Using a mixer live with 2 basses and 1 amp

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Snarf, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I had this idea. Sometimes I need to switch between basses in my band, which means muting the amp and switching cables around. That's a pain. So what if . . .

    I plugged both basses into a mixer and ran one of the outs in mono to the amp? That way I could control gain on the mixer and use faders and mutes there to control volume, and never have to switch plugs around on the amp.

    Does anyone see any glaring technical problems with this setup?
  2. There are a/b boxes out there that are purpose-built to perform these same fuctions. You CAN do it, but there are better ways.
  3. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Yeah, but they're probably not as cheap and don't have built-in effects! I just really love the aesthetics of mixers, and the versatility is nice too.
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    I did it for years. There are many potential technical advantages, but one possible disadvantage is impedance and/or level mismatch with passive basses. I don't own or use any passives, so that was never an issue for me. The main attraction for me was that I could run multiple EFX loops, with different ones for each instrument. Not all mixers are the same as far as input impedance, so check the ones you're interested in using carefully if that might matter to you. You could always use DIs in front of the mixer, but that's a lot of stuff to accomplish a simple task.
  5. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Well, I'd be switching between a passive and active bass. Levels have never really been much of an issue with either bass when I'm running them direct through the mixer to record, so I doubt impedence will be a problem. Thanks for the input (so to speak).
  6. Jonesy4fnk

    Jonesy4fnk Supporting Member

    I use an Alesis 12R rack mixer in my rig.....I run my clean bass signal, my MIDI bass signal, my upright bass, a theremin, and sampler into it. It works great. The ability to run different instruments through different effects loops is a cool tool.

    I do run my bass into an Ampeg SVP-Pro preamp before the mixer, I find it lets me dial in a better bass tone than just the preamp on the mixer....but my upright, MIDI, etc uses the Alesis preamps, and they sound great.
  7. Stev187

    Stev187 Peavey MegaBass Club!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Toledo, OH
    Hi--sorry for the necrobump, but I hate starting new threads when there are a few that cover the exact topic in the archives. This one looks close.

    Q. Are there any downsides to using a small mixer to manage multiple basses in your rig for live shows?

    Back in the day, I was a one bass, set-it-and-forget-it kind of guy. I had one sound that I liked and I played it all night long. No twiddling with the amp, no messing with the bass.

    Now that I am playing again, there are at least 2 basses I will probably play live, and they really need different volume and EQ. My Jazz bass has EMGs and it pretty hot, and my P bass is passive and has flats. I have a small mixer I use for practice. Using the EQ and trim controls on the mixer, it seems like a perfect solution for me. Works great in the basement, but I have yet to try it on a gig.

    It almost seems too perfect. Can anybody think of potential issues or problems (or things to watch for/avoid)? I can see how this would be a great solution to make switching basses really quick. I never want to be that guy (you know, the bass-switching, noodling, amp-twiddling, let's get on with it pal, guy!).


    P.S. This is my mixer; purchased cheap for silent practice with a DI box, but it looks like I'll have an additional use for it.