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dbx subharmonic anyone?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by dirtgroove, Mar 16, 2004.


  1. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Ok. Who uses one of these? 'bees nees or just plain excess.
    Is it a tad extreme for someone who isn't proffesional -(yet :D )
    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Tom.
     
  2. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I've used one for a year. Better than a foot pedal. Essential part of my rig. If you don't have one, try it out if you haven't. Just don't crank the LF knob too much...and when it sounds like too much, trust your ears and roll it back! If used properly, you can get some awesome sounds using this. The only thing I wished it had was a footswitch control for on/off, but it's the only thing I'm running in my effects loop right now of my XS400T, and I use the footswitch function of the amp to turn it off and on, so it's not a problem with my current setup.

    'bess nees!!!
     
  3. I get my lines mixxed thru one of those or an Aphex Big Bottom...really helps flesh out alot of that hidden low end, gets it to bloom. Haven't used one live, but in the studio, it's aces.
     
  4. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yup, I like it a lot. I can't use the lowest range knob at all, but the higher one tracks from around G# up to D# (on G string) and sounds very smooth. I have to bypass it when I play my 5 string, it tries to track harmonics of the B string notes and creates mud. A little goes a long way w/ this, keep it subtle and listen to yourself out in the room w/ a wireless or long cable to make sure you're not booming all over the place.
     
  5. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    yeah, just take it easy with that or you'll find the 'brown frequency'. Bill Laswell does a lot of cool stuff with the DBX.
     
  6. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    I fiddle with the settings so it doesn't track harmonics below the low E. Changes from gig to gig, but I've been pretty successful with that.
     
  7. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Excuse my ignorance please, but who is Bill Laswell?
     
  8. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    How? Please recommend some settings. I have the low subharmonic knob completely off.
     
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist

    Okay, I'm running the dbx 120A through the effects loop of my XS400TC combo (400W 2x10 combo.) The effects level knob on the amp is at about 3 o'clock. The EQ is set in a gentle curve on the amp; I use the onboard pre in my bass to change my sound on the fly in conjunction with the dbx and the onboard overdrive circuit.

    With the exception of the Subwoofer knob, all the knobs are between 1 and 2 o'clock. (Sub is off, cuz I don't run to one!)

    What kind of rig are you using, and what all is in your signal chain?
     
  10. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    My pedalboard feeds a balanced signal to an ART Tube Channel preamp. The dbx is in the 1st loop between the gain knob and the comp. The low frequency knob is around 12:00, the 36-56hz knob is almost maxed and I use the subharmonic level knob to control the level of the synthesized tones. It changes from 12:00 on up depending on the room. The subwoofer knob is also around 12:00, it feeds an 18" EV. The hf out feeds a Bag End S15XD.

    Like I said, I can get it to track to around G#. It doesn't seem to bother lower notes on the E string, but when I get down on the B it starts trying to track upper harmonics.
     
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    An amazing bassist who can shred like crazy in progressive jazz but is perfectly happy laying down two-finger dubwise (as in dub reggae) bass lines. Always has big phat tone, primarily due to this dbx unit. Do a search on him @allmusic.com or amazon.com for more info.


    P.S. Subharmonic synths are not for beginners. Misuse/overuse of these devices can result in blown speakers. I don't mean to scare anyone, but it's a genuine danger. Enhancers such as those made by Aphex and BBE provide fairly similar "big bottom" effects but without the risk.
     
  12. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Thanks for the heads up on Laswell, I'll check him out. I agree, with abuse, someone could blow their rig out with subharmonics. Gotta know your stuff before you twiddle with things...
     
  13. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Old thread, I found it in a search. I too have one of the dbx Subharmonic synths in my rack, and it is indeed powerful. I have blown the subwoofers at a club using it. To my defense, I warned the soundman about it: Since I was running a DI out of my preamp, I asked him if he wanted to soundcheck it; he looked at me with a look of disdain (the "I know what I'm doing and I don't need some bass player to tell me how to do my job" look) and said "no thanks." When I hit the part of the song where the dbx kicked in, it was a matter of seconds before the subs went "pop".

    Anyway, I feel that it is a useful special effect; sort of like an octaver, but more subtle. You can definitely get a real deep "dub" tone out of it, and I've even used it with extreme EQ to get a synth-bass sounding output; if you filter out some of the highs, you play an octave up and get the note the octave down with a very synth-like tone.

    It's super cool. I like it. ;)
     
  14. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Like Fuzzbass said, he's a fabulous bassist. On top of that, he's a remarkably good producer/remixer with access to some of the world's greatest musicians (Herbie Hancock, Zakir Hussain, Sly & Robbie). His projects usually sound great and are very psychedelic. To me he makes most other producers sound like they're coloring with those big fat elementary-school crayons, if you know what I mean.

    Some of my favorites Laswell projects:

    --Jah Wobble & Bill Laswell. RadioAxiom: Bass The Final Frontier: Super trippy futuristic space dub

    --Bill Laswell: Shape Shifting. A remix of traditional Irish music from the Shanachie Records catalog. Unlike most of his productions there's very little bass, so it's a nice contrast

    --Bob Marley: Dreams of Freedom. This is Laswell's dub remix of the Marley catalog. He took a lot of flak for axing 95% of Bob's vocals, but hey--that's dub--and it really gives the grooves room to breathe. A lot of the tracks are slowed down significantly so Family Man's bass sounds huger than ever.

    --Tabla Beat Science--Crazy mix of Indian percusiion, techno trickery, and deep grooves.

    --Gigi (self titled) and Gigi "Illuminated Audio". I believe Laswell and Ethiopian singer Gigi are romantically involved (she's been on most of his projects in recent years). The self-titled album is fairly straightforward world-beat pop, Illuminated Audio is a considerably moodier remix of the same songs.

    --Herbie Hancock "Future 2 Future" and "Rockit"

    I don't think Laswell uses the dbx live--I'm pretty sure he gets his dub tone from a DOD FX 25 or other filter.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.
     
  15. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I've since replaced my dbx 120xp with the Furman equivalent. It seems to track lower and has a variable xover.
     
  16. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC

    I've been interested in checking out the Peavey one; it appears to couple the subharmonic synth with a BBE-type effect in one unit. Could be real interesting...
     
  17. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Model number and specs please?


    :D
     
  18. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    How things have changed! Like Jondog, my rig has also changed. the XS400TC is now my studio and small practice rig, my main rig is now an XS800H 800W head into an XC808 4 ohm 8x8 cab (all of these are Yorkville sound products) In my effects loop, I'm running into the dbx120a, to a dbx 266XL compressor, into a BBE 362 sonic maximizer...however, I'm considering picking up the BBE Max Comm which has the Sonic Maximizer built in to save some rack space...

    ...with 800 watts, sound absolutely awesome!!! Now a footswitch would be handy though to turn the 120A on and off...
     
  19. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    It's a Furman Punch 10. I don't have any specs because it's discontinued, but they go by on ebay once in awhile and my local GC had one as of last month. I like it because now I don't need a separate xover. It also has a built-in variable limiter that helps dial in exactly how much boom you want. :hyper: