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How are you setting your Vintage Micotubes w/an amp?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jd_watt, May 4, 2015.

  1. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Hi all,

    I recently removed a few pedals from my board. I was previously running my Darkglass Microtubes through a loop pedal were it sat in front of Tech 21 Character series (with lows cut and eq'ed to taste). That was blended back into my bassier, full tone. The VMT always added plenty of grit and always sat up front in the mix.

    Unfortunately, I can't get that same result with the effect running in one continuous chain. I'm actually having trouble hearing the effect at all through my rig. I'm running an Ampeg 4 Pro into a he410 (everything flat for testing) with the tweeter off. I know the vmt is dark, and it sounds great with a DI, but it's really, really dark... to the point of being completely inaudible. I really don't want to go back to adding two other pedals just so I'm satisfied with the Microtubes, and I'd prefer to avoid use of the tweeter. So, as I asked, how are you running yours with best results? Thanks!
  2. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    I had the same issue rubbing it into an Orange Terror Bass, all I could do was crank the Era knob to get maximum brightness. Either get the Deluxe instead, use an EQ pedal, or try the B3K/B7K is about the best advice I can give you!
  3. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I have two settings that I like:

    Always on - light OD - vintage tone

    Level to taste
    Drive at 9pm
    Era at 9pm
    Blend dimed

    Heavier drive - more modern

    Level to taste
    Drive at 3pm
    Era dimed
    Blend dimed.

    Hope that helps.
  4. Noylin

    Noylin Supporting Member

    May 28, 2014
    Could the VMT's earlier position have been feeding it a different input gain? I get very different results out of the pedal depending on how hot the input signal is. Just a thought.

    I tweak my settings all the time simply for something different (because it all sounds good) and depending on what else I'm working with in the chain, but a typical one is Blend 2, Era 10, Drive 1130, Level 1
  5. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. To be fair, I'm using the effect at a pretty low gain setting; I just wish it came through louder in the mix. The bright switch on the Ampeg helped though. Maybe I'll switch that on when I bring in the vmt. It's also interesting to read that my settings are pretty close to a few of those listed above:

    Level: 1
    Drive: 9 - 10
    Era: Dimed
    Blend: 2
  6. paranoid30


    Apr 21, 2014
    Milan, Italy
    I've got to admit that I've never found the VMT to be a very evident effect. I don't think that it's its purpose, it's more of a subtle overdrive to give some warmth to the sound and that's the way I use it.

    Level: 10/11
    Drive: 11
    Era: 10
    Blend: dimed

    I play a rickenbacker and I never put the Era knob after 1, as for me it's too bright.
    You can try to give it more drive, that should provide you more grit and somewhat enhance the high frequencies.
    Could it be that the EQ of the Tech21 you were using was responsible for giving it a more in your face effect?
  7. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I personally wouldn't ever use the VMT as an "overdrive" pedal- I find it works best as an always-on character or flavor enhancer that has a really pleasant Gain and EQ enhancement. I think it's strong baked-in character wouldn't work well just turned on and off for certain parts of songs.
    I rarely crank the Era either, and never blend in any Clean- it doesn't need blending and actually sounds more distinct, punchy and articulate without it in my rig. The Era actually controls a shifting mid boost- when it's all the way up the boosted frequency is higher so it sounds brighter, but in a mix I find settings between 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock to cut through better in my band (also using a Rickenbacker).
    I was happy using my regular VMT, but have had the Deluxe since it came out, and the ability to do minor tone sculpting is definitely a plus (the controls are capable of pretty extreme shaping, but sound best with small tweaks IMO).
  8. paranoid30


    Apr 21, 2014
    Milan, Italy
    Totally agree, it's a tone-shaper rather than an actual overdrive.
    After all, even at the highest drive setting it has less distortion than most pedals out there :)
  9. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    I can agree with you guys on the "always on" and "tone enhancer" approach. That seems to be the case for me as well, now that I think of it. I'm surprised to hear the comments on the Era dial though. Anything less than full-on completely masks the effect, and I don't use an overly dark amp/cab. If I could change one thing about the VMT, I'd like the Era control to be much brighter when turned fully clockwise. Using the additional sansamp or bright switches is the only way to really make the effect overtly audible through my rig.
  10. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Secondary question: If you're using the vmt as an always on tone enhancer, are you running another more pronounced OD into it? If so, which?
  11. paranoid30


    Apr 21, 2014
    Milan, Italy
    That's a bit weird, but maybe it's just not the right drive for your taste ;) I wouldn't want it to be much brighter, I would never use any setting past 11 probably... actually, I'm already doing so...

    What kind of setup do you have? (bass\amp)
    Also it depends a lot on the music you play, the VMT gives you a seriously vintage-oriented tone, when I turn down the era, say around 9, I get those sweet, thick 60s tones: perfect for playing soul or rock music. If you want a brighter and punchier tone then the VMT maybe isn't the best choice.

    And yes, I have a more pronounced OD and also a fuzz, but I use them after the VMT. Now you reminded me that I never tried the OD it before the VMT :D
  12. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    Ha! Glad I could be of service :D Don't get me wrong, it's a very cool effect. More than anything, I'd just like to have more of it in the mix. Like I said though, I use it at a light gain setting, so that most likely contributes. I run a P into an Ampeg 4 pro with an 410 cab (tweeter off). I'll do more experimentation with Era range. I've personally never gotten anything useful below 1 o'clock. It's great for di and full range cabs though (no buzzy, unmusical distortion).
  13. paranoid30


    Apr 21, 2014
    Milan, Italy
    I just realized you posted your gear in the first post, sorry...
    stupid question: you turned the tweeter off, but you use the VMT as an always on effect and it's too dark... why not turn the tweeter on again? :D it might be obnoxious with your clean tone, but fix the darkness issue with the VMT... if not, then you'd probably want to switch to something else. Or maybe upgrade to the deluxe version, the EQ might give you more shaping possibilites
  14. jd_watt


    Mar 22, 2013
    It's a good suggestion, man. Maybe I have an unreasonable hesitation toward the tweeter lol I was also going for that "one-size fits all" amp setting (for clean and overdrive). Maybe I'll try hitting the bright switch when I use the vmt too. Good suggestion, Paranoid30. Thanks!
  15. paranoid30


    Apr 21, 2014
    Milan, Italy
    You're welcome! :D
    jd_watt likes this.
  16. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    When I hear of lost overdrive my immediate thought is scooped mids somewhere in the chain. I had an SVT 4Pro for a couple years and recall having to boost mids noticeably to get the kind of drive tones I liked (the Ampeg had a strong low-mid push but was a bit light on high mids). I never tried that cab, but it's possible that it is also part of the "notch" that is happening. One cool thing about that signature Ampeg scoop is that you can push a lot higher gain into it before it starts getting harsh or sounding extreme. I definitely didn't need to be as picky about drive pedals when I played that amp or my old SVT-CL...
  17. fasto


    Mar 4, 2007
    Amsterdam, NL
    what could be my problem with the VMT? i almost hear no difference adjusting ERA-knob to different settings. EQ problem? How should i set the VMT parameters to hear more effect of the ERA function?

    (Squier CV60s Jazz Bass, GK MB500 Fusion amp, Markbass 4x10" cab)

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