#1
Hello everybody.

I spent much time in different forums and read a lot about Stoner/Doom sound and about using octave pedals instead of having a bassist but somehow nothing could help me with this particular problem.

I have this 2-piece Stonder/Doom/Sludge band/project with a good friend of mine. He's playing drums, I'm playing guitar. Since we don't want any other people involved and because it's mainly about jamming and beating the challenges of a 2-piece band, I'm somehow trying to find a solution for the lack of the bass player. Well, the good thing is that rhythm guitar and bass guitar are playing the same thing like 99% of the time in this kind of music. The bad thing is that I'm playing Stoner/Doom without a bassist (Who the hell would do that, I know.)

I bought an ABY switcher and I'm running my guitar through a guitar amp and a bass amp simultaneously. The logical step was to get an octave pedal for the signal chain between switcher and bass amp. I checked out different octave pedals and got a pretty affordable EBS Octabass. The problem I'm struggling with is that the tracking of the very low notes is not working as good as I want (I'm playing Dropped C which isn't too low for Stoner/Doom). It's okay but one can hear that it's tracking worse than with higher notes. I read that many analog octave pedals have the same problems, maybe the Boss OC2 being one of the best? So many people suggested to buy a digital octave pedal like the EHX POD or Pitch Fork because those are tracking a way better. The problem I see is that those are poly phonic. I'm playing many power chords so it's nice to have just one bass note when running the chord through the pedal (which the EBS does!). Having 2 notes for every powerchord is not what I'm searching for, so this polyphonic thing isn't working for me.

So I'm asking myself: Are there analog octave pedals with great tracking for low notes? Are there digital octave pedals which only send the octave of the lowest note (in a chord)? Or should I stay with my EBS and accept the fact that it's somehow getting a bit ugly with some low notes? I'm running an Earthbound Supercollider after my octave pedal, so I guess the sound of the pedal isn't that important as getting a good tracking. Would be also cool if it's affordable, but I know, I can't get everything I want.

Thanks for your help!
Eric
#2
Royal Blood is a 2-piece band in which the bass player splits his signal and uses an octave up pedal to simulate s guitar. He uses/used tuner pedals as kill switches to selectively mute his bass or "guitar".

Tracking on such pedals is pretty good, especially those from companies like Earthquaker Devices and Catalinbread.

The thing is, the tone on the octave down pedals isn't necessarily going to sound quite like a bass. But if you're aiming for a fuzzed-out, distorted low end, you might not mind the difference.
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!
#3
Although not a cheap solution, the Roland GR-55 will do what your asking, and a lot more, 
#4
Three solutions. One, go with a MIDI pickup and controller, as nastytroll suggests. You can actually tell it to listen to ONLY the bottom two strings (or whatever) and send that output to a bass amp.   Two, use a Variax. You can tune the bottom (or the bottom two) strings to an octave down (without changing the string tension). Three, put a separate bass pickup on your guitar. Novax started doing this with his ERG and fan-fret guitars sometime back. He uses a bass pickup for the bottom two or three strings in addition to using standard pickups. The bass pickup can be run separately (with its own cord) and that eliminates the need for an AB box. Just run the bass pickup to the bass amp. Look up a guy named Charlie Hunter. He's not metal, but he uses the bottom strings as a bass. 


#5
Wes Lambe has several 7 & 8 string axes made in the Charlie Hunter style in his product line. But those are guitars that demand a highly-specialized skill based approach. CH uses a fingerstyle approach, so his bass lines can be fully independent from his guitar lines. Strumming is essentially nonexistent.

Not exactly the approach of the average Stoner/Doom axe-slinger.

(Charlie is "Da Man", though...)
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!
#6
Analog octave pedals are simply inferior to digital when tracking. Don't get me wrong, they sound amazing, but their tenancy to glitch is an acquired taste. I know it's not exactly what you asked for, but have you considered some kind of suboctave synth? The EQD Bit Commander has an awesome square sub that sounds kinda like a fuzzed out bass and great tracking. An acquired taste too, but could potentially kill two birds with one stone.
Originally Posted by evening_crow
Quoting yourself is cool.


WARNING: I kill threads.
#7
My answer to the often seen "getting bass sound without a bass" question is always "get a bassist". Going through the trouble of replicating an accurate bass guitar sound with an electric guitar is, IMO, not worth that trouble. It is not the answer you want to hear, but the one you really would need methinks.

An option that I do not see listed yet is to get a bass guitar, record the bass to a click, and play the bass through whatever PA you are using with the click track going through your in-ear-monitoring only. Of course that requires you to have IEM's and some recording software/hardware, which is probably much more expensive of a solution altogether, but it would likely be much cleaner than many octave-generation techniques. If you are playing venues with IEM systems already available, you spend only the $ on the recording side of things.

