"multi-threading" bass signal idea...

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by kcducttaper, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    I had, what I think to be, a nifty idea. Seeing as how most all bass tones have a couple over-dubs with different EQs, drives, etc on recording and I can never seem to get a sound I like live, I got to thinking... Why can't I do that over-dubbing on a live rig by splitting my signal?

    It would be super expensive, but I don't see why you couldn't split a bass signal 2 - 4 ways coming into the pedal board, throw on all kinds of nasty grit, warmth, and rumble you want on each of these channels, then bring them back together with an audio interface or small mixer at the end of the board. The tricky part would be making it simple enough to change sounds at the stomp of a box.
     
  2. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    Clean/dirty rigs aren't too uncommon. I sometimes run my tube head into a 210 w/ fuzz anda clean signal to my SS head into a 4x10. But you are correct in thinking its changing sounds thats the hurdle. Look at Dug Pinnick (Kings X) rig as it has evolved over the years. When I saw them last year, he had a Axe FX into an SVT2 for dirty highs and another SVT2 for lows, each into a 8x10. He used to use 2-3 SVTs and a Mesa head into separate 8x10s. He now has a signature head coming out from Tech 21 W/ 2 bendable channels, but its spendy. For recording, I'll generally use a mic on a cab and a DI, mixed to taste. So it CAN be done, but....

    Live? It's often a tough thing to get more than one channel in FOH for bass. And any EQing/mixing/filtering you do is easily overridden at FOH. Which isn't to say you shouldn't try, just saying there is a bottle neck :)

    What kind of rig are you running now? What kind of sounds are you trying to get? Where does your current gear fall short?
     
  3. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    It wouldn't be more than one channel into FOH. That's what the mixer at the end of my signal chain is for. It would bring all of the channels back into one signal so I can just send it to FOH or into my single amp and get that delicious tone I'm shooting for.

    Currently I'm running an Ibanez SR755 (usually played finger style, but sometimes with a pick depending on the song) -> Boss ME-50b (mostly for volume and a touch of reverb/modulation sometimes) -> MarkBass F1 -> Ampeg 410 HLF although I've kept my eye out for a MB 102hf or 104hf. It's definitely time for some new strings, so I'm debating what to throw on there next time around. I've currently got some DR Hi Beams on there.

    I'm looking for a bold, rock sorta sound, but not fuzzy. All of the distortions on the ME-50b are junk (to my ears) and I've tried a Sansamp VT Deluxe in my rig and I didn't really care for it so much either. Everything I try sounds too much like a fuzz box on the higher notes and not enough grit down low.

    5:30 on this is what I'm shooting for for a "max gain" sorta sound. 10:15 gets close too, but it's a bit too much fuzz and not enough root note for my taste.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmL_03AKdrw

    The intro to this song hits it pretty well too. I watched a song on their recording this album and they had about 5 bass tracks laid on top of each other and one of them was going through a Peavey 5150.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieM1NShe3oo

    Those are about the "max" tones I'm shooting for in terms of dirt and distortion, so I'd like a clean tone and hopefully a step or two in between the clean tone and "max" tone.
     
  4. gumtown

    gumtown Member

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    I have used this concept for a few years now, with a few incarnations of my pedal board.
    Currently I use the Roland GR-55, it splits your signal 4 ways and gives you..

    1. your normal pickup tone, I modified my GR-55 with an FX loop at this point where I run either a Tech21 Vt Bass or a Boss GT-100 in the loop.

    2. Modelled instruments, it does various models of guitars, basses and analog type synths, which can be routed through the GR-55 internal amp modelling and effects.

    3. PCM synth 1 has a sound library of 910 keyboard/synth type tones which have full synth control over ADSR and filters and LFO's etc and can be routed through the GR-55 internal effects (and amp modelling).

    4. PCM synth 2 has a sound library of 910 keyboard/synth type tones which have full synth control over ADSR and filters and LFO's etc and can be routed through the GR-55 internal effects (and amp modelling).

    All four tone sources can be actively mixed using the Expression pedal or CTL pedal, so my composite tone mix is mainly regular bass with these 3 other tone sources as accompaniment to enhance the sound, I don't use it like playing flute or trumpet, but as a rich composite sound mix.
    Some PCM synth tones I have a slow attack and decay on them so when playing a regular running bass line, the synth is following with a slow sustained type backing.
    You can also manipulate the synth tones to give you none regular sounds to mix in with your bass tone for more balls and grit.

    The Boss GT-10B or GT-100 is also a great tool, with loads of effects and fully programmable controllers, they also have dual channels to run parallel effects chains.
     
  5. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    That sounds like a nifty piece of gear. I might have to check that out. Honestly, I haven't done much research into this at all. I just come from the world on the stage and from behind the sound board and figured there's no reason why I can't use that to my advantage. :D

    I have a Boss GT-8 in my guitar rig. I might have to fart around with that for some of the grit tones. It had occurred to me to make one massive pedalboard for bass and guitar rather than 2 separate setups. I'd obviously run my signal through them differently, but it's a thought I've had to consolidate my boards.
     
  6. gumtown

    gumtown Member

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  7. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    mmm...tasty. I'll have to check that GR-55 out.

    That sounds pretty close to what I'm after although some of the higher notes, I'd like to keep a little less fuzzy, but still keep the growl on the low notes. I'm almost thinking that's going to require different EQs mixed on different channels to get that sound.
     
  8. Endr_rpm

    Endr_rpm Member

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    Me, I'd just do what they did- A Clean DI and a miced guitar cab/amp. But I'd ditch the 410HLF and go with an 810e or a more modern 412. The HLF has always sounded murky to me, mid shy, and those tones are all about the mids. And then run a gained up guitar amp, bass rolled off, on top. Mix to taste. Your "bass" sound won't change, but your drive sounds will. Then you can also use pretty much any OD box you want, since bass loss won't be an issue. Just be careful how much low end you send through the guitar speakers.
     
  9. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    I think you're probably right about the 410HLF. It's definitely a thunder monster and can put pretty much any 15" to shame, but it's not so amazing for mid punch - although if I'm running DI'ed, that shouldn't matter.

    I'm wondering if perhaps a MB 102/4hr would be better than an hf because of the same reason. I do like that thundering B string that shakes the room, but I'm sure the 'hr' line has better mids for the growl and punch. Either way, I'll need a good DI signal first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  10. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    Good golly, that GR-55 is expensive!!! $500+ used on Ebay!!! Still cheaper than doing it all separately though...
     
  11. gumtown

    gumtown Member

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    A previous setup I had was the Roland GR-20 synth and a Boss GT-10B paired together, with the GR-20 inserted into the GT-10B return loop and into the 2nd channel effect chain.

    The GT-10B is pretty cool on it's own too. It can do channel filtering, having highs in one chain path and lows in the other chain path, using different type of effects on each.

    Here is a poxy example
    http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=9524439&q=hi&newref=1
     
  12. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    OP, short answer is to get an AxeFxII and full featured (or not) MIDI controller. You'll find yourself with more ways to route signals into multiple complex signal paths and control them with footswitches and expression pedals in a manner that is probably (AFAIK, and I follow this stuff closely) impossible using any other single piece of rack processing gear. It's a pricey thing to do, but if you think in terms of what the AxeFx can accomplish and compare that to a real-world hardware counterpart, you'll find that though pricey, it is much more reliable, flexible, and cost-efficient than anything else available.

    JMHO
     
  13. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    The AxeFxII (or similar) would be ideal for both my guitar and bass rigs, but that's just dang expensive. Unfortunately, I don't play enough to justify THAT much cost.

