Sub-Sonic Lows..... Help!!!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Fieldly41, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post on this site as I was referred by a local music store when they weren't able to answer my question.

    I apologize if this has been answered many times before.

    Here's the deal. I want a pedal/rack unit/amp that is not an octave effect, but activates the 30-60hz range.

    Basically I want my tone to be unaltered, yet when the effect is engaged, it will kick in that sub-sonic EQ (I want bass that you can feel, not hear).

    I got my hands on a Meatbox with the hopes that this would do what I needed. It had the right idea, but it immediately lost its tracking and had a synth-y tone to it (which I now understand is its purpose).

    All I want (which I now am finding out is harder said than done) is the ability to EQ that sub-sonic EQ.

    What lead me on this journey is we had a keyboard player in the band and she was able to generate that extreme low end. She split with the band and now our live shows don't have the low end that we are used to so I am looking for a solution.

    In summary I have tried the Meatbox, Mantic Density Hulk, SansAmp Bass Driver DI.

    What I haven't tried is the DBX 120 Rackmount unit however I heard that because this is an analog unit, it will still have trouble tracking the low notes.

    Any direction that I could get would be much appreciated as I cannot be the only bass player who has ever had this issue.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    If you're looking to boost and shape the lows and low mids - as opposed to doubling or synthesizing - a graphic or parametric EQ (and possibly some compression) might be a better choice for you to first look into than a straight-up effect pedal?
    Mystic Michael likes this.
  3. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Do you have a suggestion/preference as far as the model that will really help with the Sub-60hz EQ?

    Thanks again.
  4. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    An open E string of a 4-string bass with standard tuning gives you approx. 41Hz, so you won't get any lower frequencies with this, and even that only when you actually hit this low note, which is probably not going to happen too often with most music. Open A is 55Hz so almost outside of the range that you're looking to boost. In order to get meaningful low end at the ranges that you specify you will probably need to get a 5-6 string and/or tune low, and make sure to actually use the very low end of the neck.

    So I think you may want to look at octaves/sub-octaves anyway.

    For EQ pedals, the favorites around here seem to be the Empress ParaEQ and the Source-Audio Programmable EQ. For dialing in specific frequencies the ParaEQ is probably going to be more flexible.
  5. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
    Thanks for the advice!

    I will add that I really like the low end frequencies of my Sansamp BDI, I just wish I could find a pedal that mimics it, and then doubles it if that makes any sense.

    In my band I tune A-E-A-D-G.

    I am also using a Mesa M-2000 if that helps at all.

    Thanks again!
  6. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    There's also the subwoofer option although unless your sub is combined with some additional signal processing, it will probaby just give you more mud than working lows if you plan to crank it like I think you do.

    You could also do what I've seen Michael League do in Snarky Puppy. He switches to a Moog Sub Phatty when he needs to get way down low & dirty beyond where his 5-string can go.

    Those SPs are fairly affordable (~ $900 street) synths. So that also might be worth considering.
    BIG97BEN likes this.
  8. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    The EQ-20 is discontinued but I've heard good thing about them and they have presets (which can be really useful or not at all depending on usage)
  9. ProfFrink


    Jan 16, 2015
    Somebody from France is selling one on ebay in new condition (item 331659311935)
  10. Is it that you want to double up your sound? Bass through your amp and only subs through pa?
    I think that would work out the best.
    If so, you could split the signal and for example use an envelope filter set to only let through subs and feed that signal to the pa?
  11. WaldoNova

    WaldoNova Having fun yet?

    Jun 14, 2009
    Mt Vernon, NY
    Its not a pedal but an Alembic SF-2 could get you where you want to go.
    esa372 likes this.
  12. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
    Thanks for all of this great information.

    I run cabs on stage but I DI my head. Currently my signal chain is Sansamp BDI-Mesa-Board.

    I don't care that the sub lows go through my cabs. I just want them to go to the PA.

    So basically whatever it is that I do end up getting will go in between the DI and the board.
  13. "I don't care that the sub lows go through my cabs. I just want them to go to the PA. So basically whatever it is that I do end up getting will go in between the DI and the board."

    And whatever you feed to the board will get the low end rolled off. Unless you are playing through a three way system with big subs,the engineer will throw on a low end filter to keep the sound from getting muddy. If you want sub 40 hz, get yourself a sub cabinet that will do only that.
  14. Fieldly41


    Sep 19, 2015
    Generally we are playing in mid/large venues (With bands like After The Burial, Veil of Maya, Acacia Strain, etc.) so the systems are pretty good. I know these venues are capable of handling the type of bass that I am referring to only because the system had no issues handling my keyboard/synth player's low end.
  15. T_E

    T_E Inactive

    Aug 23, 2015
    Old vintage piece:


    New and improved:

    JackANSI likes this.
  16. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    This is a pet peeve of mine: You're describingh INFRAsonics, not SUBsonics. Infra and hyper are prefixes that dictate frequency, where as sub and super are prefixes that dictate speed.
  17. AlexanderB


    Feb 25, 2007
    I had great success by splitting the line out from my amp with a line level active crossover, and the applied an octave processor on the sub out signal.
    That gave me a 100% trigger accuracy down to my open E (41 Hz), yelding a big, consistent and clean 20,5 Hz signal, should I want it. It also allowed me to keep the rest of instrument range intact.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Fine except that you'll rarely hear the term 'infrasonic' used with most gear that's sold for use in live sound. So while it may be more 'technically' correct, outside of audio engineering circles, the insistence on formal definitions is more likely to cause confusion rather than enlighten.

    re: pet peeves...

    I work with computer networks for a living, where technical terms are misused all the time. So I just content myself with myself knowing the correct terms, definitions, and explanations; and mentally translating as needed when dealing with clients and/or nontechnical people with questions.

    The quality of my life improved drastically once I stopped insisting my clients be as 'correct' in their usage of technical terminology as I can be.
  19. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Meh... It's still going to bug me when people call it subsonic when they actually mean infrasonic. It's not affecting my quality of life as you describe, simply by virtue of the fact that this is an online forum that I periodically use, whereas you were describing your job. If it were something I came across in my line of work (environmental engineering) I would probably take a simlar stance as you're describing.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I will keep collecting until I have 40 basses