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Dual amping - Guitar or bass effects for octave up signal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Hypocrite, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. I'm running a dual amp setup, one signal going through a B3K, M85, M80, and into a bass amp. The other signal shifted up an octave going through an old ODB-3, a Morley bass wah and a few modulation effects into a guitar amp.

    I want to trade the Morley for a smaller wah, maybe AMT, and possibly a new distortion pedal, but what would work best for an upper octave bass sound? Should I stick with bass specific effects, or would dedicated guitar pedals work better with the "thinner" sound?

  2. My preference is guitar effects for the upper octave. When dual amping live I use the octave out from an Akai UniBass to a Danelectro Daddy-O into a Zoom G1x to a GK MLS to an open back 1x12. In the studio I use an AdrenaLinnIII.
    Hypocrite likes this.
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I've been experimenting with a similar split / octave up chain.

    Rather than running a guitar amp, I am going into a Joyo American Sound as a dirty Fender amp sim, into a TC Mimiq stereo doubler, into headphones or PA. The Mimiq takes the whole sound to another level, where it now sounds terrible without it! You won't get the same effect running mono, but it'd still work great to thicken things up. It's like a delay but with subtle pitch/timing drifts to make it sound more like authentic double tracking.

    The next effect I recommend is a Whammy. I am using the bass Whammy reissue, although I also want to try the Whammy V also for the different modes it offers. The Bass Whammy has two great harmony modes missing from the V though. One let's you sweep between a 4th down and 5th up; a 4th down from your octave up is the same as a 5th up from your bass note, which fills out a power chord between the original note and your octave up. Then sweep up and you get a higher power chord with the octave up serving as the root note. Another cool mode is a 5th up and octave up; heel down and you have your fake guitar doing a power chord, toe down and it is an octave up (i.e. two octaves above your bass) which is great for solos (or even solo notes in a riff). Divebomb effects work brilliantly too!

    Also if you get ground loop hum/noise issues running two amps, get an ABY box that has an isolated output. I did my research on these before picking a Radial Twin City, which does the job perfectly.
    Hypocrite likes this.
  4. Thanks Danny, that's actually really helpful. I have been playing around with the idea of getting a mini Mimiq to make the upper octave sound more "alive". Seems like that's exactly what it does?

    The bass Whammy is already on my short list, but I hadn't thought of using it in the way you describe. Sounds like that might be my next purchase. Cheers!

    I am getting a bit of noise on the guitar amp, for now I'm just using an EHX Switchblade+ to see if this was something I wanted to go ahead with. I've had a look at the Radial Bigshot ABY/Y V2, and apart from the Twin City being almost double the price, I don't see a huge difference between the two. Any insight?
  5. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Yup, that's what the Mimiq does alright, really helps with separation and making it sound like a band instead of a single sound source. Although to be fair I think a standard stereo delay pedal would be up to the task just as well.

    The Bigshot ABY is passive with no isolated outputs, pretty much the same as the Switchblade. The Twin City fully isolates the B output, plus gives you ground lift and phase switches (damn handy if one amp sounds totally out of phase with the other and they cancel out each other's sound).

    I was deciding between the Twin City, Lehle Little Dual, and Decibel 11 Split Personality, and Orange Amp Detonator. Real world user reviews (Amazon and Thomman etc) though revealed some really annoying usage issues with the Lehle (one of the switches works on down-press and the other one works on an up-press or something), plus you couldn't tell whether the pedal would go back to A or B when coming out of Y mode, plus it popped when switching. The popping issue also seemed to affect the Decibel 11, and there was a report from someone who tried both of these before being satisified with the pop-free switching of the Radial. The Orange I only discovered after purchasing the Radial, I've not checked reviews!

    The only downside with the Radial is a very slight switching delay, something that's common on many pedals with fancy electronic switching. I don't think it's big enough of a delay to cause a problem though. I'm thinking of adding a momentary stutter/kill switch to the guitar chain anyway!
  6. I see, the Bigshot just has an internal isolation transformer, didn't think there would be much difference.

    When I get some time I'm going to set up my delay for some faux doubling, see what that's like (and probably kick myself for not thinking of it before)
    Thanks again :)
  7. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Generally speaking the only difference between bass and guitar effects is that bass effects have a wider frequency response so low end isn't lost.
    The only other difference is a certain few effects also include an LPF or HPF so that certain frequencies can bypass the effect.

    Since an octave up isn't going to have any special low end considerations, you can use pretty much any pedal.
  8. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Looks like the Bigshot uses standard true bypass switches so you might be at more risk of popping (but on the plus side, quicker switching!) and since you are passively splitting the signal, you should put some kind of buffer or pedal before it rather than plugging a passive bass straight in, otherwise you'd suffer from a weak signal output.
  9. I started with an MXR A/B box. I encountered a horrible ground loop. I then tried the Decible 11, but still could hear some hum and it had a rather loud "pop" when engaged. The Orange Amp Detonator has zero pop and zero hum. Apparently my rig, in general, is very sensitive to grounding noise and EMI, but the Detonator works flawlessly. It's my favorite pedal that does not make a sound :)
    I'm also using the T-Rex Quint machine for octave up on my B channel into another bass amp. I'm really intrigued to see what happens if I add a mimiq doubler to the B channel.
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