In the studio, the 2-person group can work out great. As could a 1-person band. But live, it is not so easy.
Last edited by Will Lane at Mar 23, 2017,
#8
Quote by dannyalcatraz
     Royal Blood is a 2-piece band in which the bass player splits his signal and uses an octave up pedal to simulate s guitar.  He uses/used tuner pedals as kill switches to selectively mute his bass or "guitar".

     Tracking on such pedals is pretty good, especially those from companies like Earthquaker Devices and Catalinbread.

     The thing is, the tone on the octave down pedals isn't necessarily going to sound quite like a bass.  But if you're aiming for a fuzzed-out, distorted low end, you might not mind the difference.

I know them, cool band! But I didn't know that he uses an octave up pedal, maybe I should try that too, but I don't know if I want to loose the versatility of a guitar.
Quote by nastytroll
   Although not a cheap solution, the Roland GR-55 will do what your asking, and a lot more, 

Yes quite expensiv, but I will definately keep that in mind and test one if I come across one.
Quote by dspellman
  Three solutions. One, go with a MIDI pickup and controller, as nastytroll suggests. You can actually tell it to listen to ONLY the bottom two strings (or whatever) and send that output to a bass amp.   Two, use a Variax. You can tune the bottom (or the bottom two) strings to an octave down (without changing the string tension). Three, put a separate bass pickup on your guitar. Novax started doing this with his ERG and fan-fret guitars sometime back. He uses a bass pickup for the bottom two or three strings in addition to using standard pickups. The bass pickup can be run separately (with its own cord) and that eliminates the need for an AB box. Just run the bass pickup to the bass amp. Look up a guy named Charlie Hunter. He's not metal, but he uses the bottom strings as a bass.



Very cool solutions! If I had the budget and the time I would definately try that, problem is that this is just some jam project, I still have some real bands beside that and was searching for an easy solution, but it doesnt seem that easy. Never heard of Variax, but it looks very interesting, will keep an eye on that. Bass pick up also seems like a good idea, but it doesn't really solve the octave problem, does it? But I'm sure the sound is better than using the switcher.
Quote by dannyalcatraz
 Wes Lambe has several 7 & 8 string axes made in the Charlie Hunter style in his product line.  But those are guitars that demand a highly-specialized skill based approach.  CH uses a fingerstyle approach, so his bass lines can be fully independent from his guitar lines.  Strumming is essentially nonexistent.

 Not exactly the approach of the average Stoner/Doom axe-slinger.

 (Charlie is "Da Man", though...)

Thats really awesome! I think my problems would just be the lack of skill and the fact that bass and guitar are supposed to play the same thing, so it isnt much more efficient than the current setup.
Quote by evening_crow
Analog octave pedals are simply inferior to digital when tracking. Don't get me wrong, they sound amazing, but their tenancy to glitch is an acquired taste. I know it's not exactly what you asked for, but have you considered some kind of suboctave synth? The EQD Bit Commander has an awesome square sub that sounds kinda like a fuzzed out bass and great tracking. An acquired taste too, but could potentially kill two birds with one stone. 

Well since it's about getting a fuzzy bass like tone this may be working! I will check out some reviews, I already came across it a few times in the internet but never thought that I could use it as some kind of octave pedal.
 
Quote by Will Lane
My answer to the often seen "getting bass sound without a bass" question is always "get a bassist". Going through the trouble of replicating an accurate bass guitar sound with an electric guitar is, IMO, not worth that trouble. It is not the answer you want to hear, but the one you really would need methinks.

An option that I do not see listed yet is to get a bass guitar, record the bass to a click, and play the bass through whatever PA you are using with the click track going through your in-ear-monitoring only. Of course that requires you to have IEM's and some recording software/hardware, which is probably much more expensive of a solution altogether, but it would likely be much cleaner than many octave-generation techniques. If you are playing venues with IEM systems already available, you spend only the $ on the recording side of things.

In the studio, the 2-person group can work out great. As could a 1-person band. But live, it is not so easy.

You are totally right. But this is more of a fun project than some really serious stuff. I'm aware of the fact that the band would sound better with a bassist, but what I really want is playing as a two piece band and people saying "wow, they really don't need a bass player that much with that sound". I know, bassist will always be better, but it's just some personal goal I want to achieve as good as possible, even if there is an easy and logical solution: getting a bassist.

Recording a bass would also be the cleanest solution, but it's still mainly about jamming together, so this would just be a solution for a planned live set.
#9
Will Lane

It may not be easy to be a 2-piece, but there are a few of them out there that have made some waves. Currently or in the semi-recent past, we've had The White Stripes, The Ting Tings, Royal Blood, Timbuck 3, Rodrigo y Gabriella, The Charlie Hunter Trio, and- as I recall, the original version of The Black Keys.
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!