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DI and Overdrive/Fuzz

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ron Now, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    So as long as I've been playing bass, I've been using some sort of gain with it. I've never heard a DI I liked with said gain pedals/tone it always ends up sounding tinny or just harsh.

    Is there any outboard DI/preamp that I should check out to change my mind?

    I've been playing a lot of venues with decent PA support lately, and I'd like to take full advantage of the subs in a way that whatever random mic they have at the venue just doesn't provide.

    Or should I just invest in my own Mic that'll capture my tone from the cab better?

    Again, I'm playing with dirt on 99% of the time.
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Maybe a DI that can be inserted in between your amp but before your speaker, like a Countryman would work for you...
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    That's a good option. Or a decent speaker mic. Or a DI taken after any pedals but the kicker is having an LPF set up 4khz-5khz. The tinny/harsh stuff usually comes from running dirt on a fullrange signal. Big PA high frequency horns and distortion don't play well together. I've made the mistake of running post-eq DI, which you have to do to get any flavor into the board, with some preamp distortion, but forgetting to cut out my treble....sounded like a swarm of angry bees...or worse yet, angry mosquito's inside a beer can.
  4. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    Some dirt boxes have speaker sims. A mic is probably your best bet though. Hopefully you don't get those sound guys that hate to mic the bass

    That all depends on his cab. If his cab does not put out much highs (no tweeter etc) then the sound he is hearing on stage can still be vastly different then out the front even if he uses a DI from the speaker out.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm working that exact issue out myself. I was cab micing for a few years, but due to so many unfamiliar soundmen whining about my mic and resorting to subterfuge to screw the sound I carefully crafted, I switched to a REDDI DI and quite honestly I've never been happier with my tone.

    But the distortion is still a little tough...I've been using a VT Deluxe for distortion because it sounds Ampeggy and has the rolloffs that keep tweeters from blowing. I'm looking to simplify a bit and get a pedal that's easier and smaller to work with, too. So I've got a Greedtone Overdrive clone that I'm getting modded to have the 5k rolloff to keep from blowing tweeters. Basically, that's the key...to use distortion through a direct line, you have to cut all highs past 4 or 5k.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    On this, we agree completely. :)

    To the OP, really that is it, the whole deal. Use whatever tool might be available to roll off the highs, to find happiness with distortion through DI.
  7. +1

    I use a Tech 21 Vt Bass as the Speaker-sim rolloff is at 5k I think, so it tends to remove the horrific 'wasp in a can' sound out of DI'd sound
  8. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    Thanks for the tips guys. I'm thinking that sticking with a mic is gonna be the way to go.

    The sound guys I normally work with have been good with using a mic, so it shouldn't be any different. Maybe I'll just pick up a nicer mic that I can bring with me.
  9. I'm using a copy of a H&K Red Box, but this one is more or less voiced like a 8x10 cab. Works pretty well.
  10. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I built some high frequency compensation into my preamp's DI out to mimic a speakers natural top end rolloff - it keeps things from getting nasty when running into the PA or going direct when things start getting gritty. It would be nice if more amps offered it IMO. Without it, mic'ing the cab is probably your best bet.
  11. Countryman doesn't have a speaker sim. I own two JDIs which have a speaker sim, but I don't think the sim is getting rid of enough top end, still super harsh. Great DI but can't recommend it for this purpose. H&K and Palmer do speaker sim DI's, wonder what they're like...

    I have a Tech21 Leeds for when I have to go direct and don't want to get into an argument with the engineer. So far I've found it the next best thing to using a mic.

    Worth noting that I'm a recording engineer and very occasional live sound engineer, I've never had a single problem miking bass live when appropriate and it confuses me why most people are so against it.
  12. Ron Now

    Ron Now

    Sep 3, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist: Fuzzrocious Pedals
    Just another reason why I need to own one of your preamps. Clearly I need a better job ASAP.
  13. svtb15

    svtb15 Banned

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig. Q+
    Have you tried the MXR M-80 DI+ Distortion.. Cool box.. I have one laying around that i use from time to time...
  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    He's not talking about a speaker sim. You can plug the output of a power amp into the countryman and then the countryman to the speaker. It can take something stupid like 1,000W or more.
  15. arai

    arai Banned

    Jul 16, 2007
    I think he knows that, he is saying it does not cut the highs like a speaker sim does. Even if it is coming out the speaker out. So it will still sound like a can of angry bees out the front of house
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, I used to have one but it seems to have disappeared. I thought it was quite good with guitar, but I couldn't get enough usable low end out of it. Yours was modded to have more low end, eh?
  17. ysand


    Mar 26, 2005
    Check the Darkglass B7K videos and samples in youtube.
    It's an expensive pedal, but worth it IMO.
  18. Technophobia has built me a copy and tweaked it to more or less sound like a 8x10. So more lows etc etc.. A bass version.

    If I find the time I will try to do some recordings.

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