Having a website of your own has it’s perks and being able to write about the pedals and effects I have used on a record is one of them. Big Sir’s DIGITAL GARDENS, is now released digitally and on cassette (Hornbuckle Records) and this record is essentially our digital hardcore take on our last record, Before Gardens After Gardens. This record’s distorted bass is the music’s driving force and I want to share what I used to get the bass tones!
Big Sir is typically a hip hop influenced mellow yacht rock band and when thinking about doing a remix record of BGAG’s, we thought it would be more interesting to remake our record in this hardcore genre. Because of this, Lisa and I let it rip and my bass sound on this record is the most distorted record I have ever made.
A lot of sonic research went into DIGITAL GARDENS and most of the time, I got great results. On Be Brave, Go On, I really got what I was looking for and it was all by accident. Jonathan Hischke and I were hanging out after a PedalsAndEffects video shoot, messing around with sounds when we got a certain combination going with three pedals. When we stumble on this sound, we looked at each other and said “how is this possible to be this loud and distored and not be feeding back and super noisey?” We have yet to explain it but here are the three pedals that created this sound.
My Fender Custom Shop Precision “Raider” bass went into Idiot Box’s Blasteroid Fuzz. This fuzz is insanely distorted and fuzzy and can get tons of good sounding noise. I then ran that pedal into Earthquaker Devices Hoof Reaper Fuzz. This is one of the best fuzzes out there because you get two great sounding fuzzes and and octave up selector! These two fuzzes ended up going into the my DOD FX10 Bi-FET Preamp that got amplified by my Ampeg SVT-VR and my 8×10 bass cabinet.
The trick to getting this sound is, I only used the Hoof Reaper’s octave switch, not either of the fuzzes on that unit. The DOD is used as a bass boost at the end of the signal chain.
I also used this sound when Big Sir (Lisa, Dave and I) performed live with this set up. If you listen to the stabs I make in this video of Infidels, you can hear that I don’t get feedback until I slam the bass up against the cabinet. I was very loud at this gig but I didn’t feedback, nor is there any noise when I am not playing (no noise gate used!)