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Any tips for using my Boss ME-20B and VT-Bass in a live situation?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Philthy, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    Hello Fellow TBers,

    I just picked up a Boss ME-20B multi effects pedal board and I'd like to incorporate it when playing with my hard rock/metal cover band. I'm currently using a VT-Bass pedal with my GK MB-500 head for my "straight" sound. I'm new to multi effects pedals so I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to use this thing in a live situation.

    Ideally, I'd like to keep the VT-Bass as my straight (clean, if you will) signal and then apply some of the Boss effects to that. With some of the music I cover I would need a scooped EQ effect to cover Korn, a grittier distortion to cover RATM and Marilyn Manson and an effect to mimic a Tool sound (ie: Sober).

    The majority of the other tunes I play would be just a straight sound from my VT-Bass.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on the best way to accomplish this? Manual mode vs. Memory mode on the ME-20B? I know you can put it in bypass while in memory mode by hitting pedals 1 and 2 simultaneously but not sure how accurate you can do that live - two pedals at the exact same time. Or is it best to create a patch that is a flat signal which is as close to my original signal as possible?

    Forgive me if some of my questions are elementary but I'm trying to get some tips on using my first multi effects unit. So, if anyone out there has any suggestions or tips, please fire away.

  2. I´d say use it in memory mode. Stepping on 1 & 2 to make the tuner appear (and bypass the effects) can be a bit fidgety, but you can always set a patch to be as transparent as possible.
    Also, make the most of the volume pedal! I turn the amp up as far as it´ll go, and then adjust the level on the go with the pedal ( or during the 10sec soundcheck).
    Edit: seems like you´ve already filled your 3 available patches. Tuner modeit is, then. Or changing bank between songs.
  3. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
  4. 5StringFool


    Jun 10, 2011
    Greenup, KY
    Ha! This is exactly the setup I'm using. I'm getting really good results by running the ME20B first in the chain and then the VT Bass; from there I run to a direct box (to split the signal out to the PA) and out from the DI into the effects return of my amp.

    I dial the Character knob on my VT pedal to my desired setting (about 10 o'clock for me, from the music you listed I'd say yours will be more around 8-9 o'clock), and set the eq knobs flat (12 o'clock), the drive is left clean and my level knob is essentially my volume to the amp. I do all the tone tweaking from the ME20B, it works well for me.

    The main thing I would suggest is getting a two pedal footswitch like the Boss FS-6. I got lucky and had an old footswitch from a Behringer amp that switched the channel with one pedal and turned effects on and off with the other. Turns out it does the footswitch functions for the ME20B as well. With the footswitch switching banks is easier when in memory mode, which can be helpful live. You can also use the footswitch to turn on/off the Bass Enhance effect and use the second pedal to access the tuner when your in manual mode.

    Hope that helps. ;)
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Only thing I have to say is unity gain is your friend.
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    If you want the 'Sober' tone you'll need LOTS of mids. A scooped EQ is not the way to go. A fresh set of roundwounds and a pick will go a long way (I like Dunlop Nickles and a medium/heavy pick for that tone).

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