Drop G Tuning Bass

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by Pan3optic3on, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. RobbYoung

    RobbYoung Psalm Mutes Fix Wars

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    Anyone suggested the Brice/Agile Multiscale basses that are avaliable on rondomusic.com? Surely a 34-37" scale would also fit your needs, as you don't need such a ridiculous scale length for the higher strings?
     
  2. Deepcut

    Deepcut SS.org Regular

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    How straight is the neck?

    I have a 5 string cort with 34inch scale I tune drop g# it's perfect with standard set of strings .135 on the bottom but my neck is perfectly straight when doing so, if the necks curved it will not be right.

    Compression helps as well.
     
  3. LordIronSpatula

    LordIronSpatula Indeed.

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    Hey man, I somehow didn't notice this clip at first. To be honest, I think your main problem is that there are just not enough mids in your mix. The overall product sounds kind of brittle and harsh in my opinion, and makes my ears feel tired quickly. That's usually the result of too much mid-scooping, either in the overall mix or in the individual tracks, but it can also happen from overuse of sonic maximization/aural enhancement plugins and even compression.

    Really, the secret to good bass guitar presence in the mix its its midrange, especially, in my opinion, when it's overdriven. I get that you want the low notes to hit hard, but the fundamental of those low notes will probably have less punch than the overtone components in the low mids. This isn't just because of equipment limitations, but also because of how the human ear is tuned and the frequency niche the bass guitar usually occupies when paired with guitar and drums.

    I don't have enough mixing experience to tell you definitively what frequencies you should be tweaking. But I suggest you set the bass eq flat, then look at boosting slightly around 250-400 and maybe even rolling off the extreme low end a bit.

    I'm not trying to hate on your mix or anything, and I mean no disrespect. My ears just prefer a more natural sound. :yesway:
     
  4. Pan3optic3on

    Pan3optic3on SS.org Regular

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    No disrespect taken and I value your advice. I was experimenting with a plugin on the mix out. There is minimal eq except for what is in superior drummer.

    Ive been trying hard to get more mids into the mix but its probably because I go between eq and flat direct when listening through my amp on headphones. I aquired a set of flat eq studio headphones a few weeks ago so I have been getting uses to those.

    Im still learning but im happy how far ive come recording over two years from scratch.
     
  5. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    I had to get this account quickly just to tell you this...

    I have no clue what the rules are when it comes to reviving two year old threads, but I did get a tweet directly from Gabe Crisp himself.

    His top three strings are the bottom three strings from a 110 pack (I'm guessing 55-110 based on his words?) and his fourth string is a 145. That's the gauges he uses live. In the studio he did say he goes heavier than that.

    Also surprising to note, several sources have been saying that Gabe's bass is actually a 34" scale. I'm not sure if everyone is aware of that but I thought I should mention.

    WintermintP
     
  6. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    One other thing I should note is that I tried tuning my 5-string bass down to a Drop G using the standard D'Addario 45-130 set, and it works just fine aside from the bottom string which does feel like it needs a bit more tension. So honestly, I don't think you need to go for as heavy of a gauge as you think.
     
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    A 35" scale (and the extra mass and neck strength of a 5 string bass) will help a little of course, but the 'need' for 35" is overstated here. Having been a part of the ERB community i know it is possible to get a good sounding G0 or F#0 on 34", many ERBs are tuned down to F#0 or the C#0 below.

    String choice is more important, the thicker the gauge the more critical it becomes because some brands are super-stiff and dull, and stiffness makes intonation difficult.
    Kalium's are apparently very flexible for their size and i have heard of bad experiences with other brands.
    For G you only need a .160, D'Addario do those now as singles.

    If your .175 goes out of tune after a bend you haven't set the string up right, make sure the string goes through a sharp bend at nut and bridge (push down either side of the nut / saddle) and keep bending until they are stretched out and stable. Also of course top-load the string in your bridge.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Necrothread, but very pertinent to today's discussions...

