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Effects Newbie Needs Help!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LoveTheLows, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. LoveTheLows


    Apr 12, 2011
    Queens NY
    I've always played clean, never used any effects. Nice and simple. But I have a bar gig in a few weeks and I’m rethinking that since there will only be 3 of us (bass, guitar and drums) and I might need some help filling the “empty space”. We’re playing 80’s, 90’s, 2000 rock (STP, Greenday, Sublime etc…)
    Any advice on where to start and which effects might work in my situation? I’m on a budget and dont want to experiment with boxes I might not need. BTW, I’ll be playing a Fender Jazz. THANKS!
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Sansamp Bass Driver or VT Bass should be all you need or a great start.
  3. TNCreature

    TNCreature Jinkies!

    Jan 25, 2010
    You don't "really" need any effects. At least not a rush job to fill in.
    Take your time and get the effects that you need if and when you need them.
    For instance if you are primarily playing covers and a good number of the songs have chorus on the bass start there and try a few out.
  4. 4Banger4


    Mar 21, 2011
    Indianapolis IN
    Personally, I think a zoom B2 has some decent effects. If you're on a budget, won't be using them on every song, I think this would work well for you. I play a Geddy Lee, Areodyne and 2 Squires, all Jazz basses and have no problem dialing in sounds for bands you listed. Also, I picked one up used from GC for $39. They're also good for practicing, built in drum machine.

    Good luck.
  5. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    If you're not versed in the use of effects a multi might be a little complicated to tweak on the fly at a gig. You will quickly discover that what sounds great alone may not sound as good with the band and what works at practice may not work at a gig. I think a simple overdrive might be all you need to help fill out the sound and easier to adjust in real time at a gig. That being said, Zoom makes some fine multis and there's no reason you can't keep it simple with one of them while you're getting your bearings in an ocean of effects.
  6. LoveTheLows


    Apr 12, 2011
    Queens NY
    In an hour I've got some great advice. What might seem obvious to you is new info to me. Thanks and keep it coming. I like the idea of keeping it simple the first time out if I end up with a multi. I'll try to hit a shop before the end of the week to try a few out, especially the overdrive and chorus.
  7. MXR M-80 bass di +.

    My all time favorite, don't leave home without it, always on, box. Pretty much the only one that goes everywhere.

    Di, preamp and tone controls, great color setting, and what ever you make of the dirt side, which can be pretty cool if you don't over do it. Phantom power option cuts down on the 9 volt battery issues.

    I'd skip the chorus and go with a cry baby style foot controlled wah. Realize the wahs take some practice, like patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time.

    Or my "do as I say, not as I do" advice: don't even get started on effects, it's a sickness. (Except for the MXR M-80, or some similar box like the para driver DI, Radial tone bone, everybody should have a solid di. )

    Whatever you do, try to keep it simple.
  8. simplebassliner


    Apr 23, 2010
    As a beginner pedal user my self, I guess preamp/di pedal is a good start. If you're on budget you should give Hartke VXL a try. But if you can save some more, VT bass sounds great for most rock sound. I just sold my vxl for vt and it sounds a lot better, but vt doesnt have DI. Haven't try MXR M80, but from the youtube and TB users reviews, I guess you can't go wrong with M80 either. As always, if you can, do try before buy anything.
  9. bigchiefbc

    bigchiefbc Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Rhode Island, USA
    If you're going to go with a multi, I'd lean towards the Line 6 M9, since you can turn each effect on and off individually and don't have to mess with patches.

    If you're going with individual pedals, the most rudimentary setup for a 80s and 90s 3-piece would probably include an overdrive, a chorus and maybe an octave. Maybe throw a fuzz in there for fun, you can usually get away with a fuzz in a three-piece.

  10. First off, I think TNCreature is right - you don't really need effects. How you play and the notes you choose to play or not play fill up the space a whole lot more then effects. Dynamics as a band as a whole can fill up a whole lot of space for a three-piece. Actually, that's true for almost any musical set up.

    That said, a bit of fuzz or OD can help to fill up space in a 3-piece, and mjac's suggestions are good. I'm not very familiar with the VT Bass, but I have a Sansamp. It provides just a bit of OD, which may or may not be enough for your tastes. It's actually not enough for me, so I got a fuzz pedal or two, also. The Sansamp and the VT are good because they also have tone controls, which is good for someone who doesn't have other pedals or is just starting to wade into this world.

    Just don't overuse the fuzz or overdrive, or every verse and chorus, will have the same intensity and sound, and the song won't "go anywhere." Even worse, all the songs will start blending into each other. It's easy to get a crowd bored with the music if every song is at a "9", and there's no variety.
  11. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    +1 to the note choice method of filling space. I've always preferred to play in trios cause I get bored real quick playing steady 1/8 notes.
    +1 to don't over use it. I remember walking away from shows where the bass player just never turned off his flanger or chorus.
    If I had to use only one effect it would be a good dynamic overdrive.
  12. Whatever you do, don't just show up to your gig with a new pedal and lay into it when the guitarist goes into his first solo. Effects can be fickle mistresses, especially when you're unfamiliar with their nuances. You can end up booming your bass above everything, completely losing yourself in the mix, or cause a feedback loop that will kill small animals (except cockroaches; nothing will kill those bastards). If your band isn't aware of what you're trying to do they'll be pissed at you for the trouble.

