Exploring the sonic marvels of the Sansamp RPM | Golden City Sound

My secret weapon for killer bass tones: The sonic marvels of the Sansamp RPM

From its impeccable tone shaping capabilities to its versatile applications in various musical contexts, the Sansamp RPM has garnered acclaim among bassists worldwide for its ability to capture the essence of coveted vintage gear while providing modern flexibility.

Whether you’re seeking punchy, gritty tones or smooth, articulate basslines, the Sansamp RPM has got you covered. It might not elevate your playing to a whole new level, but it will transform your bass tone!

Setting up the Sansamp RPM for a sonic adventure

When it comes to setting up a Sansamp RPM for general bass use, it’s important to keep in mind that personal preference and the specific sound you’re aiming for will play a significant role. However, here are some starting points that can serve as a solid foundation:

  1. Blend: Start with the Blend control at noon (12 o’clock position). This will mix the clean and processed signals equally, allowing you to retain some of the natural bass tone while adding the desired Sansamp coloration.
  2. Drive: Set the Drive control to a moderate level. Begin around 9 o’clock and gradually increase or decrease it based on your preference. This knob adjusts the amount of saturation and overdrive in the signal, so find a balance that adds some grit without sacrificing clarity.
  3. Bass, Mid, and Treble: Set these EQ controls to the noon position as a starting point. Adjust each one according to your bass’s tonal characteristics and the desired sound. Increase the Bass for more low-end punch, Mid for presence and definition, and Treble for brightness and clarity.
  4. Mid Shift: The Mid Shift control allows you to adjust the midrange frequencies. Set it to noon (12 o’clock) as a starting point, and then experiment with different settings to find the sweet spot that complements your bass and the desired tonal characteristics.
  5. Level: The Level control adjusts the overall output volume of the Sansamp RPM. Set it to match the unity gain level or adjust it to provide the desired boost or attenuation in your signal chain.

Remember, these are just starting points, and experimentation is key. Take the time to listen carefully and make adjustments to suit your playing style, bass, and the musical context you’re in.

There’s no presence knob on the RPM, argh!

That’s right, unlike the Sansamp RBI, the RPM doesn’t have a Presence knob. That’s because the RPM is a rackmount version of the Para Driver DI, whereas the RBI is the rackmount equivalent of the legendary Bass Driver DI.

Replicating the Sansamp ‘presence’ knob

To replicate the “presence” circuit found in the Sansamp RBI, you can use an equalizer or tone-shaping plugin that offers control over the high-frequency range. While it may not be an exact replication of the Sansamp RBI’s presence circuit, you can achieve similar results by manipulating the high-end frequencies with the right plugin.

Personally, I like to use IK Multimedia’s Vintage EQP-1A. It’s an emulation of the classic Pultec EQP-1A equalizer, which is renowned for its ability to shape the high-frequency content in a musical and pleasing manner, and I find it to be a great option for adding in a little “presence”.

EQP-1A’s boost and attenuate controls allows you to sculpt the high-frequency content in a musical way, adding sparkle and air to your bass sound without it becoming harsh or overpowering. It’s a versatile plugin that can be used on individual tracks or across the entire mix to achieve a vintage, analog sound.

If you’re not in a position to purchase EQP-1A, Ignite Amps PTEq-X is a free Pultec EQP-1A emulation that is available for both Windows and macOS. It features separate boost and attenuation controls for the low and high frequencies, along with a presence control. The plugin is available in VST, AU, and AAX formats.

Regardless of which plugin you’re using, take the time to experiment with the boost and attenuate controls, as well as the Presence control. Find the right settings that best suit your bass and desired effect. Remember to trust your ears and make adjustments accordingly to achieve your desired tone.

Guitarists also dig that bass

Yes, you heard right, the Sansamp RPM can be used for guitar as well. While tit’s primarily designed for bass guitar, it can also be to shape and enhance electric guitar tones.

The RPM’s preamp and EQ controls can help you achieve a variety of tones for your guitar. By adjusting the Drive control, you can add saturation and overdrive to your guitar signal, giving it more grit and character. The Blend control allows you to mix the processed and clean signals, providing versatility in finding the right balance between the original guitar sound and the Sansamp coloration.

Additionally, the Bass, Mid Shift, and Treble controls allow you to shape the guitar’s frequency response, tailoring it to your liking. The Mid Shift control, in particular, can be used to adjust the midrange frequencies, allowing you to cut through the mix or shape the guitar’s presence.

While the Sansamp RPM may not offer the specific tonal characteristics and controls typically associated with guitar-focused pedals or amplifiers, it can still be a valuable tool for shaping and enhancing the guitar’s tone in various musical contexts. Experimentation with the Sansamp RPM’s controls and settings will help you discover unique and desirable guitar tones that suit your playing style and musical preferences.

Tone shaping sonic wizardry

In my opinion, the Sansamp RPM stands as a versatile and powerful tool for both bassists and guitarists alike. Its ability to shape and enhance tones, along with its flexibility and intuitive controls, make it a must-have addition to any project studio.

Whether you’re seeking to add warmth, punch, or grit to your bass guitar or looking to shape and sculpt the tone of your electric guitar, the Sansamp RPM offers a range of possibilities. Its preamp, EQ, and blending capabilities allow for endless creativity and experimentation, empowering you to craft your signature sound.

The possibilities are endless, and the Sansamp RPM is your gateway to sonic excellence.

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Trevor Petrie

Owner-Engineer at Golden City Sound
A self-managed artist for over 20 years, Trevor Petrie is a passionate songwriter. He began his audio engineering journey in 2016 and hasn't stopped learning since.
View Trevor's education history, licenses & certifications.

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