Effect Volume Settings - Why So High?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ginsly, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Ginsly


    Apr 1, 2010
    I've noticed over the past several months that every time I try a suggested setting for any kind of pedal (especially fuzz), my unity volume settings are way lower than the suggested settings. I realize everyone's setup is different, but why the heck would this be the case time after time? The only thing I can think of is that I keep my amp's volume knob fairly low ( Orange TB500 w/ vol at 8/9 'o clock), but it's still VERY loud.. Silly question I know, but every time I see a pic of someone's fuzz pedal, they have the volume cranked and it's just confusing to me why mine needs to be so much lower.
  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's just as you said- too many variables to consider, your playing technique being the most important.
  3. chaosmic


    Feb 6, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    I have the same issue. I play a Roscoe with an 18V active pre. When I set the internal gain trim of the Bart to minimum (which is where I like it), my fuzzes are very loud and my volumes are usually set very low on the pedals. I attribute this to the way some fuzzes react to a low-output active signal. When I crank the Bart's internal gain trim up higher, I find that I need to turn the volumes on my fuzzes up much higher.

    If your bass is active and has low-output, this could be your issue as well. Hope this helps. Cheers!
  4. I was JUST thinking about this the other day and never got around to doing a thread on it. Almost all of my dirt pedal volumes are around 9:00. I've seen many much higher and have always thought I may be missing something with higher pedal volume and lower amp volume but haven't gotten around to personally testing that yet...
  5. Ginsly


    Apr 1, 2010
    Ah! Chaosmic, I didn't even consider that a lot of people play active basses - I can see how that could affect things. I play a passive Jazz Bass, so I don't think that's the issue, though I do have an always-on RC Booster going into all of my dirt pedals (except for Woolly Mammoth).. Waterpilot, I'm glad that I'm not the only one! Nearly all of my fuzz pedals are set to 9 'o clock too, and they sound just fine to me. Thanks for the input, guys!
  6. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yup, volumes on all my dirt/fuzz/od pedals lurk around the 9-10 (o'clock) range. I just asked a similar question regarding the Oxide fuzz I just got, and many people responded the same (fuzz and clean volumes around 9-10)
  7. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    I've found this,
    When I practice on my own, I set all my pedals to unity volume. Everything is nice and even.

    When I play with my band and I stomp on that fuzz, I disappear. My fuzzed bass just melts away in the mix. Due to the frequencies and all the harmonics going on it just doesn't cut through. So during band practice I find myself really cranking the volume knobs on some of my pedals just so I cut through the mix.

    Then going back to practicing on my own I think, "Damn that fuzz pedal is set LOUD!".
    But, it needs to be in order to compete with everyont else in the band.
  8. behndy

    behndy Inactive

    Nov 1, 2008
    woof. adding the Why Do I Go Away In A Band Setting aspect just muddies stuff even FURTHER. then you're getting into do you have a scooped mid? a blend? how many guitarists are you competing with? are they careful to keep their lows attenuated so you have enough sonic room? is there a keyboardist that needsnto have his left hand cut off?


    i use a Dingwall ABI, it's passive but sends a pretty hot signal, noticeably louder than the other passive basses i have. i aim for a slight volume bump when a fuzz or dirt comes on, but i've been super careful to have blends or use pedz that don't slaughter the lows and mids. so my stuff's not cranked, about 12.37 o'clock?

    heh. also matters what company you're using. Wren & Cuff, Iron Ether, most SS/BS... stay around unity and get a bit louder. Dwarcraft, Devi Ever, Infanem.... BOOOOM. can't go above 9 without going LOUD.
  9. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I just thought of this, reading your story. I have the same issue. So what I thought is:

    If the issue is it sounds different with the band, then what is different when you're playing with the band? I would try turning down your amp's eq on anything below 300 hZ. When you are by yourself. Your perception of how loud your bass is when you are by yourself is probably mostly guided by the low end. So eliminate it, and tune your pedals with just top-end sounds.

    Then, when you bring back the bottom end and are with the band, you've properly EQ'd the part of the sound that matters in that context -- the mids and highs. I always leave the bass knob(s) on my amps for sound-check time -- and turn them up to find that nice fat boom while we're sound-checking.
  10. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas

    I seriously don't understand why Devi Ever stuff goes so painfully loud. I literally have the volume knob on my Bit just a milimeter up.
  11. Hector_G


    Apr 6, 2009
    El Paso, Texas
    That's an awesome idea. I'll definitely try that today.
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    Eric! Commercial User

    Jan 22, 2009
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    Mojo Hand FX
  13. Toastfuzz


    Jul 20, 2007
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thats a good way to start, but I would expect to find the same frequency wars happening across the mids and highs too. Best solution is to have a bass-fuzz-friendly guitarist who's willing to work with you during practice to get all your levels right across the board and not conflict. My Ibanez bass has one of those weird "tone sweeper" doohickeys on it now that basically spans from high treble-low bass to the opposite and blends in between (ignoring 2-band EQ) and tweaking this mid-song or mid-soundcheck usually gets the right balance of underlying bass to trebly bite. I'd expect a tone pot or active EQ to do roughly the same, but I really like the way it works on the Ibanez... I always leave the EQ flat and shape my tone with that knobby. So I guess it actually is a tone sweeper knob!

    But back to mixing with the guitarist, my current band only has 1 so its pretty easy for us to call dibs on our own frequencies. My old band had 2 air-headed sweep-picking 'tards and they only liked sub bass, I had to sneak my mid knob up gradually until I'm actually heard and then at the end of one song one of them will eventually say "hey, I can hear the bass, I think you're too loud" :rollno:

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