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Effects make my bass sound like doody, poop, and low fi records.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Joe Nerve, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I'm intentionally not sticking this in the effects section, reasons should be obvious.

    I've had many goes with effects. Been through probably close to a dozen multi effect units, owned a bunch of separate pedals, and I've been most recently thrilled with the purchase of a ZOOM B3, for the size and simplicity of it. I actually know how to use this pedal!

    Anyhoo... I'm noticing that no matter what I do, I can't get any kind of effect, ever, happening without seriously compromising my bass tone.

    - Do I need to practice and tweak more with the effects usage?

    - Is the only way to use effects and enjoy using them to consider them like a whole nuther instrument?

    - Anyone else feel as I do, I assume so since I know there are many other bass purists out there.

    - And/or maybe most importantly - is it because I'm trying to get $1000 worth of sound, out of a $200 pedal?


    PS: OK. Doody and poop are the same, but I wanted the extra emphasis.
    woodyng2, InhumanResource and Honch like this.
  2. I had this same experience with a ton of different pedals. The only ones I really run now are soundblox pro and a 105q wah. The reason I run the soundblox pro is because they let you blend in the dry signal and the tone is much much better with a dry signal under an auto wah or distortion imo. There are some other pedals on the market built with dry blend. As far as other pedals go I went through a bunch before I figured this out, auto wahs, synths, distortions etc...from big names like boss to some of the boutiques and I was never satisfied with the low end loss they produced.
    Owen Bacon and Joe Nerve like this.
  3. I have an inexpensive pedal that does a fretless sim.....sounds good to me.

    It also does "cab" and "amp" emulations.....those all suck. Sounds kind of goofy to say that it will emulate an SVT while it's being played through a GK combo amp.

    I'm not big on pedals/effects anyway...
    sissy kathy and Joe Nerve like this.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Although the B3 is a great multi FX unit, it's still just a multi FX, and a cheaper one at that.

    Effects aren't for everybody, but don't lump them all into the same category as they're not all created equal.

    Multis are great for learning what types of effects you like without spending a fortune off the bat. Rarely do they compete with the single pedals though.
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Yeah, I never understood the concept behind that, unless using it for direct recording. How does one use amp modeling through an amp? Or more accurately, WHY would anybody want to do that?
    gebass6 and MattZilla like this.
  6. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Just through a power amp or the FX return, bypassing the amps preamp.

    In the case of the B3 it's mainly for recording. Another selling point is that it's an interface.
    Aqualung60, Ikkir and Joe Nerve like this.
  7. Cuzzie

    Cuzzie Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    I have to agree and disagree, question is what sound do you want?!
    What is your bass tone?

    Take the example of dUg Pinnick, his tone can only be achieved with pedals and different amps and splitting, and now an effects area inside 1 amp the Tech 21 Ultrabass.

    Royal Blood - say no more

    Duff McKagen - hint of chorus

    Guys like Tim Bogert in cactus had old tube heads to get the break up of sound. Now if you need portability to gig and a class D head, you may need a pedal to achieve that sound, whatever your flavour.

    Advent of PA systems denotes a pre amp possibly, and you can hump modulation in there.

    I think you have not found the right pedal.

    Happy to share my experiences with pedals, I may have tried some you have not and it may help if it links to your sound.
    Happy for you to pm me
    Joe Nerve likes this.
  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    I sound bad enough on my own, don't need help with that.
  9. hondo4life


    Feb 29, 2016
    I think a little compression really helps my tone, but most other effects are meh ... use them for special songs only when appropriate.
    mikeluch and rujulian like this.
  10. CaseyJ


    Jul 28, 2016
    Northern Indiana
    There is a huge thread on TB that shows the ins and outs of using the B3 to its full potential. I learned a lot from that thread. The biggest take away is adjusting the individual values of each effect or pre amp model, rather that sticking with the factory levels. Another good topic was adjusting the mix ratio of amp sim to cab sim when using the B3 with an actual amplifier.
    jfh2112 likes this.
  11. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    First, the B3 gives you many options with type of usage--that's why it is great. I have it's little brother the ms60b.
    It will do the weird effects, the synth thing, distortions, chorus, delays, etc.
    I'm like you though, I don't really like those effects on bass either.
    What I use mine for is a tuner, a programmable eq pedal, and I sometimes use the preamp simulations. All for the cost and space of one pedal.
    The amp simulations and preamp simulators in the b3 are not really supposed to be run in front of a bass amp, but need a full range speaker (like a powered pa speaker) to get the best sound.
    Jools4001 likes this.
  12. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    keeping your tone intact ... the magic Mix / Blend / Balance knob ..!!

