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How to Respond When The Bass Player Doesn't Like Your Helix

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Your bass player is scared of new things, that is all. If he actually cared about putting on the best sounding show possible, he'd ALSO go direct and you guys would invest in a little digital mixer so you can run all IEM and get a small Dual-Main/Sub PA system for gigs where you need stage bleed.

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Your bass player took the time to write several paragraphs!  You are not going to change his mind no matter what you do!  Unless he is going to commit the same energy into solving the problem as he did complaining you can either comply or just move along.  I bet if you wrote similar email about his rig, his bass, his tone he would waste no time moving along, or kicking you to the curb.

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Send him an email in return complaining about his rig and poor timing?

I don't know.  I generally tell my band mates to lollipop off in those situations.  My rig.  If they bring it up I not so politely tell the other guitarist that he has the worst sounding marshall I've ever heard (2 channel JCM800 that sounds like complete lollipop).

Seriously, he sounds a lot like the guitarist in my band till he started to understand how much you can do with the helix and that it can sound better than an amp.  He just judged it because it "didn't look rock and roll" like my old pedalboad consisting of 20 plus boxes.  Either give him time or tell him to mind his own business.

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"Talk to the guitar guy at Sam Ash" -  Sorry dude, your bass player is hopeless.  He cannot be saved if he thinks this is good advice.  Either move on or find another bass player and show him the curb.




 

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I have never had anyone react to my digital stuff like that. Every single time they are blown away, even if they are pretty serious gear snobs. Are you sure your tones are good? It would be a good idea to bring your own monitor. A DBR10 is only $400 and the upgraded DXR12 is only a little more. Either way, I'd add to this list and shoot it back to him. The guy is clueless. 

 

Helix:

Thrice: https://www.instagram.com/p/BWT9wcvlL9a/?taken-by=thrice

http://line6.com/artists/

 

Kemper

Muse: http://www.musewiki.org/Kemper_Profiling_Amplifier

https://www.kemper-amps.com/artist-gallery

 

Fractal:

http://www.fractalaudio.com/artists.php

 

 

 

 

Brit Floyd and Keith Urban -Fractal

King Crimson and Paul Young- Helix

Jesus Culture - Kemper

 

 

The lists could go on.

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Brit Floyd and Keith Urban -Fractal

King Crimson and Paul Young- Helix

Jesus Culture - Kemper

 

 

The lists could go on.

King Crimson has all 3 of the big guys on stage.

 

Also mention that robert fripp hasnt used an amp in decades.

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First of all, your bass player sent you an email. That right there is telling you there's trouble. My bass player can't touch his phone without breaking it let alone look at a computer long enough to figure out what it is and why it isn't exploding.

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First of all, your bass player sent you an email. That right there is telling you there's trouble. My bass player can't touch his phone without breaking it let alone look at a computer long enough to figure out what it is and why it isn't exploding.

 

 

Me and the bass player are fine and he is on board with me using the Helix.  I would leave the band and keep the helix if I had to choose.  I think his biggest concern was what happens when we play out the pa speakers face the audience and not us.  I will use an amp unless we know we will have working monitors.  It's all good.  I encourage communication with everyone, especially bandmates so the last thing I want to do is discourage questions and exchange of ideas.

 

thank you all for some great suggestions and advise.  from here on out, I believe I'm good and the bass player and the rest of the band is fine too!

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Let's not forget Rush bass,player Geddy Lee went direct with a Sans Amp. That's why one tour he had dryers behind Jim and another he had chicken roasters behind him. He said he had to have something behind him.

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... My bass player can't touch his phone without breaking it let alone look at a computer long enough to figure out what it is and why it isn't exploding.

 

Does your bass player have a second band because this sounds exactly like my bass player?   :D

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Does your bass player have a second band because this sounds exactly like my bass player?   :D

 

Don't tell me you live in California.....

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Ugh.  I like the suggestion that you send him some videos of modelers being used live.  Send him ALL of the Metallic clips from this latest tour.  ALL Fractal.  i know this is a Helix forum, and while I am not a Metallica fan....it speaks VOLUMES that they are using Fractals live.

 

 

Devin Townsend uses Fractal live, I saw him with it last year on tour. What I didn't see were many amps.  3 bands played at that show, and I only saw 2 traditional guitar rigs (amp and all) They were mainly for the opening act. 

 

Devin only had the Fractal, and the Kemper at the show I saw, but that was when the Helix just came out.  Now I read that Devin is actually using Helix along side his Fractal, and Kemper... Studio, and touring!  AND he is quite a respected musician in the metal scene.

 

To the OP, as long as there is adequate ways of monitoring everyone, and you all can hear it.... then to hell with your bassist's outdated perception, and preferences. 

