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Hiss-free alternative to VT Bass (setting character and drive at noon)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by lmichaels, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. lmichaels


    Jun 7, 2010
    As many others I love the VT Bass, but I now spend lots of time playing with headphones and the hiss with the settings I like bothers me.

    The sound I like is with the character and drive knobs around noon. For example, listen to this guy at 1:40:

    Can anyone suggest a pedal that produces this kind of sound without the hissing?

    I understand that I can reduce the hissing by lowering the character/drive knobs, but that for me defeats the purpose of using the pedal. I am guessing the hiss is a characteristic of this pedal with this kind of settings, as I have found other threads at TB describing hiss.

    I am using a 9v battery and the setup is bass -> vt bass pedal -> korg px4b (flat/neutral) -> headphones. Removing the vt bass pedal (without any other change) makes the hiss go away.

    Can anyone suggest a hiss-free alternative?

  2. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    Although the VT is prone to hiss when it's pushed, using headphones will emphasise it more than a normal rig.
  3. Are you using a compressor in the signal chain?
    I dialed in the approximate settings you describe. Although I could notice some slight hiss, it was so low that it would never be any problem for me. A compressor after the VT in the signal chain could emphasize the hiss.
  4. lmichaels


    Jun 7, 2010
    tsverrir, thank you for trying this out. Were you using headphones? As I mentioned this only became an issue when I started spending more time playing using my headphones.

    No compressor, as I wrote just bass -> vt -> bass korg px4b (flat, just used as a headphone amp) -> headphones.
  5. lmichaels


    Jun 7, 2010
    yep, unfortunately my experience confirms this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Any drive pedal will increase noise when set that high. VT's actually one of the quieter ones. Either use a noise gate or live with it.
  7. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    If it is really high frequency hiss, kill everything above 8khz

    In most metal recordings distorted bass guitar's hiss is killed outright by lowpassing the signal @4khz! Might seem extreme, but works great in mixes. So really, to functionally get this kind of a tone, you actually need to kill a lot of extreme high end. Get a boss 7 band bass EQ. It has a 10khz knob, so it can kill extreme highs along with hiss. If it is too obvious when you are not playing, get a gate as well. Also run your pedals with batteris, power outlets always create some hiss of their own (harmonics of 50/60hz). Also, what's your pickup configuration, is your control cavity shielded?
  8. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    VT has a speaker sim built in that starts rolling off highs at 4.5k. Not the problem.
  9. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Sometimes emphasizing the highs at the instrument and at the beginning of the pedal board and then de-emphasizing the highs at the amp (or headphone amp) can help reduce hiss to acceptable levels. If you have an EQ pedal, try putting it before the VT and crank the HF bands and then roll the highs back down at the amp.

  10. lmichaels


    Jun 7, 2010
    This hadn't crossed my mind at all (I really want to learn more about effects/pedals). Is this someting the Korg PX4B might be able to do? I will have to play around with the controls when I get home.

    Single pickup, shielded control cavity. From what I have read online the single pickup configuration might be a contributing factor, right?
  11. lmichaels


    Jun 7, 2010
    I don't have an EQ pedal, but if getting one or a noise gate is the only solution I might go for it. As I mentioned above I wonder if the Korg PX4B itself might be used to cut the hiss (downstream from the VT pedal: my setup is bass -> vt pedal -> korg px4b -> headphones). I will have to play around with the settings once I get home, but if anyone has any clue please let me know.
  12. cvtmqvuj


    Mar 20, 2013
    it was so low that it would never be any problem for me.[​IMG]
  13. InternetAlias


    Dec 16, 2010
    Never used it, try it.
    If your pickup is single coil, it will pick up all sorts of noise (neon lights, computer screen, any kind of a motor, like the one in your hard disk and cooler, power wires in your walls, etc). If you shield your pickup well, you may or may not reduce a lot of noise, but it will still be there, and if you use high gain, you will have to get a gate, malmsteen didn't want to use a humbucking pickup at any cost, so he resorted to using gates.
  14. Yes I used headphones (bass -> vt -> Fast Track Pro -> Headphones)
    As I said I could notice the hiss, but it was so low that it wouldn't be a problem in any kind of mix.
  15. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    What type of bass are you using? Active or passive? I think the Pandora has an aux in, I would give that a try. The VT Bass is designed to go direct and has very low self noise. Obviously if you turn up the gain the pedal will amplify any noise before it and possibly the Pandora is doing the same.

    Plugging into the Pandora is not the same as plugging into a mixer. Is it possible when you say the Pandora is set "flat" you are possibly going through an amp model in the unit. This would not be optimum for the lowest noise.

    I would also make sure that the VT Bass is set for unity gain which means the level of the unit engaged is the same level when the unit is bypassed.

    There are a number of variables in your situation and it would make the most sense to make sure you are certain everything is set up properly before spending money on a solution that may give you the same result.
    KJMO likes this.

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