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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
    That's precisely why I put this in the misc section. I notice that happens quickly and easily in that forum. Some people take their effects quite seriously.

    Don't know why that made me LOL, but it did...

    My alerts this morning had more "quoted" alerts than I've gotten before, and they were all on this thread.

    Thanks everyone for the responses. I'll keep reading, but may lay low on my own responses. I'm going to definitely stick with the zoom for a while... if effects prove to be an absolute necessity, I may take some of the individual box suggestions here. Tough for me to do that though because I have so many reason I don't WANT to do that. They cost money, I'll probably only use each effect for 1 or 2 songs, I hate carrying extra gear around, plugging things in, etc, etc.

    I'm not an effects guy, trying to become an effects guys... this may take some time. Or it may be a complete fail. Time will tell.
    Flabzilla, Honch, SunnBass and 2 others like this.
  2. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    I wish I could get more into effects. But other than my fascination as a kid, I have been effects free.

    A couple of exception have been made recently. I.e. I have a DI driver and a graphic EQ pedals. But those were bought to be used as preamps for passive basses to sound more active. And I've yet to gig with them because in general pedals are one added layer of complexity, set up/break down, and potential technical difficulty that I would just prefer to leave out of the live equation.

    I have great respect for folks that really know how to do the pedal things as if it's playing a second instrument on stage. I've just never really tried to traverse the learning curve.
  3. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    That's all well and good, and exactly what I've done for over 20 years. When ya land a really good gig though and the guys suggest you use them, well...

    that's when you start threads on Talkbass.
  4. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    The only bass effects I've ever had success with are a phaser or flanger used very sparingly. I don't consider compression an effect as much as it is a tool (like EQ or a BBE Sonic Maximizer), but it is crucial to a controlled setup.
    Signs likes this.
  5. Signs


    Jan 11, 2011
    Muskegon, MI
    My current rig is a very clean sounding setup. I was looking for something to give me a little grit/overdrive and read the Visual Sounds Open Road pedal worked well for bass as well as guitar. I can get some nice grind out of it, as well as a tube amp type sound, and it doesn't negatively affect my tone. It does a couple more things but I haven't really felt the need to try those other sounds...For what I paid for it and what it does I am very happy with it...
  6. Teijo K.

    Teijo K. Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2014
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: CCP
    Well if they want you to use effects, they really should come up with suggestions on what effects they want to use. But it does seem like the band leaders idea of a good bass sound might be different than your. So you either need to play with a different sound than you like, or leave. I'd had to make that same decisions if someone tried to make me to play whiteout my pedals. Never had to make that decision thought.
    blindrabbit likes this.
  7. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Anyone have any experience with this pedal. Along with some FX that it has, it looks like you can create an FX loop and control the dry/wet mix of the whole loop.

    Iron Ether » Divaricator
    HolmeBass and Somnambulance like this.
  8. Joe, are you wanting effects to sweeten or to be the flavor?
  9. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    I have a similar experience with effects. And as thrilled as I am with my own B3, it is pretty much a tuner and cool practice tool (you can make it act as your computer sounds card and run computer audio through it while playing your bass. Great for youtube playalongs with headphones).

    I've found that effects just don't work on bass in practical playing situations. I have some patched set up that would be really cool in a project designed to work around them, but for normal working cover stuff it's just a waste of time.
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    They've yet to hear "my sound" so that's not coming into play. I've only auditioned, and rehearsed with them once, on a studio backline. Pretty sure their old bassist used effects so they suggested I have a go at it too. It wasn't the "law" that I use them, but I intend to give my best shot at giving them whatever they want, and I won't put it on them. And I don't walk if I don't get my way in a band. When it's a good situation, I've learned to bend like rubber.

    I think what prompted this post more than anything was my experience with the Paramor song, "Aint it Fun". I spent a good deal of time dialing some effects that really kicked butt in my house and I thought kind of nailed what that guy has going on (sorry, don't remember exactly what that was and don't want to break the pedal out right now), but when I kicked it in during rehearsal it was nothing like what I had in the house. In the house it added overdrive and punch, and sounded awesome - I can't even describe what happened when it got into a band mix. I almost immediately kicked it off, and felt that "aaaaaaaahhhhh...." of relief. That made me say eff this stuff, but I don't want to give up on my efforts so quickly.

    Maybe I really need to just spend some time tweaking in a band setting as opposed to in my studio. Not sure how I'd be able to do that though as I don't want to waste anybody else's time...


