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Effects Terms

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by FenderKid2001, Aug 15, 2000.

  1. FenderKid2001


    Aug 11, 2000
    I'm kind of new to Bass playing and I am still learning the different parts.

    What are the different parts and terms of Effects, I've heard something named 'Wah' and stuff like that - Please Explain...

    Thank you! :)

    -Jason :oops:
  2. Ktulu


    May 8, 2000
    Hey, man, welcome to the board. :)

    I'm not completely sure what you're asking, but I'll do my best to answer.

    Most of the time, you're probably not gonna need too many effects with a bass, depending on what kind of music you play. I'll go over some of the common effects that ARE used, and what they do:

    Chorus: Bassically (sp intended) chorus sounds like two basses are being played at one time. The effect splits the signal from your bass into two parts, detunes and delays one slightly, then mixes the two back together. This is probably the most common effect used on bass.

    Overdrive/Distortion: These just amplify the signal so much that it distorts. It's the same principle that guitar distortion uses, but I don't really think it sounds as good on bass. It can be used in some situations, though.

    Compression: I don't have a compressor, but it's something I need. From what I understand, it's used a LOT on bass, especially in recordings. All it does is keeps your volume at a fairly consistent volume. I've heard that it brings the bass out more, makes it sound more "punchy."

    Equalization: This just boosts or cuts certain frequencies in the signal from your bass. A very useful tool. The bass/treble controls on a stereo are a kind of EQ, but most units built for musicians are much better. You'll probably have some type of EQ on your amp.

    Wah: This is the one you mentioned specifically. I haven't heard wah used very much (you can hear it on "Anesthesia" (sp), or on some live versions of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," both by Metallica). Wah sounds like the bass is saying "wah" (kinda obvious, huh?). I think that it just cuts certain frequencies from the signal, depending on what position the pedal is in.

    OK, there it is. Hopefully this will help some. I may've totally misunderstood you question though. If that's the case, just tell me and I'll try to do better. :D


  3. A wah pedal changes the sound of the instrument to make it sound like someone saying "wah." The effect was popularized by guys like Hendrix and Clapton back in the late 60's.

    There are two basic forms of a wah:

    The type that most people mean when they say wah pedal is controlled by a footswitch that rocks back and forth. This form is extremely popular on guitar. If you ever hear a really scratchy guitar sound, it is probably a guitarist strumming muted strings while using a wah pedal. Bass versions do exist, but they aren't that common.

    The other kind is commonly called the autowah (if someone talks about an envelope filter or envelope follower, they are talking about pretty much the same thing). Instead of the user controlling the wah, this type of pedal tracks the notes that the user plays and puts wah on them. Some pedals track better than others. This is a semi-popular effect with bassists, and can be heard on a lot of funk music. It sounds pretty good on guitar, but most guitarists prefer the standard wah.
  4. FenderKid2001


    Aug 11, 2000
    I figured 'Wah' meant that :D But I had to double check it...

    -Jason :oops:
  5. "Reverb" is the short name for reverberation... They don't physically reverberate technically. However, the physical stomp box's function is to impart unto your signal a tone remenisant of playing your electric instrument in an environment where typically your tone would naturally reverberate.
  6. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Welcome!!! Ill break some of the really common ones down

    Fuzz- ie big muff, b:assmaster, beebaa, tonebender
    Distortion- rat, Boss HM2,
    Overdrive (OD) - OCD, tubescreamer, sparkle drive, blueberry
    All 3 of these are "dirt" pedals. They are used to drive, distort and or straight fuzz out your tone. Basssits have been using dirt for years to help bring them to the forefront or to simply lay some nastiness down. I love dirt. USe it all the time.

    Then theres boosts which can sometimes be used as ODs like pushing tubes into OD or simply as a boost.
    DOD FX10
    Southampton fifth gear
    Xotic EP booster

    Then you have modulation and time based effects
    Delay- Boss DD3, Line 6 DL4
    Chorus- Boss CEB3, Tech 21 Boost Bass Chorus
    Flanger- Boss BF2
    Phaser- EHX small stone, MXR Phase 90
    Reverb- Source Audio Dimension
    Tremolo- SD shapeshifter

    Then theres filters (like you were talking about with the wah)
    Wah- Dunlop 105q
    Auto wah- Boss AW3
    Envelope filter (sorta like an auto wah)- DOD FX25

    Octave effects
    Boss OC2
    Digitech Bass Whammy

    Then you have preamps and tone shapers (I love these!!!haha)

    Darkglass B7K
    Rusty Box
    Ampeg DI
    Sansamp Bass Driver DI

    These are pretty much the basics with some examples of each. There are literally thousands of each out there. Some arent great, some are beyond awesome. If you really want to learn more about effects but dont want to spend that much money right off the bat, check out the Zoom multi effects pedals like the MS60b or the B1Xon. Those are chalk full of great sounding effects and they wont break your bank. That way you can learn what each effect does and see what youre going to use the most of and then you can go your separate ways with the single analogue stomps from there.
    hertmntpizza97 likes this.

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