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Split signal to get Geddy Lee/Chris Squire sound?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by marantz10, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have a Jazz bass and am looking to get the distorted sound that these guys get without losing the low end. With that said, I know Geddy Lee and Chris Squire with their Ric's running in stereo could send their treble bridge pickup to a distortion effect and send their neck pickup to a clean channel.

    Side note: Geddy apparently doesn't split his sound anymore like this because he's using a single output Jazz bass. Good question, how does he pull off his sound with this newer setup?

    Can I get a sound like their's without wiring my Jazz to stereo outputs? I was thinking of splitting my signal, sending one to a distortion effect of some sort (need recommendations to get similar distortion btw) and send the other cleanly. Then remix the two outputs using a tiny mixer and then insert the mixed sound to my amp. Reason for remixing (I heard Squire uses separate amps for his distortion/clean) is I'm limited on cash and can't afford a second amp; plus my roommates would kill me for the extra noise it'd make :p

    A) Will this work to get their sound? Does anybody else do this here?
    B) If this doesn't work, what should I do differently?
    C) Last year my brother gave me for Christmas a Zoom B2.1U which is pretty amazing for its different features and customizability. I tried to make Squire's sound on it and failed at getting something as good sounding naturally. Anybody have any suggestions for settings or setups using this?

    Equipment I have on hand:
    Ampeg BA115
    Zoom B2.1U


  2. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Tone is in the hands, friend. Gear alone ain't gonna get it for ya.
  3. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I can definitely agree with that to a degree, but things such as added distortion sound or splitting of the signal will definitely affect the tone. I have been working on my technique and how I play and can see how conventional playing won't get anywhere close. Squire uses a pick with occasionally using his thumb to mute the strings to get only harmonics left. Geddy yanks the strings constantly.

    I think I've got the style down, just looking to see where distortion would help.

    I'll look into the BDDI, anybody else have success stories with the BDDI and getting anywhere closer to Squire's or Geddy's tone?

  4. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Buy a Sansamp RPM and some clean source DI - put the Sansamp into one side of a stereo power amp, and the clean signal into the other side. Feed each channel into a seperate cabinet. That's essentially what Geddy does today, except he's just DI'ing into the PA. This whole setup could cost you well under a grand if you look for savings.

    And don't forget to bang those strings. :bassist:
  5. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    I use a Behringer BOD100 to get a tone very similar to "Beyond And Before," though that may have as much to do with my bass as the pedal. In any event, it has a mix knob so you can combine clean and distorted sounds.
  6. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    So the BOD100 is an inexpensive alternative to doing something like the BDDI or RPM but without the DI? I'm a little hesitant about considering Behringer stuff because I've had issues with quality control with their products. Is there a Boss equivalent (or comparable) that can mix in my old signal with the new signal? Would something like this seem reasonable to save money? (don't need extra cables, don't need a mini mixer, don't need a splitter)
  7. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    Ya, the BOD100 is just a clone of the Boss ODB-3.
    It certainly seems like a cheap enough alternative to give a try.
  8. We really need a "puke" smiley.
    IngloriousOz likes this.
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    Run perallel effects like this ... http://www.3dentourage.com/425/effects.htm


    1 - First I run into an equalizer

    2 - Then I split the signal into 4 parallel signals with a rolls mixer.

    3 - I run one of the parallel lines into the Line6 bass pod where I model an acoustic 360 with a rat or big muff distortion pedal. I use this to get a retro growlly distorted sound. Or I also model an Ampeg fliptop with the Rat Distortion pedal. And I also Model an old Marshall amp. With the bass pod I can get a wide range of clean or dirty sounds and various effects and model different amps and speaker cabinets.

    4 - The second parallel signal goes into a MXR bass di+. I use this pedal to get a clean modern sound. It also has a distortion button that can give a moderate to extreme amount of modern distortion.

    5 - The third parallel signal goes into a Marshall Guv'nor. This gives me an old 60s marshall stack sound. This can go from a small amount of distortion to an over the top marshall sound. This effect can give you a Chris Squire Yes sound or a heavy metal sound, or just a subtle amount of distortion.

    6 - The fourth parallel signal goes into a Tech21 VT Bass pedal. With this effect I get a slightly dirty Ampeg SVT bass amp sound with a tube like growl.

    7 - Then I remix the 4 signals back together and run it into a bass amp, or pa, or studio mixer. Because the signals are parallel I can mix clean and overdriven sounds together and still get effect and a sound that punches through the mix.

    Sound byte with a 5 string fenderbird http://www.3dentourage.com/425/effects-fenderbird-1.mp3


    A powered mixer would be a better choice than the passive mixers that I am currently using.
  10. Tim C.

    Tim C.

    Feb 4, 2010
    Sure - because all these guys are famous for their equipment purchases, not because of how they actually played the instrument. :rolleyes:
  11. They're famous for countless reasons, but fingers made of molten gold still wont give you a Geddy Lee tone playing a jazz bass through a clean amp
  12. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    Chris Squire distorts his neck pickup, btw (because it's a humbucker, and he likes it distorted but hates the Ric single coil with distortion).
  13. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA

    mad. banghead. cuss. soapbox. puke.

    I am so sick of people coming to the EFFECTS forum and saying crap like that!

    You're not getting Chris Squire's tone with your god damn fingers!

    Anyways, I can't speak for Geddy, but Chris ran his highs through a Marshall guitar amp. So you should probably look for one of those Marshall-in-a-box type of pedals for that (like the Guv'nor or the ZVex Box of Rock, among others), combined with an LS-2 or some dedicated blender
  14. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the comments guys, I really appreciate the time you've spent with this. It does make sense that you've got to have Geddy's fingers to play like Geddy, but it also makes sense that there are effects in there, too!

    Thanks, Ric5, for showing your setup. It's actually really intense and I can tell that it's a bit of money to set that up. You mentioned one of the effects gets you a Chris Squire sound. Which one of the effects do you think best sounds like Geddy? Suppose there's a way of doing that setup but in stereo and not doing all 4 lines? Seems a little over the top unless you are mixing different effects all at the same time to get his tone.

    I think I'll stop at a local guitar shop and see what they have for a selection of distortion pedals with mixing/blend to test drive and see how it goes.

    Keep sending me your suggestions if you haven't already!

  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
  16. marantz10

    marantz10 Master Bass Playa

    Oct 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Okay guys so I picked up a MXR M-80 Bass D.I.+ from my local guitar shop used ($100) after playing with it and finding I like what it does. I can blend my natural tone with distortion to get a low end foundation with the appropriate distortion that Geddy and Squire uses. Someday when I have more money I'll get a stereo channel Ric and run into separate amps and everything to get it exactly, but for $100 I'd say it's the best solution. I did consider a Behringer BOD400 but though that it wouldn't have any resell value down the road if I ever wanted anything better.

    The problem at this point in time is I can't record my tone because of lack of equipment to do so, thus I can't give you any samples of what my sound is like right now.

    Thanks again!

  17. kreider204


    Nov 29, 2008
    Glad to hear it - enjoy!

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