VT Bass + overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LowerEnds, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. LowerEnds


    May 1, 2014
    Hi guys,
    I am using a VT Bass DI as the last pedal in my chain, so I can send the complete package (bass + other effects +, VT Bass) to the mixing desk. The VT bass is set clean, maybe with a little bit of drive, just a touch.
    What I don't understand: when I put another gain-pedal before the Vt-bass, I get almost no extra drive. I'm talking about Solid gold fx beta or Darkglass VMT. The drive becomes much stronger if I switch off the VT bass. But I want to keep the overdrive in front of the VT Bass because of the DI.

    Anybody who knows why the VT Bass is suppressing the drive, and how I can fix this? Other settings? Other type of overdrive?... I'm curious.
  2. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    It may be due to where you have the 'level' in the VT set; that knob will determine your total output at the end of the chain. It will have the net effect of making everything quieter, in other words, if you have it set below unity. So, turn the VT on and off and see how it's affecting the total signal and adjust accordingly.
    BTW, I've run ODs before the VT with good results so it ain't impossible. :)
    willbassyeah likes this.
  3. I have all those same pedals you mentioned, and I do agree the Beta and VMT can be subtle if you're already running a VT after them.

    Are you trying to use those other pedals to drive the VT harder at the input? Or just to add some distortion before they go into the VT? I use them in the latter sense, as I try to keep all my pedals close to unity gain. If that's what your talking about, then probably the speaker simulation on the VT is rolling off the high fuzzy tones of the OD pedals, which is why you say they sound stronger without the VT.

    What are your "character" and "drive" settings on the VT? I keep my character at 9:00 and drive at 12:00, but I have noticed if you turn up the character knob, then the OD pedals will be more prevalent. (I think the character knob is a mid boost before the drive section in the VT)

    All that said, I really like the tone of any of these combos as being always on, but I'm having difficulty finding the perfect settings for switchable OD.
  4. LowerEnds


    May 1, 2014
    The level-knob is set to get the same volume switched on or off.
    I use the VT as an always on, and with the other pedals I try to get an overall overdriven sound in certain parts, so the gain of the Beta and VMT is set very high.
    My character is at about 9 and drive knob at 12, just as yours, bvdrummer. At first I thought it was the speaker-sim also, but I switched it off without the desired result.
    Maybe I should try higher gain pedals? But I would like to understand why the VT is reducing the drive before buying new things.
  5. crguti


    Feb 14, 2011
    the secret is the blend knob. Set it around 12 to 3pm and you're gonna 'hear' the other overdrive.
  6. The blend knob on the VTDI? Interesting...I've always just kept that at 100%. Gotta try that!
    Fuzzbass likes this.
  7. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    yup, the gain knob & level knob on the VTDI is contributing to the overall drive of your sound if you decided to have the blend knob at 100%. What happened is that the VTDI is compressing your signal, i tested it once i have the same exact setup of VTDI + VMT.

    What i notice is that if you are feeding too high of a gain into the VTDI, you might get a drop in volume because your signal are being compressed the the VTDI. Hence the importance of the blend knob like what the rest said.

    That being said, i use my blend at 100% because i actually enjoy that compression from the VTDI. It helps to keep all my volume in check.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I really like the VT in many ways, but what you're describing is one thing I don't like about it...it does have an effect on distortion pedals that sort of dulls them down. In some ways it's good that it does it, but in some ways I get really irritated with it when I know a pedal is capable of a sound I can't dial in because of the VT acting on it.
  9. LowerEnds


    May 1, 2014
    The blend knob, off course! To keep more of the input signal. Should've thought about that. Definitely gonna try it.
    I suppose I will have to find the perfect middle ground between great vt-tone and great overdriven tone.
    Thx guys!
  10. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I think it may have something to do with the mids too. I believe a lot of the overdrive sound is from the mids being effected, and the VT is scooping them to some extent which is reducing the effect. I believe 9 on the character knob is still a somewhat scooped sound. Blending in more of the clean signal also blends back in those mids, but you can also try cutting some bass and treble on the VT and boost the output to make it a little more flat to start with.
  11. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you want something heavy, try using the boss obd-3. that pedal with the vt bass will give you a smooth heavy sound without obliterating lows.
  12. Off topic, but this comment made me do some experimenting last night, and I'm realizing I might not need the compressor that I've always been using because the VT is compressing already :p
  13. LowerEnds


    May 1, 2014
    @bvdrummer : it depends on what you are trying to achieve, but the VT is compressing your signal indeed, and so is probably your overdrive. But if you want something like, say, a tight slap sound, an overdrive is not the tool you need.

    Back on topic: I did a couple of tests, and the blend knob is the way to go to keep more drive indeed. But as Jimmy stated: the sound of the overdrive is affected drastically by the VT indeed. So I'm considering an A/B switch between my drive pedals and the VT, an put a separate DI behind it.
  14. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Just FYI, the VT Bass Deluxe has an FX loop and multiple channels. Maybe that will get you what you want?
  15. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    another thing to take note, the EQ in the VT is always active even at 0 blend... hence the importance of your level and gain knob when running OD into the VT