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Bass --> FoH with no backline. What preamp pedal are you using?


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As it says on the tinĀ šŸ™‚Ā Appreciate there have been a load of pre-amp threads, but was looking to have something specifically targeted for us silent stagers using IEMs.

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I've been using a cheap as chips Zoom multi-fx (B1-4) to provide a half-decent pre-amp, as a step up from going directly into the desk, but I've recently been thinking it maybe a slightly daft corner to be cutting!Ā 

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What quality, ideally compact from my perspective, preamp are you guys & gals using and what benefits to your sound in the mix are you getting from them vs any others you've used?

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Edited by Al Krow
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I have recently bought an Ashdown Pro DI pedal to do exactly this.

I normally use the RM500 evo2 but with my Police tribute going IEM I feel I can ditch the bass amp and cab

I havent actually tried it yet (at a gig) but it sounds good in my practice place, I just need to mount it to a pedal board or maybe just used it as a table top thing (so it doesnt get mucky)

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As everyone is sick of hearing me say now. Line6 Helix Floor.

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As my core sounds I'm using the 10 band graphic EQ,Ā Teemah! Distortion and 70s Chorus for one band; andĀ Obsidian 7000 Distortion/EQ, 70s Chorus andĀ Elephant Man Delay for the other.

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No Amp or Cab models, except where I'm using an amp specifically for the drive sound on a couple of Presets.

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Sansamp (to add a 'little' drive) > Fishman Plat Pro (HPF / Comp / Tuner) > DI from Fishman goes to PA + line out to a Rolls device to have a direct mix of my bass from the pedals + an Aux from the desk with everything else.

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Whats the Zoom B1Four not giving you, other than XLR?

You had a play with the cab mix and mic?

Joyo suff is usually great and not just for the money. Tidal Wave or Monomyth, or a Behringer BDI21 (unmodded or modded) might be a most basic of all places, cheap and XLR out.

Edited by PaulThePlug
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47 minutes ago, PaulThePlug said:

Whats the Zoom B1Four not giving you, other than XLR?

You had a play with the cab mix and mic?

Joyo suff is usually great and not just for the money. Tidal Wave or Monomyth, or a Behringer BDI21 (unmodded or modded) might be a most basic of all places, cheap and XLR out.

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It's a good question.Ā 

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But I'm thinking the quality of FoH and IEM sound from using a higher end preamp should be better? So I'm keen to find out if that's folks real world experience from having tried various preamps themselves.

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Iā€™ve got a SansAmp programmable and a Zoom B1ON. I use the Zoom mainly but sometimes use the SansAmp with my P bass as they seem to work well together. The Zoom works with anything.

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Honestly Iā€™ve never had concerns about how either sounds in the mix, Iā€™d prefer a balanced output from the Zoom but am happy with the sound Iā€™m getting.

Edited by Phil Starr
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Ā 

7 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

Iā€™ve got a SansAmp programmable and a Zoom B1ON. I use the Zoom mainly but sometimes use the SansAmp with my P bass

Are you hearing any difference to your FoH sound or IEM clarity from the Sansamp, or is it just different, Phil?

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14 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

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Are you hearing any difference to your FoH sound or IEM clarity from the Sansamp, or is it just different, Phil?

Thereā€™s no doubt that thereā€™s a little fairy dust in the SansAmp sound and I love the blend control in terms of getting a good sound quickly, but I donā€™t go for extreme sounds, just a touch of drive. It seems to even out the sound across the strings and saving me from having to eq for that, having said that once youā€™ve set up the zoom once you donā€™t need to worry about it again.

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The thing is that you can always hear a change but tweaking for a good sound seems to be more down to how you mix and what you do with the other instruments.Ā 
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For clarity I use HPF and shelve the bass down at around 150Hzin the mixer.Ā 
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3 hours ago, police squad said:

I have recently bought an Ashdown Pro DI pedal to do exactly this.