    Practice with the band first, or if you can't do that, go in with one setting you want to try out and if it fails abandon it until you can practice with the band. Once you become more familiar with effects, it becomes easier to implement them without practice, but it can still be very unpredictable.

    Either way, you probably don't NEED the effect, but it can provide a desirable result.
  13. I was in a situation similar to you. I went from one genre to another, more effects based music style now. I am now in a three piece. We sounded a little "light" at first. I thought, hey, what do I need to fill in the sonic space.

    Turned out, I needed more speakers. I already had some effects I thought would matter. They didn't. The only way to fill in the gap was to turn up. If you find yourself lacking when it's the guitar player's "solo" time, maybe a boost pedal will help you. My vote would be to start at the core of your rig. Maybe a little dirt in the form of a DI, wouldn't be bad. What amp are you using? There are a handful of amps that immediately come to mind when I think of decent gain. Have you tried an Orange Terror? Another guy I talk to on here has one and loves the preamp gain from it.

    For a cheap DI, I will actually recommend the Behringer BDI21. It's 30 new and can help shape your tone and add some grit too. IMO, it's one of the best pieces of gear that Behringer ever put there stamp on. I know the amps have had problems, but I have had my BDI for 2 years now and it is one piece of gear I won't get rid of.

    Cheap OD, look at the Joyo Ultimate Drive. It is based on a Fulltone OCD pedal a few people that own both say that the Joyo is better suited for bass. It's $38 + shipping.

    Being a beginner, cheap pedals are your friend. Pedal Trader will let you try it for $10 a month with an option to apply the $10 to the purchase price.

    Good Luck!
  14. Firstly, there is some pretty good advise on this thread.

    I played dry for years and just used notes, harmonics etc or what ever to fill up the space, but I have now started to use some effects. I now have a Sansamp bass driver deluxe and a Boss GT10b. As you are on a budget, forget the boss as it is quite pricey & probably not a good place to start as there are almost too many options. But from that I have been able to try MANY different effect as it pretty much has it all......so....

    I would suggest some sort of distortion or fuzz/overdrive. I would also suggest a chorus as there are a lot of songs that have a bit of chorus on the bass. Compression is also great for the bass, especially if you are slapping at all, but it won't really fill out the space, just compress your sound. Flanger is also quite cool and can add some cool atmosphere.

    But I also agree with the above comment, don't go crazy on them untill you have a real feel for them (and so does the rest of your band). Subtle can often sound better than a full on chorus sound eg. I also agree to really get the most out of them it would be a real good idea to try whatever you buy out before the gig, have a real play & maybe a band practice.

    Youtube is great for having a listen to specific models and different types of effects. If you can't decide before the gig what you really want, just play dry!!! Effects can add a nice touch, but not really needed. They are also expensive, so make sure you really know what you want before you spend your hard earned cash.

    But, they are fun to try, that is for sure. Either way, good luck on your gig & enjoy whatever you get! :hyper:
  15. LoveTheLows


    Apr 12, 2011
    Queens NY
    Tons of good advice and a lot of options. The gig is in 2 weeks and we won’t be rehearsing beforehand. One thing I learned from you guys is that walking in with my new stomp boxes and using them for the first time in a strange venue in front of a crowd is probably not a good idea. I was going to use the house amp which I know is on the wimpy side. So I think I’ll bring my own amp, with it at least I can make sure I’m exactly where I want to be in the mix. I have good equipment so I know my tone will be fine. I’m still planning to visit Sam Ash or Guitar Center this week to try the M80, VT Bass, and chorus to see how I can incorporate them into our set. So unless I feel like rolling the dice I’ll be playing “clean” for the gig……….
  16. DPalme


    Oct 16, 2011
    Everything, Palmetronics
    If you want to spend the money, Catalinbread SFT's are pretty badass.
  17. LoveTheLows


    Apr 12, 2011
    Queens NY
    So the gig went well. I got lazy and left my amp home and played through the house rig. The bassist from the band before us offered me his Sansamp Bass Driver. I didn’t have a chance to play around with the settings and I just used it the same way he set it up but I really liked the sound. It gave the little 60 watt house Hartke some much needed punch and growl. And the DI went out to the board. I left thinking this Sansamp is great, it’s easy to use, compact, and it has to be cheaper than the $200 Zoom B3 I just tried at Sam Ash. Well I found out that it’s not cheaper, it’s the same price. It seems like the B3 gives you so much more for your money; endless effect options, a tuner, amp emulation, drum machine, pretty colors, etc…… I’m sure I’m missing something, what gives?????
  18. Analog pedals (like the Sansamp) require individual components to perform each action, while the multi-effects have a processor, memory, AD/DA converters, and a few audio signal path parts. Part content and assembly costs are about the same. Analog pedals are usually considered better sounding than digital -which is why a more limited pedal can cost the same- but every generation of digital pedals closes the gap.
  19. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I bought one of the first VOX fuzz busters back in the 60's. It sounded cool. I haven't had a need for effect pedals for bass though. Recently for the hell of it, I bought a Belcat CMP509 compressor for my Hartke rig. It sounded like crap. I played with the Attack, Sustain and Level and decided that I don't need all those fancy pedals, just play the damn bass. The young whippersnapper of a gui**** player we have has whole bunch of them and I guess I got a little jealous.
  20. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    if you want to keep it simple, i'd just get an overdrive or dirty boost and use it during the guitar solos/other bits where you need a bit of ooomph or to "fill out". works great for me in 3-pieces.