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What should buy to achieve non-feedbacking distortion on my live vocals?

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  • What should buy to achieve non-feedbacking distortion on my live vocals?

    I'm in a loud rock/metal band where I spend most of the time yelling, and a little bit of time speaking. In practice, instead of a PA, I sing through a Sunn 300T tube bass amp. I have the sound dialed in so that it doesn't break up unless I'm yelling.

    It isn't really very practical to bring a big tube amp to gigs just because I like that particular distortion... I'm hopeful that I can purchase a mic preamp or perhaps a guitar preamp that is capable of offering quite a bit of distortion for a similar result, that is more practical than hauling a 80lb bass amp and a bass cab to gigs.

    I'm willing to spend up to $300 on this, but I'd be glad to spend less, as I've seen cheap mic preamps here and there... but don't really know much about their quality.

    Also, I guess I'm posting here because I want to make sure I don't get anything that will make the live sound person hate me...

    What do you think of this ART Pro MPA Tube mic preamp?
    http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/msg/1394769343.html
    Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

  • #2
    You will want to find an effects unit that allows this kind of effect. You may "like" the effects on stage but I suggest you ask a REAL sound person how it translates in a mix. Perhaps the general effect can be done with a little compression or limiting better. All of this will reduce gain before feedback however.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

    Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like what you want is tube distortion on your "screams" - not an issue of "gain" as you say.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like what you want is tube distortion on your "screams" - not an issue of "gain" as you say.


        Sounds like you're right.

        Thank you for clarifying this.


        so... any suggestions?
        Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

        Comment


        • #5
          You might try this guy but you might have to try a few different tube microphone preamps to find a similar sound to what you are getting now:
          http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSTUBEPRE
          If I was to try to get that sound I'd take one of my "TubeWorks BlueTube" units (were made in both stompbox and rackmount versions) and run a balanced to unbalanced transformer on the input and run the output into a DI for the PA. I know those can get a great bass tube amp sound goin' with the right tube in them.

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          • #6
            You might try this guy but you might have to try a few different tube microphone preamps to find a similar sound to what you are getting now:
            http://www.zzounds.com/item--PRSTUBEPRE
            If I was to try to get that sound I'd take one of my "TubeWorks BlueTube" units (were made in both stompbox and rackmount versions) and run a balanced to unbalanced transformer on the input and run the output into a DI for the PA. I know those can get a great bass tube amp sound goin' with the right tube in them.


            Excellent. I was hoping something like that would work.

            I'd much rather take that BlueTube stompbox around than some big 2 rack space relic at the same price.

            Thanks!
            Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

            Comment


            • #7
              You will run into the same problem with overdriving a preamp as you will with a distorion preset on an effects unit... lower gain before feedback. With the effects unit, perhaps the gain control structure may be a bit more suitable.

              The rack mount version of the blue tube is 1 space BTW. There probably isn't enough gain to be able to get the "overdrive" sound you want either. The input point needs about 300-500mV to overdrive appreciably even with the gain cranked. That's tough to achieve with a mic and transformer.

              The "real tube" would be a better choice... higher effective gain, but still the limitations with GBF. It's going to be your limiting factor on stage, especially with monitors.
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

              Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

              Comment


              • #8
                The "real tube" would be a better choice... higher effective gain, but still the limitations with GBF. It's going to be your limiting factor on stage, especially with monitors.
                Good point, I forgot about the BlueTube's high gain "cousin". As to GBF sound like he just wants distortion on the "screams" above a normal singing volume so shouldn't be any worse than a limiter set to shave off the "screams" one might normally use on this kind of vocals? To the OP: what are you using for a mic?

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                • #9
                  he brought up non-feedbacking in the title of the thread, I would assume this is because he has experienced some already?
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                  Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I should add that my mic is plugged into a Boss RC-20 loop station, with the input boosted a bit. I think it's a bit hotter than a typical signal coming off of a mic.

                    I'm happy to have monitors turned down a bit if need be, and I'm willing to deal with a bit of feedback onstage.
                    Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      he brought up non-feedbacking in the title of the thread, I would assume this is because he has experienced some already?


                      Nope, I've just never added distortion to vocals before in a live sound application with monitors.

                      Maybe I don't have much to worry about.

                      I've edited my original question as I think my terminology was way off (remember: I'm the singer ). Sorry for the confusion.

                      I am using an sm58... and since I tend to brush my teeth with the mic a bit I prefer to use it at gigs unless the sound person absolutely insists on using their own mic.
                      Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        The "real tube" would be a better choice... higher effective gain, but still the limitations with GBF. It's going to be your limiting factor on stage, especially with monitors.


                        I can't seem to find a "real tube" in their (presonus) current product line.

                        Or on google?
                        Whenever I'm walking home in the dark and afraid that a psycho might attack me, I use reverse psychology and convince myself that I am the psycho. - Rowka

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I can't seem to find a "real tube" in their (presonus) current product line.

                          Or on google?


                          It's not Presonus, it's Tubeworks and both products are discontinued.
                          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                          Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Oh, and the "Tubeworks BlueTube" is not the same as the "Presonus BlueTube" - completely different companies. I think AgedHorse's present employer bought TubeWorks? I have two of the rackmounts and one of the stompboxes. One of the rackmounts lives paired with a 1U amp (MosValve) they also made making a nifty little 2U bass rig .

                            The Presonus preamp I posted a link to is supposed to be able to get overdrive from a microphone when "pushed" and has balanced ins and outs unlike the old TubeWorks products. I haven't personally used one but you might be able to try one out down at a Guitar Center and see if it does the job.

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                            • #15
                              Easiest way go to rat shack buy a mic line transformer and buy the cheapest distortion pedal you can find. Arion distortion pedal can be had used for like $20. Plug the line mic transformer to your mic cable, plug that into your cheap guitar distortion pedal then a 1/4 to XLR cable into your mixer and adjust the amount of effect you want on the pedal and set the gain so it won't clip and desired distortion you want and plus it's a foot pedal turn off/on when ever.

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