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integrating keyboard setup with bass

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by morgansterne, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. morgansterne

    morgansterne Geek U.S.A.

    Oct 25, 2011
    Cleveland Ohio
    hello all,
    I may be switching back and forth from bass to keyboard sometimes for the band's live show. I'd like a way to have the left hand bass parts heard through my bass amp. (right hand also would be fine!) My live rig is a little mark II with a 15" cab made by Alex Knappenberger ($300 for the little mark II and $150 for the cab . . . :D).
    For the keys setup I have a pro tools 002 or the band has a yamaha keyboard. I have an external mixer I could use but it's kinda big.
    Here's what I tried at home: routing the bass effect loop out into the 002, then taking the outputs of the 002 back into the effects loop in. this worked fine (and enabled me to use plug in compression for the bass). I didn't hear any latency at all. BUT if the computer crashes, then I lose the bass sound as well as the keys. I would have no problem saying to the band, "let's do a bass guitar song while the computer reboots," but I can't say "let's twiddle our thumbs while the computer reboots."
    Sorry for the lengthy post. I know there's some other Geddy Lee types out there who have dealt with this successfully in the past.
  2. cycler


    Oct 6, 2010
    I play both bass and synth bass and use a Lehle stomp box that selects input A or B to send to Amp. Input A - bass guitar cord, Input B Synth bass Keyboard cord , then directly into the bass head which has a DI out to the board. I can do it other ways but this is simple and works fine as my RH 450 head has different EQ pre-sets and the heads DI out can be pre or post EQ. SImple but with a minor compromise. OPtion B is take a DI box or splitter to take the keys out to mixer before it hits your amp head. Lehle boxes are great little problem solvers
  3. I just use my VT bass deluxe as a splitter, the same way cycler uses his A/B Box.

  4. MikePL


    Nov 25, 2011
    Montreal, QC
    I have a similar setup for reggae gigs, bass and MicroKorg plugged into an A/B box, to amp, then to Sansamp RBI, to compressor, then back in amp to cabs. If the soundman doesn't want the keyboard post amp and sansamp he can DI it before the amp and turn the fader down when I play the keys..(though I wouldn't quite understand this since I always try my best to match the level of both bass sounds and they aren't dissimilar..) +this way sound is compressed out of amp but not for the soundman.
  5. you could also put the key/computer into a true bypass looper pedal (like a Badger Micro Loop).
  6. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I play bass and bass synth in my New Wave cover band. I got tired of wildly varying volume levels between key and electric bass.

    I built a little 4-channel mixer off of plans I found here:
    Mini Mixer

    It works well, and also allowed me to take advantage of the crossover built in to one of my pedals, so my modulation effects are now only effect-ing my bass over 350 Hz. I can control my bass's high and low signal paths and make sure that my MicroKorg isn't being buried or cranked in comparison to my bass.

    The best part? Only one channel sent to the soundguy, and a much quicker setup time since it's all strapped to a pedalboard.

    EDIT: I would advise against trying to use computer setups for keys unless you've got a dedicated computer that does nothing else, or a Plugzilla (or similar device) dedicated for the purpose. Computers crash, computers that pull duty as internet/gaming/audio computers even more so. I've tried using VSTs on different computers live a few times, and invariably at some point in a four-hour gig they'll fail, crash, lockup, or generate sounds that have nothing to do with the sound I want them to make. IME and YMMV, but there's a reason that John McLaughlin uses a triple-redundant rig to run Guitar Rig live.
  7. cycler


    Oct 6, 2010
    Two additional thoughts:

    As to matching levels- the Lehle box has little pad dials next to the foot buttons so matching is very easy - even mid set.

    My synth bass rig is Mac powerbook running Mainstage running Arturia Minimoog and other VST, no problems encountered to date but yes, the possibilty exists. Going to search for a Little Phatty on the cheap to try for awhile

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