Anyone using a BIAS amp or rack as their main live rig?



  • @mike_studio I've had my bias head for a little while now and I feel it was worth it even without reverb having being added. I can see what you mean about it having more presence, I found the same thing at first (mainly on the glassy patches), however as you seem to know already there's so much flexibility within the program that you can easily dial it out. I've found that the tone matched patches from tone cloud sound great too, not too much presence there at all.

    I have to say I just use mine as an at home rig so I can't speak for gigging use, however I can't see why there would be any issues live.

    I use a full pedal board so the built in effects weren't really an issue for me, but I could see it being nice to add a couple more. Lack of a display hasn't bothered me either as much as I imagined it would, it's kinda made me more listen to the sound I'm getting rather than thinking I have to use the ac30 patch just because it's an ac30 (hope that makes sense).

    As far as having the cab for live use with cab sim on FoH, I could be mistaken but the serial/parallel speaker out switch on the back has a setting where you can output to cab with no cab sim (regardless of whether the front cab sim button says it's turned on or not), but cab sim will be applied to the line out provided you've got cab sim turned on. Downside though is that there's no effects loop in this mode on the signal going to your cab, so you only the effects going in the front would be heard through cab and FoH. Possibly you could get the non powered version and an external power amp/cab sim which would allow you have the loop audible on both? I've not tried anything like that before though so I'm not 100%.

    like @danbieranowski said though if you have any other questions just ask, sorry I haven't fully read all the thread on here but hopefully what I've written helps a bit. I think PG is doing a black friday offer too where you get a free footswitch with the head/rack version which might be worthwhile if you use it live (wonder if recent buyers can claim one too? ;) )



  • @liam said in Anyone using a BIAS amp or rack as their main live rig?:

    Possibly you could get the non powered version and an external power amp/cab sim which would allow you have the loop audible on both? I've not tried anything like that before though so I'm not 100%.

    Yes this is the Preamp I am looking, so I can use my own power amps I already have.

    it is noce to know from people who have one to go through the ins/outs of the unit before purchasing.

    Thanks for the input Liam.

    Cheers

    Mike



  • So I finally decided to pick up the Bias Rack Preamp version. Been holding off for so long, and wanted to check out an AXE FX or Kemper, but I think Bias stuff has so much potential, and a bigger bang for your buck.

    The Bias software is so nice, and sounds very good, so looking forward to the new rack and trying it out.

    Anybody still using or going to use their Bias head or rack live ?

    I heard a lot of recordings with the bias software that sound amazing, so taking those sounds with you on the road will be awsome.

    Cheers

    Mike



  • @mike_studio I use my BIAS Head (powered) as my main amp in my band. I run it through a passive FRFR cab as well as direct into the mixer and through the monitors and such. I'm plenty satisfied with it, aside from some minor issues with a few things like MIDI and some of the cloud presets.



  • @ash-wolford Thats good to know... Just pick up the unit like a kemper or AXE FX and have all your presets with you.

    What issues you having with Midi and cloud presets ?

    How long have you been using it live ?



  • @mike_studio I'm using mine live. Used it for this set without issues. Audio is from the guy's camera, but at least you can see it's stable throughout the gig. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFB19xayonQ


  • A2

    Please tell me that giant acoustic looking guitar is running thru bias amp!



  • @mike_studio said in Anyone using a BIAS amp or rack as their main live rig?:

    @ash-wolford Thats good to know... Just pick up the unit like a kemper or AXE FX and have all your presets with you.

    What issues you having with Midi and cloud presets ?

    How long have you been using it live ?

    The Head has a minor but annoying issue where it can only process incoming MIDI messages at a relatively low rate; If you have an expression pedal in the MIDI chain connected to the Head then rocking the pedal back and forth will cause the MIDI processing in the Head to bog down dramatically (due to the overwhelming number of MIDI messages generated by the pedal) until all the messages are processed. It still passes these messages on to the remaining devices in the chain at the proper speed; it just has trouble handling them internally. This is abnormal, obviously -- pedals certainly generate crazy high numbers of messages, but MIDI devices are designed and expected to be capable of handling them. The BIAS Distortion pedal i have does not have this problem either; this is an issue with the Head's firmware specifically. I discussed the issue with their support folks and they started doing some tests on it to find out the issue, but it's been about a month now and I don't know what the status on that is at the moment.