    35" > 34", obviously, but it's not really that much bigger. However:

    1. 35" scale basses usually have lower notes in mind, which means that they typically have other design features lending themselves more to lower tunings than 34" basses.
    2. Clarity goes like scale length to the fourth power, so 34" - 35" gives about 12% less inharmonicity, all else equal, which is considerably substantial, even though it isn't make-or-break.
    3. A longer scale length also necessitates a lower string gauge in order to achieve the same tension at the same tuning.

    Any tuning is doable at any scale length, but to my ears, some instruments just sound sloppy tuned lower than A0. With a 34" scale bass and the right pickups and amplification, there is no reason why not to tune to G0, if you want to. I've found myself bottoming out at F0 at 35" with the Darkglass. But there are other concerns as well.

    This is getting low. Very low. 12 Hz G0 takes 0.08 s for just one cycle of of the string. Your brain takes several cycles before it registers any cyclical sound. Say it takes about six cycles before the brain even sees G0 as a tone (as opposed to a percussive sound), that's half a second. At 120 bpm, that's a quarter note. What I'm saying is that a sine wave of that frequency playing anything faster than 120 bpm quarter notes won't register in the brain as a low note. In reality, a bass will have all sorts of harmonic overtones and whatnot, so the mathematics is not that meaningful, but the gist is still the same, that most of what is going to be picked up by the electronics, reproduced by the amplifier, and registered by the brain of the listener is going to be overtones. That horse has been beaten, but he still holds the key of what it all means.

    Since inharmonicity is the deviation of actual overtones from mathematical overtones, and the discrepancy increases in order of magnitude by increasing the order of the harmonic overtone, the inharmonicity will have a greater effect on tones that rely on psychoacoustics, like G0, F0, E0, etc. We are talking about tones that can push 30% error in the first overtone. These are basically percussive notes unless you have some real meat on your strings. You can roll with that, or else you will simply have to be very careful with scale lengths, string gauges, and electronics.
     
  9. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    G0 is 24,5 Hz, you're thinking about G00.
    But yeah, for me anything below A0 is just pure mud. I can barely tolerate a B0 on a 34" scale. That's why i've been thinking about building something with a 39,55" scale like the Knuckle/Circle K/Kallium Quake.
     
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  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    You're right. I got carried away tuning down :lol:
    The thing is, if you are careful positioning the centroid of the instrument, such that the bridge balances naturally further back from the right (assuming right-handed playing) hip, 37" and greater scale lengths are not at all a problem for an average-sized adult.

    I'm still a bit interested in how 39.55" seems to be the new super-extended scale standard. Two frets extended from 35" is 39.29" and 3 frets extended from 34" is 40.43". :shrug: I guess it doesn't matter as long as it's long.
     
  11. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    If i remember correctly (i read it some years ago), the dude behind the Quake, Skip Fantry, did some math and found that 39,55" was the scale needed to make a B0 string have the same harmonic content as an A1 string on a 34".
    His Quake bass has a elongated body to help with the balance of the instrument. It's a real cool bass but the headstock is fugly

     
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  12. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Here's a good demonstration of the new low cost produciton bolt-on Quakes (around 2000 USD). This one is 39.55" and tuned F#BEAD but the fanned version is 37-40". He doesn't play the F#, just so you know that 4th string is the B being played.
    Yes, the Quake was created because Skip was trying to get A0 sounding like a 35" B0 so designed an instrument which was 35" plus 2 frets.
     
  13. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Honestly, I'd say each to their own. From my own personal experience, aside from the bottom string feeling just a little bit too loose for my tastes (not that I can't tolerate it), even a 130 did just fine on Drop G (my bass is a 34" 5-string bass). Several of my friends have told me a 130 would do just fine as well. Honestly, if anything, maybe I should look into buying a 135 just to add that little bit of tension that I could use?

    If I were to get an eight-string guitar at some point, though, maybe I could use that Kalium bass, but dang, over 2K for a low-cost model feels flat out overpriced.

    Either that, or I have more tolerance toward there being less tension on my bass because I'm primarily a guitarist.

    Maybe I just got really lucky and got a good brand of strings. They are a D'Addario XL 45-130 pack. I can hear the low G just fine through DI without any effects, and if all else fails, I have a plugin that simulates an Ampeg SVT bass amp.

