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Do You Use Effects Pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by wizzkidder, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. wizzkidder


    Jun 6, 2007
    I was advised to post this here in the effects section instead of the double basses section. Sorry about the mixup.....

    Is it necessary to use effects pedals as a bass player? Or do you just dial in your rig the way you want and go for it. I've recently added a distortion pedal to my setup and I have it set to a minimal gain just to "dirty it up" a bit. I tape the gigs that our band (covers - classic rock) plays and I'm not so sure if It's really making that big of a difference in the sound. I recently did a post about getting my playing to cut through the mix and a lot of people came back with getting your midrange up on the EQ. This has worked real well for me but I'm not so sure about the pedal. FYI, I'm playing a Fender H1 Jazz with a GK 1001RB-II head and GK 410SBX-II cab.

    Anyone have any tips or experiences to share about this? :meh:

  2. saxnbass


    Mar 9, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Should've done a poll. But no, I don't.
  3. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    3 words, my friend.....

    BBE Sonic Maximizer

    I would get rid of everything else in my rack before I did a show without my BBE. (Wow, that sounded like a cheesy 70's commercial... LOL)
    gjohnson441496 likes this.
  4. 343 Salty Beans

    343 Salty Beans

    Jan 24, 2006
    It depends on what kind of player you are. There are plenty of effects than can help you cut through the mix if used right, and make a mediocre rig sound fantastic (for instance, the Sansamp BDDI). However, if you're happy and content with the way you sound in a band setting right now, you don't NEED effects. Effects are never 'necessary'.

    That said, they are terribly fun and great to mess with. If you're just getting into effects, it would be great to get a multieffects board like the Boss ME-50B or Zoom B2.1U (I'm not sure if that's the right Zoom board, I've never used it but it gets good feedback here). The ME-50B is the way I got into effects. I'd suggest you search 'ME-50B', 'multieffects', 'multi effects', or 'multi FX to get a lot of different opinions and suggestions if you're just starting.

    For the most part, many of us here use effects to add flavor to our groove (A wee bit of overdrive makes my rig sound QUITE crunchy, very Flea-esque, for instance, and a good envelope filter makes a funky song that much funkier). There are some people who use effects to make whacked-out noise and chaos, too. It depends on what kind of person you are.

    Effects can also be highly addictive, so be warned :)
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger

    Sep 22, 2005
    I can get by with one string, one pickup, one cable, one amp, and one speaker, but I much prefer having a lot more stuff to play with than that.
    SunnBass likes this.
  6. stitchbass


    May 20, 2006
    Virginia Water
    I play in a heavy alternative band with one guitarist and I love my effects. Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flange, Phaser, Wah, Envelope Filter, Octave, Distortion, Fuzz, Ring Modulator to name a few. But most of the time (75%) it's just a compressor that I leave on all the time to tame my heavy hands :) I find that using these effects is right for me in my band situation where the guitarist isn't really a lead guitarist and there is lots of space for me to express myself and add different flavours to the sound. If I were playing in a motown band tho I'd just roll off the tone on a Pbass and go straight into a warm amp.

    It all depends on what works for you, I for one enjoy the creativity and freedom different effects give me and will continue to do so if it's down with who I'm playing with :)
  7. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I don't use them now and have hardly ever used them in the past. That said, I think they're cool when applied tastefully and I envy bassists who can use them well.

    They've never been necessary for me, but some bands require that the bassist cover synth parts, so effects can be necessary for certain gigs!
  8. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    +1 Effects definitely are not for everyone. I would say that you should try playing your songs with, and then without effects engaged. Then take a listen to both of them. Effects are certainly never required to make a song great. I own a number of effects, but I do not necessarily use them on every song. There are times when effects are called for to get that sound that you are looking for (if doing a cover) and other times that no effects are needed (ever try playing along with an acoustic guitar with effects engaged?.... actually scratch that, I'm sure someone here does... but you get my point. :p). Lastly, effects are extremely fun to play around with, but not all effects are for everyone. Go down to your local music store and try out some effects. Make them take them out of the box if need be and try them out. (if it's a store of any kind of quality, this should be no problem. You may want to bring a 9V battery or two along just in case there are no outlet plugs nearby and/or they don't have the wall wart in stock.) But I will give you a warning, it is a very deep hole that you will be peering down if you get into effects. One that I fell into a long time ago. :D
  9. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Inactive

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    It depends on what you do.

    I play in a cover band that does songs by bands in which the bassist use effects. Sure, I could play the songs without the effects, but we wouldn't as a unit sound as good, thus we wouldn't be able to book as many gigs and frankly many of the songs would fall flat.

    When composing originals, I like to experiment a little, so I use effects when doing those.

    If you play in a country, gospel or bluegrass then you really don't need effects as much. SAme can be said for classic rock for the most part, although there are a few out there.

    A bit of advice- when aking these questions to yourself, use a measure approach. Evaluate you situation, examining your set lists and then highlighting what covers uses effects. (in this case). Many times you'll find your own answer....

