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Sansamp Bass Driver DI

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Cacklingjackyl, May 7, 2005.

  1. My band will be getting a PA soon (finally), and I will need a line to the PA. I have heard soon good things about the SansAmp Bass Driver DI, but I currently use my BBE BMax as my preamp. Since the Sansamp can also serve as a preamp, will I be able to use both of these together to both color my tone and connect to the PA?

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I am clueless about effects pedals, signal chains and such.

  2. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004

    Think of the Sansamp more as an "Outboard EQ/D.I. Unit."
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    THe Bmax should be able to do the job by itself.
  4. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    Do you? Depending on the size of the venues you're playing, it could make sence to just use the PA for vocals. I play mostly small-mid sized clubs / bars and this works fine.

    However, if you're playing larger venues where a PA is necessary to amplify the whole band then you are right in needing to connect to the PA.

    Paradoxically, this is also true for really small gigs (i.e. coffeee house, acoustic instruments, no drums.) In this case, runnign direct to the PA can suffice. If the PA has 1/4" inputs, you may not even need a direct box.

    Yes to tone colouring, no to PA connnection. That is, both the BBE Max and SanAmp would add tonal effect but you would only need one out to the PA. For that reason, you'd want the last of these devcie in the effect chain (presumably your BBE Max to DI to the PA so the PA gets the benefit of your full signal chain.

    Before you get a SansAmp, I would encourage you to try the DI on your BBE Max and see how that sounds and works out. If all is well maybe you don't need a SansAmp for a DI...but you might still want a SanAMp as a distortion effect.

    When it comes to effects nothing, is carved in stone. Experience from expermineting is the best teacher.

    This is not a dumb question!
  5. So basically I can use either piece of equip. to send signals to the PA, and it would just be a personal choice whether I would want to add the Samsamp to the BBE to use both to color my tone. For some strange reason, I'm thinking of giving this a try, just to add something extra to what I have. The BBE is a great for rich, clear tones. I think I may want to experiment with something and little more dirty.

    And oh yeah, the guitarists in my band play loudly so I definately want to run through the PA to maintain my presence w/out taxing my rig.

    Thanks. Any other input is welcome and appreciated. :bassist:
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Will your P.A. be able to handle a bass? I play small/medium gigs. There is always a P.A., but it is for vocals and acoustic guitar. These P.A.s couldn't even think of handling a bass.

    The first time I played I was told there was a P.A., all I needed to bring was my bass. I am sure glad I brought my whole kit "just in case". The P.A. was a 6 channel powered mixer with a couple of small Bose speakers.
  7. We have a small PA now that I do not run through. I think trhe goal for us now is to modify our sound to the point where we sound like a unit, rather than everyone trying to play over each other. So yes, we want to run everyone through the PA (for most gigs that is).

    I'm getting the feeling that some of you do not think I need to be hooked into the PA. Do some of you think I should just turn up a bit and go with my rig?
  8. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    I can relate to this as there are some "volume wars" in my band. A PA and a soundman is great for setting levels, EQ, effects, ect but he can only work with what you give him. My sound guy fixes soem problems, but the PA amplifes other problems...

    Your rig should deliver the sound that you WANT to hear. When I stand right in front of my bass cabs on stage it's understanably a bass heavy mix :)

    Your rig should deliver the sound that you WANT to hear. They won't hear you as loud and they don't need to. I like to occasionaly wonder around our pratcice hall with a long cable to hear how it sounds and get everyone at the right volume level. As drums are the accoustic instrument (and a loud insturment), it makes ence to have the drummer play at a comfortable level and everyone else adjust their volume level accordingly. The PA, in this context, is just for vocals.

    In this practice hall context your rig should be your source of bass amplification. If not, get a biger amp.

    Let's take this to the extreme, what if your band were playing a football stadium gig ?! Would your amp allow you to be heard by people in the last row ? Of course not and that's where a PA is essential. The DI box would connect your sound with the gigatic house PA system so everyone could hear you and your band mates. If you turn your amp up too loud, your band mates and the first few rows would hear it too loud but the rest of the audience wouldn't as the house soundman would adjust your level.

    OK, back to reality. Your band is playing in the local bar. The audience is now that "first few rows" in the previous paragraph's example. The sound guy is walking around the bar listening to the mix and maming adjustments on everyone's amp to get the mix just right.

    Let's take it to the next level. The small bar becomes a bigger club. If the venue is bigger than a basketball court, you start to benefit from a house PA. The drums could benefit from some amplication so theya re all miked up. Your bass amp maybe loud enough but it doesn't matter as turning it up would through of the voulme on stage. This is where the DI box to the house PA becomes a necessity: a division of labour between the amplification for the sound ons atge and the sound for the audience (the "house')
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    It is very expensive to go from a small PA to one that can handle bass. You should be able to sound like a unit without a PA. It sounds more like your band has discipline problems rather than sound problems.

    Is it that your band mates cannot hear you? Turn up, or get them to turn down. Sometimes running a bit of bass through the PA helps.
  10. What you're saying makes sense, especially for the bars we are playing at. Appreciate it.

    EDIT: My biggest problem is one your've already alluded to-- my guitar players tend to drown me out. They do not do this on purpose per se, but the rhythm player especially likes to boost his volume on crunchy parts and decrease them on softer parts. When he gets louder I find myself lost in the mix. If I turn up, I find myself way to out front when he turns down. As you have mentioned, a PA will not solve such problems. You hit the nail on the head when you said that this was a discipline issue.

    I think the rhythm players problem is an effect problem. He likes to use a little wah at times, and when he activates it, his overall volume decreases. He turns up to compensate for the reduced volume levels. I have mentioned this to him several times but it keeps happening. I guess I need to make this a bigger issue next time it happens. I cannot be playing his little guessing games while trying to do the songs justice in a live setting. He needs to understand how his situation effects everyone else.
  11. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    This is a really common problem in that stomping on an effect box can increase the gain of the signal. Even if the gain is set at the exact same level with the effect on or off, the sonic qualities of the effect can "can through" the mix too much and need to be turned downa s a result.

    The soundman COULD do this but he may not catch the problem immediately. Conversely, when the effect is turned off and teh volunme drops, it will take the sound man a whiel to react to it. Once he figures out the guitar player does this every time. The sound guy will tell the guitar player to fix it.

    IMHO, the best way to address this issue is to record your practices and crtically listen to them.
  12. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    use the bbmax as a preamp, and the bass driver as a stomp box.

    i tried to use the sans amp as a pre amp. and i just couldnt find a tone i liked. plus, as soon as i used it as a pre amp, none of the controls on my amp did anything. i just couldnt get a sound i am happy with.

    as a stomp box. i now have two channels and it sounds awesome.

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