The only real point your bassist made in that entire email was the concern that everyone in the band could be monitored efficiently.  By the way, that can be done much easier if his lollipop goes direct too! Everything else he was going on about was rooted in nonsense.

 

Its always hard beating your head against the wall trying to convince traditionalists anything other than their out-dated view. I suspect this is the root of the problem here!

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First of all, your bass player sent you an email. That right there is telling you there's trouble. My bass player can't touch his phone without breaking it let alone look at a computer long enough to figure out what it is and why it isn't exploding.

 

Does your bass player have a second band because this sounds exactly like my bass player?   :D

 

ef92e9330aadcdbdcb96c2eee16d08b7.jpg

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 No one uses amp modeling for live performance.
 
==========================================

 

No one.. No one at all. 

Except Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, 3 Doors Down, Periphery, Deftones..  {insert endless list of bands here}.

 

Since when do bass players call the shots anyways unless you're Kool and the gang

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I see a lot of anti social responses here that. I think won't get you very far. Yes your bass player seems to be coming from a place of ignorance but I think the approach is to try to make this all work. I play live with my helix every week and have created a few converts myself who are hard core amp guys.

 

I think the approach here is to work with him. If his issue is not hearing you on stage, invest in some form of powered cabinet to give that stage volume. If the issue is how it sounds in the practice space, work together to make it sound good. I think you gently challenge his assumptions about modeling but also firmly assert that "this is my rig and this is what I'm going to play. I am willing to work together to make sure it works for everyone because I have no doubt it can"

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I think the approach here is to work with him.

Depends on the details of the situation. The bass player is a knucklehead and a lousy communicator. If the band is a major source of my livelihood, I'd suck it up and try to make lemons into lemonade. If I'm a weekend warrior who's mainly interested in blowing off steam, there's no way I'd deal with that bassist any longer than I had to. Life's too short.
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What can you expect from someone who can only play one note at time and can't handle more than 4 strings. 

 

How many bass players does it take to screw in a light bulb ?  

 

One, but the guitar player had to show him how.

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My Bass player in my original prog band had the same complaint as in he wanted a dedicated guitar amp onstage.  When it finally came down to it it was just HIS personal comfort zone and nothing to do with the sound of the unit (which he thoroughly enjoyed)  There seems to be a general misunderstanding on his part on what modeler's actually do and how they are applied.  The basic statement that modeler's are not used live is pretty much untrue even if he did see a mike in front of an amp at a Van Halen show.  There are plenty of bands touring with modeler's in the Rig.  Alex Lifeson uses an AXE modeler in his system.  I personally have run my HELIX straight to the board since word go and have gotten tons of compliments including from the sound guy.

 

The only good point would be the one about onstage monitoring.  In the past I have used small behringer keyboard amps, currently using JBL CW 1000, and the band also has an in ear system.  I am also the sound guy for the band when we do have to drag a PA around.  However guitar amps are also very directional so I seriously doubt he would have been hearing the straight feed onstage anyways.

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Me and the bass player are fine and he is on board with me using the Helix.  I would leave the band and keep the helix if I had to choose.  I think his biggest concern was what happens when we play out the pa speakers face the audience and not us.  I will use an amp unless we know we will have working monitors.  It's all good.  I encourage communication with everyone, especially bandmates so the last thing I want to do is discourage questions and exchange of ideas.

 

thank you all for some great suggestions and advise.  from here on out, I believe I'm good and the bass player and the rest of the band is fine too!

Its hard to keep perspective with the "lack of knowledge" on todays modeling technology and the stigma others may have... So in the vein  of keeping the good blood between you and the bass player here are a few more "common sense" issues that need to be pointed out.

1) If you played a venue without a appropriate monitors you are already screwed... your vocalist is the one that everyone should be the most concerned about if that is the case... I haven't played a venue without monitors in a long long time... even the smallest clubs have them.  if they don't, you need your own, or go IEM.

2) I get the fact that he may be used to the Sound Pressure Levels pounding on his chest, but once you guys have worked on getting your levels acceptable (meaning- just above the drums) your sound will improve immensely.

3) Like others have pointed out... clearly, he is in the dark with how prevalent modelers are now in live situations...point him at a few of the bands and add this guy to the list -Richie Castellano of Blue Oyster Cult.

4) This has been said as well, so just repeating good advice-  get a good monitor for your self... I went with the L6 L2M, there are more affordable options but this one works great... I can place it behind me like a cab, but I prefer to use it as a monitor and go direct to the house PA. It works fantastic, and I have never heard one of my band mates complain about my levels (or lack of amp).  I used to blow their heads off with a Marshall 1959... I just think they are all thankful now!

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I know I'm late to this party... but this showed up on the Seymour Duncan Facebook feed this weekend. Seemed like more fat for the fire.

 

Just finished putting together my rack for the upcoming tour with Marty Friedman!