    i had a Zoom b3 for a little while ... it was fun to use hooked up to my laptop for editing ... i remember setting the Blend/Mix at about 50% ... somehow ... been a while ..

    i remember that when trying to run it 100% wet fx it did sound like lots o poo ... getting more Dry signal helped a lot ..!

    i still feel that way , since moving on from the b3 ... many pedals ( most with Mix knob , dry pass thru ) into a different multi fx/modeler ...
  13. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    If you avoid tone sucking pedals and stick to truebypass boutiquey offerings you may be pleasantly surprised. You should have no problem putting together a 4-5 pedal board that is very useful, but leaves your primary clean bass tone intact.

    Multi-effects are the worst culprits. They have more chips than a bag of Doritos, and they typically will have a buffer which actually sucks more tone than saves. Avoid these at all cost. That includes Boss pedals. If you want a compressor, there are alternatives that are true bypass.

    I think most bassists would benefit from having a fuzz, an overdrive, and a clean boost or perhaps an EQ shaping pedal. If you're more adventurous, perhaps a delay or reverb depending on the genre you're in. All of these can be found with true bypass. We're pretty much living in the golden age of effects boxes. A splitter box that mutes to a tuner is nice to have, too.

    My guitar pedalboard (which I use sparingly on bass) has a fuzz factory clone > a splitter with tuner out option > TC Electronics Spark clean boost > Caline Xotic BB Boost clone > Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay clone > TC Flashback delay.

    All of the pedals are true bypass and my tone is completely intact. So it can be done, but you need to assemble your board with care and avoid tone-suckers.
  14. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    The Zoom B3, while it has some nice tones and useful features for direct recording or into a PA direct, is a tone sucker for stage use into an amp. I would not use one live. Too many diodes and chips in it. Getting rid of that alone it will be like removing a layer of doody poop off your tone.
  15. What pedal is that?
  16. I've found that is does take some time to tweak settings of individual pedals but the pay off can be cool. It is also important to experiment with settings at stage volume, with your live rig, with the full band.

    Many bass pedals, dirt/fuzz for example, can sound awesome at home solo through a practice amp only to disappear in a real world situation.

    I have also found that cheap pedals usually sound, well, cheap. I will add that individual pedals of high quality are always better than a multi effect unit, in my experience at least.

    What effects are you looking to add and why? This can help us advise you.

    Lastly, as much as I love my pedals there is something super cool about a simple bass to tuner to amp set up.

    Soldier on Joe.
  17. RickyT


    May 29, 2015
    Dee Why
    I think Multi's suck. Yes they can help in deciding what effects you like but that's about it.

    You need to work out what effects you need to have.

    Then -
    Step 1 - watch YouTube vids on pedals you think you may like.

    Step 2 - buy and try. That's all you can do to really know how it'll sound with your bass, your amp & your cab.

    Step 3 - Constantly change pedals as you add to your board because Pedal A now doesn't work with your newest pedal. And now Pedal J doesn't work with Pedal H.

    Just today I swapped out my Micro POG for a Boss OC 2.

    I don't know how many times I've said "my board is now complete" HAHAHAHA nope!

    Also look for pedals with a "Blend" knob. I love my Darkglass, SmallSound BigSound and OC 2 for this reason. It gives me as much or as little of the effect as I want without messing up my tone.

    Jump down the rabbit hole Joe
    losted music and Novarocker like this.
  18. pbass2


    Jan 25, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Never found a multi unit that I stuck with for very long---the sound quality was just never there compared to dedicated units as others have said. Had the big floor unit Bass POD for a while, and man it just put a soggy blanket over my sound no matter what setting I used, even just subtle effects. I do use amp/effect modeling in my DAW quite a bit when I'm working fast, and the sounds just need to be "good enough" in things like demos, production music, etc.
  19. rujulian

    rujulian Guest

    Apr 24, 2014
    I recently aquired an ms60b and I agree with you 100%..
    I guess it was fun to mess around with for a bit but eventually I just went back to my unaffected tone..
    Although I found the sansamp emulation really good and fairly transparent if you set everything around noon for a fat tube tone.
    anotherhomeysan and jfh2112 like this.
  20. There are lots if variables. The only effect I have now is a distortion pedal di combo MXR M80. IMHO it only sounds good with passive basses and relatively clean amps.
    I had a great experience yesterday using it with my new Fender P for the first time. Put a little hair on the sound but kept the low fundamental.

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