    I just realized I have my bass gear, guitar gear, and a beastly heavy powered mixer. I might have to fiddle around with those when I get home to get a crude "prototype" of what I'm after.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  14. The Illustrated Bassist

    The Illustrated Bassist Member

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    I believe Billy Sheehan does this all the time... I believe one line is clean, the other dirty and overdriven... check out the dual inputs on his rig...

    from the Wiki article:

    "Billy Sheehan's first electric bass was a Hagström FB, which was soon joined by a Precision bass similar to Tim Bogert's. After acquiring the Precision bass, he removed the frets from the Hagström. Over the years, he heavily modified the Precision bass as well, adding a neck pickup and additional support for the bolt-on neck, which Sheehan considers its greatest weakness. The neck pickup was added for what Sheehan referred to as "super deep low end" modelled after Paul Samwell-Smith of the Yardbirds. The Gibson EB-0 type pickup in the neck and the original split Precision bass pickup each have their own separate output jacks on the bass itself, allowing for control of the tone via the bass. This bass has been retired, but he affectionately refers to it as "The Wife".[2] Sheehan's signature Yamaha bass is patterned after this instrument. Sheehan also uses two amps to achieve his signature tone (as do Chris Squire of Yes and Doug Pinnick of King's X), one with full distortion and notch filtering to sound more guitar-like for solos, and one super-clean for the low end of the neck pickup."

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    Well, that is the cost of doing business for the things you want to do. The AxeFx is a unique piece of gear, but for multi-signal path routing whizz-bang stuff, it's the best game in town, and 2 rack spaces. And it has world class quality processing. And since you are a guitarist and bassist, then you'd be getting a nice two-for...even better, more chances to reduce your pile of gear. ;-)

    I'm not going to preach here any more, though. Plenty of Fractal fanbois on TGP. All I'll say is this: the price for a new AxeFxII is steep, but if you have good reasons to utilize the routing flexibility it provides, it is worth twice the money - easily.

    There are definitely less expensive ways to do "sort of" the same thing, but it may not be a very small, tidy, flexible package.

    Now, have you heard about this:

    http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/tech-21-dug-pinnick-signature-ultra-bass-1000/
     
  16. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    >> Seeing as how most all bass tones have a couple over-dubs with different EQs, drives, etc on recording ...<<

    This is not so, unless I'm misunderstanding you.
     
  17. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    I can't argue with that for you pro giggers. The only thing is playing isn't my means of income, so it's not the cost of business for me. It's more of a hobby than anything that I'm trying to get back into after being out for a while, so I don't really feel that I can justify dropping major bucks on a "proper" setup like that. If I were getting paid decently for it, I'd be all over an FxII setup with a MB 104hf, a LM Tube 800, perhaps a Jazz bass in addition to my Ibanez.....etc.

    Originally, it was just an idea that bounced around in my head and I was curious what all solutions were out there in addition to mine. When it comes to actually implementing these ideas, the budget will play a pretty large role. So far, it sounds that there are a couple solutions out there already that allow separate processing on different channels, then allow you to bring them back together. The GR-55 seems like my favorite so far when price is taken into consideration.
     
  18. gumtown

    gumtown Member

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    Another option I had successfully tried was the Boss GT-10B, using it's USB interface and using the GT-10B as an audio and midi soundcard interface with a computer.
    I ran pitch to midi software and USB the GT-10B USB, routed the dry audio into the computer(laptop via USB cable) and used one software to convert audio to midi notes, then to a software synth (Z3TA+), then through audio processing (Guitar Rig 5), then routed the audio back out of the laptop through the USB cable and out of the GT-10B analog main outputs.

    You can do that pretty much with any multi-effects pedal that supports USB digital audio I/O.
     
  19. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    Ahhh. got it! :beer
     
  20. kcducttaper

    kcducttaper Member

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    All of the decent options seem quite expensive and I'm not sure the GR-55 is what I'm after since it can only really do 2 channels for a bass tone (the other 2 are synth, which is cool, but not really what I'm after).

    They're starting to make some decent plugins for computers and tablets (I.E. JamUp). Any reason you couldn't do this with an app of some sort controlled my a USB footswitch? The tablet is already setup to multi-thread, there are some good amp models, and there are also some good mixing apps, so I don't see any reason why you can't roll all of these into one. Does this exist already?
     

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