Adding a little dirt.

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Adding a little dirt.

Postby SmittyG » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:32 am

For the most part, pedals have always been sort of a "toy" thing for me. I'd play with them a bit at home or in a jam, but I almost never used them at a gig. I would just go straight to amp, maybe a touch of EQ, and that was it. Lately, I've been using my MXR Blowtorch in front of my amp to add just a bit of edge to things. I guess those of you with larger amps, possibly tubes, can do this with the preamp section alone. In my case, my amp is pretty small and solid state and designed to stay pretty clean. The weird thing, to me at least, is that I'm not using the Blowtorch as an effect that I switch on and off as needed, instead I'm using it like an extra preamp in front of my amp. I know of guitar players who do this, but didn't know how common it was with bassists. So far, I've had no complaints about my sound, but I'm a tad worried about it muddying up on the far side of the room or such. So, what are your experiences with this? Basically just looking to see what you more experienced cats are doing.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby nolabass » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:43 am

I think a little grind won\t muddy things. I have read there's a studio trick adding a little distortion to the bass line actually brings it out in a mix. Seems like that might apply to live sound too. This trick is used in country music FYI so it's not an extreme effect.
I fell in love with the distorted bass tones on Buddy Guys "Sweet Tea" record and read they used a Tube Screamer on bass. Still wanna try that one in my Mississippi Delta Blues projects. But that's a pretty heavy distortion...

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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby steveonbass » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:45 am

Very common. a little hair can be great as part of your basic tone. I used to use my Bassdrive like that. If you like your tone that way - don't be apprehensive at all. A touch can go a long way.

BTW: Buddy Guys Sweet Tea album RULES - that is an extreme example
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby SmittyG » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:51 am

I LOVE that CD. Hadn't thought about that--will have to go back and listen again.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Sloom » Tue Feb 08, 2011 8:08 pm

Glad I found this one... I have a "Dog Tone Bass Fuzz" made by a local hobbyist who's just moved away from RI. It's a neat little dirt-box that can get something along the lines of Felix pappalardi's tone with Mountain- think "Theme for an Imaginary Western". Or maybe Jack Bruce when he played on the Zappa album, I think it was "Overnight Sensation".

I rarely break it out, but was playing around with it yesterday and enjoying the 'thing' I got from it. This little thread here has got me somewhat more intrigued, and I think I'll start trying to use it more often. I'm playing a Portuguese traditional gig this weekend, and I may just quietly open 'er up a little with the ol' Dogtone... see what happens.

I'll post also with findings.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Cheap Bass Tard » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:25 am

I just added a blowtorch to my board. It's a really nice, flexible dirt pedal that won't muddy up my tone the way a few others I've tried does.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby GonzoBass » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:06 am

I can dial up a little growl via the GK's "Boost".
Works real nice in the right live situation.
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Adding a little dirt.

Postby harleyyy » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:50 am

The gain knob on the GB Streamliner is INSANE.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Sloom » Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:32 pm

I kind of wish the tube gain on the Trace SMX would do that, but nope. "Wax on/wax off", that's about it. Pretty clean, but a little warmth.

Might put a cap in the bass though, with a 'gain' knob... like Jack Bruce's, but adjustable. I wonder.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Mike Childree » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:43 pm

I use an EBS Microbass II as a pre/DI and it has a great-sounding drive control....adds a bit of natural sounding dirt without cutting lows too much (if you don't over-do it).
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Father Gino » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:14 pm

I used to love the sound of my F1X with the gain turned up to 7 or 8 pushing a single Aguilar 12 just beyond it's limit. I stopped loving it so much the second time I blew the poor lil' Aggie up.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Sloom » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:29 am

The Dogtone at its lowest setting does a nice touch of heavy-ish drive. So far gives a little warm presence in general. Liking it.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby aussiemark » Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:23 pm

With solid state amps I keep my Cave Passive Pedals Grunt on all the time, for some warm tubey vibe.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Sloom » Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:27 pm

aussiemark wrote:With solid state amps I keep my Cave Passive Pedals Grunt on all the time, for some warm tubey vibe.


This passive thing is really a good idea. My Dogtone Fuzz only can use a 9v battery, and I have to undo screws to get the bottom off. And I want to use it a lot now- like all the time! Plus even in the OFF position, if it's still plugged in at the input, it drains the battery. A no-maintenance alternative would be great.
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Re: Adding a little dirt.

Postby Floyd Eye » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:38 am

I use a TAFM for extra menace when needed, but primarily the source for dirt is my fingers. The SVT II ( non pro) is a great amp. Very responsive. It gets nice and gritty the harder you dig in.
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