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Using OD/Distortion to FOH without Cab sim/LPFs?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by soong, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. soong


    May 10, 2007
    When the sound guy takes XLR out of your amp to FOH, your cab sound is bypassed. These days it is rare that an engineer would mic your cab in most situations IME.

    What do you do to compensate for the brittle and unwanted high end, especially when using OD/distorted bass sounds? Cab sims/LPF? And if you don’t use anything, why not?

    I recently ordered a DSM Noisemaker OmniCabSim. I’m curious to know why more people don’t use them.

    MDBass, chaak and MADChuudoku like this.
  2. ive got to the point of preferring to use my Palmer DI over a mic on the cab, just for consistency, i dont mind if he wants to throw a mic up there too, but just my Palmer DI is enough for me, i can never go back to using a 'regular' DI over a cab sim/filtered/LPF whatever DI

    i did want to experiment with all the various units around now, since we have more choice than ever, i tried the Neunaber Iconoclast but it just had horrible distortion when used with my preamps, the palmer have been the only units to sound great with the output from my preamps (26v peak to peak)
    gregmon79 likes this.
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Because up until the last few years, these types of pedals weren't available to us. The industry is now starting to come out with these types of products like crazy because there was nothing available before and they now see that we need/want them and will use them.

    It's not like I'm some effects guru that has been around for decades. But I have been playing for decades and I've dove pretty deep into effects over the last 6 years or so. What I used to do, just give the FOH a signal from my board and let him do all the work. And I use dirt almost all the time. So i really didn't have a lot of control over what the FOH did with my sound. But now, companies like DSM and Two Notes, even Mooer and Line 6, just about any company now, has given us options to improve our live dirt sound. Now we can add LPF's, HPF's, IR's, speaker sims, mic sims, Xovers, all kind of things to our boards/chains that aid in making our dirt sound more pleasurable to listen to. Hell, more and more companies like Tech 21 and Darkglass are coming out with dirt pedals that have these things built in to them. But just 5 years ago this stuff wasn't here. So you really had to have a pretty complex setup with stereo outs, crossovers, split signals, 2 rigs, to get where a single pedal can take you today. It's kinda nuts when you think about.

    So the OmniCabsim will DEF help you get where you want to be. In fact it's probably one of the best tools to use for what you're trying to accomplish. I've wanted one for a while now but I think I'm glad I didn't get one yet as they are coming out with that mini soon. Would love to toss one of those on the end of my board. All this new tech is so cool!!
  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I need to add that thing back to my list. Great DI box right there. I forgot about those guys.
    MADChuudoku likes this.
  5. I think the Palmers have me covered for life now, i have the PDI-03jb on my board and the PDI-09 for a backup, the new 03jb can get a more solid and deep bottom (because of the separate low and high filter controls) but has to be set to 'bright' to get the same highs as the PDI-09 set to 'normal'
    gregmon79 likes this.
  6. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    But the 09 will be fine with bass still regardless though correct?
    MADChuudoku likes this.
  7. absolutely fine! i used the 09 for years and i'd probably still be using it, i only got the newer model because it had the cab sim output as a jack, as well as the DI
    gregmon79 likes this.
  8. jj4001


    Dec 27, 2010
    Providence, RI
    The Palmer PDI-09 has been working great for me the last couple of years. The most common refrain I hear when pointing it out to the soundguy is, "Oh, cool".
  9. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I play ampless 90 percent of the time. Anything with a low pass filter (preferably 12dB/octave) will do what you want. The low pass in my Q strips seems to work great for me. Broughton also makes a variable low pass that works really well.
    soong likes this.
  10. Amazingly, a lot of people don't even know what it sounds like when you're DI'd and hit the overdrive pedal. They think it sounds the way they hear it from the amp onstage. I think this is why there aren't more people using some kind of cab simulator or at least an LPF to tame those sounds.

    When I first realised... I hated it. But I shrugged and carried one as I didn't know what I could do, except for putting a microphone against my speaker and that was often not an option. I simply tamed the higher frequencies myself.

    I have been using an OmniCabSim for a while now, and I love it. It's not the only unit that can do that and do it well (I own two others, based on impulse responses: Mooer Radar and Nux Solid Studio), but it's the one I prefer live. I only use it with my 'dirty' board 'though.
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  11. mostvaliant


    Apr 5, 2015
    I’ve been looking at a way to basically run my pedalboard rig without needing an amp. I’m trying to span sounds from Kings of Leon and Awolnation to Periphery and Polyphia. I’ve recently found that I enjoy the subtle tone shaping of my Empress ParaEq using as a LPF and taming my highs. Recently, I got a Source Audio Aftershock to see if I could figure it out. Once diving into the app for editing the distortion, you can set a cutoff point for the signal that’s being effected. I played my first show the other day with this rig and was blow away by how full and grizzly it sounded even without the cab simulator I had been using on the Two Note Le Bass. I enjoy being able to pick which frequencies I want to cut so that you don’t get the unruly highs with any overdrive. I’ve been very picky over my tone and I’m hoping I stay happy with this for a while.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't get me started. I'm still extremely resentful that it's a DI world for bass.
    father of fires and AndyLES like this.
  13. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    I just roll off the highs on the fuzz pedal. I prefer a darker fuzz tone for bass anyway.
  14. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I use a Red Box for my dirty send. It's designed for guitar, but a little extra low push at the board makes up for it.
  15. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Cab sims are great and I use to struggle with this issue but I find I'm not married to what a bass "should" sound like. I don't feel a cab is part of my sound anymore. So I use pedals and EQ my sound to what I like with headphone amps. If I get a mic that's a bonus and if I don't then I know I can get by.

    The trick with dirt, and this is certainly a modern phenomenon, is that it is low passed at a frequency low enough to remove the "bees" like Darkglass and such. You don't always need a cab sim. But you can always tell the FOH that you use fuzz and ask them to low pass your signal at 5k. If they don't then adjust the highs at your board. A little darker tone may not be your favorite but unfortunately the audience won't notice.
    gregmon79, AndyLES and mcnach like this.

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