Bass Guitar Swells/Ambient sounds

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jared Coile, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. Jared Coile

    Jared Coile

    Jan 28, 2021
    San Antonio
    All right guys, I am in awe of guitar players and their swells during church worship. I'm getting close with bass effects but no where near close to where the elec. guitar comes to this. My pedals are POG2, TranzFormer, and have a reverb/delay coming and sustain/freeze pedal.

    Anyone have recommendations for bass when it comes to swells or ambient sounds.

    Thank for the support.
  2. sporad

    sporad Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    The Strymon Big Sky is Heavenly . It has dynamic swells and incredibly beautiful ambience.
    PaulS and Jared Coile like this.
  3. Hachimitsu


    Jun 6, 2019
    New Zealand
    Volume pedal, or EHX attack decay. Janek Gwizdala has a video on his youtube showing how he does swells with chords, I think he was using a TC hall of fame reverb among other things
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  4. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Elbow or Digitech Freqout would also get the job done. You could also just use the volume knob on your bass with reverb/delay.
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  5. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I think a volume pedal's a great investment for highly controllable swelling. Put before the delay & reverb, you could slowly build huge swells buried in ambient washes.
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  6. Budget swells are swell...
    If you're a righty player, your right pinky.
    If you're a lefty, then your left pinky.

    Obscure out-of-production hard-to-find pedal — DOD FX15

    SKIP TO 1:40 for proper Swell usage

    My favourite, by far. No, I don't have one yet. Probably have to make it myself.

    Meanwhile, I have a Dunlop DVP1XL Vol pedal ... and my pinky.
  7. Chamber


    Jul 9, 2011
    I'd say a volume pedal and delay for sure. Chorus too (or modulated delay) for that extra bit of candy on top :)
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  8. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    Love that fx15 demo.
    It may also be worth trying the slow gear style pedals. things like the mooer slow engine and behringer slow motion will cut the initial attack and then allow the note to ring out. This into a nice big delay should do the trick nicely.
    these pedals aren’t hugely tough to source, and don’t cost massive amounts of cash. My spare mooer I just scored cost me less than £20 delivered
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  9. MotorCityMinion


    Jun 15, 2017
    Endless strategies with this. About 6 minutes in.
    Keep in mind that this guy is flying solo here. These tones/sounds can get lost in the mix or just sound weird in a band context.

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2021
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  10. +1 EHX Attack Decay. Mess around with your delay and reverb. You can actually get a bowed sound using reverb. Check the threads on bowed or cello or volume swell sounds.

    My experience with inexpensive slow attack pedals is they are not polyphonic, so you have to wait for one note to decay before you play another. I found that frustrating, which is why I got the EHX Attack Decay. YMMV.
    Jared Coile likes this.
  11. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    How about a hot-rodded Guild Starfire (or other hollow/semihollow) and a cranked tube amp? No pedals needed :cool:

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  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Volume pedal, volume pedal or volume pedal. ;)

    Swell effects can have issues with triggering and even when triggered properly do the same swell time, every time. A volume pedal gives much better control, but you have to practice with it.

    Or use the volume control on the bass. Strat players have done this for years because the volume knob is so close to the strings that the player can operate it with their pinky.

    P.S. Don't forget that many multi-FX units have expression pedals onboard and there are wahs that can be switched to work as volume pedals.
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  13. BassBrass


    Jul 6, 2009
    Boston MA
    I agree, I've tried the others, there's even a Malekko...only the EH Attack Decay handles bass signal and returns to full volume (Mooer never returned to full volume for me) and the duration control is accurate (slow or quick swells) One of my go to sounds lately has been Attack Delay into Prunes & Custard (an envelope filter with synthy harmonic distortion).
    Jared Coile likes this.
  14. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Agree w everyone who said Volume Pedal. But OP already has a POG2 and a reverb/delay en route, and that combination (in that order, and with liberal use of the POG’s slow attack parameter) will get him 80% of the way there.

    If you’re looking for an excuse to get yet another pedal though, a Chase Bliss Audio MOOD is the bee’s knees for ambient lushness. That and a volume pedal.
    Jared Coile likes this.
  15. I'm doing some swells with my GT-1B and it's all volume > delay for me. The slow gear effect is nowhere near as easy to use as the volume pedal for sustained swells.
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  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    "That's swell, Wally."
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  17. Jared Coile

    Jared Coile

    Jan 28, 2021
    San Antonio
    Awesome, guys. Thanks so much for the info. I will def be checking these out. Thanks again.
  18. logdrum

    logdrum A person! Supporting Member

    The swells in the Source Audio Ventris is great. But I think a volume pedal or knob control is still needed.
  19. HallOfFame2-large.jpg

    This one has an awesome shimmer reverb
  20. Frodolicious


    May 29, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    Volume pedal and delay help a lot for the ambience and sustain!

    Modulation as well as a dirt pedal for added flavors too.
  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.

    May 23, 2022

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