I normally use the RM500 evo2 but with my Police tribute going IEM I feel I can ditch the bass amp and cab

I havent actually tried it yet (at a gig) but it sounds good in my practice place, I just need to mount it to a pedal board or maybe just used it as a table top thing (so it doesnt get mucky)

Ā 

Did you consider any alternatives when deciding Ashdown and, if so, what tipped you in favour of this one?Ā 

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If you are having clarity issues in your IEMs try listening to the sound you hear with them switched off but still firmly in place. To me itā€™s muffled but the real bass is still getting through. If your bass is going through the PA loud enough to reach the back of the room and you are only 2-3m from the PA then you are always going to be swimming in deep bass. Having as little of the sub frequencies in your monitoring as possible is the only way of coping with that.

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What are you missing that your current set up isnā€™t offering? What other preamps have you tried and what was it about them that didnā€™t work or do you want to mix it up. The Zoom is handy but do you want a stand alone, single pre unit with tubes and transformers and no need for presets?

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I ask because I have been using a preamp set up (into a cab ir) direct to doh and Iā€™m very pleased with it. Itā€™s a tube based unit and has a nice character which I feel gives some extra dimension in the mix and it feels responsive under the fingers, no latency etc. That little bit of grit I can get from it blends into things nicely in the mix and doesnā€™t sound sterile going direct (and that was before the cab ir was on my board). Ā 
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Thereā€™s tons of pre amps out there. It all depends whatā€™s important - latest chipset, one good solid core tone, presetsā€¦

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I have three that I use, depending on the setting

For most dep jobs requiring a clean bass tone I use an MXR m80

for more Rock gigs with a capital R its the Steve Harris pre from Tech 21

and for slightly more old school, I have the Laney Digbeth.

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There is very little to choose between the laney and the t21 I feel at the moment, and they could probably cover each other if needed.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, krispn said:

What are you missing that your current set up isnā€™t offering? What other preamps have you tried and what was it about them that didnā€™t work or do you want to mix it up. The Zoom is handy but do you want a stand alone, single pre unit with tubes and transformers and no need for presets?

Ā 

I ask because I have been using a preamp set up (into a cab ir) direct to doh and Iā€™m very pleased with it. Itā€™s a tube based unit and has a nice character which I feel gives some extra dimension in the mix and it feels responsive under the fingers, no latency etc. That little bit of grit I can get from it blends into things nicely in the mix and doesnā€™t sound sterile going direct (and that was before the cab ir was on my board). Ā 
Ā 

Thereā€™s tons of pre amps out there. It all depends whatā€™s important - latest chipset, one good solid core tone, presetsā€¦

Ā 

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It's a good question, Gav. You're right there's loads of preamps out there and it would be easy for this to become another "my favourite pre-amp is..." thread.Ā 

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As you'll maybe remember I've had a few preamps over the years (e.g. 2Notes le Bass, Tech21 VTDI, BDDI and Q\Strip and Helix Stomp, as well as a couple of other Zoom multis) but all used in conjunction with an amp & cab set up. I've only really been using a pedal board direct to desk these past 18 months.Ā I'm not sure that anything is necessarily missing from my current sound (yes it really is 90% in the fingers, haha!), but I'm also conscious that I've not invested much on that part of my set up and just wondering if it's worth upping my game on that side of things? So I'm keen to find if those of us going direct to FoH have found a particular pre-amp is making a positive difference to their sound and what else they've tried.

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Good solid core tone, is probably #1, presets (#2) and latest chipset (#3) are always nice to have but, usually but not always, tend be multifx territory. I'm maybe thinking a quality preamp for a solid core tone and a little Zoom MS60B plus when it's released in a couple of months could tick all the boxes, assuming that a dedicated preamp should be able to out do a Zoom pedal for core tone, which it should do.

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What's your latest pre-amp squeeze that's hit the mark for you?

