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FX Lost in the Mix (sorry for the novel)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by warwick.hoy, Oct 5, 2008.


  1. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I tried to search for this but didn't really come up with anything.

    I've been playing with my Digitech Synth Wah. On my own at home; it has been a great writing tool and I've been getting great results. I'm pleased with the sounds I've been getting and I've been coming up with some great new basslines and such using this effect.

    During rehearsal last night (working on new songs) I tried the new riffs with the Synth Wah. The low end is still there, but the effect itself is just getting trounced by the other instruments. I can here the Synth Wah effect; but only when I put my ear right next to the cab. Standing upright the effect just lost in the mix.

    I've noticed that there is quite a bit of a volume boost coming from this effect compared to my dry tone, but it still isn't cutting through.

    Here is my signal chain:

    Bass => Synth Wah => Sansamp BDDI Programmable => BBE Sonic Stomp => Boss LMB-3 => Amp

    Amp Setup: SVP-1500 Poweramp pushing Avatar 410NEO.

    I had the level set on the poweramp about 3/4's of the way. We aren't trying to blow the doors off of our rehearsal space as it is temporarily at my drummers workplace after hours.

    Band = Single Guitarist, Bass, Drums, Keys, Vox

    Here is my concern about this. I'm pretty sure that at larger venues with PA it will be fine as I'll be running the DI through the Sansamp to the FOH. The band however frequently plays at a venue were the sound reinforcement is only used for kick drum and vox. I fear that our vision won't come across in such a setting.

    ~I was planning on getting a second 410NEO to create an 8x10 stack. Will this help?

    ~Is it just a matter of experimenting with the SW and the preamp? The preamp has 3 channels I can set to different levels to get more volume out of the effected signal and switch back to a dry tone on a lower volume.

    ~I'm also considering a second rack mount preamp (used yamaha bass preamp unsure of model #) for more tonal options. Perhaps this will help?

    ~I was considering getting an EB Volume Pedal Jr. as well for swelling effects. Would this be a useful tool for my issue?

    ~Are there other ways of getting more umph out of this pedal? I noticed that there are two outputs; "Effect" and "Normal", Would this help in my plight?

    Thanks in advance for all opinions and advice.

    ~James
     
  2. I have two theories:


    1. If you are running 1500 through a 410 at 3/4 volume, you are playing LOUD. At that volume any effect is going to get minimalized by the sheer magnitude of dB. Turn down, you can hear better (I know, it's wierd).
    2. Most of the effect is noticable in frequencies that:
      A: Fit into the mid-notch of the BDDI or the mid-notch of the Avatar, or
      B: Are trounced by levels that the gui****/ keytard are playing in.

      If this is the case then you may need to change your EQ to make it work live or have the other players make small changes to their playing.

    Also, you might be able to hear it better if you can lift your amp or get yourself clear across the room. The back of your knees don't hear that well and the HF doesn't reflect very well.

    Without being there, I don't know how loud you really are, but based on your descriptions it sounds like earplugs are a necessity. If so, bringing the volume down will both allow you to hear details in your playing and effects, but it will also force you to play tighter because your mistakes will be more noticable.

    Hope I'm right about any of this. :rolleyes:;)
     
  3. 1+ to cheapbasslovin

    personally I hate the sound all my effects into any tech 21 gear ive ever owned (BDDI and VTbass) the Bass blowtorch sounds so different and heres why-

    heres my opinions based on my experience and other things ive noticed other people say while on this forum:
    mids are crucial to cutting through in a mix - FACT
    sansamps rob mids - well kind of, it has a set mid point that you have to balance your bass/treble/presence around. But most settings that i liked ie: the suggested SVT setting, is a scooped mid tone.
    the BBE Sonic Maximizer also robs mids - while opinion is devided on how it actually works (is it an EQ?) most posts that i read tended to agree that it was infact the best way to loose your presence in the mix.

    and essentially you're sending an affect through a string of pedals that will rob it of its ability to cut through a mix.

    a mid-scooped sound on bass sounds lovely to my ears but in a mix it just gets lost, and essentially your using two mid-scooping tools, and you play quite loud to compensate - although having not heard you, i could be completely off the ball ;)

    my advice:
    next practice have a jam and try the effect with the Sonic Maximizer switched off and the BSW AFTER the sansamp.

    this way you'll still get the sansamp tone for your bass but wont scoop the BSW.

    Its annoying tho, because you want to use the sansamp as your DI, I was in the same predicament. ended up just having the sansamp first in my chain and using my amp's DI out or a house DI box. I felt guity about wasting the sansamps DI, but then I bought a VTbass, which has a mid control, but I still have it first, but it has no DI out so i dont feel guilty.

    hope this helps
     
  4. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    At the impedance (4ohms) of the cab I'm thinking that I'm only getting about 750 watts. We are a loud band, but last night I was keeping it reined in, both on the BDDI and the Poweramp.

    I didn't take into account the mid scoop. Thanks for that mention.

    My bass is a Warwick Thumb BO 5. IMO a Low Mid sounding bass in and of itself. I'm thinking that I will certainly be picking up that yammy preamp because it is just more adjustable at different frequencies. I may hang onto the BDDI just for the 3 channels on it, and the overdrives it has.
     
