Bass Sounds We Love – Part 3: Funk, Soul, Reggae, HipHop & Electro

Bass Sounds We Love – Part 3: Funk, Soul, Reggae, HipHop & Electro

The third and final part of our “Bass Sounds We Love” trilogy, is dedicated to the genres: Funk, Reggae, Hip Hop and Electro.

Part 3: Funk, Soul, Reggae, Hip Hop & Electro


There is hardly a bass-style that allows for so much freedom. For this a wide range of different pedals are available, of which have a decade long tradition of funk. Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Prince and others have led the way with: filters, wah-wahs, tumbler and many other devices.

MXR M 82 Bass Envelope Filter

One of the most important foot pedals in funk is the Envelope filter. Instead of the over-sized original equipment from the 1970s, there are fortunately very good “remakes”, that are much more compact, but in no way inferior. The Bass Envelope Filter from MXR is a good example of this. In our soundfile, we used a Fender Jazz Bass.

Here are the settings: Dry: 3h, FX: 4h, Decay: 3h, Q: 4h, Sens: 2h



Soul/Neo Soul

In the mid 90’s a special kind of soul developed, which was noticed by extremely laid back use of instruments. The main representatives of these movements, which were very influential in the music circles, were artists like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo – in the latter, was with the great Pino Palladino on the bass!

Aguilar Octamizer

A nice addition to the bass sound is the use of an octaver, which – as in our sound example – causes the bass line to sound almost as if played by a keyboard. Once you get the hang of this it’s incredibly fun.

In our sound sample we used a Fender Precision Bass with ground wound strings, the settings of the Aguilar Octamizers used are: Octave Level: 12h, Clean Level: 12h, Octave Filter 1h, Clean Tone: 12h


80’s Funk

Boss BC-1X Bass Compressor

Admittedly this area can be quite blurry! What is meant here is not the drum computer sounds and keyboard basses of this era, but rather that we had the famous British band Level 42 in mind, when creating the soundfiles. Their bassist and singer Mark King is still regarded as the uncrowned 80’s slap king. A king that with his unusual playing technique revolutionized funk and shaped it to what it is today.

TBoss CEB-3 Bass Choruso achieve the typical Mark King sound, no less than three pedals have been paired: the BOSS Bass Comp BC-1X, a modern multi-band compressor in familiar BOSS housing format, in the beginning of the chain. Here, the hard slap and pops of the used Music Man Saber bass are smoothed effectively. Next, the signal passes through the BOSS Bass Equalizer GEB-7 which boosts the bass and treble, and mids are cut ( “Scoop Sound”). The last link in the chain is BOSS CEB-3 Bass Chorus, which adds spatial sound. This set-up, brings you closer to the legendary King sound.

Here are the settings used:

BOSS BC-1X: Release: 10h, Ratio: 12h, Threshold: 3h

BOSS GEB-7: 50 Hz: -2, 120 Hz: +5, 400 Hz: +3, 500 Hz: -5, 800 Hz: -5, 4.5 kHz: +2, 10 kHz: 0

BOSS CEB-3: Low Filter: 3h, Rate: 11h, Depth: 3h



The Jamaican music style reggae developed in the late 1960’s. Certain elements of this genre still come out in local charts again and again. The main representatives of Reggae, such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Desmond Dekker, are often revered by the fans as saints. Typical of the classic reggae bass lines is a low-pitched sound, which in turn includes many warm mids and powerful bass.

Boss GEB-7

Another important characteristic that displayed by famous reggae bassists such as Aston “Family Man” Barrett and Sly Dunbar, is the “laid back” style. “Take it easy!” – is the motto here! In our sound sample, a Fender Jazz Bass with round wound strings and a half-closed high-frequency diaphragm was used. With the help of the BOSS GEB-7 the treble parts were further damped for a dark and creamy sound.

The settings: 50 Hz: 0, 120 Hz: +10, 400 Hz: +9, 500 Hz: +5, 800 Hz: 0, 4.5 kHz: -10, 10 kHz: -15.


Hip Hop

Hip Hop began its triumph in the 1970s. In addition to rap as an elementary expression, above all its’s the beats and use of loops and samples, that makes this style of music. Basically, muffled sounds predominantly dominate the sound. The bass lines are usually one or two-bars and are repeated in a loop (ostinato bass line).

Red Witch Factotum

In our sound example, the Redwitch Factotum was used – a pedal that houses two effects. Both components can be set completely separately, but can also be mixed infinitely, if required. In our hiphop bassline, played with a Fender Jazz Bass, you can hear the effects, as a merciless and bitter bass sound.

The settings: Octave Mix: 3h, D Mix: 2h,

D Tone: 11h, D Volume: 2h, Drive: 11h



Electro House Techno Tekkno? Drum & Bass? Dubstep? Trance? Hardcore? New Beat? Breakbeat? Breakbeat Hardcore? The styles, in EDM that blossomed since the 1990s, are certainly more opaque than Heavy Metal! All styles, however, show that the sounds used are usually produced electronically. And yet, there are also creative minds here and there that make great contributions to these styles using real instruments.

Markbass Super Synth

With pedals like the Markbass Super Synth, you can turn yourself into a human synth. The original bass sound disappears completely, unless you do not tweak the “Dry” control, which will reflect in your instrument. In our sample we used a fairly “aggressive sound,” (Note: the type “Saw” sound somewhere sample was also made with the Super Synth but was later edited with the computer in post-production!)

The settings on the pedal were: Cut Freq / OCT-1: 1.5, Tone / OCT + 1: 2, Level / Dry: 6 (corresponds to 100% effect signal)


About Lars

Lars LehmannLars Lehmann is one of the most versatile bassists of our time, having collaborated with artists in the caliber of UFO, Konstantin Wecker, Simon Phillips, Roachford, Pee Wee Ellis, Mousse T., Bobby Byrd, Vinnie Moore, Eloy, Uli Jon Roth and many others, both in studio and live. In addition to his work as a pop/rock/metal bassist for, Lars also plays the bass in an orchestra for several musical productions. His “Slap-Attack” teaching is a milestone in learning bass in Germany.


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Lawrence started playing the electric guitar because of his passion for rock music. Back in the day he played in a metal band, but now plays more for himself.


    How much it is the whole set then?

    Hi !
    Regarding the settings for the Mark King sound, I don’t understand how you can claim to get the “scooped” sound with the settings indicated for the equalizer (BOSS GEB-7: 50 Hz: -2, 120 Hz: +5, 400 Hz: +3, 500 Hz: -5, 800 Hz: -5, 4.5 kHz: +2, 10 kHz: 0) which seems, on the contrary, to emphasize the mids and cut the bass and treble; Maybe I misunderstood? Thank you

    Reggae: you mean Robbie Shakespeare, not Sly Dunbar…he is a drummer.

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