    And if still unclear, you can always ask your big bottomed brethern. :cool:

  10. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    wizzkidder, although this is the appropriate forum... it's still a very silly question.

    In the Effects forum, we pretty much all use effects, and I can guarantee that none of us really need them. But we love them anyway, since they have so many uses :smug:

    It's pretty much like asking wolves if they use their teeth :p
    SunnBass and jwr like this.
  11. moogboy

    moogboy Inactive

    Mar 1, 2007
    Moog Artist in Rock/Pop 5th down
    +1. if i went to a gig that was for anything other than Classic/Prog Rock or my music, i wouldnt even BEGIN to think about bringing my pedalboards.
  12. I have an ART Tube MP V3, but that's not really an effect, a tube pre...and I use a little compression. So, no I don't use them that much. But, I don't play much music that calls for them. I do own some, wah, chorus, phaser, dist, OD, octaver, etc and can use them if needed. But, I haven't for a long time.
  13. Gubna


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco
    Early on in my playing in bands, I used a few pedals. At one point I narrowed it down to one, a phaser, just for use in a couple of songs. It was pretty basic, but gave it a little flavor.

    After that band broke up, the next one I started, I got rid of all fx.

    I figured any tricks I could just do with my fingers and hands. That's all I need. I also noticed a difference in the signal when going into any pedal - not much, but I preferred going direct into the amp so it's as raw a signal as possible.

    But I do have some pedals that I use for fun at home now and again.

    It really comes down to what you are using them for, and your own personal choice.
  14. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    As Mr. Boo indicated, the fact that we have an entire forum (and a very active one at that) dedicated to effects should be a clue that a LOT of bass players do[i/] use effects.

    I approach my effects as tools to accomplish a certain task. Most of my playing does not include any dramatic effects, but I'm finding more and more that I like a bit of compression pretty much all the time.

    As for your issue with a little bit of dirt on your sound not coming through, that's pretty typical. When you are listening to a full band, subtle differences often get lost in the mix.

    +3.15159 to nad's comment!!! :D
  15. wizzkidder


    Jun 6, 2007

    Well I guess I shouldn't have used the word 'necessary' in this case. I'm really just trying to get some feedback about using effects and your experiences regarding using them, what works best for you, etc. And a lot of you have helped me out with that so far. :cool:

    Since I'm new to using effects, what does the compression pedal do for you, in terms of the kind of sound you get? How about a bass chorus pedal?
  16. hansfranz


    Jul 22, 2005
    Rocklin, CA
    I don't need any of my effects.

    Well, except for overdrive.

    And fuzz.

    And delay.

    And phaser, and tremolo, and blah blah blah blah... :D ;)

    But seriously, I don't need any of the effects that I use, I just like them and the possibilities they open up for me.
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  17. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    Tip #1: The search function is your friend :) All of these questions have been answered MANY times before.

    Here's some great info about compression...

    (Almost) everything that you've ever wanted to know about effects can be found in this forum. If you don't find what you're looking for after a search or two, ask.

    Effects can be a lot of fun. Enjoy the ride! :)
  18. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Bass chorus... same as a regular chorus pedal, but tailored for bass frequencies. If you don't know what a chorus effect is... it's the sound of your bass + a slightly detuned version of that sound, together. It's an ambient effect; it's different than reverb, though. Think "Kurt Cobain" (Nirvana) and you get the idea of how it sounds on guitar.

    As for compression... that's a complicated one. In short, there's two kinds - the mild kind, which many musicians and all recording studios use for dynamics control and volume evening among played notes; and then there's the more pronounced kind, an extreme compression that "squishes" your signal. Check out this FAQ that Bongomania created for the gist of compression. He also wrote up a lengthy page of reviews for compressors he's used.

    If you want to know more, just use the "Search" function in this forum! There's an endless amount of threads here on all kinds of effects!

    EDIT: Eric beat me to it... :crying:
  19. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Since Bongo's probably out and about with something right now and not on active search and destroy for compressor questions... I will direct you to his links (I just noticed that Eric and Boo posted em! I'm slow! :D):
    Bongomania's compressor reviews (a very good read!)
    Compression FAQ and how-to articles
    The TB compressor megathread

    As for bass chorus, it kind of sounds like two basses one of which is slightly detuned playing at almost the same time. Most chorus pedals can go anywhere from subtle flavor on the sound to warble-y underwater goodness. There are also those here on this forum who prefer flanging territory over chorus for bass. But I will let someone else explain that as I have no experience with flanging. :D
  20. oxygenbass


    Jun 27, 2007
    UK - Cumbria
    Hitting the low notes for the king of kings
    I recomend

    Jim dunlop bass wah - fantastic for cutting you in to a fresh sound mid song
    Danelectro guitar chorus - cant live without it!
    Digitech bass compressor - really cool

    really does depend on what music you play though mate
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