Effects for reggae

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Gary1964, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. Gary1964


    Jan 31, 2023
    Hi, I have been playing bass for 40yrs and never used effects peddles, I now play in tribute band playing UB40 and have purchased a Boss ME50B effects peddle, I am looking for advice and suggestions on the best settings and effects to use, at the moment my bass gets lost in the mix even though my volume is nearly 3/4 my rig consists of a markbass little 3 with a markbass 151p traveller cab my bass is a customised bass with Delano P bass pickups and a fender high mass bridge and di’addario flatwounds
  2. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    What is the ME50 not doing for you? I’m not a multi-FX fan, so I’d look into an EQ pedal first, like the Source Audio, or even just an MXR graphic, to further tweak tonality, and then perhaps a synth box of some kind. What out of the ordinary is used on the original recordings?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  3. monti2889


    Jul 19, 2012
    I'd say reggae music would need a dedicated envelope filter...like a q Tron, or mxr bass envelope...something to give clean quacky sounds. Then an octaver of some sort, like a pog, mxr octave deluxe, or sub,n,up. Something that can get you into the deep dub sounds when needed.
  4. SumOne


    Oct 26, 2017
    London, UK
    Some of my favourites for Reggae:
    • Good EQ (My favorite has been the Q strip) to boost around the 80-200hz sort of area.
    • HPF and LPF to cut highs and the very lows.
    • Compression with a HPF sidechain so it doesn't squish the lows too much (Empress, and FEA Opti-FET are good for this)
    • Mild drive to add a tiny bit of grit (Creation Audio Grizzly Bass on mild settings)
    • One Control Crimson Red (Instant dubbyness)
    • Amp with a lot of headroom and a hefty 2x12 cab.
    Perhaps the Boss ME50B can do some of those things, I haven't used it though.

    Probably most importantly is playing technique - plucking near the neck. Don't get new strings. And roll back the tone.

    You can muck about with envelope filters and octavers and synths for more modern sounds but that's not traditionally what's used for Reggae and not what I'd think UB40 used on the stuff I've heard.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2023
  5. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    An envelope filter? An octaver? We're clearly listening to different reggae. :woot:
    HotelX, pbass2, Bass-ball and 31 others like this.
  6. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    boss OC5
    Or mxr vintage deluxe
    And a good comp

    reggae has always been pretty clean
  7. 99% of reggae bass is about technique. Roll off the tone on your instrument. Turn up the bass, turn down the treble on your amp and focus on smooth, even playing with no fret noise.

    Here's an older UB40 discussion if you want to copy some of their keybass sounds: noob in effects need help UB40 content
    Zbysek, Bass-ball, VoodooJazz and 6 others like this.
  8. Too funny! I was thinking exactly the same thing.
    VoodooJazz and HolmeBass like this.
  9. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    +1 on rolling back the tone.
    Nunovsky likes this.
  10. roller

    roller Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014

    Leo Smith likes this.
  11. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Classic reggae = no tweeter action, push the lows and low mids, be felt as well as heard.
    GrapeBass, ComeHomeShane and SoCal80s like this.
  12. wncBass

    wncBass Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    North Carolina
    No effects needed for reggae. Boost bass, cut treble and high mids. Flatwound strings and cabs with 15s are great for that sound as well.
  13. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    Here are all the answers you need.

    GrapeBass, erratick, gmarcus and 7 others like this.
  14. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Indeed. Flabba Holt plays the fattest basslines with Israel Vibration on a Steinberger with - I suspect - rounds. But he FEELS what he plays, he IS what he plays. And that makes all the difference in the world.

    And here with pink strings, which most likely are not flats.

    five7, Joshua, Bass4Brkfast and 2 others like this.
  15. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I like 5, 8, 10, and 12 string basses
    Effects for reggae

    octave down
    bass boost
    and a powered subwoofer
    Zbysek likes this.
  16. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
  17. What I would do: Adjust EQ at the amp for heavy bass and no treble. Use neck pickup. Compressor always on. Maybe some chorus when a special effect is desired. Nothing else. If you're still having trouble being heard, add some mids.
    Bass-ball and Phaidrus like this.
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The only effect that comes to mind is the DOD FX25 as used by Bill Laswell. It's an envelope filter, but he sets it so it just barely opens up when he digs in a bit, giving a burpy sound. The rest of the time it's just removing all the high end. He's been using it on his dub lines for decades.

    Heck, try a crossover :thumbsup:
  19. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Effects are not the answer to being lost in the mix. Talk to your bandmates. Talk to the person running your live sound. The band needs to agree as a whole on what the band should sound like. Whether that means the bass should be upfront or the bass should be buried in the mix, that needs to be understood and agreed upon. The solution to your problem is clear communication.
  20. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Atlanta, GA
    I would recommend the One Control Red Crimson Preamp.
    Criswell60 likes this.