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Made a discovery on the B2.1u

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Hector_G, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    I was playing around with my B2.1u moving patches around and such.
    I was playing with my overdrive and fuzz patches, when I stumbled upon something REALLY useful. Well at least to me.

    So I've read plenty of review saying that the distortion, fuzz, amp and overdrive models are pretty lame. You could never get enough drive out of them. They all sound pretty lifeless.

    Well as I was playing with the Sansamp settings, I kicked in the compressor just to mess around with it.
    The compressor on this thing sucks. As Bongo's review states, it's not really a compressor at all.
    And that's exactly what I've found. It seems to act like a gain.
    I cranked the hell out of the compressor level and it really started driving the Sansamp model.

    I tried it with all the dirt models and sure enough, it adds the gain that was missing before.

    For example even with the gain maxed out on the overdrive model (Boss ODB-3) it was weak and thin.
    With the compressor adding a ton of gain to the signal going into it, it really started to show more dirt and distortion. It also boosts the dry signal so it comes out stronger, with more bass and overall more pleasing.

    I put two patches of the same model right next to eachother on the unit. One without the compressor on and one with. The differences are astonishing. Really.

    Just a little information I thought I'd share with some people who might have given up on using these models. I know I was close. Can't wait to try it out in a mix. I'm sure it'll sound tons better.
  2. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    I once had a zoom b2.1u. I am planning on buying it again because I'm willing to give zoom another try. that some pretty useful information you got there. so the compressor acts more like a boost. I'll keep that in mind.
  3. moles


    Jan 24, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I'd found a similar trick with the B1 that I was using for a bit. I found the overdrives and "drive" preamp models sounded much better with the speaker sim on. It's a bit counter-intuitive if you're using this through a real amp and a cabinet - but screw it, it worked.

    I find with these, and really any multi-effect, that when you've got complete freedom to tweak anything possible to get the sound you want why not do it? If you get stuck trying to use the effect modules the same way you'd set up a real board, you're really limiting the unit. IME - try everything. EQ the crap out of it. Combine modules. Whatever works.
  4. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    Crystalman85 - Yup, the compressor totally acts like a boost. It's got controls for Sense, Attack and Level.
    If you crank the level, it's boosting the original signal driving the model. Then with the blend knob in the Mix section, you can dial in as much model or original signal which has been beefed up also by the compressor. I'll try to put up a video showing the differences.

    Moles - yeah I use the speaker sim also to cut some of the highs since that's all it really does. Attenuate the highs. I've learned so many tricks with this thing, I could probably write a whole different manual to it.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    interesting. i don't use my b2 much anymore but occasionally i need it because i don't have a fuzz pedal and the b2 has a pretty good fuzz face sim. but it does need a little work, and this over-compression idea is just crazy enough to work.
  6. MetroBass


    Mar 26, 2008
    South of LA
    Hatred obscures all distinctions.
    Good info. I picked up one here a few months ago but have practically given up on the "under drive" syndrome. Maybe this will help. If not, you'll get a good deal on one here shortly!
  7. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    Oh might I add... Just keep this in mind.
    Once you crank the compressor level, it's going to be ridiculously loud. The overall level of the original signal has been boosted, and yes, it's driving the overdrive model a lot better, but it's also boosted your original signal too much.

    You're going to have to go into the ZNR section and adjust the overall volume. Also remember that this section has the mix control to balance the wet and dry signals.
    I've also found that since you're driving the model more, it does add some more hiss and noise. So in this section, just turn up the ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction). Works really well and it's dead quiet when you're not playing.

    If you guys do try this method out, let me know what results you get. I'm really interested in seeing if it worked out for anyone else.

    Looks like I'm going to be able to free up a little space on my board now.
    I have the DOD Classic Fuzz pedal on my board right now. But with this new discovery, I've managed to get the Sansamp model on the B2 to get the EXACT sound that the Classic Fuzz gets. Hell, it even sounds a bit better due to the fact that I can mix in some original signal. Which of course the DOD can not do.
  8. Cool idea, will have to try it.
  9. The compressor is not a boost, per say...it is a digital model of a compressor/limiter

    .... a few of the effect "stages" in the zoom have "gain" or "level" as a parameter...such is with the compressor/limiter stage...so by running up the gain on this stage (the first stage) you give more signal to the subsequent stages. And yes, the drive stage then responds differently.
  10. Speaker sim doesn't just cut the highs (but that it does)...it also puts a couple of "bumps" in the curve depending on the cabinet it is trying to emulate.
  11. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Even if it is a digital model of a compressor/limiter or not, I'm willing to do the compressor thing when I purchase the zoom b2.1u.
  12. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I own a B2.1u, I have it listed for sale. I'll try it out before it sells and maybe I'll change my mind :p I was basically ready to sell the B2.1u to get a Tech21 Sansamp BDDI.
  13. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    I do agree with PilbaraBass about it not being a boost of course. It is after all as he stated a digital model of a compressor/limiter.
    But yes, this effect module has a gain stage which ultimately drives the amp/dirt modes.

    Try it marantz10, you'll definitely have some new sounds to play with. Keep experimenting with the setting on the compressor, ZNR/Mix and amp sim modules. These three modules are VERY interactive and the tweaking seems endless.
  14. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    I've recently purchased a zoom b2.1u and I'm digging the sounds from it. that compressor thing did help out. the level control on the compressor did add some boost to the distortion channels and the amp models. Thanks for the tip, Hector_G.

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