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Trouble getting clean bass tone from PodFarm 2.5 with UX2

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Hi, everyone,

 

Hoping for some help here.  I have recently purchased a POD UX2 for home recording, replacing an older pair of PODs for bass and guitar.  I am slowly getting my tones dialed in where I want them, but am having trouble with one thing in particular.  I have a great bass tone with some distortion on it to get a grindy, almost Mötorhead kind of sound from my 5-string, and that's what I want to use for most of my bass tracks.  However, I also need to get a good, "clean" bass tone as well with no fuzz or distortion for quieter parts.

 

My problem is, no matter what amp model I choose and no matter what cab, settings, or effects I use or don't use, I'm just not getting a completely clean tone.  If I play at normal velocity, either pick or fingers, the output sounds "clipped", like a harsh, buzzsaw sound overlaying the smooth bass tone.  I'm checking the line in levels before the effects, the output levels, and the ultimate output level in my DAW (which is GarageBand for the time being), but I see that I'm nowhere near clipping anywhere; I've got at least 6-15 dB of headroom, depending on where I'm measuring it.

 

I can lower the "drive" setting on any of the amps and dial it mostly out (mostly, it's still there if you really dig in), but then the output is so low as to be almost inaudible.  I'd like to know if this is just a matter of finding the right amp and cab combo, if there's something I need to be doing on the instrument end, or if this is just an artifact of how the amps were modeled, and there's just clipping somewhere in the chain I can't get rid of.

 

I've tried this with four different basses -- a Rogue P-Bass with passive pickups, a Kramer Baretta with dual-rail passives, an Epiphone Thunderbird with stock passives, and an Ibanez SRC6 with passive EMG-HZs and an active EMG-based preamp.  Regardless of settings, bass, or anything else, whenever I get anywhere near a volume that is comparable to any of my other tones for guitar or distorted bass, I get that buzzing, clipping noise again, but again, I'm not seeing anything near clipping input levels anywhere in the chain.

 

Is this something up with my UX2, or am I just not understanding how the models work correctly?

 

Thank you,

 

Rob

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If it's the same for all basses and pod farm settings, I doubt that it's instrument problems. And if you're getting the clean tones on your guitar parts as you want, I doubt it's a podfarm issue.

Have you tried podfarm in stand alone mode as well as a plug in? Is it the same on both?

For bass, I just choose a bass amp from the 'line6 bass amp' tab list in the DAW and edit on from there.

In the top left and top right corner of podfarm interface are dials, input volume on the left and output volume to the right. Have you tried setting those up?

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If it's the same for all basses and pod farm settings, I doubt that it's instrument problems. And if you're getting the clean tones on your guitar parts as you want, I doubt it's a podfarm issue.

Have you tried podfarm in stand alone mode as well as a plug in? Is it the same on both?

For bass, I just choose a bass amp from the 'line6 bass amp' tab list in the DAW and edit on from there.

In the top left and top right corner of podfarm interface are dials, input volume on the left and output volume to the right. Have you tried setting those up?

 

Thank you for the reply!

 

Yes, I've used Pod Farm both in standalone mode as well as in plug-in mode via GarageBand... I want to say 11?  It's pretty much the same in either case.  I don't seem to have the same problem with my guitars, as the clean amp models there don't exhibit the same behavior.

 

As for the interface dials, yes, I'm carefully monitoring both input and output levels, and I have several dB of room on both sides, no clipping being registered.

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Have you tried using the PAD guitar input?

 

Yep.  It just makes things quieter, but any time you dig in on the strings, you still get a buzzing noise that sticks around for a second or two.

 

The only thing I've found over the last week to help it is just to use the Line 6 Power Amp model.  That's the only one that seems to have no buzzing or effect at all.  I can crank that one and get a good clean tone.  So, what I've done is, I've got a dual-tone using two Power Amps, a pair of 4x15 Big Boy cabs with dynamic mics, and an EQ in front of and after both setups.  That's let me dial in a pretty good clean tone for what I want, although it's a little flat.  This is enough for me at the moment, because I can always EQ in the DAW after I've recorded.

 

If I drop anything like a compressor in the chain, that brings back the buzzing, so for now, I'm just keeping it as simple as possible -- this is basically one step above just having a direct line in, but it works okay.

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