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Amp/Cab Simulation

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by walking_spanish, Sep 19, 2008.


  1. Justin-

    I am looking into getting some sort of amp/cab simulator. With a lot of gigs I do, an amp is impractical and proves to be a pain or stumbling block to the sound tech. I feel as though using a digital amp sim would solve a lot of problems, both sonically and logistically.

    My question to you is, which would you recommend? A few options I have in mind now:

    1. SansAmp PSA

    2. Line 6 POD x3

    3. tech 21 VT Bass w/ radial JDI

    I'm not really looking to use any effects for the most part, so thats my only drawback with the pod. Although they may be nice to have in some circumstances.

    I have heard great things about the VT bass and it covers the two main tones I'm looking for (SVT and B-15) I also feel like this may be a little more usefull other than the DI option as I can throw it in front of my amp every now and then.

    Thanks for your help.

    --chris
     
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    You simply cannot lose with the VT Bass, so how about you just start there, and see how you like it? If it doesn't really do the job of amp/cab simulation, then you have a good overdrive pedal. And a Radial JDI is great for you to own, no matter what.

    That's where I'd start.

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I got the VT on Justin's recommendation and it's the "Pedal of the Future." I've modeled my SVT and B-15's with it and nailed the tones exactly. Even the dynamic response is there. They still can't model the behavior of tubes identically, like the way a tube amp opens up when you crank it, but they're finally nailing the tones so you can find that cranked tone on there. You just can't control it with volume like you can a tube amp.

    The Radial speaks for itself, but not everyone has AB'd the real deal Ampegs with the VT and I have, so just thought I'd chip in there. It's also the cheapest of the bunch so it's a good way to get your feet wet with it fior not a lot.
     
  4. On The DL

    On The DL

    Apr 1, 2008
    KC
    hey Jimmy, speaking of amp/cab simulation, I'm mostly familiar with the bass POD. How would you compare the Sans VT to the Ampeg amp/cab setting on a bass POD or any good combination of amp/cab from the POD? much better (hopefully)...:confused:

    Also, I've read bassplayer reviews about the VT and any other info I could find. Bassplayer seemed to be pretty impressed along with many others, but I still haven't been able to figure out exactly the function of the "character" knob. Does it increase or decrease the amount of cab simulation? (similar to the Sansamp DI "blend" function) or does the cab simulation remain the same while the "character" knob just drives it more or less...?

    St
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    For imitating Ampeg, nothing in the modeling/sim world compares to the VT IMHO. However, Robert DeLeo from STP is using a PodXT to simulate the sound of the 61 Bassman that he records with, so maybe there's something to it that I missed the first time.

    The character knob, to me, is more of an upper mid control. As you get closer to all the way down, it scoops out the upper mids and makes 125 hz more prominent (like an actual SVT), and as you get closer to noon, it's more flat like a B-15, although noon is a little extreme for a B-15. And then past noon, it just adds balls to the wall upper mid distortion. The character knob is the heart of the pedal, really. The speaker sim...eh, I'm not real sure what that does, but it seems to work so I don't argue.

    Also, don't mistake putting all the tone controls at noon for flat response. It's by no means flat when you do that. I always have to bring the high end down a little, boost the mid slightly, and put the character knob on 11:00 to get flat.

    It's also extremely sensitive to changes, and each knob affects something else along the way, so changes on the fly can be a little iffy. If they ever come out with a programmable VT, I will be the first one to buy it. I have found 6-7 very usable sounds with it, and it bums me out to only use one on a gig.

    Pedal of the future.
     
  6. On The DL

    On The DL

    Apr 1, 2008
    KC
    Good to know. I finally found a bit more info at Bass Emporium's site, but it's always nice to hear first hand from someone who knows tone.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Thanks for the compliment, DL. I don't know a whole lot but I know SVT and B-15 tone. Used them both for years.
     
  8. On The DL

    On The DL

    Apr 1, 2008
    KC

    Well all the positive feedback got the best of me... So far I'm really diggin VT and find myself mostly with the character knob around 12 o'clock in the "flip-top" setting, but I still need more time to experiment. The pedal definitely has some serious drive to it.

    I am kinda bummed though cause because I wanted a versitale overdrive, so I bought a full tone mosfet a couple of months ago, but after playing the VT "rage" setting, I think it actually sounds better than the full tone. The full tone seems to cut out too much low end when it's engaged, but coupled with the VT "rage" setting- ohh it's full and nasty :D

    satisfied customer- and even with standard shipping, bass emporium got it here in two days
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I prefer the character knob near 12:00, too. Sounds more like a B-15 than an SVT to me. I am dying for a programmable VT, though. It's got a ton of sounds that are great, and to stick with only one during a gig is a bummer.

    I think I've settled on a very light drive setting for it, similar to what Mel Schacher sounded like on early Grand Funk before Todd Rundgren came along and cleaned up their sound.
     
  10. kyral210

    kyral210

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester
    Hey JMJ! Good advice, but I thought you were a supporter of the Line 6 Bass Pod Xt?
     
  11. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    I'm into the Bass Pod XT, it's a great option. But for something simple, a VT Bass pedal into a DI is a cool sound that you can grow into a bigger rig as well. The XT Live is so good for getting a quick sound with lots of flexibility in the studio, no question. And I use the X3 as my B-rig on tour.
     

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