Going Ampless

Following up on the topic.

I got the Amplug 2 Bass. It is a cool little thing and super easy to get on and off but it is no way as clean as the Focusrite Solo

I still don’t have anything else on the line only the Bass (active now) and the Focusrite. Just figured out to use the ASIO driver with Ableton Lite Live and the delay is not even noticable. Recordings sound awesome!

Has anyone managed to use the ASIO driver outside Ableton LL? Amplitube does not seem to recognize mine…

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I use it with Reaper without issue.

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I also had a chance to experiment a bit. I was using the scarlet solo only with direct monitor until now. This week I tried out using the ASIO driver and connected my home 2+1 system to the audio outputs in the back. Sound has improved a bunch I must say.

With ASIO there’s 5ms delay which I cannot notice playing but if I use it with B2B lessons it feels like Josh is doing lip sync :slight_smile:

I got the DAI to use instead of amp and the Vox amplug for a bit of freedom. Now knowing better I’m thinking I should have gotten Palmer pocket amp bass to solve all my problems…

Do you guys think that it’s still an improvement for my system?

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Hello again guys… Seems like I keep coming back to this thread.

Now I use my DAI regularly with the ASIO driver. Sound is much better but all I have is clean sound (No EQ). I have tried some free Amp Simulators but there is always some set back…

So I go back to the idea of getting a Preamp/DI like @howard suggested in the very first reply:

  • Behringer DI 21
  • Zoom B1 Four
  • Palmer Pocket Amp Bass

Are my choices. Currently I am still using my Scarlet Solo and my bass connected to it…

I wouldn’t prefer to spend so much if possible but mobility is something I enjoy so much.

Any new ideas or discoveries for the last 40+ days ?

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There are many, many different preamp/DI pedals to choose from that will bring excellent tone. You should listen to a lot of them. The BDI-21 is a great inexpensive choice though and at the price is almost a must-buy.

That said, you will get a lot of great tonal options with the Zoom. It’s a really neat little device, inexpensive, and once you figure out how to ignore the presets and make your own little pedalchains with it, is really good for learning about real pedals.

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So I basically have my setup together. In my head I’m ready to take my ampless setup to MSG. In reality I’ll probably never get out of my bedroom :joy:. One question remains for me, and that is onstage monitoring. I could use one of my preamp outs to power a stage monitor or onstage amp but that seems to kill the ampless concept (and assumes you have access to one) . Sooo… in ear monitors. How do they work? Do they go out of my setup? The house setup? Anybody used one?

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There are some different flavors and approaches to this. People looking to protect their hearing from noise levels on stage get custom molded earplugs in each ear and then need everything they want to hear mixed back into their earbuds at the level they like. The transmitter to the in-ear monitors will need your monitor mix feed sent to it from a mixing console that has access to the other channels you want to hear. One way to do this is to have the console operator set up your monitor mix feed the way you like it. There are also consoles and systems that allow you to have control over your own mix feed either by a little panel near you or an app.

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Yesterday I got my Zoom B1 Four !

It looks very nice and just reading the manual got me uber excited BUT when I connected my bass on it… sadness.

I powered it up from the USB port and connected my headphones to the OUTPUT. The bass sound level is very very low. I raised the master volume to 120 but still it is not nicely audible.

When I turn on the RYTHM function to have the pre recorded drum tracks they are quite loud so I am thinking that the problem is not my headphones.

I went into settings to raise the volume on each patch and some of the setups become usable but not all sadly…

Simple VOX AMPLUG Bass sounds much better and clear than this so I don’t understand… I might have to use them together maybe…

Anyone has an idea ? I remember reading that @PamPurrs has the B1 X Four which should be similar. Have you tried plugging your headphones directly Pam?

I tried also chaining Bass -> Zoom B1 Four -> DAI but still not enough bass sound…

When I am listening to a recording of Josh for the lessons the headphone on my DAI are loud enough so I really don’t think that it is about the Headphones…

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That doesn’t sound right at all, my kala ubass sounds good through it and it has a low output piezo pickup.

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Yeah that seems weird.

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Hi @Fahri, there are discussions of low headphone output volume for the Zoom on other bass forums, one long thread about the issue tried various things and eventually most of the discussion was around it had to be a headphone impedance/zoom drive issue I believe. Some people bought headphone amps (kind of defeats the idea of the all in one zoom) and/or swapped headphones. Some people who had three sets of headphones reported 2 did work and 1 didn’t etc.
Caveat: I’m not a zoom owner, just reporting what I’ve read! Your issue may turn out to be something else. Especially since you’ve gone into the DAI as well.
Hope this is helpful.

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Hello @Mark_UK, yeah I ve read the same thread and it seems true. Zoom B1 four headphone output is 32 ohms which is super low I think.

Tried my very basic ear in plugs and the sound is high enough. The rhythm on the other hand became simply too high to listen to on those.

My main headphones are budget ones Mpow H7. I tried my old Beat by tre solo those ones also sounded better.

So yeah in the end it is about the headphone output limitations…

Also the patches on the virtual chain have almost all lower volume settings about %75. The rhythms don’t go through the chain and have their own volume setting…

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32ohm is the standard impedance that most headphone outs are designed for. Earbuds are lower, lots of higher end headphones are higher.

So, plugging 250ohm 'phones in will get you a lot of loss of low end and fidelity without a dedicated amp.

However, your phones are 32ohm (I think) so that doesn’t explain it.

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I tried using my headphones (AKG K-240) directly with the Zoom. Output seems indeed a bit low. Normally, I use the headphones through my DAI and I don’t have the sound level issue then.

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@Krescht, are the rhythm drums high for you as well?

Below is from the manual…

@howard this is sure a head scratcher

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@Fahri, just checking it out…

Rhythm volume seems to get amplified by the general volume set in the effects, but there is a volume setting in the rhythm configuration menu. You could try to reduce that one.

When I set the effect volume to 60, a rhythm volume of 20 seems to be enough. However, at that level some efffects are a bit hard to make out with the natural sound of the strings as my phones are semi-open.

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Thanks for the input @Krescht I just did a factory reset and got the Rythm volume down to 20. Running it through the DAI (and ASIO driver) it sounds pretty nice.

I guess I was simply thrown off by how loud the rythm tracks were by default. I still think that this device was not orginally made to be used independently. I could set up all the effect volumes to match my headphones but most probably I will keep using it through the DAI anyways…

Thanks to all that shared their wisdom!

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