Zoom B3, Tone Problems and other Ramblings!
I recently purchased a Zoom B3, I was really excited about this product. I have just started playing in a cover band, playing rock and pop standards.
I was looking forward to having all these effects at my disposal, plus that amp and cab modeling and all the other goodies ( USB input, looper, drum beats etc.) and as a side benefit I through I would be able to use the bass synths to emulate some of the synth bass sounds that are used in the recordings of some of the top 40 dance stuff we do.
I never used any effect on my bass in the 20 plus years that I have been playing, I never really mess with my bass tone that much. The bass I have been using in an American Standard Jazz Bass ( pick up Volume posts all the way up and the tone knob set to neutral), with the simple stock passive pick-ups going into an Ampeg SVT 3 ( pretty much flat with a little bass boost and a little treble boost and some frequency cut some with the 9 band graphic EQ) with a BagEnd E-15 ( one 15" speaker ) I was happy and never worried about my tone, but since I started playing with this band I have wanted to try and get a tighter low end sound, to leave more room for the guitar and be tighter with the drums.
I put heavier gauge strings on my bass and that open a can a worms, in short my bass is being repaired and I had to buy a second bass, I wanted a 5 string, so I ended up getting an Ibanez SR405, with an active EQ. I still like this bass but all those EQ buttons, just make the bass sound like crap, so I try to set them as flat as possible but there is that tone knob, that Ibanez calls the Style Sweeper ( Finger-Slap) I wish I could by-pass this knob, it drives me nuts, The Finger selection is so boomy that any note I play lower then the D on the 5th fret A string has no definition at all the notes bleed into each other something terrible, that slap selector, has way to much high end taking all the bottom out of the bass, trying to find the mid point is always a challenge, but I had it were I was happy.
Then along comes the Zoom, while the bass synth sounds are cool, I find them useless in the real word, when playing with my band they get lost in the mix and just sounds like noise, and I can not get them to emulate the sounds that I want to get, ( Ignorance or lack of skill on my part I'll admit that! )
Not a big loss just a little disappointed, I figured I'll just use the amp models and maybe some compression will tame that Ibanez. When I first got it I found a sound that I liked, and figured I would use that for my DI sound when playing live, there is nothing I hate more then the sound of a Bass being playing through a DI Box, but I really don't want to drag my amp around to gigs ( this may not be an option :crying: ) after a few days with this sound I became unhappy with it and started looking for other stored patches, nothing! I could find nothing I was happy with, so I started trying to create my own, ( ugg! )the more things I tried the worst the sound got, so I decided to plug in headphones, because I am sure my amp was affecting what I was hearing, that just made things worst.
As I sat there, I started to remember why I never used effects, I could never get my bass to sound good with them, after last nights episode not even plugging straight into the amp sounded good anymore. I decided to stop and go watch TV.
I now want to return the Zoom, but I am not sure if I should give it another shot or just concede that FX are not my thing.
The thing is a compressor alone is going to cost a $100, I have a DI box but ehh!:bawl:, but I would probably buy a new one, and they can get way above $100, so the B3 could just be a compressor and DI box, that I paid $200.
So what it the point of this besides just bitching you ask!
I am wondering if anyone has had similar problems with effects in the past and was able to over come the " everything sounds like ****" syndrome!
work with the "balance" setting on patches, you'll retain more of your tone vs more effect. You can get some really great sounds out of it. Throw the B3 in a blended loop and even more so. Nice solid bottom end.
BTW, the Presets that come with the unit are pretty bad. There's a nice big thread with patches and settings here in the Effects forum
I'm not going to go on an Ibanez bashing tangent and I don't mean to offend you, but Ibanez basses suck. Those basses are so terrible. I am not a fan of Fender basses, but I'd way rather that than an Ibanez bass. Boy, do I ever hate Ibanez basses.
Multi effects pedals can be a bit daunting and frustrating, but you really just have to spend a ton of time working with it and tweaking and working and tweaking. You'll make it sound good eventually! And then throw the Ibanez into a wood-chipper and never speak of it again.
I don't have a B3, just a B2. The post about blending/balancing your dry signal hit the nail on the head. When I first got my B2, I thought of it as more of a toy to goof around with...until I discovered the blend dial on it. Wow, did that change things. I now never go to any gig without my B2. Sometimes I just use the eq section and tuner and go into a VT bass pedal, but often I use the B2's amp model and other effects too.
And I am not a big effects guy either, so I know exactly where you are coming from.
I used my B3 for the first time at church this past Sunday with no problem. Went direct to the PA and I also used my American Standard 5 string Jazz bass.
Granted, I didn't use any effects and while I only used one sound (GK model with the SWR 4X10 model with a touch of the MComp compressor) the soundman said it was all there. One of the other bass players was in attendance and he also said nothing was lacking either.
But I'm still working with mine too.
Check out the B3 as a preamp thread.
I think we forget that the B3 is not "plug-n-play." It does require some tweaking; global controls, patch volumes and the like. Patience is key. I have had mine for quite awhile now and am just getting the hang of how the different controls and different effects interact with each other and different basses.
I have the same 3 effects in different patches for my active bass and my passive. Each bass seems to react differently and needs time to find the best sound for me.
I think I was suffering from ear fatigue and I was having one of those days. Anyway I did try another patch from the B3 thread and It sounded real nice, I have not had the chance to try my Jazz bass, it's still in the shop, but I am going to work with the global settings to see how it affects the effect ( did I use those two right? LOL )
What is the best way to test the sound that I will use for my Direct sound beside plugging it in to the board that I will be using?
I am thinking the sound I get with some DAW software will be close, I have used the head phones with it but that did not get me good results the output was to low, I have to look and see if there are setting for this also.
Have a great day
This is why I stay away. I thought when the B3 came out I might give it a try, but I didn't. I always seem to go back to bass to amp. I don't even do that any more. Bass --> DI --> PA --> IEM's.
There is an active/passive switch on the back of the B3. Make sure you're on active when you're using the ibanez.
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