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Which overdrive pedal to get a tone similar to Geddy's on Moving pictures ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Inconnu, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. To start up I know the following facts :
    - Geddy's sound comes from his fingers
    - Other the his fingers, he uses a particular bass, and amp, studio setup, etc. that results into a specific sound.

    I know that ! And I do not seek to get the exact copy of his sound !

    I just wonder which pedal could get me in the area of the sound heard in Moving pictures, the sort of Overdrive that breaks in, sometimes subtile, but that doesn't eat your lows. I already have a SansAmp RBI and a Bass Big Muff and I can't get that specific tone.

    Thanks !
  2. tony_clifton


    Nov 14, 2009
    I don't know Rush or who Geddy Lee is (yeah, he's famous around here), but if you want a light/medium overdrive you might be looking for the same as me and I'm thinking about pulling the trigger on a Bass BB Preamp.
    Only plan to use it for 2 songs out of 18, when the guitar is soloing and a bigger sound is needed.
  3. khabalah


    Aug 3, 2010
    great little pedals!!!
  4. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider

    Salut Inconnu,

    Geddy's main effect has always (as far as I know) been the SansAmp RPM. I've searched the net a bit to find a pictures of his rig, but haven't found any so far. Hope this small bit helps.

  5. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider

  6. andvari7


    Aug 28, 2004
    Moving Pictures was released in 1980, and Tech 21 was incorporated in 1989. The RPM could not have been possible at that time.
  7. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider

    So it's definitely not the SanSamp on that album, then.
  8. Yup, you all beat me to it. Sorry Michel, but Geddy started using a SansAmp wayyyyyy after recording Moving pictures. Still, I don't need to know the exact gear he used, but rather what pedal would get me close to that sound. I tried with my SansAmp RBI and I've had rather timid results in that range.
  9. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider

    hmmmm....Wonder if you could nail it with a VT Bass...

  10. I hope I can help.
    I have a few Sansamp products.
    I have the Bass Driver, RBI, RPM, VT pedal, the discontinued Comptortion and bass compactor.
    I'd say the VT will get you closest to the Moving Pictures sound.
  11. BillyIVbass


    Sep 24, 2008
    Gear Reviews Guitar World Online
    Wasn't there that uber long Geddy thread with his tech that revealed the bridge pickup to 70s Jazz was wired differently? Pickup configuration mixed with heavy attack up by the neck will play a huge roll. Playing with your whole finger. Don't be afraid to get some fingernail action going on.

    I know, you said fingers in your original post, just trying to elaborate more.

    I'd try the Xotic BB or if $200 is over your budget I'd give the $30 DOD YJM308 a spin. Ultimately you're trying to simulate a cranked tube amp.
  12. Didnt geddy use an SVT at one point? Im sure the Sansamp VT Bass will get you a pretty close tone, but as you said - the beauty of his sound is his hard slammin' fingers.
  13. Rick Robins

    Rick Robins

    Jan 13, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    Overdrive your amp with an MXR Dyna comp pedal & use a mild chorus I use a old DOD bass chorus. A bridge pickup/ PJ or JJ combo that are hot passives & low action will get you want you want.I have been covering the material from Moving Pictures for better than 25 years now.

    I tried a few Sansamp products....Just didn't cut it for me. For 22 years now I have been using Carvin PB 500's that have integrated noise gate & compressions with a mix of 4x10 & 15's pulling out a 18 for bigger stages with a Carvin 2000 watt power amp. I overdrive this with the MXR for Geddy & Sheehan tunes.
  14. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I can get a similar overdrive with my sansamp VT bass pedal. But for the moving pictures tones, I really get close with my DHA VT1-MK3 overdrive pedal. It has a tube in it and gives a really great tube drive. That pedal is a real sleeper and I like i much better than the sansamp vt.
  15. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    VT bass. mids at 2, treble at noon, bass between 11-12, character around 1, drive at 1-2. All numbers are "o-clock" btw.
    Mine also has the mid sweep knob and speaker sim bypass, and the speaker sim was bypassed. Came pretty close. Prob will a little more bass or less treble It would be even closer.
  16. Rick Robins

    Rick Robins

    Jan 13, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    A good audio clip to show how Geddy is heavy with the compressor. You will hear the slight chorus & the overdubs. Without a compressor you will not get Geddy's sound from this era.

  17. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    unfortunate most distortion pedals are opamp, or transistor based
    and thou they can get basic " distortion " the sound they get is all very similar. The difference between the good ones and bad ones is how well the manufacture has designed the pre and post filters.
    So their is many opinions on which one is best but in the end the actual distortion is the same....since its all being generated by the same device in hundreds of pedals. Most of Geddys tone is amp distortion that he gets from slammin the heck out of his strings.

    Back in the seventies and eighties their was not many high powered amps for bass...so his tone probably came from one of three amps.
    Ampeg SVT, Sunn Coliseum, or Acoustic 370.

    The early solid state amps had preamps that were very different,
    but the output stages where all using 2n3055 transistors.

    The type of distortion you get from these is very unique and cannot be emulated. Keep in mind you can "Model" the freq responses of these amps with a bunch of filters. But the actual "Device" distortion cannot be emulated.

    If you really want Geddys tone then run a Ric bass in stereo,
    from what i understand the amp that was overdriven the most was the one used for his bridge pickup.

    The overdrive tone you get from a Sunn Coliseum or a Acoustic 370 amp will probably be dead on. Make sure thou you actually dig into the strings just as much as Geddy Does...

    Good Luck
  18. I think if your gonna use the VT then I wouldn't worry to much about additional compression. The pedal already has a very noticable compressed sound. You can even see the levels are limited while using recording software.

    Also, I am willing to bet that he had the bridge pickup on his Jazz backed off a little giving him more of that P-bass sound.:meh:

    Then again, it seems everyone hear can get that same MP tone using compleatly different methods. So If they can nail it, then you will also.
  19. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010

  20. Rick Robins

    Rick Robins

    Jan 13, 2010
    Las Vegas, NV
    Interesting about the compression
    check the video out @ around 2:20.

  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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