We all know what an amazing effect distortion is. The way it thickens up your sound, adds girth to it, is completely irreplaceable. This is why it is so appreciated among so many musicians. Its versatility in terms of musical genres is also highly praised. But what happens when you distort the bass? That is my friend where the real magic comes into play. Your guitar starts to produce the sound you never thought was possible to achieve. Bass distortion is not for everyone, but those who are willing to risk and experiment, will take things up in gear. This article will list some of the best bass distortion pedals on the market and will underline all the significant information you will need for this journey. If you are interested, just keep on reading in order to find the best suitable pedal for your needs!
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Top 5 Best Bass Distortion Pedals
|Darkglass Electronics Micro tubes MTB7K-ULTRA||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Source Audio SA141 Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Boss BB-1X Bass Driver||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|MXR M85 Bass Distortion||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Electro-Harmonix Nano Bass Big Muff Distortion Pedal||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
In my book, the most mesmerizing things happen when you think out of the box. Yes, you can definitely achieve amazing results by sticking to the traditional ways of doing things, but the results you get with unconventional thinking are a totally different story. That is the prime reason why I love bass distortion pedals. At first glance, you might be sure that it will not work. But in reality, it works wonders. Bass is as suitable for distortion and overdrive as an electric guitar, it just needs more attention to details. And this kind of setup is not limited to metal or rock either (even though Black Sabbath, Motörhead and others have nailed it to perfection). If you use the right settings, bass distortion pedals can be used with any genre. After all, no one can tell you what to do. If you want to employ this unit in a pop song, you should definitely go for it. I would recommend this pedal particularly to those who are always the stars of any show, because there is no chance you would not stand out with your distorted bass sounds.
Since achieving the right effect with bass distortion is not a piece of cake, there are a lot of things to consider. I will try to break it down for you and discuss every issue related to this subject. The main things you should always keep in mind are the ways of utilization, your frequencies and the things that make up a badass bass distortion pedal. So, let’s dive into this amazing world of girth.
Bass guitar vs electric guitar distortion pedals
Now that we know that bass works with distortion, there is one small detail left to discuss. For this we should emphasize that there is a huge difference between bass and electric guitars. The reason why their sound is so distinguishable is that these two have diverse frequency spectrum. Bass guitar produces low end frequencies, while electric creates a higher pitched sound. This means that the pedals you use with them should have the corresponding frequency response. While you can find an electric guitar distortion pedal that will also work with bass, the results you will get with a bass distortion unit will be way more precise and dimensional. If you already own this effect, you could try it with bass and see how it works. Only after can you be sure that you need a specific pedal for your bass guitar. In my opinion, narrowing things down is always a good choice.
The features a good bass distortion pedal should have
If you have taken a good look on the list above, you would have noticed that most of the pedals have several things in common. These are the exact features that a good bass distortion should have. I always like to say that more is more. The more parameters you control, the better the results. When you are able to tweak all the small details lingering in your sound, you receive something that is extremely precise and tailored to your desires. Without further ado, let’s dig into all the must-haves. The first and probably the most significant one is the frequency response. As I have already mentioned, a good pedal should have the option of choosing the bass frequencies, otherwise it will not make any sense. The second one is some kind of EQ. The ability to manage high, low and midranges has the substantial impact on the overall results. And finally, a good pedal must possess a blend knob. This feature is important for almost every effects pedal and distortion is no exception. It is true, though, that sometimes even a single knob will provide you with a badass sound, but having some options never hurts anybody.
Some tips on dialing a good bass distortion
As almost anything with bass, dialing a badass distortion is not an easy job either. Even though I just said that more is more, this is the case where less is more. You have to be careful with the settings you dial in to get the best results. As you know, bass and other guitars in the band should be balanced so that the overall sound is even. You do not want to get lost in the mix either. In order to achieve this, you should not necessarily pump your gain to its maximum settings (this is the very reason why you might be too similar to other distorted signals in your band). The main player here is the blend knob. As it balances out your dry and affected signals, your sound will be smoother and maintain the integrity, as well as all the unique qualities. Another way of making sure that your bass distortion is perfectly audible is to use separate lines, but this is a bit more difficult. Just tweak the knob on your pedal and you will be good to go.
Congratulations, my friend, you have made it till the end. I hope you enjoyed your ride. I tried my best to give you all the information you will need to choose the best bass distortion out there. However, my involvement ends here. I will leave you one last note: DO NOT be afraid to experiment. Even if you are playing something as picky as bass, there is always a way to find new combinations that work wonders. Enjoy every moment of your performance and always play for own enjoyment. The more affectionate you are about your sound, the better the public will understand what you are striving for. As with bass distortion, always look forward to finding the best sound for you, because that is exactly how innovations happen. I truly believe that choosing the best bass distortion will be a bit easier for you. I wish you the dirtiest sound and the girth of your dreams. Good luck!