Jump to content
Why become a member? Read more... ×
LukeFRC

Preamp/effects options for FRFR setup

Recommended Posts

So I've been following this thread here 

 

about using what essentially is a PA cab and a preamp to get your live sound.

this kinda appeals to me, for a long time I had clean but warm sound to my rig - the epitome was a hellborg preamp but then things change and currently I have a walkabout scout combo which is the opposite! 

But most my playing at the moment is at church which is a zero backline IEM setup - i normally just DI in

im not quite ready to sell my amp and buy a PA speaker just yet BUT having a pedal or something to give me the sound I want when plugged into the PA and my amp and with the option that in the future I could go For a FRFR speaker...

so number of options and asking basschat for advice and wisdom... and the options I've forgotten

 

options

high end modelling line 6 helix type thing - overkill for me!

modelling multi effects zoom b3 or b3n or similar... had a B3 not sure why I sold it generally went for simple amp/comp comp...

effects strip like the tech 21 bass fly rig or Valeton Dapper 

individual pedals if I'm essentially after a compressor and a preamp the wouldn't something like a caitlinbread SFT, ebs pre or Sansamp plus a EBS multicomp  of equivalent do me? I wouldn't have all the options of a multi effects pedal of the super clean and the valve type sound but I could do one thing very well rather than hundreds of things ok well.  Add pedals to suit. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been doing some research around this for a while. I've been split as to whether to upgrade my amp to a more modern, Class D amp, new cab / new speakers, dedicated bass combo, or an FRFR set-up. For the time being, I decided I'm going to stick with my amp & cab, but just use the Effects Return socketinstead of plugging my pre-amp setup into the amp's pre-amp. It does work, and sounds pretty good too.

I'm currently using a Line6 POD HD500x. I've owned a B3, an MS60B, a PODxt, and a PODxt Live. I liked the B3, but didn't like the fact that after using the amp sim, I only had 2 spaces left, add in a Compressor or EQ, that left 1 space for another effect. Pretty limiting. Never really used the MS60B, bought as a backup for the B3. I

already had a bean PODxt, so I bought a PODxt Live, more scope for effects, sound was slightly better than the B3 (despite being an older device), but to my ears, the effects were a bit too subtle, so I sold it.

Bought the HD500x, very happy with it, sounds great, and you can get some great deals on them now that everyone seems to be upgrading to Helix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using the Fishman Pro Platinum EQ for the last few months as my pedalboard replacement and also with an eye on using it in an FRFR setup when I got round to buying a powered wedge (which was last week), it's ideal for me and a real Swiss army knife. Not used with live with the FRFR yet but it replaced my previous micro pedalboards. https://www.thomann.de/gb/fishman_platinum_pro_eq.htm

Compressor, tuner (switchable mute), 3 band eq with sweepable mids, high pass filter (12db/octave), brilliance control (reduces string noise), notch filter, phase switch and a switchable boost which is adjustable. It also has a crystal clear DI which our two sound engineers have complimented me on now! Fits in the laptop pocket of my gigbag and runs of a standard 9v adapter. The compressor is the one knob type and the only adjustable parameter is the threshold so it's not as versatile as the EBS (which I also have) but it's very natural sounding. Doesn't do that squashed slap/pop sound the EBS does in multiband mode though. Ratio on this is 2:5:1, attack is 10ms, release is 100ms. If you're going for something like this or the Valeton/Fly Rig and need a specific type of compression then I would have a play of it first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried 'proper' digital with a Kemper and a Helix but I really missed the lack of quick, intuitive analog controls that you could grab quickly mid-song.I have therefore gone soft with a mix of analog and digital proper old school pedals and preamps. As you know by know, there's more than one way to skin this cat. If you've already got a pedalboard that you like, add a proper preamp on the end like a Behringer Mic100 and that will send your board's signal to your FRFR. If not, now's the time to build one!

 

Word of warning, the pedal preamps and DI boxes (what do you use at church atm?) will drive amixer just fine but if you try to send them straight to a powered cab without a mixer in between some of them may not have enough gain to drive it properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helix does have quick intuitive analog controls you can grab mid song.

 

There's a specific button that always takes you back to the Amp settings display, and as the footswitches are capacitive you just have to touch (not press) one with a finger and that one will appear on the screen for adjustment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Skybone said:

Been doing some research around this for a while. I've been split as to whether to upgrade my amp to a more modern, Class D amp, new cab / new speakers, dedicated bass combo, or an FRFR set-up. For the time being, I decided I'm going to stick with my amp & cab, but just use the Effects Return socketinstead of plugging my pre-amp setup into the amp's pre-amp. It does work, and sounds pretty good too.