    Some older cloud presets from earlier versions of BIAS Amp have issues with the volume levels in newer versions of the app, and in a number of cases are horrendously overdriven to the point of being unusable. Only some of them have this problem.

    I've been using the Head for around a year now, and despite the above, I'm still very much a fan. Especially since they made it compatible with the new BA2 stuff.


  • A2

    The Bias FX software has the same trouble with an overload (actually a normal amount, but an overload to Bias FX) of MIDI messages. My plugins designed to work with BiasFX had to really take that into account, but its still not ideal



  • I am testing out the BIAS FX demo version, and right off the bat, it sounds 10x better than any other software that I have tried. If I can get the really fast simple sound I created within matter of minutes to be replicated to the rack version and change presets rather quickly I will be happy.

    The dual amp feature I would have liked into separate outputs would be ideal, so you could add more bass and crunch on one and more highs and mids on another amp and blend them, but I see BIAS has dual amp capabilities with their own built in mixer.

    So having separate path on the outputs would be ideal, but so far the tones i am getting with the internal dual amp mixing is awsome.

    Would be good to have the option to turn off the cab sims on one of the outputs to have an amp on stage to play through, and sims on the other outputs.

    So far I am impressed with the sounds, the attack and feel of the actual software, and looking forward to having it sound decent straight into FOH and through the monitors.

    Do not see any reason why it would not sound great, since Kemper has limited options in this area, with NON dual signal paths, and tone matching ability with third party IRS, makes this unit a contender with the higher priced units.

    When they decide to integrate the FX portions of the BIAS FX into these portable rigs, then it will change every, but i believe the processing power is just not there for that to happen.

    If they can keep updating the units and we get tons of other features, then i will be happy.

    Cheers

    Mike


  • A2

    @mike_studio said in Anyone using a BIAS amp or rack as their main live rig?:

    Would be good to have the option to turn off the cab sims on one of the outputs to have an amp on stage to play through, and sims on the other outputs.

    Mike

    This is one of the main issues I have spent the last year working on. Quality of life issues...I have workarounds that work great, but they require a VST host. There are some other, flexibility limiting workarounds to the issue for Bias FX standalone, but really, real world use should be a core part of the design



  • @mike_studio using the Bias Head you can send a feed to FOH via line out WITH a cab sim as well as plug in a cab to the amp output on the head that will NOT have the cab sim applied to it. So you can have it both ways at once. Not sure if that info helps but I thought I’d relay it.



  • @danbieranowski Well yeah that would certainly help for sure, but wanted 2 separate independent lines out with totally different am sim on each. Most other manufactures you can do that.

    As I mentioned the BIAS software does that internally, where you can have 2 totally separate amps, and mix them internally for 1 output chain. Other manufactures you can have 2 separate outputs, but really the more i think of it, I think it would be complicated to mix them after the fact, you really have no control that way unless you have your own personal mixer or a sound guy who knows what he is doing.

    The fact you can have 2 totally separate amps (not sure if separate IRS, have not played with that yet) for me anyway, makes a big difference. Trying to get the tone you want out of 1 amp sometimes does not work, unless you love the tone of a particular amp, but to match tones or have something totally different you certainly need a couple of amps.

    The other thing, if you can toggle between those 2 amps internally, like have a dirty amp on one and clean amp on the other and toggle between them in that particular patch, would be great. Had a foot pedal that had a and B channel on that 1 patch, so I did not have to change patches completely.

    Overall with the demo I am running I am pretty impressed with the tone, and would like to have that exact tone live.

