Effects to bring out tapping?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Hamlet7768, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Compressor

    105 vote(s)
  2. Chorus

    10 vote(s)
  3. Overdrive/Distortion

    11 vote(s)
  4. Other (please tell me)

    11 vote(s)
  5. Carrots

    35 vote(s)
  1. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    I've written a tapping passage for a song my band is playing, but I've noticed that my tapping is much quieter than my fingerstyle playing. I suppose this is at least partly a technique problem, but I can't hit much harder and remain accurate. Boosting the midrange on my bass helps somewhat, but only by making everything louder, rising tide and all. So I'm looking at some kind of pedal that I can kick on when I do this tapping part (and other tapping parts I may write in the future) that'll help it sound consistent.

    The obvious choice here is a compressor, and I've scoped out the Boss CS-3 both from bongomania's reviews and a bit of trying myself as a compressor that'll get a nice heavily compressed sound suitable for this. But I've been wondering if I could use another effect to bring the tapping out, perhaps something I can use in more situations than that, as frankly I don't see myself using the compressor for more than tapping passages, as I'm satisfied with my sound when not tapping.

    I've considered a chorus and an overdrive, as I know I would use those in other situations as well. What do you think of these options? Should I look at some other effect to help my tapping?

    Other information: I'm playing an Ibanez BTB bolt-on with Bartolini pickups, into a Peavey practice amp during practice and a Crate head into a Peavey 410 at home (and at hypothetical future gigs).
  2. Compression, an EQ or a boost could probably help.
  3. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    You might try a boost pedal that adds just a touch of gain and treble. There's a whole subgenre of boosters (primarly marketed at guitarists) intended to add a little extra "sparkle" to your tone. I use a Blackeye Effects Palmetto Boost generally as a standard booster, but as a side effect it adds a nice bit of pop in the high end that I find helpful when I want upper-register parts or other effects to stand out.
  4. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I find that using an active bass with a strong/detailed signal and a good setup helps the most. When I picked up my Cirrus my tapping immediately went to the next level and I've been building on that for years. Typically my tapping tone is way louder than my fingerstyle on the Cirrus, way more attack. I use DR Lo Riders which also seem to help with tapping.

    Compression could help.

    I like a *dash* of reverb or delay in the mix when recording tapping.


  5. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Could a tube-screamer-type drive do similarly? Again, the main reason I haven't just gotten a compressor is because I'd only use it for tapping, and I'd prefer to have an effect that I can use in multiple situations.
  6. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    You could try it and see. Personally I prefer my tone to be more scooped or trebly than my normal tone when doing upper-register parts, whereas Tube Screamer variants are more mids-focused (but if that works for you, great). A lot depends on what type of tapping tone you like... an overdrive makes for a nice and gritty tapping tone that works for some, but I prefer a cleaner and "glassier" tone that come from a touch of extra brightness..

    But in my case, the booster has suprisingly turned out to be one of my most-used pedals. I use it (1) most often, as a boost with just a touch of drive for when I need the bass to stand out or cover space when the guitarists play very high parts, (2) to bump the high end for tapping/upper register parts, (3) to equalize volumes if I switch basses in a set, since the booster is clean enough and has a wide enough volume range to either reduce or boost volume without messing too much with the tone, (4) to add a bit of treble if I use my old tubby-sounding Gibson, and (5) as an emergency volume knob if I need to quickly change my stage volume (mainly if start a set without a good soundcheck and realize I'm just too quiet, but can't reach the amp). Many boosts these days have some extra gain on tap so that they can serve as an overdrive at higher setting, albeit usually with a different character than a standard OD.
  7. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    How can you perfect a tapping technique?? Where can I find some lessons on how to get better at tapping? Not much into slapping but I would like to have a good tap game at my fingertips.
  8. You may want to take a look at the Fairfield Circuitry Accountant. It can act as both a compressor and an overdrive.
  9. compression and some extra gain should do it.
  10. jimmybc91


    Oct 8, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Overdrives from my understanding already have some kind of compressor built in, to control the drive. But I don't know, you can use the CS-3 for more than just tapping, like sustain, or squashed signals. It's not really a 1 trick pony, just gotta be a bit creative with it! (I do not own the CS-3 but I have heard it works just well, I do have an Empress Compressor which I love for it's transperancy, but I do not think that's what you are looking for.)
  11. DinnerWithAGypsy

    DinnerWithAGypsy Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Louisville, KY
    A bit of reverb adds a nice aesthetic quality to tapping, but I feel compression is the only "effect" that will really "bring out" your tapping better (outside of actually boosting your signal, that is).

    Ultimately, the chief factors that are involved are A) your own technique and B) the setup and qualities of the bass in use.

    My two cents.
  12. I think a volume pedal or boost would definitely help you out. I put a vote in for chorus though because my Boss CE-3 sounds sick with tapping and brings it out a little. But if it's a volume issue I'd just find a way to turn it up.
  13. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    Maybe a slapback delay could help accentuate but I would start with a clean boost or a compressor.
  14. jay tay

    jay tay

    Aug 12, 2009
    Manchester UK
    Boost, and maybe some eqing.
  15. LSMFT6

    LSMFT6 Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Check out the EBS Bill Sheehan overdrive, it's EQed for his tapping-heavy style and has a built-in compressor. I don't do much tapping but it sounds great for me regardless.
  16. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    A damp rag and some elbow grease.
  17. Jean Baudin

    Jean Baudin

    Aug 27, 2003
    redwood city, ca
    Endorsing Artist: See Profile
    Tapping? Huh?
  18. SunnBass

    SunnBass All these blankets saved my life.

    Aug 31, 2010
    Columbia, Mo
    But, um...yeah,
  19. Well if you're only going to go with a compressor and you don't want to spend much, grab a Joyo Dynamic Compressor. They're clones of the Ross compressors.
    EDIT: They also have a graphic EQ.
  20. D_Bag


    Feb 8, 2013
    St. Joseph, MO
    I usually use chorus when tapping and it seems to bring me out in the mix.