    I think I just hit on something.
    Flabzilla and HolmeBass like this.
  11. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick, Mesa Boogie, Joyo, Dr. J, Levy's Leathers
    I love effects when I hear other people using them, but I'm with you Joe - way too much of what I consider to be "my tone" is compromised when I engage an effect. The only time I like using one or more is when I'm going for a TOTALLY different sound, but that's not what you're talking about, is it? I take it you're speaking more on the topic of "tone-shaping" effects? Those are the ones I can never find happiness in, no matter how many I try.
  12. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    I'm reading a lot of responses and shaking my head here. I know you guys have 20+ years of playing experience, but some of your complaints just don't make sense.

    On dirt pedals losing low end or not working on bass, you just need to try better ones. Trying a dirt pedal designed for guitar and complaining that it does not work on bass is EXACTLY the same as buying a stratocaster and putting a 6 string bass set on it and then complaining that bass guitar sucks.

    Trying to use cheapo crap pedals like the modern EHX Big Bass Muff Pi and then complaining that it disappears in the mix or sounds like crap is like buying a beat up Jay Turser violin bass and then declaring that Hofner sucks as a brand because of that.

    I don't get the disconnect sometimes. Most people here play covers or like music by bands where the bassist used effects on recordings and playing live.

    Yes, some of these players have used intricate blending systems, bi-amping systems, double tracking, etc. There have been tons of advancements in pedal and effects systems designs since then. You have dirt pedals with blenders, pedals with fully parametric EQs. There are pedals with a 9v dc input that run full tube preamp sections at 150+v inside. You have compressors with a discrete analog signal path that replicates UA 1176 compressors. There are pedals like the Eventide H9 that offer you the same digital algorithms that bands used to use in rackmount form at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars.

    Switching systems have become real cheap. It's the golden age of gear guys, take advantage of it or don't. You guys need to stop starting these threads every 3 months to make yourselves feel better about your life/gear choices. Choose your gear and be happy with it. Don't blame and debase the whole notion of effects because you made a different choice.

    Whatever I guess, we all die alone.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
  13. rolandm

    rolandm In search of the lowest note.

    Aug 8, 2010
    Peoria, IL
    Typically, you'd bypass your preamp section or go straight to FOH. I run a Zoom B9.1ut and the band I play in is entirely IEMs, so this solution works very well. I've never had an issue with muddy tone from any of the effects, when used judiciously and mixed with the dry signal accordingly for a strong fundamental tone presence. Apologies if someone already posted that. ;)
  14. Teijo K.

    Teijo K. Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2014
    Jyväskylä, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: CCP
    It takes a lot of experience with effects to be able to do a sound that works with the band. You could try tweaking your sound with a recording of that band minus the bass. A lot of the times a sound that works with the band, doesn't really sound "nice" on its own. And vice versa if you tweak a sound that works alone, it don't work with the band. You'd need to have a strong understanding of the different frequencies all the other instruments use to pull it off whitout the whole context.
    blindrabbit, Novarocker and SunnBass like this.
  15. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    This 100%.
    The "bedroom rule" for EQ settings applies to effects also.
    Finding the right sound "in the mix" must be done..."in the mix".

    Also, many people have mentioned something very important, try clean blending.
    There are many items that can accomplish this, the Boss LS-2 is a perfect example.
    So many effected bass tones on recordings have a clean version underneath them, this maintains low-end and clarity.
    Also, don't expect much from any multi-effect pedal, they're mostly a great way to figure out what effect you like.
    Think of it like a beer sampler.
  16. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
  17. johndb

    johndb Bass is the Place! Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2014
    Yes, a big +1 on this. It's so nice to be able to blend in your entire effects loop in with your clean sound, and also bypass them all completely. You can even turn the big rubber blend knob with your foot. It also has basic tone controls - bass, treble, and boost, to help equalize your sound when you activate the blender.
  18. I'm no expert, but one thing I have done to avoid the situation you speak of-with an amp or cab sim, run direct to the soundboard (or headphones for practice). It is much more satisfying that way to me, rather than going through another amp.
  19. Novarocker


    Oct 12, 2015
    +1 on the bedroom effect. In my experience most big muffs sound amazing outside of the mix and lose a lot in the mix (without a dry blend).

    I agree that multis are good for figuring out what you like. However, they're amazing for live use IMO. I use mine to compliment my rig. In the mix and especially live no one can tell the difference. I'm all for individual pedals, but for the sake of gigging, I like to limit my board.

    Edit: sorry for the shoddy pic. I use mine for modulation and it's a godsend with dry blends on almost all if not everything. I agree that it's a pain to lug something around if you only use something for one or two dogs.
    SunnBass likes this.
  20. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    'Effects make my bass sound like doody, poop, and low fi records'

    Eventually, most musicians come to the realization that it's all in the hands...
    Even phenoms like Joe Bonamassa. Although not bass related, This video is worth watching
    when you have a bit of downtime.

    Teijo K. likes this.

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