Effects Essentials

Effects pedals or devices to alter the sound of your bass
sonicfantom
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Effects Essentials

Post by sonicfantom » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:50 pm

I'm wondering what the absolute, must-have essential effects are. This is what i've gathered so far: (as information, not as purchases).

1) Compression/Limiter - this shows up a LOT in people's setups when I go to have a peek around. Not necessarily as a pedal, but I think i'd like one as a pedal. You know, for that slap bass where the signal is all over the place.
2) Distortion/Overdrive - I think i'd like some nice tube fuzziness in my tone, once in a while. Just a little, to warm it up.
3) Chorus (?!) - I've seen this a lot as well.

The next two aren't really effects:

4) Equalizer - when three knobs aren't enough.
5) Volume - absolutely essential for me. As a Jazz Bass player, I can't rely on my guitar's volume knobs without changing my tone.

Any ideas/comments/suggestions?

(Yup, I'm starting to feel the effects of GAS)
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by foal30 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:57 pm

no effects is essential really
but if I was using an OD or a Wah for instance then I would have a Limiter

I use a Limiter when I'm playing fretless
if I didn't solo or have isolated bass tracks I wouldn't have a chorus
I still like pumping 8th notes with flanger
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BluesBass
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by BluesBass » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:52 pm

sonicfantom wrote:
1) Compression/Limiter
2) Distortion/Overdrive
3) Chorus
4) Equalizer
5) Volume
As a "jazz bass player" you feel these are essential?

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pins
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by pins » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:48 pm

sonicfantom wrote:5) Volume - absolutely essential for me. As a Jazz Bass player, I can't rely on my guitar's volume knobs without changing my tone.
I must be a little strange when it comes to volume,since I began playing over 20 years ago I have always run my Bass's volume pots at max,always,In the case of both my Jazz bass's all pots are at max,always. :oops:

I believe the amp is where any adjustments to anything is done. :mrgreen:

Effects,I have 3,Chorus,Distortion and an Octave pedals,I have had them all for years but never really used them until I recently scored a pedal case/board and now the experimentation has begun. :)

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Dan
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by Dan » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:54 pm

I've got this far without using effects, and haven't really needed any either. The one thing I have been thinking about lately though is a nice wee synthy pedal. God knows what though.

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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by sonicfantom » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:55 pm

I'm speaking in general, since I've only been looking at other bassist's rigs.

The only two I feel are essential are volume and compression/limiter, because I play a lot of solo slapping.
Chris wrote:
sonicfantom wrote:5) Volume - absolutely essential for me. As a Jazz Bass player, I can't rely on my guitar's volume knobs without changing my tone.
I must be a little strange when it comes to volume,since I began playing over 20 years ago I have always run my Bass's volume pots at max,always,In the case of both my Jazz bass's all pots are at max,always. :oops:

I believe the amp is where any adjustments to anything is done. :mrgreen:

Effects,I have 3,Chorus,Distortion and an Octave pedals,I have had them all for years but never really used them until I recently scored a pedal case/board and now the experimentation has begun. :)
Yup, mine are jammed up there as well (for that growly tone), which means when I want to do a solo I don't have the space (or the time) to adjust them with my hands. Therefore the volume pedal.

Not allowed to use an amp :evil: . The Distortion/OD pedal will probably be reserved for my elec playing anyway :lol:
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timi
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by timi » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:28 pm

The only essential pedal is a tuner, unless you have a rack one or something, which would be a real hassle if you play on hired/other peoples rigs often....

Most of my pedal experience is with overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals. You will probably find that these interact with the bass and amp more than others so you really have to try them with your setup. If you use horns or run straight into a DI you will probably want a speaker sim so you don't sound like a buzzsaw, that said most people don't do this and think it sounds good.

Compression is popular, especially with people who use solid state amps. They are also a good way to make your playing sound really even and consistent in a band with very little dynamic range (most heavy music).

Chorus seems popular too, kinda cheesy to me but a good way to fill out your sound when you need to. Octavers are popular and good fun, especially when used with some gain.

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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by foal30 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:34 pm

yes Octaver with gain, good point

wahs are funny, lots of fine tuning required with these
also some effects work better on different basses... what is happening on that Jazz bass is inaudible on the Precision.
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john
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by john » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:25 pm

Dan wrote:I've got this far without using effects, and haven't really needed any either. The one thing I have been thinking about lately though is a nice wee synthy pedal. God knows what though.
Just don't get a boss SYB-3 or 5

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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by model.citizen » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:03 pm

Any effect (and a tuner, while essential IMO, ain't an effect) is essential if it allows you to sculpt your tone into what's in your head.

I use lotsa distortion, octave, delay, phaser...sometimes an envelope filter, flanger, chorus, more delay, fuzz and a feedback loop. Lots of variety to be had, as long as you don't overdo it. Plus, always have to keep in mind that killer sound achieved during practise needs to be obtainable up there on stage after a few pints.

And a compressor/limiter very rarely...i like the dynamics and the extra challenge of keeping them even.
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by pins » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:00 am

model.citizen wrote:Any effect after a few pints.
Edited for the truth :wink: pints=effects effects=pints :D

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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by ryanmaiden » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:15 am

I have only ever used a home made compressor, but don't use it any more now that I'm playing through a tube amp. The things (apart from my bass and amp) I would never leave the house without are my tuner and my D.I. box.

As others have said, if it's what you need to get the sound you are after, then it's essential. I'm pretty old school with my tone, and being a former guitarist, I'm a bit "anti" effects on a bass. Admittedly, a lot of the "anti" stems from a former bass player ruining a rather expensive recording session and subsequently the song by using an awful sounding chorus/phasery/flangey effect pedal (I still can't figure out what it is) through the entire song. The worst part was, he thought it sounded cool. There's nothing cool about over-doing effects and swamping the the mix.
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by sonicfantom » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:44 am

Thanks for the input, I'll probably be going out to empty my wallet on a compression/limiter soon.

Here I come, super-subtle-effect-that-everyone-only-notices-when-it's-not-there!

Everything else can wait until I finish my Strat project (see "Project Maverick" on NZGuitars.com).

Cheers, guys :lol:

By the way, what's the big thing with Boss pedals? I don't own any pedals at the moment (I use good old amp distortion for my Strat :D )
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ryanmaiden
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by ryanmaiden » Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:02 am

sonicfantom wrote:By the way, what's the big thing with Boss pedals?
Boss are the "Toyota" of effects pedals. They are reliable, you see them everywhere, and they're good value for money. And just like a Toyota, they'll do exactly what they are supposed to do, but don't expect anything amazing out of them.

If you're looking for a "don't know it's there until it's switched off" sort of compression, I recommend an optical compressor.
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Re: Effects Essentials

Post by BluesBass » Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:06 pm

sonicfantom wrote:Not allowed to use an amp :evil:
What?!? :?

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