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Pedal help required


paddy109

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Good morning Basschatters,

 

I confess to be a pedal newbie and have build up a small pedal board after trial and error of what I think is useful in my band. 

 

When I use my pedal through a small practice amp at home or headphones my effects sound great and just how I would like them to sound in a band setting.

 

My problem happens once I put my board through my TB500 and Barefaced super compact in a band practice. The effects seem to loose some of their effect/rawness that I am looking for. I can hear a difference when engaging the pedals but they don’t have oomph I am looking for.

 

Any advice?

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2 hours ago, paddy109 said:

Good morning Basschatters,

 

I confess to be a pedal newbie and have build up a small pedal board after trial and error of what I think is useful in my band. 

 

When I use my pedal through a small practice amp at home or headphones my effects sound great and just how I would like them to sound in a band setting.

 

My problem happens once I put my board through my TB500 and Barefaced super compact in a band practice. The effects seem to loose some of their effect/rawness that I am looking for. I can hear a difference when engaging the pedals but they don’t have oomph I am looking for.

 

Any advice?

 

Hi Paddy - is it when the rest of the band are playing in rehearsal that effects seem to lose their edge? Or are you hearing the difference through the TB500 and BF SC even when playing solo and without the rest of the band?

 

If it's in the band mix, then not being able to hear the nuances of the bass tones when in competition and overlap with the rest of the band is not unusual. If it's even when playing solo, then worth checking that your volume settings on clean by-pass are the same as when you have your pedals engaged with your full rig - this may well differ from what you have them set on with the practice amp and headphones.

Edited by Al Krow
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It’s when playing solo and then obviously worse when in the bandmix. 

 

I will I’ll keep tinkering. It’s difficult at band practice because we are there to practice songs not for me to faff about with my sound.

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It might just be a case of playing with the TB500's EQ, as well as your pedal settings, as obviously, it's not the same as your practice amp.

 

Assuming that you have a rehearsal space, it maybe worthwhile booking it for an hour or so on your own, just to mess about with the amp & pedals at reasonable / band volume levels.

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12 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

I presume you are using some kind of power block to power them?

It was also be helpful to know what pedals you have and the order they are in your signal chain.

I use power source similar to this.

FE0417FB-257F-4C33-9DE1-7788525DFFF1.png

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36 minutes ago, paddy109 said:

...I will I’ll keep tinkering. It’s difficult at band practice because we are there to practice songs not for me to faff about with my sound.

 

I have to say I sympathise with that statement a lot! 

 

They might be willing to have a listen out as to how different settings are working in the mix - in my crew, our drummer has a decent ear, the rest almost certainly don't seem to hear any small bass sound changes in the mix!

 

Two tips then from me:

- as mentioned earlier make sure that you don't have a volume drop or spike when engaging the pedals;

- secondly try giving the mid EQ a slight boost on your amp (or bass if it's active), to help you cut through the mix a bit more. 

 

Edited by Al Krow
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The thing with pedals is that they react differently depending your other gear.  They will always sound different through headphones than through an amp, and they will even react differently with different amps. You really need to take a bit of time and get used to how they work with your rig. 

What pedals are you using and what order do you put them in? Pedals can sound different depending on where you put them in your signal chain, especially if you are stacking them rather than using one at a time.

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Headphones in particular, but also a small practice amp will sound very different to a big amp, especially something 'warm' sounding like the TB500 into a cab without a tweeter. The key is really to set up the effects with the amp you intend to use them.

Of course, there is a big difference between the sounds you hear sat facing your amp (as many of us do at home) and stood facing away from the amp (as many of us do with a band). For the greatest consistency you could consider setting up the sounds you want to hear with the amp in the position you would have it live- this will make it more likely that you receive the sounds you prefer, but will mean that everyone else will hear something different. The other option is to set the sounds you want the listener to hear, but then accept that for that sound to be projected into the room from the amp, you will be lacking some of the detail due to most of it arriving at your legs and bum rather than your ears!

 

There will always be a degree of compromise unless you are using in-ears, and even then, that which sounds great by itself might not be ideal in the mix.

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4 hours ago, paddy109 said:

It’s when playing solo and then obviously worse when in the bandmix. 

 

I will I’ll keep tinkering. It’s difficult at band practice because we are there to practice songs not for me to faff about with my sound.

 

IMO rehearsing as a band is both about making sure you're all playing the right notes at the right time AND making sure that you all have the right sounds for the song(s).

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5 hours ago, paddy109 said:

I will I’ll keep tinkering. It’s difficult at band practice because we are there to practice songs not for me to faff about with my sound.

 

4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I have to say I sympathise with that statement a lot! 

 

They might be willing to have a listen out as to how different settings are working in the mix - in my crew, our drummer has a decent ear, the rest almost certainly don't seem to hear any small bass sound changes in the mix!

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

IMO rehearsing as a band is both about making sure you're all playing the right notes at the right time AND making sure that you all have the right sounds for the song(s).

 

Approach this in the right way and none of your band mates should have any problem with this. As BRX says, getting the right sounds for the songs is a very important part of rehearsing. 

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50 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

 

IMO rehearsing as a band is both about making sure you're all playing the right notes at the right time AND making sure that you all have the right sounds for the song(s).

