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Ever been caught in the Bass Effect swirl?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by maartendew, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. maartendew


    Jan 30, 2013
    I use to play my bass plain into my ampeg. Loved my sound.

    Then I thought I could use a lil compression. bought an LMB-3

    Then i wanted to have my own preamp/DI, you know, to bring my tone in a lightweigth suitcase. So I bought a ToneHammer preamp/DI.

    Loved the new sound, but didnt like the overdrive of the AGS. So I bought an aguilar agro overdrive, used at low saturation over a low gain AGS from the tone hammer.

    Then I thought I could have fun with some colors here and there, so I bought and sold octavers, phasers, delays... just to fool around while improvising alone, or to color 'parts' of songs...

    Then I thought I should upgrade the only real need I have, the one for a compressor. So I sold the LMB-3 and I just bought a Diamond Bcp-1. WOW love the tone it gives...

    But playing with the BCP-1 made me realise that, while A/B testing, My original vanilla tone isn't that bad. In fact just the BCP-1 alone was giving me such a sweet tone, I wondered why I had all the other one.

    Than I plugged back the Tone hammer, tweaked it, oh, heres a fatty powerfull tone...

    Now I'm confused. Too much option. When I want to tweak the EQ I'm not sure if I should first tweak the amp, the preamp, the Compressor EQ...

    Was it better off vanilla? just the compressor, when is too much processing too much?

    Any of you ever been caught in a swirl of effects where you didnt know where to stop, couldn't see if you're getting to something, or getting away from it?

  2. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I've been there. Still go through sometimes. It's just a matter of being happy with what you have going at the moment. I kept trying new things and ended up back to square one a few times. But as it stands right now, I'm super happy with my sound/s. Took a lot of time, money and effort, but that's the fun part. Love effects!!!
  3. I think it depends on what you are doing and what you want to do. Maybe you don't need anything to achieve your goals. Maybe you need 15 things.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I actually forgot what my amp originally sounded like because it's so colored by all of the pedals I have so I plugged straight in today and it sounds really good. I feel kinda silly when I look at my profile and see all the money I spent but I have to admit the ride has been nice and I would do it all over again. :)
  5. maartendew


    Jan 30, 2013
    Happy to see i'm not alone lol

    The quest for tone is sure fun... costy but fun...

    Its really the BCP-1 that made me realize... it colors my sound so much, in a good way, but still... made me realize the songs were as good when there was nothing but a patch cable between the bass and the amp lol...

    Now if I could only find the right fuzz to complement the overdrive...
  6. High ISO

    High ISO

    Nov 11, 2013
    You are not alone :) I've tried different effects and while some of them were good or just plain cool, in the end I'm back to my faithful head/cab and a simple stompbox tuner.
  7. Papazita


    Jun 27, 2008
    You said "effect swirl" and I thought back to my teenage years, playing in my parents basement, running into a spliiter box, then into 2 seperate ART effects units, each one running in stereo to 2 different cheap amp rigs, set up in alternating corners of them room. I'm sure it sounded like crap to anyone else, but oh good god was it ever fun for me! Pingpong delays criss-crossing all around me at different speeds, phaser on top of phaser, tremelod reverse reverb swells fading in & out of harmonized robot bleeps.

    Come to think of it, I kind of miss being able to do all that...
  8. russpurdy


    Apr 16, 2013
    Still in it. Always thinking "hey, I'd like a chorus" then I don't even know where to use it. I was perfectly happy with the sound of my Biyang Rat clone with a boss LS2 but I figured a Rat Tail would be better. It is, but I realized I still liked the tone of my mouse. Just a journey I guess.
  9. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I'm standing on the edge of this cliff and losing my balance.

    Live in the moment and create the sound you're after. That sound may change and the path to it may be convoluted, but enjoy the journey.
  10. I started to get into it and got a DOD Tech4 multi-effects bass processor years ago. I liked messing with it and had specific settings for specific songs on our set list. Sounded great in my basement by myself. I don't know if it is me, or that processor, but when I played live all the carefully sculpted tone got drowned out by the rest of the band. I gave up and just run straight through my amp now. Every once in a while I get the itch to try an effect or two though. So my question is do your effects make it through the rest of the band's mix? If so, how do you do it?
  11. MTBK


    Sep 11, 2013
    It feels like I can never have enough fuzz pedals. Even though I only use 2 of them live.
  12. I traded envelopes, then traded back. No harm no foul.

    Look at it this way: it would cost an absolute fortune to chase tone with amps alone, you're saving money. ;)
  13. I personally do not have this problem because I've kept my clean tone completely clean and effect-free. I've invested money on bypass loop units to keep deactivated effects out of my clean signal path.

    I've never gotten much mileage with the pre-amp on the pedal board route, with the SansAmp Bass Drive and with a borrowed MXR DI. Also I've always invested in amps that I like the sound of with my basses, so I have not felt the need to use a pedal to tweak the clean tone.
  14. maartendew


    Jan 30, 2013
    when subtle effects like phaser, chorus and such gets lost in the mix, I take it as if they were'nt meant to be used there in the first place... But compressor, preamp and overdrive DO help me cut through the mix

    I'm playing in an heavy rock power trio,
    my guitarist has its marshall tube stack...
    I'm in a 4x10 ampeg. b500dr head.

    When settings my tone, EQ wise and all, I do it at the beginning or end of rehearshal, with my guitarist playin. There's something happening with frequencies getting swallowed by the other guy's sound... so I setup my tone to sound good in the mix right of the bat.

    My Overdrive helps me get that lil something that makes my lines noticeable, even if its at the cost of losing a bit of bottom. Still plenty of bottom, I can sacrifice some for that kick ass grit...

    Some of the good bass Tone I like from different album sounds weird when isolated from the rest of the recording. I keep that in mind when tweaking my tone, trying to feel the bass lines for how they sound in the mix, not how they sound when fiddling by myslef...

    In the following demo we did, I recorded bass > lmb-3 > agro(OD) > ToneHammer preamp > soundcard.

    I knda like the result, the grit in the bass...
  15. Sounds great. The grit works really well in that recording. I am a hard rocker at heart, but am currently in a Country/Classic Rock Cover band.

    I don't hang around in the effects part of TalkBass, and don't want to hijack the thread, but what do you think the most important effect a Bass player should have. If you could only keep one, what one would it be? Compressor?
  16. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    A good preamp, learning how to EQ and and for me, active electronics. I use all sorts of effects all the time. My signal is rarely clean, I usually have some sort of dirt going on. I use three always on tone shapers and I cut through the mix like butta. Most the time anyway. I've thought it was overkill at times but I'm having a lot of fun with it and it opens doors in my head when writing. If I was in a blues band or something of the like, the only pedal I'd use is a preamp and a dirt. Even depending on the type of music, maybe even minus the dirt. It's all relative anyway. What works for me doesn't work for someone else. I've def gotten that look from some musicians, mainly guitarist or even some bassists, but it's my style right now. It may not be in 5 years, but I'm enjoying the ride while it lasts. And it's an awesome ride!! And expensive.
  17. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Sandman, what works solo often doesn't work in a mix. You've got to tweak in context and most likely be less subtle than you were previously inclined.
  18. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

  19. Every so often I feel a little bit disappointed with how my dirt sounds in the bedroom, and start thinking of changing it all. Then I plug in at practise or a show and immediately get that warm feeling, usually caused by everyone in the room turning and looking at ny rig. In fact, packing up at the last show, there were 5 people leaning over asking about my board before I'd even unplugged!

    I see it kinda like a P-bass; almost lacking something at home, but fills the available space in the mix so well. Fuzzrocious in particular is full-band magic.