Edited by Al Krow
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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

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Did you consider any alternatives when deciding Ashdown and, if so, what tipped you in favour of this one?Ā 

I really like my RM500 and I like the Ashdown ethos.

The amp is simple to use and get a good sound from so I presumed the preamp pedal would be good. It sounds great in my practice room and at some point I was going to A/B with the RM, both into my desk and then to my IEMs to see if there's much difference

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On 17/04/2024 at 13:08, Al Krow said:

As it says on the tinĀ šŸ™‚Ā Appreciate there have been a load of pre-amp threads, but was looking to have something specifically targeted for us silent stagers using IEMs.

Ā 

I've been using a cheap as chips Zoom multi-fx (B1-4) to provide a half-decent pre-amp, as a step up from going directly into the desk, but I've recently been thinking it maybe a slightly daft corner to be cutting!Ā 

Ā 

What quality, ideally compact from my perspective, preamp are you guys & gals using and what benefits to your sound in the mix are you getting from them vs any others you've used?

Ā 

Ā 

I use the Origin Effects BassRig, which has the cabinet simulator as well.

Ā 

I like it, because I'm usually always getting the same "sound" in my IEM's, unless the FOH/Monitor person is doing something really odd with the channel eq. For gigs where we're supplying PA, I can leave the desk pre-set and know the mix is how I want it.

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GK Plex as it has switchable Compression, Distortion/Grit, and there are a number of models the various settings. It has a tuner, and will run off my USB Power Bank with appropriate ZipCord USB to 9V cable.

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On 17/04/2024 at 16:11, Phil Starr said:

Iā€™ve got a SansAmp programmable and a Zoom B1ON. I use the Zoom mainly but sometimes use the SansAmp with my P bass as they seem to work well together. The Zoom works with anything.

Ā 

Honestly Iā€™ve never had concerns about how either sounds in the mix, Iā€™d prefer a balanced output from the Zoom but am happy with the sound Iā€™m getting.

I have both the Zoom B1-4 and B2-4, I did buy the B2-4 for the XLR/DI Output but the sound of the effects is just a little better on the B2-4 but I could, and have, used the B1-4 before with an Orchid DI.

Ā 

The BDI21 is also a good shout. I have a thread elsewhere showing how to mod them to smooth out the smiley face.

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I have a BD121 also, it's similar to the SansAmp but dare I say this; it actually sounds a little better straight out of the tin. Much easier to get that little bit of fairy dust sprinkled onto your sound with the Behringer. I had some problems with instability with it though when using it with batteries which it also eats enthusiastically. My SansAmp lasts ages on rechargeables and the programmable one which I have offers switchable eq's so gets the use.

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18 minutes ago, Phil Starr said:

batteries which it also eats enthusiastically.

It can make some funny ( funny strange not funny hilarious) noises when the battery is low. However it is small enough, like the Zoom B1 series, to fit in a gig-bag pocket. I gigged one for several years. It can be used with a power supply too.

Edited by Chienmortbb
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Because I double between fretless bass and NS EUB in one of my bands, I have the rather excellent EBS Stanley Clarke preamp on my board which is a two-channel preamp pedal. I then have a TC Plethora x3 and Sansamp BDDI v2 in the parallel loop of the EBS to add either a little drive or whatever effects I feel I need (normally nothing more than a bit of chorus or reverb). I then take the DI from the EBS into the PA, and an in-ears mix from my desk (Behringer XR18). Works for me across my two regular gigs.Ā 

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I either own or have owned the MXR M80, the GK Plex, Sansamp BDDI, Studiospares 458190, Behringer BDI, TC Spectradrive, Two Notes Le Bass, probably a few others. You know what? Most of them have been great, it's just sound preference and feature sets my man. However, for about the past 5 years I've been really settled on either my HX Stomp (I used to use a faull fat rack Helix, bought the Stomp as a spare, then stopped using the rack) or a Sansamp Paradriver. Both are excellent. Top tier in their respective digital/analogue worlds IME.

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