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Tech21 VT Bass + Fretless = ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tylerwylie, Jul 11, 2012.


  1. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Hey guys, I did some searching and couldn't really see any thread on this subject so I decided to make a new one.

    I have a Sansamp RBI, used to have a BDDI and I love this thing for use with my fretted instruments. The low end response is amazing, the mid range isn't horrible as most make it out to be, though I do find myself giving my instrument a nice big low mid boost before pushing it through the unit. The caveat is when I plug in my fretless that mid range character totally seems to suck the fretless tone out of my instrument and makes the bass sound actually like a fretted instrument which is rather weird.

    I have a Boss GT-10B as well that I like to play around with, and the SVT preamp setting has a similar effect, but I really really like the Fliptop preamp setting, and it got me thinking that the VT bass pedal might double as a great preamp device to get that character added to my tone without the fretless tone-suck (I hate calling it that but that's the best term).

    I'm about to put together a 4 piece pedalboard and it'd be the 'always-on' device at the end of my chain after a compressor, octaver, and distortion pedal.

    So what experiences do you guys have with this pedal and fretless bass? I've been searching for some sound clips but haven't been lucky yet on the Youtubes.
     
  2. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    How exactly are you using the RBI?
     
  3. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    It's sitting on top of my Genz Benz ShuttleMax 12.0 right now, in the Tube Preamp FX loop. (I have both preamps in the Shuttlemax sounding quite identical)

    If I use the FET channel, there are no effects being used, if I switch to the Tube channel, it brings the RBI in.

    The RBI I setup with my own setting which has Bass at about 3, Mids at 2, Treble at 10 and I keep Presence around 10 as well. Drive stays around 9 as I love how this sounds before it starts saturating. On my fretted bass, I freaking love it. Fretless, it sucks out the 'mwaaah' on both my Clement and my Ibanez fretless.

    I also have the Boss GT-10B and when I was comparing the preamp models I was going Bass -> Boss GT-10B -> Master FX Return on my ShuttleMax. When I used the SVT model in the GT-10B or the "BDDI" overdrive model it had similar effects on my fretless tone but when I switched to the B-15 model it seemed to be the best "tubey" sound (along with the Bassman) that I loved with my fretless. It kept the 'mwaaah' unlike the others.
     
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    If it sucks the Mwaah out of one of my basses throw it away! :D :bag:
     
  5. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    But it makes the other one sound amazing, seeing as how #255 is fretted and #274 is fretless :p
     
  6. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The Genz Benz looks like a very flexible and well designed amp. I'm surprised that you need to use the RBI with it.

    A couple of things. Your Ibanez bass is active and can be set for a mid scoop which can be a problem. I'm not familiar with your other bass. You have a lot of EQ's going on. So you have the RBI set in series in the EFX loop? My suggestion for the time being is to plug into the RBI directly with your bass and plug the output of the RBI into the Aux in of the Genz Benz. This way you are bypassing all the EQ's in the amp. It would also help to set the bass guitar's tone controls as flat as possible. The EQ in the bass is pretty much doing what the EQ in your amp and RBI are doing. All those EQ's will fight with each other if not set very carefully.

    The other thing to try is to set the bass and treble controls on the RBI at noon for a flatter response . You will probably need to adjust the level to compensate for the volume difference. How is the blend on the RBI set? The mid scoop is only on the tube emulation. Turning the blend counterclockwise will restore some of the mids.
     
  7. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    When I was describing my EQ situation, I was using numbers like you would on a clock... so my RBI is setup to boost bass and mids and cut a little bit of treble. My Ibanez bass has a 2 band EQ which I usually cut a ltitle bit of treble on and/or run in passive mode. The Genz Benz is a great amplifier and the EQing is flexible but the tube preamp can't do what the RBI does. In general the way I EQ my sound for playing with my band and at home is a big low mid bump, a decent bass boost, and some treble rolloff. I've messed around with the blend setting, and that can help a bit.

    I think I'm gonna plop down for the VT Bass anyways :D
     
  8. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Well just bought a VT Bass v2 and Darkglass B3k here goes.
     
  9. BassBrass

    BassBrass

    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Using a VT with fretless could work; keep the drive low, about 9, mids at 2, bass at 1, treble at 10, output 8:30-9 (depending on how hot a line is good with your amp) and then sweep the character to match your fretless voice. Speaker sim on might be good too. Allot depends on other factors too, like having the right amount of compression (from eq's and all effects including compressors) You don't want you signal too processed & inhibited.
     
  10. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I'm thinking the Character knob will be around noon for my best singing tone, that midrange character of the B15 is what I love but who knows, I'll have to do a lot of tweaking and messing around. I plan on running my B3k into this as well which will push the input of the VT bass a little bit harder than just my dry signal to get some of that extra 'gnarlyness' and 'warmth' as they call it.

    Plop my TU-2 Tuner in front of it, and a delay somewhere in there and it'll be a pretty neat little pedal board to use for some cool fretless in metal stuff I'm working on with my current band.
     
  11. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    Personally, VT bass + fretless = totally fine.

    EDIT: not that I actually own both, I just recon they would work and sound good together well. Just so nobody gets confused. Lol
     
  12. BassBrass

    BassBrass

    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    Ah ha, since you are doing some "cool fretless in metal stuff", character at noon might be the ticket to cutting through. That tone that might not sound "nice" solo, but is exactly what you need with lots of sonic competition.
    Playing with frets, I've usually found the warmest (less clank) perfect low end boosting VT sound around 9:30, more of a SVT w/ bast boost switch "on" kind of thing. The slight drive (at 10 oclock) makes the molecules of the preceding overdrive or fuzz or envelope jump out better with better mid-range definition*. btw, I'm using the old version of the VT with spk sim on always, and I don't know if there other differences between the present one and the old one, but just move knobs and press buttons until you get a sound you like.
    VT vs Tronographic Rusty Box: Rusty Box is actually better for this*, but the VT has better low end boost. So I use the Rusty Box with clean high watt amps and a stack of speakers/high volume and VT when my rig isn't supermassive.
     
  13. vinnydbass

    vinnydbass

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm using the VT Bass (Character at 9 oclock, Mid 3 oclock, treble 10, bass 2, drive 9) in this video with my fretless. I like the way it sounds.

     
  14. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    Welp. This pedal nails it. The fretless mwaah comes through even better with some settings too. Big ++ for fretless. The character knob turned down doesn't do it as much for me as the knob between 12-5 o'clock
     
  15. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    Sweet, good to know. Hopefully using a fretless with my BDDI will yield the same results.
     
  16. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie

    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    The reason I got the VT Bass was because the RBI(Same circuitry as the BDDI essentially) did not have good results on the singing tone I got out of my fretless. The VT Bass retained that quality from my bass while still adding that sweet tubey sound.
     
  17. Jordan S.

    Jordan S.

    Mar 25, 2012
    Blacksheep Effects Pedals
    Ahh, I see. Nice to know that the VT works, I'll give it a go with my BDDI, and then look into a VT.
     

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