A fellow bass player asked me to make his live setup simple and neat. Instead of carrying stuff in plastic bags and having cables tangled up all across the stage he now only has to worry about a single 6-unit rack :)
Starting point was a Hartke HA5500 bass amp which I unbolted from it’s original frame and installed rack ears to it’s sides. This fitted in neatly to the bottom of a second-hand 6-unit rack case. Next plan was to rehouse an old bass distortion pedal to 1-unit rack enclosure to go on top of the amp but this proved to be too complicated.. Instead I made a new custom 1U bass distortion from scratch and also installed a clean blend to it :) Now it sits on top of the amp. Next and last effect to go into the rack was a Korg DTR-1000 tuner.
I didn’t like the idea of having separate power cables for each rack effect hanging out from the back of the rack and cluttering the insides so I bolted in an industrial grade splitter box. All the effects power cables connect to this box and a 5-meter cable from the box connects to gig venue’s power socket. Simple! All the extra cable is now tucked tightly on one side of the amp.
Audio cables between effects were shortened so there is no excess cable sucking tone or picking up stray signals. Bass distortion has input/output jacks both front and back so now the output of tuner connects to back-input of distortion and front-output of distortion to front-input of the amp…
Signal chain is: Bass->Tuner->Bass distortion->Amp
This way signal can be muted while tuning between songs or while changing bass.
Here are some soundclips:
(Recording chain: G&L Tribute L-2000->rack distortion->mixer->Cubase 4. No eq or effects used.)
Clean sound + 2 different distortion settings. You can hear how the clean sound is layered with distortion thanks to the blend circuit.
Another distortion setting. Layering heard in this one too, bass doesn’t lose it’s “body”.
A bit more distortion for stoner/heavier stuff.