I am considering buying a booster pedal. I want it to be as clean as possible, don’t want it to add any “character”, etc. I just want to raise the signal level at the start of the chain (right after the tuner).
I’ve looked at the below four, any opinions on these? Positive/negative experiences? (My pick would be the tc Spark Mini.)
What I would suggest, instead of a booster, find a compressor that has an output gain and put that first in your chain. Many compressors do.
Compressors can usually offer a really nice clean boost, and you’ll want a compressor anyway. It will probably always be on anyway, and even if you don’t have it compressing, it can still offer the boost. This saves a pedal space.
I have the full fat Spark, not the mini, and it’s a brilliant, versatile pedal - I’d quite like another one in the same chain actually. It does a perfect clean boost, but also can add some nice mild gain and a mid-boost if needed. Well worth the slightly higher cost over the Mini.
Already tried that (I have a Darkglass Hyper Luminal), but even at full output level the clean tone is still not loud enough. I can raise it further by EQ’ing the shit out of it and adding cab sim later in the chain (in the Element), but I’m trying to make my clean tone loud enough for recording.
I was actually trying to find exactly that a minute ago, so that I can include that information in my previous reply. But as far as I can tell Garagaband does not display the input level in a numerical format anywhere, so I have no idea. What I see is that my input level is a couple of bars below the yellow line.
To give a bit more background on what I am trying to do here: I recently bought a Darkglass Element, which I am really trying to like, but at the moment it’s just not usable as a DAI.
My previous setup looked like this: passive bass → pedalboard (tuner, compressor, Big Muff) → Rumble → Scarlett → MacBook → GarageBand. With this setup I was able to raise the level to anywhere I wanted by using the knobs on the amp and the input level knob on the Scarlett.
My new setup is: passive bass → pedalboard (tuner, compressor, Big Muff, Element) → MacBook → GarageBand. By removing the amp and the Scarlett from the chain everything is a lot simpler, but I’ve lost my two places where I was able to raise the signal level. The Element unfortunately does not have an input level setting. It has a three-way switch on the side, but it only does attenuation, and it’s already in the 0 dB setting.
I actually have a support case open with Darkglass, because the presence setting on the amp sim makes no difference at all. It seems to be stuck in a maxed out value or something, and the moment I turn on the amp sim everything immediately sounds like shit.
Well that shouldn’t be the case. It’s a PA without a preamp so it really shouldn’t affect your sound. You can shape the tone by drive and presence but if you keep those at 0 it should just boost your signal. Resonance is not needed either. Seems your Element is the culprit (might need a factory reset or something).
Did you check your EQ setting? Also I didn’t had any problems with it either on passive and active basses. Think I even did an input check for Eric once to test the signal (was fine for me).
Wish Darkglass would just release a HX Native type of plugin… Also keep note that the record quality of the Scarlett is usually higher compared to other devices where the DAI is not the main functionality of the device.