I kinda have to agree with BRX. So much of being in a band is about being heard and working along with what’s already there in terms of the band sound. It could be as simple as hiring the rehearsal room for an hour before the band gets there/going in in you own, playing some music into the pa at volume and jamming along tweakingbas you go. Ideally tweaking one pedal at a time with the eq stuff first to ‘hear’ if you’re sitting in a zone/frequency/region. It’s not ideal but it should afford you some idea, at volume, of what’s more likely to work. The opposite to this is dial

in a sound which might not be that easy on the ear in isolation at home and see if it translates. Maybe pull back in the low end. Give 200-250hz a wee bump try it out, reset to noon, give 340-400hz a wee bump if you can, try cutting/boosting in about 800hz to hear if that cleans things up, add a bit of 2-4kHz if you want a bit more too without being offensive etc. 
 

Obviously it depends on what eq control you have. TB500 is the orange bass terror? Even with that on board eq it only takes a second at rehearsal to pull back  the lows, boost mids on the first verse, make a swift adjustment on the chorus for the second verse etc. Explain to the band you’re having difficulty hearing yourself in the room, it’s not a volume issue, ask them what they can hear, if they think you need more lows, more mids etc. Choose one or two songs you guys know well, something that maybe won’t need undivided attention on the actual parts so folks are able to listen rather than concentrate on what they’re having to play. Even if it only translates to the sound in that one rehearsal space you will all enjoy rehearsal more and it will translate into the performance and you’ll

gain a better understanding of your pedals in context. 
 

These are all things I have done and continue to do when necessary. Remember small changes one ata time is better then randomly turning knobs out of frustration. If you can bone up on things like eq points and what qualities they have boxy, clanky etc you’ll quickly learn what works and what you like and most importantly how to achieve it quickly and unobtrusively in many situations. 

Edited by krispn
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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

 

IMO rehearsing as a band is both about making sure you're all playing the right notes at the right time AND making sure that you all have the right sounds for the song(s).

Definitely, in my last band I had a sound that was far from my preference but it was what suited the material/style of the band. 

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And you won't know exactly what sound you need until you hear it with the rest of the band playing.

 

I have a Line6 Helix, and when I am working on a new song I will have a pretty good idea of the sound I am after and get it programmed up with all the modules I need. However I won't be able to perfect that sound until I'm in the rehearsal room with the rest of the band, and can tell where need to tweak it to get it right for the overall band sound.

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Your bass sound at low volume or through headphones will be diiferent from that at higher volume levels especially once you add other musicians. Many factors at play here and as mentioned, you'll need to spend time working through it at rehearsals, specifically;

  • as 'krispn' mentioned, mids are very important in a band setting to cut through the mix. 400 & 800hz areas are particularly worth tweaking.
  • speaker cabinet bass response; unlike headphones, speakers do not have a flat response especially at volume. Unless you're playing through massive PA speakers the -3db points on a typical bass rig are usually reached around 80hz and at 41hz (your low E) it will be nearer -12db. Due to the laws of physics, no amount of eq will bring it back up. Boosting 80 / 100hz is more effective but can sound boomy (short of hiring roadies and having massive bass bins there's still no miracle solution to this one unfortunately).
  • speaker cabinet treble response; a lot of cabinets have piezo tweeters (they're cheap) and as a consequence can sound harsh, so tweeter choice is important. Boost at 3.6khz can add presence, using a shelving type treble boost can add 'air' to your sound higher up but also add to noise levels, and again the quality of the boost will depend on the quality of the tweeter.
  • Compressor; I find a good quality compressor helps with dynamics in a live situation and helps the speakers in my bass rig cope much better and give a punchier sound.
  • and finally.... active or passive pickups, and by that I mean pickups not onboard preamp. Active pickups have less windings and therfore a greater frequency range, passive pickups have greater windings and a much reduced range. No point in boosting above 4 or 5 khz with passive basses as you'll just be boosting noise.

Good luck!

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If your using the octave or are expecting to hear the sub octave tones from the overdrive, it could be that, as good as barefaced cabs are, the sound from your rig at volume doesn't sound as deep as they do through headphones. In this respect, eq'ing and control over the gain structures in the overdrives are an important part of the live sound.

Also, and this is a personal opinion, overdrive has a certain amount of compression, as does the sansamp preamp, but the biggest difference I've had on the control of my tone is a compressor with full control over ratio, attack & release.

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Maybe try changing the order of your pedals. I'd keep the Sansamp first for tone shaping, followed by the Dapper. Octaves and filters like strong signals, and I think they work best near the front of the chain. I like putting my drive pedals going  from low to high gain, so I'd probably go Darkglass>Boss>EHX. 

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Lots of EQs and lots of distortion/overdrives. Never a good combination unless you are only using one EQ and one distortion at a time.

 

What amp is all this going into? It will have yet another EQ section and maybe depending on what it is yet more distortion.

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A very drive heavy board and although I may be talking out my a$$ the sansamp and the dapper may well be very similar in how they’re eq’d.

 

Are any of the pedals ‘always on’ as that’s a good place to start. And I suppose the other standard go to question is what songs/sounds are you aiming for?
 

 

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Lots of drive there!

Headphones will be full range, whereas the Super Compact without a high frequency horn won't be giving you a lot above 4khz. That's a massive difference in frequency response where harmonic-heavy distortion in concerned.

 

Add in the coloured nature of the TB500, and it's no wonder the response is so different.

 

The same advice applies- set the sounds you want with the gear you intend to use.

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Thanks all. Food for thought.

I should’ve explained that I only use the dapper for the chorus effect and this is just one song.

Also I tend to only use one effect at a time.

Another thing that I haven’t really thought about until now is that I am expecting the same sound I hear on a YouTube clip advertising or reviewing an effect. 

Thanks all for putting some thought into my question.

Paddy.

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