  5. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Hittin the hay bumpage for more suggestions. Thanks guys.

    ~James
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    In your position, I would run the effects in a parallel channel going to a guitar amp. What? Yes, you read right. The loss of high end detail on effects like that is common when the bass signal gets loud, so one way around that is to give the effects their own frequency range, and a more aggressively cutting sort of amplification. You'll want to cut the lows on the signal going to the guitar amp so you don't blow its cones, but that bottom will be made up by your regular bass cab.
     
  7. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Hmmmmm, Me likes this idea. Thanks Bongo. Any suggestions on an amp? Would a little Fender Twin do, or do I need a SS Full Stack?

    Going to work....anyone else
     
  8. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Hmm. My set up is a lot different than yours, but I have noticed what you're talking about, especially with that pedal. I solve it when playing live by cranking up the channel that runs my fx loop a tad. Seems to work well. All those little whispers and burps that come from that peddle are still heard. I like this pedal a lot.
     
  9. AndyLES

    AndyLES

    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Ditch the BBE immediately. No, seriously.

    Also, most bands rehearse and gig WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYY too loud. All your band needs is just enough stage volume to hear over the drums. Try also aiming the cabinets for your bass rig and the guitar rigs inwards to hear yourselves better.
     
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Even a little Champ could do the job (depending on the gig). The signal will be loud enough for you onstage, and then you either mic the cab to FOH or you take a second DI channel off the fx before it hits the guitar amp.
     
  11. four2oh

    four2oh

    Mar 29, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You've got a lovely fullrange DI built into that SansAmp BDDI.. take that output and patch it into your PA.. Let the PA handle the mids/highs of the FX (ie, EQ the channel on the PA), and let your bass cab handle the bottom end.
     
  12. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    That's great except he won't be able to hear the fx himself. Even in a monitor mix, many soundmen don't highpass the monitors, so he'd be in the same audio dilemma he's in now.

    As it stands, he doesn't know whether the audience can hear the fx or not.
     
  13. I have the same problem with my bass. I play w/ distortion in a lot of fast songs with many time changes. The low freqs don't have a long enough time to develop for each note so you have to hear the mids to be able to hear the bass. It's competing with the guitar and vocals in the same frequency range so it's tricky to get it to cut through the mix but not sound like a huge mid hump when i'm playing by myself. Here's how I do it:

    Get your sound you want playing by yourself. Then eq your sound while playing until you can hear it very clearly. Then check it again when you stop playing. It will probably sound much different. Keep going back and forth until you find a happy medium- sounds good by itself and in the mix. It's there, you just have to find it.
     
  14. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I've run into similar problems with my rig, in general.

    My soundguy comes up to me a few weeks ago and asks me if there's anything I can do to get better clarity. He likes the sound of my bass and amp (I DI out of the effects loop).

    My amp has a 9-band graphic EQ, so I boosted the mids. Even I've noticed the difference. My tone is clear and punchy, even on teh B-string.

    When I turn an effect on (Hematoma, Wah, or Q-tron), I'm still there in the mix! :hyper:

    so yeah... the mids is big deals. Don't be afraid of them.
     
  15. YEAH KNEEL BEFORE ZOD B!TCH!!

    *ahem*

    im using the Tech21 VTbass as my primary clean tone, and even with its EQ (With MID control!!) I still tend to boost the mids on my amp, as my guitarist favours a Russian Muff for distortion, and we all know how bassy that can be ;) currently discovering that with the p-style bass im using at the moment (perviously was only using Jazz basses) theres infact so much mid-range that when its just me playing, im almost scared of standing too near my amp its so abrasive, But whens the band are playing all together, everything sounds fat and sweet.....and heavy
     
  16. warwick.hoy

    warwick.hoy

    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Having three channels on the BDDI Programmable, I'll definitely be experimenting with different volume levels to see how well that helps. As it stands; our rehearsals are load in, go over songs/work on new material, load out. We don't have a permanent spot and we always feel pressed for time. I never have the chance to get the rig sounding the way I'd like. Right now I don't use my stage rig at home because I don't think the wiring in this old apartment building will handle that poweramp. Probably a little bit of unnecessary paranoia on my part, but I'd hate to burn the building down.

    This situation is about to be rectified as our gui**** and keytard are about to rent a decent sized house with basement. We should be able to leave our rigs there and mess around with them anytime we want as well as rehearse anytime we want.

    I was thinking about selling my gui**** the Sonic Stomp. I like it but it doesn't seem to make an appreciable difference.

    That seems to be the general opinion on these boards. While I agree with you, we have a loud *** drummer. I like it that way though. I won't let him put mutes on his drums either. That rehearsal wasn't over the top on volume either.



    HMMMM

    This is fine for larger venues. Which we play occasionally, but the bulk of our shows are at a small venue where the PA is used for VOX and the Kick Drum. It's not very powerful, but I will probably try and make arrangements with the "soundguy" to experiment with this setup.

    I'm really looking to invest in that yammy preamp and a 2nd cabinet (either an avatar 410NEO, or 210NEO haven't decided). even without the effects issue I still want them, but I think that they will help solve those FX issues too.

    Getting great suggestions here guys. Thanks so much. Keep em comin.
     

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