Tech 21 recently released the Bass Fly Rig, and I must say, from reports I am getting from fellow bassists, it is literally flying off the shelves!
After getting my hands on one of these, I can definitely see why. The Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig is a no-nonsense must have for every bassist out there. It has everything you need to do when it comes to preamp and effects.
For me, at the core of the fly rig is the SansAmp, which gives you direct control over tone with a 3 band EQ for highs, mid, and lows, a level control, character control for sweep though tones, and drive for subtle to all out distortion. There is also a button for Bite, which gives you just that extra edge when you need it.
The Chorus section is just that, adding chorus effect to your bass, giving it that extra thickness. I’ve always used chorus in particular when playing with 3-piece bands, as it adds that extra thickness, making the bass sound fuller.
My favorite part of the bass fly rig is the Octafilter. The Octafilter gives you that bass synth sound and more. There are so many choices to use between the octave and fuzz part of the Octafilter that the possibilities are endless. I spent countless hours just messing around with this section of the Fly Rig. There are three controls for the Octafilter. Mix allows you to blend the amount of your dry signal with the Octafilter. Q adjusts the bandwidth and sharpness of the dynamic filter, and Range controls the frequency of the dynamic filter and is dependent upon the volume and attack of the bass. There are also buttons for Octave and Fuzz, with each being engaged independently.
Next up is the Compressor section. The Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig Compressor is modeled after the FET technology of the analog type. There are three controls for the compressor and it also has a boost section. The controls for the compressor are Level, which controls the output of the compressor, Comp which adjusts the amount of compression, and Tone which give you a pre-compression boost in tone. The Boost section is foot switchable and boosts up to 10dB. You can choose between pre-boost, which works with the SansAmp section or Post-Boost, which increases overall volume. The Post-Boost section is really great when soloing to bring your volume out above the band so you can really be heard during that time.
The Fly Rig doesn’t stop there. There is a built in tuner, a Pad button for active basses, XLR output, and a button for using headphones. When the button for headphones is engaged, you can use the output as a headphone jack. One thing I would like to point out is that if you want to control the volume to the headphones, I recommend having the SansAmp engaged, as you can use the Level control on the SansAmp to control headphone volume.
The Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig is powered by a 9V power adapter, which is included. It also comes in a very nice tin for transportation to and from the gig. In the included manual at the back are some sample settings, which I had a lot of fun with… everything from getting the MiniMoog sound to Grind, Yes, Tube Style, Funk tones and more.
Not only is the Fly Rig great for live gigs, which I have used it on a lot of them, it is also great for the studio, giving you the exact sound you need. What even still amazes me about it is the size. I was expecting something 2-3 times the size of what it is.