Are Effects Demo's Misleading?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ross McLochness, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    So I recently purchased the SolidGoldFX Beta DLX.
    Behold, in all its glory:

    I really like this pedal and initially got excited about it after watching this product demo clip ().

    However, when I use the pedal I don't find nearly as many tonal options as the demo provides. I'm running an American Standard P directly into this pedal, then straight into a Rumble V3 500 Combo.

    My question is, are there other things (secret sauce type of things) companies use for these types of professional product demos that in reality are not easily realized by someone with my type of setup.

    Just curious for your thoughts.
  2. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Ben Wright is special sauce.

    Unless they show you the full setup, then you never really know what they used to record it.

    In general most companies try to show you a direct in sound, or an amp'd sound. I'm guessing this is a Bass -> Pedal -> Recording interface demo, meaning all the tone you hear is from Ben, the Jazz bass with Nylon tape wound strings, the pedal and the interface. There's a lot of special sauce in the combination of the Jazz and Nylon strings that you can't copy with a P bass.
  3. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, what you hear in many demos is just bass > pedal > interface. If there's no amp sim, compression, EQ, etc. it's going to be a full-range signal. You'll get a lot more top end in a demo than many players will have in their amp.
    mpdd, steve66 and Ross McLochness like this.
  4. XLunacy


    Nov 28, 2013
    Different player, different bass, different strings, different setup, different room, different recording gear, different amp, different cab, different post-processing (comp / EQ), different listening conditions...
    I wouldn't trust a review video to give me an idea of what sound I'll get, however a dry/wet comparison will definitely give you an idea of how switching the pedal on/off affects the sound !
  5. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Great comments everyone, thanks.
  6. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    What are your amp settings? I find that bass OD/ distortion/ fuzz sounds way different with the treble rolled down or mids scooped on an amp, for example.
  7. Ross McLochness

    Ross McLochness Living Room Bassist Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2013
    Eden Prairie, MN
    Good point. I've had the mids on my amp boosted a bit. Maybe I'll fiddle with the amp settings a little bit more. Thanks for the idea. FWIW, the pedal sounds awesome with my current rig and settings I was just wondering why I couldn't come close to replicating the variety of tones Ben gets in his demo.
  8. IMO, they're pretty much useless apart from describing the features. There seems to be very few demos, if any that use the same bass I use, the same pickups I use, the same amp I use, or the pedals I plan to use in conjunction with the pedal in question.
  9. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    I just watched the video and can’t figure out what the hell the pedal is supppsed to do. Lol
  10. keto


    Mar 3, 2016
    I learned the hard way, same as you. Fx sound different with every rig, never mind the player, recording setup, plus YouTube adds compression. Only way to know for sure is to try them yourself, your hands, your guitar, amp, and signal chain generally.
    azapistagyerek and jjmuckluckjr like this.
  11. jjmuckluckjr


    Mar 24, 2015
    Short answer, yup. Until you plug it into your rig, it can be a crap-shoot.
    Stevorebob likes this.
  12. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Baltimore, Maryland
    A big part of Ben's sound is that he is using a P-Bass with flatwound strings. If you are playing round wound strings, or different pickups, or your bass has more output, you're going to get a VERY different sound out of these pedals. I've actually reviewed the same pedal and it sounds quite different than Ben's demo. Much more gain for me on most settings.


    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    Your best bet is to compare the dry signal to the one with the effect on. Also, I'd listen to all reviews, demos. Other than that, it is different player, and different gear that won't sound the same.
  14. I've heard mixed reviews on the rumble stuff. Might be the weakest link in the sound you're trying to get. Haven't played one but that's just my guess. Not all amps / speakers were created equal.
  15. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    Not every amp gets nuances across. This may be where your 'problem' lies.
    Also...not all product demos are good representations of the product, demonstrated.
  16. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Washington DC
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I would bet that if you got a buffer or line driver pedal and put it in front of the pedal, you would be able to get closer to what they have going on in that demo.

    I also run passive basses and more often than not these days, demos are made with active basses that then hit dirt pedals with a much more intense signal thus causing the dirt pedal to react more aggressively. A great example is the Barbershop- I have heard people complain about the kazoo sound when it's at high gain and I can't even get it past low gain because of my basses and setup.
  17. gt96g

    gt96g Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Philly Area
    As others have said, they really should explain the signal chain they are using in said demos. I bought a few overdrives based off of demos from a specific YouTube channel. When I got the pedals they produce almost nothing on their own, however after pairing them with a good clean boost the pedals came to life. Disclosure of the signal chain is the best way to avoid these issues and probably should become standard practice for effects demos.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
    Ross McLochness and Philly Watts like this.
  18. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    Yes, effects pedal demos are quite misleading, in the way that everything sounds different per amp, cabinet, bass, room, player, etc.
    So, honestly, I wouldn't call them misleading. They're more an inaccurate simulation of how the pedal sounds, with results varying based on equipment used. Now, I will say that there is one specific YouTube pedal demoer that I feel ends up with every pedal they demo (as far as dirt goes) sounding the same.
    Leiria likes this.
  19. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Like anything else, it depends, including the source of the demo. Some are honest, some are ads.
  20. Korladis

    Korladis Inactive

    I like BassicGearReview and Andy Westwood for realistic pedal demos.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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