Question about ERGs and how they play with Bass.

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by hand amputation, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. hand amputation

    hand amputation SS.org Regular

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    I am getting into the wonderful world of ERGs, cab sims, IRs, and drum software, and I am having a blast recording songs at home. I recently bought a 7 string and have it tuned to Drop G. I also have a 5 string bass that is tuned the same. Now that I've been bit by the bug, I am curious about getting an 8 string, but I have a couple of questions first.. Hoping y'all can hook me up with some info.

    1. When tuning my bass to match the 7 string, ANY tuner I use has a hard time picking up the low G. Is there a tuner you'd recommend for super low tunings?

    2. When I inevitably make the jump to 8 string, how would the bass play nice with it? When writing with an 8, does the bass just play an octave higher? I can't see how you'd tune down so low, as with Drop G the string is quite floppy (even though I put some heavier gauge strings on it). I guess I am just looking for some tips on how to approach bass playing when it comes to ERGs.

    Any tips, YouTube links, or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    Welcome!
    1) I never went lower than A, but when my tuner had a rough time, I'd tune it to the 12th fret harmonic then fine tune to be in tune with the rest of the strings. This was a placeholder solution so hopefully somebody else can suggest a nice strobe tuner or something.
    2) Depends how low you go with the 8. Periphery has the bass playing an octave lower than the 8 strings tuned to F#, but Nolly's setup is top of the line and very specialized in order to maintain that clarity. Dick Lövgren of Meshuggah actually plays in unison with the 8 strings tuned to F but EQs the bass to fulfill a different sonic role than the guitars.
     
  3. hand amputation

    hand amputation SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the insight. This is all super helpful. I've been working on EQing lately to make the Helix Native sound even better, and 'shelving' is something I strive to get better at. :)
     
  4. Gmork

    Gmork SS.org Regular

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    I started this same thread not long ago. Its a bit of a tough situation for sure. I use to hsve a 5 string bass that i tuned down to match the low f# of my 8 strings and had it modded to use super thick kalium strings, the lowest being a 185g!!! Lol. Worked pretty well actually. Probably not for everyone id id imagine. For the lower strings id tune them at the 12th fret
     
  5. hand amputation

    hand amputation SS.org Regular

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    Thank you! I'm not in the market for another bass so the 5 string will have to do in this situation. I did put some fatter strings on it before I gave it a setup so hopefully that'll help. Luckily I'm just recording a project (no full live band) so even if it's not the most stable when it comes to tuning, I'm crossing my fingers that it'll stay in tune for a few takes.
     
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  6. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I'm working through this right now. There are a few options.

    1) You can tune the bass UP or just use a capo whatever to play in unison. Basically, the second fret of the E string is F#, so if you want to double the root note of the guitars, you can just go from there.

    2) Use a standard tuned 5-string with a low B, but something like the Digitech Whammy V to digitally drop the notes by a 4th. That gives you a bass to mimic the tuning of F# B E A D. In my experience, this "works" but doesn't sound fabulous. There's a bit of lag from the Whammy doing its thing, so it feels a bit weird. And it the notes don't sound entirely natural, though it helps to cover that if you run some type of overdrive.

    3) Use a big ol' string and go for low F#. I've tried it so far only with a .170 and a 34" scale bass. Again, it "works" but doesn't sound fabulous. The note is much "better" sounding than with the Whammy (much more natural), but it's more of a rumble than a note on the first few frets unless I dial the preamp to be really bright.

    I think if you wanted to use a low F# as a bit part of what you do, I'd probably get something that extends to 37". Otherwise, it's a lot easier to just fake it with the Whammy if it's just being used sporadically.
     