I'm currently using a Line6 POD HD500x. I've owned a B3, an MS60B, a PODxt, and a PODxt Live. I liked the B3, but didn't like the fact that after using the amp sim, I only had 2 spaces left, add in a Compressor or EQ, that left 1 space for another effect. Pretty limiting. Never really used the MS60B, bought as a backup for the B3. I

already had a bean PODxt, so I bought a PODxt Live, more scope for effects, sound was slightly better than the B3 (despite being an older device), but to my ears, the effects were a bit too subtle, so I sold it.

Bought the HD500x, very happy with it, sounds great, and you can get some great deals on them now that everyone seems to be upgrading to Helix.

I've had the Pod XT live thing and a Zoom B3. 
I seriously fell out with the Pod when I managed to save over a patch without any warning 5 min before a set. 
I preferred the sound quality of the B3- the Pod seemed more processed/less natural sounding. 

 

12 hours ago, lemmywinks said:

I've been using the Fishman Pro Platinum EQ for the last few months as my pedalboard replacement and also with an eye on using it in an FRFR setup when I got round to buying a powered wedge (which was last week), it's ideal for me and a real Swiss army knife. Not used with live with the FRFR yet but it replaced my previous micro pedalboards. https://www.thomann.de/gb/fishman_platinum_pro_eq.htm

Compressor, tuner (switchable mute), 3 band eq with sweepable mids, high pass filter (12db/octave), brilliance control (reduces string noise), notch filter, phase switch and a switchable boost which is adjustable. It also has a crystal clear DI which our two sound engineers have complimented me on now! Fits in the laptop pocket of my gigbag and runs of a standard 9v adapter. The compressor is the one knob type and the only adjustable parameter is the threshold so it's not as versatile as the EBS (which I also have) but it's very natural sounding. Doesn't do that squashed slap/pop sound the EBS does in multiband mode though. Ratio on this is 2:5:1, attack is 10ms, release is 100ms. If you're going for something like this or the Valeton/Fly Rig and need a specific type of compression then I would have a play of it first.

I think you mentioned that in the other thread, I already been reading the manual! The Tech 21 Qstrip also looks interesting if going for a similar super clean input stage. 

4 hours ago, Jack said:

Word of warning, the pedal preamps and DI boxes (what do you use at church atm?) will drive amixer just fine but if you try to send them straight to a poweredcab without a mixer in between some of them may not have enough gain to drive it properly.

into desk via your standard orchid DI box. 
Can sound amazing or shocking depending on who is behind the desk. This morning sounded good, this afternoon we had some kind of super scooped metal bass tone going on :( 

4 hours ago, la bam said:

Great cheap option - behringer bd121 and spectracomp.

not seen the spectracomp - looks amazing... does it sound good?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The spectracomp is great. As far as bang-to-buck ratio it pretty much can’t be beat.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jack said:

I tried 'proper' digital with a Kemper and a Helix but I really missed the lack of quick, intuitive analog controls that you could grab quickly mid-song.

Both Kemper and Helix have EQ and gain, volume.... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Jack said:

Word of warning, the pedal preamps and DI boxes (what do you use at church atm?) will drive amixer just fine but if you try to send them straight to a powered cab without a mixer in between some of them may not have enough gain to drive it properly.

This is worth remembering and good advice, I assume you'd have to check the input sensitivity of the powered wedge and the output in dbv of the DI you're using. I didn't need to bother with this as the wedge I got has an input which can be switched to high impedance for instruments, although the Fishman can drive it at.line level just fine.

Edited by lemmywinks
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

I've had the Pod XT live thing and a Zoom B3. 
I seriously fell out with the Pod when I managed to save over a patch without any warning 5 min before a set. 
I preferred the sound quality of the B3- the Pod seemed more processed/less natural sounding. 

IMO, the HD500x makes the B3 sound processed, it is a step on again.

