Three basses into one input?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sound Guy Paul, Jul 24, 2001.

  1. I have a problem. I have three basses that I play interchangebly. Is there any device out there that you can use to plug more than one bass into that goes into one input? If not, does anybody know how to rig this up?
  2. You've got a couple of options I reckon:

    - make a 3-into-1 1/4" cable (3x female into 1x male). Plug all basses into the female ends (using std 1/4" cables), then the 3-into-1 into your amp (fx, etc)

    - make a 3-way footswitch. 3 input jacks, one output jack, 3 latching footswitches. Wire all "common/-ve" connects from each input jack (the ring/sleeve terminal) to the common terminal on the output jack. Wire the "hot/+ve" connects from each input jack (the tip terminal) thru each footswitch, to the hot terminal output jack.

    A couple of things to watch out for:

    - Shielding - try to shield, or use shielded cable where possible. This is especially important if you go the 3-into-1 option and leave all basses connected (with volume down) - even with the volume down, the cables connecting the basses can still pick up EMF (radio/power/magnetic interference and hum).

    - Damn good quality footswitches - to prevent the demon "pop" when selecting. (i've recently built a channel boost switch for my Ampeg V4, and unfortunately the switch I used does just this!)

    I can draw you a schematic if you like...

    I just thought of something...sometimes on eBay and the like you can find things like Ampeg System Selectors and such...these are simple 1/4" jack patch bays for mating different amps with different speaker systems. Quite useless for anything but what they're designed for, so as such don't usually command too much $$
  3. A Boss LS-2 Line Selector will do the trick!
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Lehle 3 @ 1

  5. Just unplug one bass and plug in another one. It's not that much trouble.

    Don't make the 3-1 thing. The signal will feed into the other 2 basses and you'll lose a lot of signal strength (it's an impedance/loading thing).

    Seriously, just walk over, unplug one cord from the amp, plug in the cord from the bass you want to play. It's the best option, and it's free! :D

  6. I'd build myself a simple 3 in 1 out mixer powered by a couple of 9Volt batteries. To get the best from your idea, you have to isolate each bass from each other so that they don't interact. At least, that's the best way IMHO.

    By just, in effect, joining all the basses together you'll be lucky if any of them sound as you want.

    If you have access to an electronics man all you need is 4 resistors and one op-amp (+ a little box, batteries, etc,). It shouldn't cost more than a few $ or £.

    Rockin John
  7. Thats all nice and good throbbinnut, but that would also involve work. and that is not good. But seriously, I have no problems doing that in practice, but it is slow to do that, and when you are in the middle of a show it is a hassle to put down the bass you were just playing, unplug it, find the cord for the next bass, plug it in, and then put the other bass on, rather than taking off one bass and just putting another on. I like the idea JMX had with the switcher, that is the sort of thing I was looking for. JMX, do you have an idea on the cost?
  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    List price in Germany is 295DM (ca. 150$).
    There's the address of the U.S. distributor on the homepage. Phone or email them for info.
  9. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I just didn't think that the raven labs really fit his requirements. He wanted a fast switcher, and I think a fast stompbox is what he was looking for. And it's twice as much (300$).
  11. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Why not simply turn the volume on your amp down, pull the plug out of the bass you're using, pick up the other, plug it back up, and crank it back up? Not that hard, and just about as quick as a stompbox would be. You still have to pick up the bass and put it on....besides, thats 3 more cords you have to buy, AND its 3 more cords to get tangled up.
  12. buy a volume pedal...

    Play the song, finish song, turn off the volume (volume pedal), unplug bass, hold on to cable, grab new bass, plug in, turn on volume with pedal, play. it would take about 4 more seconds totall, no signal loss from a switch, no one knocks over your other basses, cause the cables are running across the stage. simple and effective.
  13. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    That sounds like it would work too:) I guess if you have the money to spare on something like that, go for it. Us po' folk hafta just do it the ol' fashioned way:p
  14. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I can personally vouch for the Raven Labs MDB-1. It's far and away the best thing out there for this application. I've done gigs where I plugged an active bass, a passive bass, and an upright into the same amp with great results. It'll allow you to equalize the volume between the inputs, which is something the cheaper units won't do.'ll allow you to send up to 3 volume-equalized signals through the DI as well as your amp...this means you can send the sound guy ONE signal, with the comforting knowledge that your levels are pre-set. Also has an effects loop. Also buffers very high impedance inputs, as from acoustic piezo transducers.

    That's a lot of capability for only a paltry $200. Why waste time with anything else?
  15. no, just do the unplugging thing. hire someone to bring on your basses on stage then you will look cool.
  16. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Go wireless. That way you have no cords to trip over, and switching basses is as simple as unplugging the transmitter from one bass and plugging it into another. I have been doing it that way for a long time, and it works great for me.

    Only downfall is that it's gonna cost some $$$ for a good wireless system.
  17. Another vote for the Raven Labs. Can't get much faster than turning your volume up on the bass :)

    Also, you can adjust the levels of each bass independently - great for active and passive basses.

  18. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Ravens Labs! Incredible. The buffering makes piezos come alive. My basses sound a little sweeter. The balancing act is great and the side chain effects loop let's me finally use effects and get BASS too. Ravens Lab.