    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  14. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    It's not low cost as in factory made somewhere in Asia, it's more of a lower cost (still 2k) standardized specs bass (bolt-on maple neck,passive nordstrand single pickup ...) as opposed to a full custom (neck through, fancy exotic woods, custom wound pus like Q-Tuner, active preamp ...) but it's still handmade in the US.
     
  15. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Skip has the base instrument (body, neck and frets only, no wood finish) made in batches of 5 by some company, not sure who or where. He then adds the hardware, electronics and wood finish himself.
     
  16. Beheroth

    Beheroth SS.org Regular

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    really ? my bad, i thought he was making them from start to finish.
    I wonder how he managed to find someone willing to build him necks with that ugly as fuck headstock.
     
  17. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Fairly sure, on FB he wrote 'they did a good job' or something similar, referring to the first batch of 5.
     
  18. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    Sorry for the necro again.

    So I had this big problem that dragged on just because I wanted a little bit more tension on my bottom string on my bass. The guys at L&M said that not even a 145, let alone a 135 is all that ideal for Drop G so I was trying to work out solutions but then they just hung up on me abruptly (Are they even allowed to do that? I was their frequent customer...).

    Several days passed and a classmate of mine had to physically prove that a 135 on a G actually works. His 6-string bass had the bottom string on 135 so what he did was he physically tuned that to G and passed the bass to me just to see if the tension is okay for my tastes, and it surprisingly did work out really well.

    So I've just passed my bass to my local independent tech last week along with a 135 set included in the bag and now I'm waiting for the setup to complete...

    So yea, 135 will do just fine for Drop G, it's only a matter of how much more tension you would really want. Even a 130 did just fine, except at that point the bottom string just felt a little flabby. Again, maybe I don't mind having lighter gauges on my bass because I'm primarily a guitarist and that's just me, but these are my thoughts.

    Furthermore, because most of what I'm going to be mixing with is going to be based on overtones anyway, I honestly think just because it's below A0 it doesn't make it outright mud right away. I have mixed my own songs in Drop G before, and in them I used the regular 45-130 set and it worked just fine. What I would have to say is that it's all personal taste at that point.

    Again, maybe I'm kind of defensive over the concept of Drop G because I'm a guitarist, but what I'm actually saying is that I don't think it's fair to just knock it that quickly... if that makes sense.

    Funny thing, if I were to go even lower, say Drop E with an eight-string guitar, what actually would happen at that point is that it would reach this threshold where the bass would fill more of a textural role and thus I wouldn't need anything fancier than a typical standard-tuned 4-string bass, but even I know that at that point even the guitar would have a tough time sounding really good because it'll be really hard to get the necessary treble out. So I actually plan to go no lower than a Drop G. Anything below THAT would be nonsensical.

    WintermintP
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  19. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Funny thing about super-low tuning is that a thicker gauge increases tension but also decreases clarity. It's a balancing act, and the lower you tune, the more difficult it is to balance.

    I've found, myself, time and time again, that the really heavy bass strings on 34" or even 35" scale just leave me wishing I had a longer neck. Tuning down, even to E0, I can't get any tones useful to me out of anything thicker than 0.150". Every bass I've tuned below G, I end up tuning back up to G, since, from what I've determined about what I personally prefer, that's the limit of usefulness I can get out of any mass-produced gear.
     
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  20. WintermintP

    WintermintP Lead/Rhythm Guitar, One Minute Winter

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    I can agree with that to a degree (no pun intended). I don't believe 135 is all that heavy within the grand scheme of things though. Obviously I know for a fact that a longer scale would definitely help with the brightness of the sound, but I also know for a fact that I already have an amp plugin for that.

    Besides, when I dial my bass tone, I've come to realisation that I only need so much in the highs to even begin with anyway, because if I add any more it will conflict with the guitars, and it's important that I keep as much highs on the guitars as I can because I know it's going to be highpassed, even if I take it even lower than the G0.

    That being said, having realised how much hassle I had to go through just for the Drop G tuning, I am starting to reconsider as to whether the statement saying "anything below A0 is outright mud" actually holds weight. While personally I do think Drop G sounds great, if it's going to cost a lot of money to get the necessary strings just for this kind of thing in the long run...

    Christ have mercy...

    WintermintP
     
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