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 Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4

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EricHaven
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PostSubject: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:13 pm

Our singer Dave had some vocal re-tracking to do, so Linda and I headed to our drummer Doug's studio last night to put in our two-cents. After Dave was done with the vocal parts, Doug and I took some time to properly play with the Line 6 POD and the Korg A4 to try and dial up some good bass tones for me. We did this because we both recognized that we needed to find the right balance between what I want my bass to sound like, and to how Doug wants it to sound from the standpoint of a recording engineer. Not that Doug has any issues with my tone or playing style. Quite the opposite, in fact. He simply has not worked with my particular tones before, as every other bassist he has worked with was usually not going for so much smoke! Laughing

We had both sides going into Doug's mixing console, and we used his JBL studio monitors to listen to the results.

We began with the Korg A4. The idea was to dial up a great and reliable tone for my low/clean channel that would read well, and rattle the roof off. So as I thumped along with my low/clean signal going by itself, Doug sat with the A4 in his lap, and tweaked the knobs and settings as I played. As we did this, Linda took notes so we would remember what worked well. It was a lot of Doug and I looking at each other as a particular sound came up, and going: "hmmm....how about this one?" After about 30 minutes, we had a tone setting dialed in that worked really well, rattled everything that wasn't nailed down in the studio, and was pleasing to the ear.

Then came my dirt channel. Again, Doug loves what I do, but he struggles with having a bass player that does this sort of thing for the first time that he can recall. So we talked about what I wanted the bass to sound like, and what he expected it to do for the recording process. His biggest problem comes from my finger squeaks that come from the distortion. I told him that I agreed, but that it's a balancing act to find enough gain and drive to fill in the gaps, and to bring out my little Eric-isms, such as feedback (more for my live rig setup, not so much for in the studio), harmonics, and squeals. So we set out to find a balance.

We repeated the same process, as Doug bounced along through the POD's many, many, MANY tonal parameters. Linda again jotted down a handful of settings that we all liked, then we did an elimination round. After another 30 minutes, we finally found a setting that is an almost dead-ringer for the DOD Grunge sound that I love so much. Chords sound absolutely monstrous, harmonics ring out, and the squeals are literally ear-splitting.

Doug then brought up both channels in the board as I played. I ran through some song parts, and did a bunch of solo techniques. Right away, I knew we had found an awesome combination, but it was Doug who summed it up best:

"Dude....that sounds frickin' HUGE!!!!" Laughing

So now I finally have a killer set of tones that I am absolutely going to stick with. I am now going to go back and re-track everything I have done for the Alien Probe tracks, and I will post them as they get finished. I am also going to run both the POD and the A4 through my live rig during next practice to test it out in a live setting, but I have high hopes that it will work well.

Gads, this is a lot of work sometimes! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:21 pm

thats awesome that you spent the time and had the help working this stuff out. you said you found the dod tone that you were looking for and thats cool.

i on the other hand, cant even listen to the recordings from the last 40ws session. it was done so fast, i had no help whatsoever from the cat recording us, he had no experience ... or idea ... what i was trying to do with my bass tone (chicken and/or egg thing?) and i had no help from the bandmates, as they were hurried and focused on their own issues.

we are gonna re - record in the spring and i am defiately gonna take the time with dave, from von kull, to set up and record the bass correctly. we work too hard at this to have a half butt recording.

cant wait to hear your results eric.
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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:23 pm

Thanks, Bro! Wink I'm also looking forward to hearing the final results!

And BTW, I did tell Doug that you had expressed an interest in the Korg. He just smiled. Which, in Dugga-Dugga Speak means "that's nice, but no thanks."

I then mentioned that I might like to buy it myself.

He just smiled again. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:23 am

there's a bit of an old synth adage that goes that there are no bad synth's, just lousy programmers. Wink

shows with hard work it's not always the gear that's important!
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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:07 am

thats kewl eric. i dont like to part with gear either ... wether its good stuff i need or junk i dont use, i regret it when it walks away.

and tekken ... theres the old addage that i've found applies to synth ... money talks. chek out the differences in price between ibanez or boss effects and boutique stuff like moog, pigface and ehx. the more expensive units there is definately more quality and speed from the transition from standdard signal to synth.

lousy programmers? i've tried just about every adjustment, on the process, pre process and post process, and my boss synth effects still leave something to be desired. its not a bad synth ... its just not a $1500 moog.

i read all the reviews and the ehx is rated the best unit ... for the buck or not. as good as the moog at 1/3 the price.

when i get it i'll post my review.
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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:09 pm

problem with the boss syb series is that they aren't really that programmable.

just get roland GK-3b you get accurate midi send and multi-timbrality, and they don't go for too much second hand.
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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:41 pm

I've played with the Electro-Harmonix synths, and they seems to work really well as far as speed and tracking are concerned. In fact, I have always wished that I had more use for such a range of tones, as I love the sound of a really good bass synth. But alas, I can't seem to find room for any such thing while playing blistering metal! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:38 pm

as far as straight "plug bass in here" style bass synth's i haven't seen one better than the Music from outer space subcommander.

http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/analogsynth/GUITARSYNTHAUG2007/GUITARSYNTHAUG2007.html

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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:34 am

if i get something like that mfos subcommander dohickey, i'll be in my basement for months and i forsee amy leaving me and getting fired from my job due to my lack of participation in anything else in life other than this thing. plus ... i'm already nerdy enuff. ha!

theres gotta be an easier way.

i looked at these roland units. the model numbers you posted are just for the pickup. this pickup is better than they used to be; much smaller. the pickup is cheap; the effect module is about $1200 ... used.

these things sound sweet!

i can think of 10 other things i'de rather spend $1300 on before i'de buy one of these units.

i dont want an extra pickup and a sending module hanging half duct taped to my bass ... i got enuff junk on there already.

theres gotta be an easier way.

ehx.
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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:40 pm

That's funny. The same night that Doug and I dialed in my tones, he also tweaked on a program he has in his computer that features a number of Ampeg bass preamp settings. Every so often, he'd pass one that was some sort of weird and twisted bass synth thingy, and Linda, myself, and Doug would all look up at each other with these expressions of "what the hell was THAT all about?" Laughing

I agree. I don't think I'd drop $1300 on such a unit either, when I could get almost the same results using an EH unit for a lot less $$$.

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PostSubject: Re: Trail runs using the Line 6 POD and Korg A4   Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:19 pm

If you're only planning on recording, you can get second hand units with the decoder box (no synth) for about 300 (i've seen them for that much) and then juust run it through a Midi interface into your computer and use some free VSTi software synthesizers. In fact, i've seen free Pitch to midi converters before for PC, they might work okay too as long as you're using a low latency interface and an ASIO driver. I'll look for some right now...
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