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  7. Christopher Har V

    Christopher Har V Real name: Max Prog

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    Aye, bear in mind that a low F#1 played on a standard 4-string bass is going to have much more subharmonic resonance than an F#1 of the same octave on an ERG. This is how Meshuggah roll.
    Don't discount playing in unison with detuned guitars like that too quickly... it's much easier to setup, and if the production is right it can often sound heavier because it's tighter. Having some ungodly low F#0 on a bass guitar can leave the mix less heavy because the sub-resonance sounds something more like a synth than a stringed instrument, and the rest of the frequencies on that string often get swallowed up... you have to compress the literal hell out of the bass so that that friggin 185g string doesn't have a sub-resonance that's completely louder than the rest of the strings on the bass.
    I've tried it, and it's a true pain. However, I have not tried with a 37" scale, which would make a lot of difference. Some sort of 34-37" multi-scale bass would be your best bet, like a Dingwall, if you're trying to go any lower than roughly the G#0 area.
    I personally just have picked an area where I will not detune my bass any lower, G#0, and go for a low-string-unison with guitars detuned any lower than G#1.
     
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  8. hand amputation

    hand amputation SS.org Regular

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    This is great advice, thanks! I’m gonna try Unison and try to get the most out of it with proper EQing.
     
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  9. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Bass strings exist to play the F#0 an octave below an 8 string guitar F#1, if you want to. The gauges are around .165-.185, many large string brands have F#0 strings.
    You don't need a super long scale bass, although that helps, even 34" can do F#0 reasonably well.
    See this video (from 3:10) using a low cost 34" bass, the lower C#0 string doesn't work so well though.

    What do you mean by 'subharmonic resonance'? I have a good understanding of string physics but don't understand what you are writing about here.
    The only meaning of 'sub-resonance' i know of is that of a resonant system where the resonance is a frequency below that of the frequency of the driver, however this does not apply to guitars.

    I disagree that you need to use extreme compression when using sub-B strings. See this video from 2:21 to hear a DI recording, the string volumes are balanced.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
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  10. lurè

    lurè Fake Shredder

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    Low F0 on bass is doable but you need to work on EQ.
    After the Burial bass Is tuned like the guitar , with a low F.

    With an 8 string in drop E,imho, the best approach Is to keep the bass in standard tuning like EADG or BEADG for 5 string.
     
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  11. Christopher Har V

    Christopher Har V Real name: Max Prog

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    By "sub-resonance" i basically just mean the loudness of the note below 80Hz,,,, the loudness of the note in the "sub-bass" frequency range.
     
  12. Un1corn

    Un1corn Instant Djent Machine

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    Hi
    I don't have a bass but I write them with Kontakt.
    my guitar is drop G#,I write bass with an octave lower G# and it is absolutely fine.
    when I need to Drop e on my guitar I will just keep the bass standard E which is the same octave as the guitar.E0 is about 20hz and that's the limit of your hearing
     
  13. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    You could try Submission Eurobass, I think that goes down to E0. I tune to E0 on a real bass. It's definitely not always suitable and can be difficult for sure, but the fundamental being barely audible doesn't have much to do with it (you already aren't hearing the fundamental of standard or low B in most listening situations)
     
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  14. Un1corn

    Un1corn Instant Djent Machine

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    Gonna check that later.
    Actually my Kontakt library goes down to C0,I don't know what's the meaning though..
     
  15. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    C0 would be almost an octave below 5 string bass B0 (drop C bass being C1), so I'm going to guess that's an octave labelling discrepancy as is often the case. Not sure!
     
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  16. Un1corn

    Un1corn Instant Djent Machine

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    Thank you for your reply!maybe C0 could create some special bass effect lol
     
  17. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    I’m sort of considering getting a short scale 32” or so 6-string bass and trying to tune it up to run F# B E A D G but in unison with the guitars.

    The low four strings would just be “normal” gauges for E A D G but tuned up a step, which I think should work with the sorter scale.

    That would give me a somewhat “normal” bass but with the F# and such.
     
  18. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    Call me oldskool, but I just fret a string for alternate tunings with an electronic tuner that lacks functionality or doesn't wanna cooperate (or, in the case of Android tuner apps, wants money for alternate tunings)
     

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