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Getting "My Sound" at the pedal board

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by scottfeldstein, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I have a new philosophical approach to the use of my equipment to get "my sound" lately. It kind of crept up on me before I recognized it. I've alluded to it before in various other threads recently, but I thought it merited its own discussion.

    It is this. My Sound is complete and intact before it reaches my amp. That is, when it leaves my pedal board.

    It may then go on to various other places: the front of the house PA, my amp rig, a mixing desk. It doesn't matter. When it arrives at those places, it's already complete.

    When it arrives at my amp, as an example, the only thing that happens to it there is that some basic EQ is applied to accommodate the voicing of my GK head, the way my cabs were tuned and the stage I'm playing on. Nothing more. When it arrives at the mixing desk, someone might choose to EQ things differently, compress the heck out of it, or apply an effect I don't have or didn't think to use. When it hits the front of the house PA, it will no doubt be EQd for the room and the mix of the other instruments, etc.

    You can see that in this scenario, putting a mic in front of my cabs would be totally unnecessary. Taking a post-EQ DI signal from my amp head would be unneeded as well. Relying on my amp for any meaningful part of "getting my sound" is gone.

    I suppose the natural conclusion of this kind of approach is to just use a power amp and a good rack-mountable EQ as the head of your bass rig instead of a commercial bass amplifier. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet, though. Having an actual bass amp leaves possibilities open to me that I wouldn't otherwise have.

    For the record:

    Ibanez SR300 (I know, I know. I need to upgrade.)

    tuner > envelope filter > compressor > sansamp >

    GK MB500

    GK 212 and 410 cabs
  2. how long have you been playing out with effects? I ask every sound guy to mic me. Why? Because when I record, in a real studio, my cab has a mic on it, as well as DIed. The DI in the studio is coming off my bass before the effects (in essence a clean blend). The mic shows the true character of the effects that a DI can't.
    Sure a soundman is going to EQ or whatever but I have more control of the sound if it is being mic'ed.
  3. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    It would be interesting, I suppose, to deliver two signals to the mixing desk from the same performance: one completely dry and the other being "my sound." I can't really do that right now. But my SansAmp does have a parallel out. So at least I could send one signal without its grit and tone shaping and one signal with it. Both would have any of my other pedals in them, though--my compressor or my envelope filter.

    As far as a PA at a gig, I don't want to EQ from the stage what the sound guy gets. On the contrary. I want to turn my amp EQ knobs and know that it isn't messing him up.
  4. cableguy

    cableguy Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA
    I do something similar and really like it. Sometimes I go play and only take my pedalboard and bass. Works great.
  5. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    True! I mean, sometimes my pedal board goes (through a small mixer and) into my headphones for silent practice. And you know what? I still sound exactly the way I like. It's a pretty freeing approach, even if there are some downsides.
  6. I get what you mean and why. I guess maybe a big difference in our set-ups is I use a tube amp. The break-up of the amp coming through the speakers can't be totally done through DI exclusively.
  7. amfmsb


    Dec 16, 2007
    A few years back, with my "bring our own PA" band, I did plenty of small gigs without bringing an amp. My board had a Bass Driver at the end and I sent the xlr from that. We had all powered mains and subs- mackies- It was a great simple setup.
  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I think you've hit on the biggest thing that separates my philosophy from the philosophies of most other players. If I had me a Genz Streamliner, say, instead of a GK MB500... I might not be on this little adventure of mine.
  9. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    I know it's a little off-topic but I wanted to say that I never understood the necessity to find just one sound that would be my sound. I use a variety of sounds depending on gear, songs, and mood and they always sound like me in the end. This is my philosophical approach to the use of my equipment but I completely understand what you're talking about. What I am trying to say (laboriously) is that if you can adapt yourself smoothly to any kind of situation, then your gear doesn't matter that much. It's only my opinion/experience FWIW :)
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Well, sure. Nobody has just one sound. But in my case, I'm working on one sound that I can build upon with one or two other effects. With me it's a round-string, throaty, hi-fi sound with a bit of grit on it. I might vary that sound with my envelope filter. I might vary it with my octaver. And a studio engineer or PA sound man might alter it further still. But I think it's fair to say that a lot of people--myself included--strive for "a" sound that they can vary according to differing pieces of music.
  11. PunkRocker33133

    PunkRocker33133 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    Northern VA
    I honestly have what I can say is "one sound." It's my bassman 100 into an 810, right at the point of breakup, boosted with an OCD. Every once in a while, I may use my Supercollider instead, and there are other effects that get added, but I pretty much always sound the same for my "base" tone. It also probably helps that I'm in an originals band playing punk/hardcore so I can have my own sound
  12. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I bet that sounds pretty cool. Any clips?
  13. PunkRocker33133

    PunkRocker33133 Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2008
    Northern VA
    Not at the moment, but we should be recording in the next few weeks, and I'll post some demos then. They'll probably be in the PYPB thread along with my finalized board
  14. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    That's been my philosophy for awhile. Seems to work pretty well.
  15. I have been doing a similar thing for a while now, many of my gigs or sessions i don't even use an amp, when i do use an amp it is set for a flat clean sound. Having owned some choice monster rigs in the past i know the sounds and can get pretty dang close with EQs and my Zoom B2.
    It just makes sense and is a lot easier to haul around than some behemoth bass rig and i don't get complaints from the neighbors.
  16. Scott,I hear you,call you,and RAISE you by 2 !!
    I have had the exact same 'issue' over the years,and i 2 found out that stage tone and PA tone are two of the worlds...
    so,i tend to use my combo (ampeg b100r) as a monitor-together with the drummers monitor,with the smallest amount of EQ-ing(mostly in mid/high area for clarity),it's a handy amp,and I gig 2-3 times a week,so I need something portable...
    on the PA side,i go for xlr output of my mxr m80,and on festivals and bigger gigs (more then 700 people) i ask for a mic in front of my amp as well...just in case.plus it's nicer to blend the lows from the mxr,and get a nice upper range together with the presence from the mic..
    my rig-

    woodguerilla fretless,jean&jean music man custom
    markbass compressore
    korg dt10
    morley pba2 dual
    ehx octave multiplexer
    mxr phase90
    little angel clone
    boss rv5
    custom para EQ
    mxr m80

    ampeg b100r

    ehm,colour switch on,most of the time(mxr m80)
    and thats my sound.

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