Effects chain and usage questions

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by grunge_freak, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Hey guys, so I have been playing bass for quite a few years now but I have just recently started to get a good collection of effects pedals for the style of music I play. The pedals I have are: EHX bass big muff pi, Boss ODB-3 bass overdrive, Boss BF-2 and BF-3 flangers (had a BF-3 already and my uncle gave me an old BF-2 lol), and an EHX small clone chorus. So my question is, in what order should I run these pedals into my amp? I love the different types of tone combos I can get with these, I play mostly hard rock and me and my buddy play some trippy/jazzy alternative stuff so these pedals are great but having just recently obtained some of them I'd like a pro opinion on what order to run in them, and how to optimize my sound as well. Any input you guys have on making these effects sound great is welcomed. Thank you!

    P.S., trying to decide which one of my flanger pedals I should sell.. I will admit that the BF-2, as most people say, does have a better tone but I feel like the BF-3 has more versatility for weirder sounds so I can't decide, maybe I should just keep both lol
  2. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    The answer you're always going to get for this is to try things different ways and see what sounds best to you. I think people generally prefer dirt (Muff & ODB-3) running into modulation (chorus and flangers), though some people definitely do it the other way around. I would probably go Muff -> ODB-3 -> flangers -> chorus.
  3. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Right, see I thought it was dirt before modulation but then some article online said modulation before dirt. So I was somewhat confused on what the general consensus is but thank you good sir
  4. I would go: BF-3 >> BBMP >> BF-2 >> ODB >> Small Stone. Or just mod fuzz mod drive mod.
  5. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Ah, so swimming bird just out of curiosity: you say I should run the BF-2 further down the chain from my BF-3. is there a reason for that? I havent tried using them both at the same time, but that might make for some interesting, really deep sounds, having two flangers going at the same time.

    But what I HAVE tried, and what I recommend to anyone looking to add some more depth to their flange to get a really mesmorizing, underwater kind of sound, is I turn the rate knob on my small clone to 0 but I keep it on the high depth setting and keep it on in my chain. Then I keep my flange on as well (depth around 3/4 of the way up, rate at about 1:30-2 oclock) and this makes for a really cool flange with super depth.
  6. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Well I think that's the general consensus, but I could be wrong. Here's how I think about it: let's use chorus as an example for modulation. The idea of a chorus, loosely speaking, is to make it sound like more than one instrument is playing, to double/triple/etc. the sound. So it makes more sense to "multiply" your dirtied up sound, than it does to "dirty up" a multiplied sound. Or at least it does to me. And I would probably make a similar argument with "swirling" modulation sounds like flanger and phaser.

    For what I've tried, I definitely prefer chorus after dirt. For dirt and other types of modulation it depends. I prefer dirt first, but there are interesting sounds doing it the other way.
  7. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    I see your reasoning there, and I agree it makes more sense to multiply a dirtied signal. unfortunately my whole family is asleep or I would crank up my amp and try the different configurations as we speak and let you know the resulting sounds I get in case anyone else out there is wondering the same thing.

    But in reality, in your experience, what is the downfall of dirtying a multiplied sound? would it just sound more muddy and messy as opposed to a tighter sound?
  8. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    I'm not sure how I would describe it, I can just tell you that I don't like dirt after chorus in particular. The chorus is supposed to add a nice shimmering quality, and the dirt just overrides that. The other way around, and that shimmer can still come through. Muddy I guess would be a fair description. IME and all that.
  9. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Ah I see, that makes perfect sense then. That deep shimmer is what makes the chorus and flange pedals so useful.
  10. sketch


    Oct 16, 2013
    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I'd run it:
    Bass>BF-2>Muff>ODB-3>BF-3>Small Clone

    Set the BF-2 for a faster, clangier, exaggerated sound. When using the ODB or Muff, they'll even out the wild peaks, but the flange will still be audible.
    Set the BF-3 for a slower, deeper sound. It will exaggerate the ODB or Muff when on without sounding annoying.
    Set the Small Clone for a "normal" chorus tone.
    I'd set the Muff pretty "heavy" with little/no clean blend, and then the ODB with 50/50 clean/dist blend.
  11. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Interesting, I'm gona try out that setup as well. I'll post my findings when I get the chance.
  12. My impression is that the BF-3 is going to have a wider range of sounds and be better for bass, but the BF-2 will sound better. So having the BF-3 will let you get interesting tones without sacrificing lows, and the BF-2 can be a great, if typical sounding flanger.

    [I really like having modulation before dirt as an option -- setting the resonance at max with the rate at min or max going into a fuzz sounds pretty awesome. Low/zero speed modulators basically act like a slow/stuck wah, and harsh sounds made by high res settings will get better with fuzz.]
  13. +1, though I'd probably switch the position and function of flangers.
  14. Bredian


    Apr 22, 2011

    BTW, still working on the Bass Muff Pie to get the right sound that cuts through as well as my other tones.. your favorite settings?

    Typically, I'm not using more than one effect at a time, but just added teh BMP to my older Mistriss/flanger/chorus pedal.... the digital effects pedal has been sitting out gigs for the past year, and typically I split dry into one combo cab, wet into the other.
  15. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010
    Bredian: To be totally honest, I as well am still trying to find the perfect tone for the bass big muff. I'm still constantly tweaking my EQ, the knobs on my bass, and the muff, but some tones I like so far are:

    Switch: Dry setting

    Volume: 10 o'clock

    Tone: Anywhere between 10-2 o'clock depending on what I have my amp EQ'd at

    Sustain: 6-7 o'clock

    ^This provides me with a nice hearty distortion that I can really only describe by saying it sounds reminiscent of the distortion that Krist Novoselic gets on Nirvana's first album Bleach, but not perfectly.

    Then, if I want a more aggressive tone:

    Switch: Bass boost setting (you can do dry too and it sounds good, depends on the style but I usually use bass boost and these settings for when I play metal)

    Volume: Still around 10 oclock

    Tone: 7-8 oclock

    Sustain:1-2 oclock

    ^This will give you a beefier, heavier, dirtier tone. I find that if you use the bass boost setting you still might lose a tiny bit of low end, hence why I tend to not turn the sustain past 2 oclock, and I keep the tone knob around 7-8 to keep the lows intact. But also boosting the bass frequencies on my amp solves that problem too.

    EDIT: Oh and for the second setting I mentioned, I use the button on my amp to scoop the mids and it makes it thumpier. Try these out and let me know what you think man!
  16. grunge_freak


    Aug 3, 2010

    Okay so I just spent the last few hours jamming and I think I have found my favorite tone on the big muff. It's the perfect mix because it lets the natural metallic growl of my bass come through still, but at the same time adds some roar to it. Check out the pic I took (attached thumbnail). keep in mind the sustain is on, just not too much. Awesome distorted tone tho, I don't think I'm even gona touch the knobs for a while lol

    Attached Files: