Jason Newsted style tone?

  • Hey there dear swarm intelligence,


    I'm on the hunt for an awesome bass tone for recording. The problem is: I'm a guitar player and I don't have a clue what is goin outside of my 6-string world.



    My favorite sound would be the one from Jason Newsted on Metallica's Black Album. Let's ignore the fact that it impossible to recreate a 100 percent.

    In my opinion the soudn is not boomy. It is more like a deep, gnarly, slightly distorted one that blends awesome with rock/metal guitars.


    I already learned that he used Ampeg SVT and a lot of mids to get the attack from the pick and not too much lowend. But I failed miserably at recreating this sound. Which profile comes at least close to that ?

    FOr bass distortion, should I use a distortion stomp or gain up the amp itself?

    I tweaked a couple of profiles to absurdity and wasn't happy. But I did not try to try out differend cabs yet and I need a starting point.



    I already thought about this recording process, but haven't tried it yet:

    1. a defined bass tone with not too much mids to get the right amount of ooomph

    2. recording a second, distorded midrange sound to get the "gnarly" distorted part

    3. blend in a DI sound of the bridge pickup to get the trebly pick-sound blended in.

    But as I said: I'm clueless to bass sounds and I want to go the kemper way: just pick the right profile and be happy.


    And I had start to get the feeling that the reverb sound is really important too. I neglected that complety for my bass playing until now.


    Equpiment:

    of course the Kemper

    Yamaha Hs7 monitors

    Shure 840 closed Headphones

    Sadly, my bass is a cheap Epiphone Thunderbird




    Greetings!

  • I'd start with making sure the bass is perfectly set up. Most of the ones I encounter don't have enough relief and the action is too low, so the notes can get choked.


    Also try to study his technique and determine how hard he's picking. I prefer to use a light touch and lots of volume.


    Definitely don't record with reverb on the bass. Add that in your recording software if you think it needs it. Less is more with bass.


    If your recording set up can handle multiple channels at the same time I'd take a direct out from the KPA so you can blend that with the Ampeg profile.

  • If your recording set up can handle multiple channels at the same time I'd take a direct out from the KPA so you can blend that with the Ampeg profile.

    This is exactly what I do. I'm a guitar player who fakes it on bass. I've actually had pretty metal good bass tone success using guitar amp profiles. What you could try is find a guitar profile that is medium gain with low mid content, go to the amplifier button, then blend in the direct mix to taste, maybe 7. Then crank the gain until it sounds heavy. Then take an extra cable from the Kemper direct output and record that too (Low pass that track really low, maybe 4-500 hz) As finally wrote- no reverb on bass, except maybe for a special effect.

  • First of all you need a different bass. EP TB is too far from Jason's sound. You need an active bass, best if fitted with active EMG and fresh strings. Than a parallel path with clean compressed sound + slightly dirty SVT and you should get pretty close.

  • Hey all,

    thanks for your replies and advices.


    The bass plays quite fine and I get string buzz only when I hit the E-string very, very hard.

    And thanks to your advice I know that this is exactly one aspect of the sound I want to get: I really have to hit the strings hard. I'm not used to this at all.

    This is exactly what I do. I'm a guitar player who fakes it on bass. I've actually had pretty metal good bass tone success using guitar amp profiles. What you could try is find a guitar profile that is medium gain with low mid content, go to the amplifier button, then blend in the direct mix to taste, maybe 7. Then crank the gain until it sounds heavy. Then take an extra cable from the Kemper direct output and record that too (Low pass that track really low, maybe 4-500 hz) As finally wrote- no reverb on bass, except maybe for a special effect.

    I will try this today, the idea of using a guitar amp never came to my mind. Thanks for this idea.

    First of all you need a different bass. EP TB is too far from Jason's sound. You need an active bass, best if fitted with active EMG and fresh strings. Than a parallel path with clean compressed sound + slightly dirty SVT and you should get pretty close.

    Yeah, but another bass is no option at the moment. The next few items I want to get are a midi pedal, another guitar and then a bass.

    So I have to make a compromise between imitating the sounds i want and blend it with the sounds I get. Perhaps, this will be "my" sound.

    But thanks for the info that I don't try to hard to get to Jason's sound, because my bass just can't do this. Takes a little bit of "stress" from my mind =)


    I indeed realized that I come closer to the sound when blending in the DI track with a mid-heavy, extremely compressed SVT profile. But I will try again today and see what will happen.

  • I'd say don't be afraid of tweaking on the Kemper.


    Find a profile that is in the ballpark and then tweak the sh*t out of it. Low shift and high shift will be your friend in getting that grinding sound that pops. Also, try to add compression in the amp section and work with the clarity parameter to get more of a round tone to the whole thing.


    Best of luck, you can do this!

  • You could try this:


    1) Record a decent SVT Profile set to sound "full".


    2) Copy the track and add mid-and-high-range dirt to it (reamp or a saturation plugin), high-passing it to avoid messing with the bass end.


    3) High-pass the DI track 'cause it'll never have the great character you'll get from a cabinet in the low end and mids; you want to keep only the high-end definition / articulation information.


    4) Bring the the original track up to roughly where you want it to be and blend in the mid / high-distorted one/s to taste and then sprinkle the fairy dust that the high-passed DI track will offer, just to help notes to "articulate" well.


    5) Send the blend to a mono bus and add a little room 'verb tweaked to decay for around half a second, but then lose the complex tail and use only the early-reflection component of the algorithm; the tail will only serve to clutter the mix. Most decent 'verb plugs should allow this. Blend it in to taste.

  • Aloha Monkey_Man.


    I tried some of your stuff. A major(!) step forward was to high pass the DI track! Now all the muddiness is gone and i get a round, but well defined low end and a good attack. I'm just still confirmed about the mids and the grit, but this will be jut a matter of time, trying and learing.


    I will try 2) and 5) net week. My ears are to tired today.

    I'm getting closer to what I want. Thanks a lot!

  • I tried some of your stuff. A major(!) step forward was to high pass the DI track! Now all the muddiness is gone and i get a round, but well defined low end and a good attack.

    Fantastic, mate; my pleasure. I'm so glad this worked for you, especially 'cause it's not something I've read, heard about or even tried; it's entirely theory that was borne out of logic and being deprived of recording for a looong time.


    The idea is to remove what I've always called the tubbiness (what you called muddiness) from the direct signal 'cause as you've now seen, why mess with that "perfect" bottom end we get from a cabinet? Same philosophy is behind my suggestion to high or band-pass the mids on the dupe track before adding grit.