    Cheers

    Mike


  • A2

    You can actually do this right now. The mixer can be panned so the paths are separate

    Also you can midi control the switch to switch between clean and distorted, though some of the most important parameters aren't exposed to midi for this



  • @pipelineaudio Yeah I read somewhere else you can actually do that, but the midi signal has some issues with assigning certain parameters. If the bugs could be worked out on that, then that would be another bonus.

    We are getting into the finer details of these products, only because other brands have that sort of flexibility and with effects in the chain.

    If you can change channels within a particular patch, and then stomp on and off effects, that would be perfect for live situations.

    In studio or at home uses, the unit would be just fine, but the head and rack versions were meant to take out on the road with you, and you need that flexibility or just defeats the purpose.


  • A2

    You can switch channels and still stomp on and off fx, but for instance, the amp itself doesnt have midi bypass directly assignable. If you are using this thing as a VST all bets are off, as you can REALLY do some insane switching, for instance:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ5fu66jwS4

    Working on a standalone right now that will do the same thing as this, but easier to set up



  • @pipelineaudio Turning on and off effects and switching tones within the same patch is a really good start.

    For live usage, you certainly do not want to always drag a laptop or ipad to screw around with VSTs. Want something clean and simple like the Line 6 or AXE FX units.

    If you have to do slight tweaks live then no issues, but certainly do not want to depend on you IPAD or laptop for gigs.

    What caught my attention really was the tone, and really, I was wanting a Kemper, but you cannot really install 3rd party IRS, and does not have the capability to mix 2 amps internally or externally.

    The BIAS products have so much potential, let hope with these versions of hardware we have enough processing power so if they continue to make updates as to what we are talking about or even adding effects, that the units will handle it.



  • I have a digitech 1101 and an 11 rack which I can mix live via a Behringer Mic 2200 tube preamp to have final eq on each unit.

    I wanted to warm up the sound, so did some testing with the Behringer because it also had an onboard EQ which made a big difference to do a final tweak for live. I can blend the 2 in this fashion, thus having 2 totally separate tones if need be.

    The 11 Rack has some great tones and some really nice sounding effects, while the Digitech with it's newer software allows me to install 3rd party IRS now up to 10, which is more than enough.

    So was looking for a single unit that could do most of this live, which would have been the Helis or the AXE FX, but the Kemper seems more natural sounding.

    Like I said, for live situations it is much different than just recording in your home studio, you need things to work well and have a good flow to work with, or else it gets to complicated and defeats the purpose.

    Pick up a line 6 do all your stuff at home, and off to the races, but not into line 6 or AXE FX, for me the tone from the BIAS software blew me away, compared to all the other VST or assorted plugins.

    So now down to the nitty gritty of these units for live situations, if you do not mind switching patches for everything, and having stomp pedal access on all the patches, then great. But if it can go a little bit further, then hell, the possibilities with it are endless.


  • A2

    @mike_studio said in Anyone using a BIAS amp or rack as their main live rig?:

    For live usage, you certainly do not want to always drag a laptop or ipad to screw around with VSTs.

    Some people do, and do it quite well, but for everyone else:

    Want something clean and simple like the Line 6 or AXE FX units.

    I'm working on it

    If you have to do slight tweaks live then no issues, but certainly do not want to depend on you IPAD or laptop for gigs.

    Actually, MASSIVE tweaks are quite a bit easier on the computer than any page/menu driven pedalboard, though the simple tweaks are sometimes easier on the dedicated hardware (though frustratingly, not always, not even in the obvious spots where the dedicated hardware has massive advantages

    What caught my attention really was the tone,

    Me too, that's why I torture myself this way



  • @pipelineaudio Yes it is torture...lol

    I have seen quite a few people mixing and adding additional beats with laptops, and yes they do it well. I would only take a laptop or Ipad via bluetooth just to make some simple adjustments.

    Do not really want to depend on laptop or ipad, even those a lot of digital mixers now do Ipad mix only.

    Just want some simple to use patches for live gigs. I realise you can tweak the actual unit itself for some minor adjustments, and yes editing on a computer is much easier, I do that all the time with the 11R and Digietch 1101.