#1
I was wondering if there's a better way?

I'm in a 2 person band, me and a drummer and I play guitar. So obviously we don't have a bass player. So then I had an idea, I have a multi effects processor that outputs to two channels, left and right. So I plug one channel into a guitar amp and the other into a bass amp and use both.

So then I thought that I might get a better sound if I used the octave setting on my pedal to turn the guitar one octave lower. I tried it and sounds pretty close to a bass.

The only problem I have is when playing chords. It sounds muddy, like if you played a chord on bass. Is there anyway to get a better bass sound on the chords? Like a pedal or something? Thanks.
#2
Check out digitech whammy pedals. A friend of mine has one and one of the octave settings sounds alright with chords.

If you got a looper and a whammy, you could lay down the bassline and then turn off the whammy and play over the bass.
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#3
There's no way to make chords sound really "better" with bass, it's just too low in the register.
...
#4
If you have the skill and/or the $$$, you could experiment with alternative tunings or 7- or 8-string guitars.

Robert Fripp's NST (C-G-D-A-E-G) gets you lower tones in the cello range- not as deep as a standard bass, but low nonetheless.

Charlie Hunter has used his 8-string tuned to bass standard for the 3 lower-register strings and the top 5 tuned as a standard guitar.
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#6
pog
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#7
Quote by Wikipedia

White also produces a "fake" bass tone by playing the Kay Hollowbody and JB Hutto Montgomery Airline guitars through a Whammy IV set to one octave down for a very thick, low, rumbling sound, which he uses most notably on the songs "Seven Nation Army" and "The Hardest Button to Button" during live performances.


digitech whammy IV

also maybe the electro-harmonix POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator) ?
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#8
Quote by angl2k

also maybe the electro-harmonix POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator) ?


This.

The whammy doesn't track well on lower octaves imo. Theres no way to fool the POG...I've yet to hear one not track perfectly.
#9
I'd either go with an older EHX Octave Multiplexer or a POG.

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#10
POG...it tracks chords perfectly
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#11
the only way to do it and make it sound good, is to buy a bass and play it.
if thats not an option, then you must find a bass player.
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#12
Quote by Otsugua713
POG...it tracks chords perfectly

low chords are always going to sound muddy though. it has to do with the physics of sound. a note has countless over tones, when a guitar plays a chord, since its higher pitch, some of the overtones cant be heard, due to the fact that the some of the overtones are above what our ears can pick up. but when you play chords even lower, like in the bass frequencies, more and more overtones can be heard, so the sound is muddy.
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#13
Im of the opinion that theres nothing better than to have a bass. I dont think the presets in the guitar-to-bass effects sound very good. A bass is just, well, a bass. But you could use em. They just dont do the bass sound or thump justice.
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
If you have the skill and/or the $$$, you could experiment with alternative tunings or 7- or 8-string guitars.

Robert Fripp's NST (C-G-D-A-E-G) gets you lower tones in the cello range- not as deep as a standard bass, but low nonetheless.

Charlie Hunter has used his 8-string tuned to bass standard for the 3 lower-register strings and the top 5 tuned as a standard guitar.


7 and 8 string guitars are the way to go. or a Digitech Whammy.

Robert Fripp FTW!

and that is very cool! and he's really great too!
#15
Quote by angl2k
digitech whammy IV

also maybe the electro-harmonix POG (Polyphonic Octave Generator) ?

This, or maybe a HOG/footswitch if you're feeling spendy.
#16
Thanks for the help.

I had never heard of the digitech whammy or the POG. I've been reading about both of them. The POG sounds more promising for what I'm trying to do. I guess I'll have to try it in the store. There's a mirco pog and a regular. Is there any difference in sound between them?

I guess what I'm ideally looking for is a pedal that can identify the root note of the chord and then produce it's own bass note, rather than taking the analog signal and converting it to a low octave. I guess that would be more like a computer or synth. Like a bass guitar simulator. But I guess there's nothing on the market that's built for that purpose.
Last edited by mzo at Feb 13, 2009,
#17
The whammy's tracking is awful. You have to play each note perfectly (no slight bends) and don't expect to do any chords.

The POG works, but it sounds very synthy.


Go find a bass player.

OR, thicken up your sound. Bands like the White Stripes and the Black Keys make the two-man band work, with no bassist. Have your drummer use his bass drum more.
#18
since youve already got a bass amp and guitar amp, you can try something like this. get an a/b/y pedal and put it first in your chain. leave it on y-for when you want just straight guitar sounds, or you can switch to just one amp. then, on the section that runs to the bass amp, put a low pass filter. sould be fairly simple to build one. however, dont have the corner frequency as low as you would think, and a wide bandwidth wouldnt hurt. then run that through your sub-octave-setting on your pedal and then into the amp. you will cut out the highest frequencies that muddy up the sound, and if you build the filter right then you will still have a full sound because you arent cutting out the mids for the bass. not exactly the easiest solution, but i would probably do something like that if i had this problem.
#19
Quote by bastratard
Im of the opinion that theres nothing better than to have a bass. I dont think the presets in the guitar-to-bass effects sound very good. A bass is just, well, a bass. But you could use em. They just dont do the bass sound or thump justice.


Despite my previous posts, I pretty much agree with this- only a bass really sounds like a bass. Even in Charlie Hunter's case, he's using a custom instrument with 3/4ths of the bass' range strung with bass strings and 5/6ths of the guitar's range strung with guitar strings- getting the best of both worlds (the thump of bass and the highs of guitar).

IOW, he's playing a "guiss."
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!