Check out the dates and VIP upgrades here. 
www.scalethesummitstore.com 
Tickets are on sale now!

For all you gear nerds:
Monster Pro 2500
Line 6 Relay g90 wireless
Line 6 Helix
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Seymour Duncan Power Stage 700
Gator Cases 12U rack case 
And a huge cable mess in the back 1f60e.png

 

Ri3ia1M.jpg

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My new band has their first gig early next month and the bassist and I use a Pod HD500X and a Helix respectively, through Alto monitors. The drummer is worried and thinks we need amps.

 

Yeah, you read that right, DRUMMER!

 

His reasoning is he doesn't think the provided PA will be loud enough! Oh the hilarity!!

 

Not only is it extremely loud during our practices with three daisy-chained Alto wedges, we're going to be bringing those as well and he's still worried.

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My new band has their first gig early next month and the bassist and I use a Pod HD500X and a Helix respectively, through Alto monitors. The drummer is worried and thinks we need amps.

 

Yeah, you read that right, DRUMMER!

 

His reasoning is he doesn't think the provided PA will be loud enough! Oh the hilarity!!

 

Not only is it extremely loud during our practices with three daisy-chained Alto wedges, we're going to be bringing those as well and he's still worried.

Hmmm....I didn't think drummers were smart enough to worry. ;)

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Hmmm....I didn't think drummers were smart enough to worry. ;)

Well he can count to 4. Just not any higher or lower.

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Well he can count to 4. Just not any higher or lower.

Ours can count to 8. I feel blessed....

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i think if your patches are tweaked in at gig volume and the onstage monitoring is sorted ( dont just rely on the venues system) then the bass players worries will be allayed after a gig or two

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I agree the email he sent you was rather misinformed but it begs the question of why he sent it.

I can deduce that someone is in his ear about modelers and how it detracts from the classic amp on stage look.

And from a later email you put up;' it could simply of been that the guitar being such a broadband instrument is even more broadband and dynamic than thru an amp and your tone was wiping his tone out.

So he proceeded to give the reasons, benefits and stature of using a real amp versus some disinfomation about modeling amps. That is a dig that gets all of us with our hair up on our necks.

 

To keep the show on the road I would simply ask what problem he was trying to solve and really make sure you got the problem.

 

But in the meantime at rehearsal going thru the PA roll off some bottom end so he can hear himself and make sure you scoop a little so the vocals can be heard.

 

It could easily of been the Helix took over the PA sound and not knowing the simple cause he put it down to modeling.

 

As a bassist it is nice to be heard at lower rehearsal volumes as the guitarist gets most of the fun adding color and dynamics.

Realize if it was the vocalist you'd make sonic space for him and it is only fair you leave the bottom end frequencies for your bassist. There his and the kick. You got no right to invade his sonic space! 

 

The good thing about bass is we don't actually have to be in a guitar band and many better bassists play in ensembles that don't have a guitar at all. We too like being the only stringed instrument.

So if we are laying down the bottom end for you, have some respect for personal space and roll off that 140hz on down please

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Reading the original post all the bass player is saying though is that the monitoring is not good for the band/him as the PA speakers are in front of him pointing away.

 

There is some validity in this but does your synth line and vocals just go through the PA as well, can he hear them or is he just bothered about the guitar?

 

I would think a simple solution would be to have a monitoring setup firing back towards the band, it's sort of basic.

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A couple of things..   My reaction would be to tell them to find a new guitarist.  Period.  However, if that is not your choice..  I'll worry about my own gear and ability to hear myself thank you very much and based on the seeming lack of a monitor system, you could bring your own wedge to hear yourself.   That's what most folks do.  Or you could run a line to backline amp too... or if he really can't hear you, run a line to a backline amp behind HIM !!!   but seriously...  why play with people who don't take you for who you are.  Life's too short.  They call it "playing" music, cause it's supposed to be fun.

 

There is NO need for you to defend your choices of gear.  This is what you got.  they don't like... get someone else.  done.

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time to look for new bass player or new band.  If my bass player said that to me I would laugh him out of the room. 

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Btw, when all else fails with an uncooperative and unfamiliar PA and I need a quick fix the Helix's global EQ becomes my best friend. Be prepared to cut to 5k or even below but opt for a setting as high as you can get away with so you don't get a muffled sound and totally kill your high end. You might require a low cut as well. This should at least, in short order, get you a tolerable tone if not ideal.

^Yep^

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 Amp modeling is only to be used when using a real amp is not practical, rare as those occasions may be.

 

Simulated amps and cabs are never as good as the real thing, no matter what the manufacturer claims.

 

amp modeling is mostly a sales gimmick and doesn't serve much purpose in the real world.

 

No one uses amp modeling for live performance. 

 

My reaction to these statements: http://i.imgur.com/pvXCtP5.gifv

 

Dude needs to get with the 21st century, for real.

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