#1
So, i've recently become the bassist of my band (i was the rhythm guitarist/vocalist, couldn't find a bassist, but found a rhythm guitarist). Anyways, the bass is being buried under 2 distorted guitars, so that being that, i'm after tone that cuts through, similar to what Mike Dirnt had on Dookie.

I'm currently playing with a pick on an Epi T-Bird directly into a Fender BXR300C.
What pickup blend/amp settings would help me get this tone?
#2
Take the low end for yourself. I don't have your amp but I would just suggest counting on turning the treble down and bass up.

Pickup combinations are easy enough to try on your own, the bridge might make you "cut" better but if that fails then the neck should accentuate the low end and make what you're playing heard.

Just take some time and try stuff out though, I'm no expert but you should take the low end and use the mids to carve your tone in this setting.

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#3
T-Birds are renowned for being muddy sounding and having difficulty cutting through, so you would have problems there. mids are your friend for cutting through. Boost them to high heaven, and a touch of overdrive may help too.
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#4
Quote by ccannon1
...Anyways, the bass is being buried under 2 distorted guitars, so that being that, i'm after tone that cuts through, similar to what Mike Dirnt had on Dookie.

I'm currently playing with a pick on an Epi T-Bird...


There's your problem. Epiphone Thunderbirds are notorious for muddy indistinct tones, as the previous posters have picked up on. You're going to struggle to cut through as long as you're using a Thunderbird, unfortunately. Just the wrong bass for the job. A Fender (Jazz or Precision) or a bass with active electronics (I love how my Stingray cuts) would be a far better choice. Look into a Peavey T-40 for a lower budget choice at a bass suitable for cutting through, or a Squier VM Jazz.

If replacing the bass isn't an option, you could play around with EQ (which is something that you need to do anyway regardless of what you're using). There's no cut and dry formula for EQing your way through the mix - it depends largely on the EQ settings that the guitarists in your band are using. If they have a mid-scooped sound, boost your mids... if they're boosting their mids, cut yours. If your struggling to cut, communicate with your guitarists. As an example, request that they cut their low mids, then boost your own, and you'll have more prominence in the mix.

Overdrive has been suggested as an option. It can work, but be careful. Most overdrive pedals will cut a lot of your lows, which is going to worsen your problem. Look for a pedal with a blend function that will retain some of your clean signal, or try bi-amping and using a guitar overdrive pedal on one of the amps, and run the other clean. This way you can keep your bottom end, while running some drive too.
#5
Your equipment is not sufficient.

That Fender amp only cranks 210 watts. The Fenders like
that sound wonderful, but they are not loud.

I can crank more volume with my Peavey Basic 40 amp. It
won't be bassy like the Fender amp, but it will cut through
the mix better.

That Epi T-Bird just makes things worse. While they sound
wonderful at home, you know what it is like in a band
situation and less than sufficient amplification.

Best bang for the buck (in my opinion) Squire VM P bass
with maple body and neck. Precision basses are proven
performers.

Amps are all over the place with sound.

Want good versatile sound. Get a good preamp and a
Crown PA amp. Then you won't be limited to "just how
tha amp sounds".

Speakers are the most expensive and maybe the most
important part.

It is nice if you got lots of $$$$, it is easier find that nice
little setup that performs.

Tabdog
#6
yeah, i think this may be mostly a gear problem, but low mids are your friends. actually... mids are your friends. boost your mids, and then when they've been boosted enough, boost them a little more.
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#7
Its all about finger strength. Steve Harris and Geddy Lee both hit the strings really hard to get that cutting tone.

Adding Trebble/ HiMid and cutting Lows will also cut. Avoid distortion or drive of anykind. You want to have a very clear clean tone.
Look up:
Tomb of the Mutalated
Dave Ellefson of Megadeth
Iron Maiden

On the flip side if you get more advanced Ive seen people cut with a bassy tone. But it takes a lot of persicion to stop it from getting muddy. It also depends on your actual bassline in relation to the guitar as well.(like the intro to Oblivion)
Look up:
Misery Signals (Controller)
Jaco Pastorius
Quo Vadis (Defiant Imagination)
Mastodon (Oblivion)
BTBAM

But above all work on absolute persicion and being able to play with a clear tone that works with the bands style. If you're a good bassist you will be able to turn up really loud and the band wont mind. Infact they may encourage it.
Also as a sound guy myself, sound dudes love having good bassists to turn up. Makes our job easier. (and stops us from having to crank the bass drum to make up for it)
#8
Quote by corrda00
Its all about finger strength. Steve Harris and Geddy Lee both hit the strings really hard to get that cutting tone.


That's great advice, except that I play with a plectrum
#9
boost your treble and hi-mids for cut, but keep the low end because the guitars cant replicate that. its the low end lo-mids that you really want as the guitars fill out the sound, so its your job to beef it up and make it sound full. theres no point trying to compete with two guitars, but there has to be a compromise. if the guitars use alot of bass in there tone ask them to turn it down, this will help you and tidy up the sound.