Again, IMO, the Helix seems a bit overkill for my needs, as much as I'd like to have a shot on one, I don't think I could justify the cost. Before I bought the HD, I looked at all the units available, and the HD seemed to offer me everything I wanted. I compared the B3 against the PODxt Live, and the B3 for me, didn't sound as good as the POD. When I got the HD, I compared it against the PODxt Live, and again, the HD sounded far superior to my ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never found an amp modeller that was good enough for me to prefer it over a good old analogue VT Bass. But then again my experience is limited to the older Line6 Bass Pod range and the Zoom B2/B3/B1on. I had been wanting to try a Helix without forking out for one and just realised that Helix Native is available as a free trial that has all of the same effects - so as soon as I get my interface issues sorted out I will be giving that a bash!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dannybuoy said:

I've never found an amp modeller that was good enough for me to prefer it over a good old analogue VT Bass. But then again my experience is limited to the older Line6 Bass Pod range and the Zoom B2/B3/B1on. I had been wanting to try a Helix without forking out for one and just realised that Helix Native is available as a free trial that has all of the same effects - so as soon as I get my interface issues sorted out I will be giving that a bash!

I was in the same boat as you. The modern modellers really do cut the mustard however. I remember trying out the Kemper when it first came out thinking that it was good but not quite there. A few software iterations down the line and it's now in my ownership. The helix is definitely in the same camp too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always sceptical since tons of people rave about the modelling in the Zoom units and stuff like Positive Grid BIAS but I think (their bass amp models at least) sound terrible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never used the Zoom or Positive Grid stuff so don't know how good it is or not. I guess, the thing is to try them out and see if they are for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/02/2018 at 07:31, Skybone said:

IMO, the HD500x makes the B3 sound processed, it is a step on again.

Again, IMO, the Helix seems a bit overkill for my needs, as much as I'd like to have a shot on one, I don't think I could justify the cost. Before I bought the HD, I looked at all the units available, and the HD seemed to offer me everything I wanted. I compared the B3 against the PODxt Live, and the B3 for me, didn't sound as good as the POD. When I got the HD, I compared it against the PODxt Live, and again, the HD sounded far superior to my ears.

Does the hd500x have much in the way of bass specific amps? On the list I can only see the B15 and bassman and it seems more guitar oriented than the B3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a DHA VT1-PRO that I use to run into either the PA, or the FX return of whatever amp I'm using. Not quite an frfr setup, but allows me to keep more of 'my sound' with whatever setup I plug in to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

Does the hd500x have much in the way of bass specific amps? On the list I can only see the B15 and bassman and it seems more guitar oriented than the B3

With the HD Bass pack, it adds the GK 800 and the SVT bright & normal, plus a 4x10 and the 8x10 cabs (admittedly not a great selection, but they are very good!).

Plus, some of the guitar amp models are good with bass, like the HiWatt DR & the Plexi's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/02/2018 at 00:10, EBS_freak said:

Both Kemper and Helix have EQ and gain, volume.... 

Yes, I've had both.

 

Good, but still not as quick as a proper amp in a pickle IME.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/02/2018 at 22:41, CameronJ said:

The spectracomp is great. As far as bang-to-buck ratio it pretty much can’t be beat.

Wurd. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jack said:

Yes, I've had both.

 

Good, but still not as quick as a proper amp in a pickle IME.

Kemper - Gain, bass, middle, treble, presence, volume, master volume knobs....? Umm...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well you can't really use the master volume as that messes up all of your other patches. The eq and gain won't save unless you purposefully save it, so when you do move patches it goes back to being wrong next time. And, unfortunately I found that you couldn't really pre-set this stuff as it sounded different at different volumes in different rooms.

 

For instance, at home or in one room switching from an aggresive pick sound to a full finger sound might be the same level, but then if you move rooms those two exact same patches excite the room and fit in the different room differently and one is much much louder. 

 

You're defending them, and I'm not going to convince you otherwise. They just didn't work for me at that time in that situation. Modellers and digital continue to get better at an exponential rate. Not too long ago they sounded rubbish, today (to me) they sound great. Tomorrow their interface may please me as much as the sound does. Some people will always prefer a 'real' SVT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not defending them... just commenting to keep things on an equal pivot. The key thing - as you point out - the modellers have patches. If you want to change your sound with a stand alone amp, you are stuck with that one sound. In the case of the modeller, if you were to change the settings for just one amp emulation and not use the other amp emulations, the comparison is more fair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. I've stuck with digital and modelling as much as possible, I've just sought out modellers that I find to have an easier interface. I've ended up with a B3 into a GK Plex. Modelly, digitally, ampless, frfr, all of the good stuff just with as little complexity as I could find without compromising sound. Other people in other situations may prefer other equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×