We started the first article of this series with “Part 1: Pop,” the second round of this 3 part “Bass Sounds We Love” is all about Rock and Metal!
Part 2: Rock & Metal
Many bass sounds in this genre are characterized by the company Ampeg, whose brutally powerful sounding amplifiers and cabinets have been regarded as the epitome of Rock ‘n Roll since the 1960. However, if you don’t have the means to obtain an entire Ampeg SVT HEAD with an 8 × 10 cabinet, you should consider the Ampegs SCR-DI. This DI box / preamp brings the classic Ampeg sound in portable format and also has other useful features such as an XLR output, headphone output, two AUX inputs, and more.
A notable example is the Scrambler section: here, the original signal can be mixed with distortion – as shown in our example. The bass here is a Fender Precision with maple fingerboard, which was played with plectrum.
The settings: Drive: 11h, Blend: 1h, Bass: 2h, Mid: 1h, Treble: 3h
No, the harsher styles do not always have to be brutally distorted – many metal bassists (like the aforementioned Dave Ellefson of Megadeth) use a super clean sound, in which the plectrum strokes are quite clear, to achieve accurate rhythmic accents.
In our sound sample a clean sound is used and could be used as an intro. It was played with a Spector Euro plugged into a first-class Vintage Ultra-Preamp (which can also be used as a DI-Box due to its XLR output!) by the Finnish company Darkglass . The Bass Chorus Deluxe by MXR was also used to expand the sound and to make it glide.
In the sample, the Vintage Ultra from Darkglass wasn’t used in its full glory. The distortion section, which can be activated by means of a second foot switch and can be added to the Clean sound, was not used. Instead the pedal was used here as a preamp for the crystal clear and ultra pure sound.
The settings of the Vintage Ultra: Bass: 2h, Lo Mids: 500Hz @ 2h, Hi Mids: 15kHz @ 11h, Treble: 4h. The controls and switches relevant to the drive section were not used. Here are the settings for the MXR Bass Chorus Deluxe: Bass: 12h, Treble: 12h, Intensity: 100%, Rate: 11h, Width: 100%
Modern metal styles like Djent thrive on ultra-distorted riffs. The “Black Beast” pedal from the German company Okko is very well suited for this genre and allows bassists to keep up with guitarists. Although it’s possible for the latter to already have a Black Beast.
This pedal offers the most violent distortion, with loads of gain and sustain. The magic of this pedal is in the knob called KAPUTT (german for broken/out of order). This control changes the gain structure from plain harmonic distortion to all out nasty fuzz. The sound sample was recorded with a Music Man Stingray bass, which was tuned down to C – because in this case: the deeper, the better!
The settings: Kaputt: 11h, Bass: 3h, Treble: 11h, Gain: 7h
→ Stay Tuned for Part 3: Funk, Reggae, HipHop & Electro … 😉
→ Click here for Part 1: Pop.