Throwback Thursday: Big Sir/Digital Gardens Bass Gear Breakdown Part 2

Having a website of your own has it's perks, being able to write about the pedals and effects I have used on any given record is one of them! Digital Gardens by Big Sir is essentially a harder rocking re-work of our album Before Gardens After Gardens. This record's distorted bass is the music's driving force and I want to share what I used to get the bass tones!

Big Sir is typically a hip hop influenced mellow yacht rock band and when thinking about doing a remix record of Before Gardens After Gardens, we thought it would be more interesting to remake our record in this hardcore genre. Because of this, Lisa and I let it rip and my bass sound on this record is the most distorted record I have ever made.

A lot of sonic research went into Digital Gardens and most of the time, I got great results. On Be Brave, Go On, I really got what I was looking for and it was all by accident. Jonathan Hischke and I were hanging out after a Pedals And Effects video shoot, messing around with sounds when we got a certain combination going with three pedals. When we stumble on this sound, we looked at each other and said “how is this possible to be this loud and distored and not be feeding back and super noisey?” We have yet to explain it  but here are the three pedals that created this sound.

My Fender Custom Shop Precision “Raider” bass went into Idiot Box’s Blasteroid Fuzz. This fuzz is insanely distorted and fuzzy and can get tons of good sounding noise. I then ran that pedal into Earthquaker Devices Hoof Reaper Fuzz.  This is one of the best fuzzes out there because you get two great sounding fuzzes and and octave up selector! These two fuzzes ended up going into the my DOD FX10 Bi-FET Preamp that got amplified by my Ampeg SVT-VR and my 8×10 bass cabinet.

Photo Credit: Blasteroid

Photo Credit: Blasteroid

The trick to getting this sound is, I only used the Hoof Reaper’s octave switch, not either of the fuzzes on that unit.  The DOD is used as a bass boost at the end of the signal chain.

Photo Credit: Tone Gems

Photo Credit: Tone Gems

If you listen to Be Brave, Go On, I can tell you the only way to get that sound is to have the amplifier loud as hell and pick extremely hard with a Dunlop extra thick pick.

This is excactly what I did when Lisa, Dave Elitch and I cut Be Brave, Go On live at Estudio with Shane Smith engineering.  This track was one take with no overdubs by any of us.

I also used this sound when Big Sir (Lisa, Dave and I) performed live with this set up.  If you listen to the stabs I make in this video of Infidels, you can hear that I don’t get feedback until I slam the bass up against the cabinet. I was very loud at this gig but I didn’t feedback, nor is there any noise when I am not playing (no noise gate used!) 

You can apply all of these things to your own sound, tweak it and dive in to make it unique to you! You can find all of these pedals, effects, amps, and more at Reverb.com

-Juan