like a duck singing Primus.

    tuppence dropped in

    :-?
     
  6. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    Thanks to those who have answered so far. I'll give you guys some background. I frequent a bass player's forum and that attitude is some of the best stuff I've ever seen at a forum. Very helpful. The metal presence is very small though as well as the people into recording. You'll hear more talk about great DI's and so on. Which I do agree is important.

    I have been playing finger style for 15 years now and going to a pick to play what I play now on my fingers is not an option. Sadly, many of my favorite tones for bass come from pick players. Some metal, many of them punk. I teach bass and hear lots of different sounds. Usually when I hear a sound I really like, I look up the player and find out it's an Ampeg SVT2 with a pick and a Jazz bass.

    I really dig Steve DiGiorgio's playing. I've met him a few times and he's very cool about talking gear. He does have quite a few tones from project to project. But it's hard to miss him when you hear him. On some of the Death stuff I think his bass wasn't placed well in the mix. Especially on "Human" of course. "Individual Thought Patters" was way better but the low notes were subtle as the higher lines chirped out more. I think he's got great tone on the Control Denied stuff. The guitars are not of the modern or current sound on that album though if that makes any sense. More razor blade sounding wich did leave some room in my opinion. We've joked at times about the volumes of his bass level. Once he signed a bunch of my CD sleeves with his name and "NB" next to it for albums where you could hear "no bass" I've been at times compared to the man (not that I agree) but because I move around quite a bit at times. I've chilled out some over the past few years but it's hard to find a tone that affords the supporting; In Flames for example, and the busy; Sadus for example.

    I am a 6-string bass player. I don't use the high "C" too much these days and I'm not worried too much about that tone, I can control that. I am worried about getting articulation with the lower strings without making the next few strings sound too brittle. We tune to "D" but at times the guitarist uses a 7-string. We don't hang out on those low "A"s, so I don't like to say we tune to "A", it's very seldom and we never really have more than one or two riffs rooted off those strings. Usually just to extend some chords and such. The drums are done for the album and we are doing pre-production guitars right now, making sure everything is cool seeing we lost a guitarist and the remaining guy has to learn all those 2nd parts. I brought some CD's to the studio .Not to rip a tone but find a tone that he was already close to and then try to match the life of it in a recording medium. We came closest to Exodus "Shovel Headed.." So the guitars blister more than crunch in my opinion.

    Now if you guys were part of the bass player forum I mentioned earlier, they would say it's all in the players hands. I believe this to a very large extent. That's why I still have not lost the drive to practice my ass off after all these years. But any thoughts would be helpful. Be it, amp's, compression techniques, distortion and so on. I would say the band is thrashy, but not too old school, we like old and modern. We have some progressive undertones as well. I know it's very important for the guitars to be right up there and I've made the sacrafice many times for lack of a better approach with tone on my instrument. This is our first full length as this band and I want to set the bar.

    Any how, I hope this info helps and was a good waste of your time!!!!. Thanks in advance for all your help.
     
  7. moose209

    moose209 Bottom chugger

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    What bass forum do you visit - I'm a bass head myself drowning in a world of guitar orientated metal and cock rock.:lol:
     
  8. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    the forum is at www.musicplayer.com The forum is called the Lowdown LowDown. It's hosted by the folks who do Bass Player and Guitar Player magazine.
     
  9. LynchpiN

    LynchpiN Don't like presets.

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    I'm a bassist as well, and also love the fretless sound.

    About your questions, in my experience the player must be consistent, don't matter if he hits hard or softly. Depends on the style, but I lift the strings a little to avoid fret rattling (unless it's the player style). For mellower stuff, easy playing, short nails and lower strings works better to my ears.

    I'm a finger player, but when recording, I use a pick on the "thrashier" parts, specially to keep up with the guitar picking without adding too much mud (I play pretty hard as well, so things can go sloppy when fast).

    When mixing, I had good results combining distorted low cutted bass with a clean bass with more low end. But if it's all about slapping and grooving, things can be pretty different. :)

    I also love the clicky sound heavy-handed players do while smashing the strings, but it has never applied to my mixes. :D
     
  10. Andy Sneap

    Andy Sneap Metal Guru

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    two words, Jim Dunlop
     
  11. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    Dunlop???!!!!! DAMN IT!!!!!
     
  12. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    Andy could you tell me if Jack Gibson used a pick?
     
  13. Razorjack

    Razorjack Bass Behemoth

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    On the subject of picks - I've found that the brass picks from teckpick are great for heavy bass
     
  14. vile_ator

    vile_ator www.imperialmastering.com

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    Jim Dunlop, thats horrible!! haha. Andy the answer must be Jack Gibson. Agree? Yeah he played on my band Vile's last album as well and his tone really stands out. Its a combo of his percussive style, low action and the fact that he knows what he wants to hear. He has had the same tone for 15 years.

    Also he learned some stuff from you cause he convinced me that if he just played simple while the kick drums and guitars were playing complex it would mix best. He was right. Sometimes he's playing single notes while we play 16ths and you would swear he's playing along with us. Of course he can play whatever he wants but this really helped the mix and the groove I think. Great player that can play several styles.

    Colin
     
  15. moose209

    moose209 Bottom chugger

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    I love that technique - by playing a little less than eveyone else when your in a backing role you create a great audio illusion that to my ears is really cool - it creates a kind of pseudo sychopation where you push and pull the beat - especially if you play only the first and last of each rythmic cell. I love creating that subtle ducking in and out as you mix with the kicks/chugs. I.e. groups of fast 4's - I'd play 1 + 3, groups of 5's I'd play 1 + 3 again or 1 and 4 depending on the feel. 6's 1 + 3 etc etc - of course it ain't always that simple but it really adds punch to the mix. Sometimes low means slow otherwise you can't always define it - especially in my mixes:lol:
     
  16. Fragle

    Fragle Member

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    i *really* like the bass sound of the latest 2 exodus records, but i have no idea if that was recorded with pick or fingers....i guess pick, though.
    but i've always wondered how one can get a bass sound like that, it just seems to be so different from anything else out there.
     
  17. MX582

    MX582 Member

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    i really like the bass tone in strapping young lads "detox" and it sits in the mix perfectly
     
  18. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    To the original question, I think you'd be hard pressed to actually get a pick tone w/ your fingers but IMO a little overdrive that just tickes the top end of the attack can get you close. But, this assumes your playing a rig anything like the SVT/pick sound you seem to be after. Back when I played SVT's (I'm fingerstyle too) I would run my bass driver in front w/ the blend very low (maybe) but adding a little top end 'grind.' YMMV
     
  19. ArtisanBass

    ArtisanBass I like a nice salad......

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    egan, I have experimented with getting a really right hand presence in my bass driver and having the blend really low as well. Good idea.
     
  20. Glenn Fricker

    Glenn Fricker Very Metal &Very Bad News

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    ANYTHING by Iron Maiden. Steve Harris on bass... ...need I say more?


    "Symbol of Salvation" by Armored Saint. Joey Vera has a pretty cool tone going on with that record.

    -0z-
     

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