Can a VT Bass sound like this and still be heard in a band?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by AlexanderB, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I'm considering buying a VT Bass to use for some songs in our cover band. There are plenty of reviews online but they all present a solo bass or occasionally with a drum track. Does anyone know if the VT Bass can give me distortion similar to what you hear in these two songs and be heard in a band context? I have another stomp box right now that sounds fine alone but the distortion gets buried when the rest of the band kicks in. My playing is heard all right but the "hairyness" is lost.
    I play either a really good Precision (Squier JV) or a decent Jazz (Squier CV) through a clean preamp and QSC PLX 3602 powering an Ampeg SVT-410HLF.

    YouTube - Lisa Miskovsky - Driving One of Your Cars (Listen in the verses.)

    YouTube - Lambretta - Creep
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    it's the nature of mild-to-medium bass distortion for it to get eaten up somewhat by other instruments. if you want it to be heard, boost mids and treble and crank the drive. i've found that the vt drive will get eaten up on less mild settings, but thanks to the mid and character knobs, you can adjust it to where it won't get eaten up.
  3. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Thanks JimmyM! (And your enthusiastic reviews of this pedal certainly hasn't reduced my GAS... :D )

    I am currently using a Hjärt Müller Bass Drive which sounds great but I have had problems dialing in "my" sound. The pedal has a clever sweepable frequency control to tame the bite of the tone (in addition to the regular "drive"). I have still not managed to find a "sweet spot" during rehearsals and I do not want to fiddle with it forever. I still feel the Hjärt Müller Bass Drive is a great pedal but not right for me?

    Anyone else?
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Hjärt Müller kit - 595,00:- : Moody Sounds Store, Diy gitarreffekter - Schematics effektpedaler - Bygga effektpedal

    Sounds like the unit is always going to "dip" the midrange out. The key to being heard in a band setting is too boost some part of the 500hz to 3khz section of tone - or at least keep this area flat.

    Do not boost anything above 4khz - it's just going to your tweeter and will sound terrible with distortion.

    Be careful with how much boost you do in the midrange - you can easily cut through the band when you do this. Too much boost and you can bury the band.

    In regards to the tone you want - you can get it with this pedal, but it cannot be so scooped in a band setting. In the studio, you have control over every sound source imaginable - while live you are at the mercy of the acoustics/soundguy/bandmates and even more factors. Focus on getting a semi to fully annoying distorted tone by yourself and when the band kicks in, you should be set. That is how I do it.
  5. And the problem with that is...?
  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Angry bandmates! :D and a Happy bass player :D

    Bass players should be team players - you can shine through the mix, just not too much. That is how I look at it.
  7. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    Thanks for the replies!

    Gearhead17, my current pedal does not scoop mids. Actually the opposite - mids are always there. It is built around a sweepable filter that goes from preserving bottom and mids (but rolling off top end) to cutting the lows (but keeping mids and highs).
    The range of sound goes from "dark and grainy distortion with no top end" to "no lows, guitar like grinding mids and piercing highs". Interesting and creative but not always the right "flavor" for me.

    I guess I am looking for a more tube amp distortion: this sounds great to me (mainly 1:450 - 3:05):
    YouTube - Tech 21 VT Bass - SansAmp Character Series

    My current pedal sounds more like VT Bass in the higher Drive settings.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses
    2 nice songs ...

    Play with a pick and roundwound strings and use a moderate amount of distortion.
  9. rptrsn2


    Feb 21, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    Endorsing Artist: Aurora Strings
    try out a Sansamp BDDI, just got the deluxe(kept it over the vt after tryin both) you can get that with it. very similar to the tone i am using with it now.
  10. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Love that Lisa Miskovsky tune! I worked for MCA Records when she was working on that LP. Great song...