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How to replicate Geddy Lee's tone live

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by motionkid, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. motionkid

    motionkid Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    Central Wisconsin
    Im a HUGE Rush fan and Geddy Lee is the biggest influence on me no questions asked. But what I need to know is how to get his sound. It sounds like a rickenbacker only hes playing a jazz bass. I know he plays through a series of preamps that lead to the house speakers but I need to replicate his sound live with amps because local clubs dont have fancy speakers to handle what Geddy Lee does to get his sound.:bassist: Any setting #'s or ideas for amps (because Im still looking for the right one) are REALLY appreciated!
  2. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    it's all in the chicken roasters ...

  3. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Boy,this has been coverd a zillion times. He's played a lot of different basses,different amps,etc.,so it really depends on what era you prefer. A quick google search should get you what you need. These days it's
    Sansamp RPM,Trace Elliot Quadravalve,Palmer speaker simulator. I personally use a Pearce BC-1 preamp using channel 1 for clean low end,mixed with channel 2 that has a bit of overdrive,and a little boost at 2.5k.And a 73 Jazz of course!
  4. hey man. Geddy Lee is also one of my biggest influinces, so when im not playing on my 6er and take the jazz bass to the gig, I make sure Im running my GK head with my *SANSAMP RBI*. That thing will dial in his tone very well (as he used one, later switching to the RPM). But 75% of his tone is in his fingers. Keep that in mind. Good luck!

  5. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    I'm the party pooper who's going to say it's mostly in the fingers. When I took some bass lessons, I couldn't believe how my jazz bass could sound so remarkably different in my teacher's hands than it did in mine, and vice versa. So, watch his right hand technique very carefully, listen to the attack in his notes and presence in the sound, and try to emulate what you see and hear. The same equipment and settings will only take you so far.
  6. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

  7. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
  8. Jehos


    Mar 22, 2006
    DFW, TX
    Yeah, this.

    Geddy's setup is DEAD SIMPLE, but maybe a little hard to reproduce live unless you have a sound guy willing to let you have 3 channels on the board. Even then, good luck sounding like Geddy. It's more likely Geddy could pick up your rig and sound like himself than you being able to model his sound.
  9. 2112


    Apr 30, 2005
    If your sound guy doesn't want to play ball... I say take over, install your own mixer, and give him one send that YOU control.

    MWA ha haaa.

  10. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    I don't really agree that his Jazz sounds like a Ric. It sounds like Geddy but not like Geddy playing his Rics. Go back and listen to 2112, Hemispheres or Permanent Waves. That's Geddy/Ric.
    He's using a good amount of distortion on the last two albums so his Jazz has kind of a Ric-like aggressiveness ...
    Test for Echo is quite a bit cleaner and sounds pretty classic Fender Jazz to me - a damn good sounding Jazz.
    I don't know, I think his tone has changed a few times over the years since the mid 80's when he started using other basses (than Ric).
    I still like him best with the snarly Ric.
    Get a SansAmp RBI or RPM. Geddy doesn't use much bottom end or high treble. A lot of modern bass amps extend the bass real low and the treble real high, giving that sound a lot of players call HI-FI. The Sansamp is more narrowly focused. The Bass is at 80 Hz, the Mid is at 1kHz and the Treble at only 3.2 kHz. That's importand for a tone like geddy's. The Sansamp also gives great sounding overdrive/distortion.
    Also, PLAY HARD. Get those strings/frets buzzing. That's a lot of Geddy's snarl.

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