First effect pedal help

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by thycrusader, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. thycrusader


    Apr 21, 2008
    I've decided to step into the wonderful and confusing world of effects pedals.

    So being the effects noob I went to GC to try out a few pedals. I ended up with the Boss ODB-3 Overdrive, I took it home to try it out on my little setup and realized how little I needed overdrive. Its a great pedal, but I have little use for it. I am going to return in a few days in hopes of exchanging it for something else. I had my eyes set on the Limiter/Enhancer pedal, but haven't been impressed by the reviews I've read. The Ibanez Weeping Demon has been getting alot of rave from bass players.

    This is my first pedal and I want to make it count. Basically im not looking into alot of distortion, something subtle that can beef up tone. Chorus, equalizers, compressors. That sort of thing. I trust you all here at TB and just need a few suggestions on what to try out.

    Thank you.

    EDIT: My budget is around $120
  2. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    I'd go for a good compressor. Flangers can be fun, but not as useful.
  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Boise, ID, USA
    You tried the ODB-3? :eyebrow:

    IMO, trying that as your first pedal is an easy way to NOT like distortion. :D

    Sorry... I just don't like that one. :meh:

    Anyhow... I'd actually steer away from limiters and compressors if you're new to effects. They're useful, but if you're looking to try something exciting or noticeable, I wouldn't start with those.

    They are essential for recording, though (which is why studios will have racks full of various compressors)... I'd highly recommend reading Bongomania's Compressor FAQ (check his signature) to learn more about them in general. But do you need one on your board, especially as someone new to effects? I'd say no. Even as a gigging musician, I don't use one in a live context. And for recording... I'll rely on the engineer's choice unless he has a decent selection.

    If you're still not interested in exploring more overdrive (because there are some really good, subtle ones out there that'll fatten your tone, too!), you could check out some chorus pedals. What I'd recommend depends on what you're into (i.e., are you a big fan of Tool? Or is New Order your thing? Those bands demonstrate two very different chorus tones on many songs). Most chorus pedals will work fine on bass, but they all offer their own unique voicings.

    IMO, overdrive and chorus are some of the most practical effects in any genre. Anything else is a "case-by-case basis" sort of thing, whether it's delay or fuzz or a bitcrusher or even a feedback loop. ;)
  4. thycrusader


    Apr 21, 2008
    Haha, but now I know what NOT to try out. :smug:

    I just don't play things that require a lot of distortion.
  5. So....What sort of effects would you need in your playing?
  6. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I would suggest your first true "effect" pedal be a chorus. Chorus is the one effect that I use "a lot". I have a bunch of other stuff, but use Chorus all the time.
  7. cameric


    Dec 31, 2007
    +1 on chorus, great effect. I use the old boss BE-2. Lovely.

    If you're interested in beefing up the tone and exploring the world o' compression, the Electro Harmonix Black Finger tube comp is brilliant. It's more fattening than krusty kreme products and good at achieving some fairly dramatic compression effects. But there's a warning attached! Many people on this board whose opinion I respect have found it too noisy. Personally, I don't find that a problem, but you might. Still, this is one compressor you'll notice!
  8. thycrusader


    Apr 21, 2008
    Im interested in choruses, flangers. Something like that. Something to give life to my tone without overdoing it.
  9. Aphex 1402 Bass Xciter
  10. thycrusader


    Apr 21, 2008
    Im getting a lot of thumbs up on the chorus. Would the boss bass chorus be a wise choice? or would I have better luck with the chorus ensemble?
  11. cameric


    Dec 31, 2007
    I like the Boss BE-2, as it's quite similar to the coveted CE-2. It's warm, rich, and suits my needs perfectly. It's out of production but usually a regular fixture on Ebay.

    The replacement model or other chorus ensembles would probably deliver more control, and possibly more extreme effects, and I'm sure others will have opinions on those.
  12. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Boise, ID, USA
    Out of the three in-production Boss chorus pedals on the market, my favorite is still the CE-5 (Chorus Ensemble). It's flexible and great-sounding overall.

    The CEB-3 is still nice, though it doesn't get very "deep" sounding. Then again, it's supposed to be a more subtle chorus, as it also has a low pass filter to keep your lows clean.

    I prefer all-out heavy coloration, though, which is why I look beyond Boss for my chorus needs. :D
  13. ()smoke()


    Feb 25, 2006
    :)try out an envelope filter or two when you go back to the store...they can be fun and useful

    honestly, i don't really dig distortion pedals on my bass sound much either...occasionally, i'll dabble, but for the most part, i don't use it much--i have a blend pedal coming though, which might change my feelings on the fuzz/disto sounds once i can dial back in some clean sound to go with it
  14. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Chorus is a good start, but why not look beyond Boss pedals. I mean, there's nothing wrong with them, but there are other brands that are more dramatic in the execution. Take ElectroHarmonix for example. Their pedals can be anything from somewhat subtle, to way over the top. A good one for starters is the Stereo Electric Mistress, in your price range. It's a chorus and flanger in tandem, and it's very obvious when engaged. Just a thought, there's alot of stuff out there, don't get hooked on only one brand.
  15. fishtx


    Mar 30, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Genzler Amplification/Spector Basses/Mojo Hand FX
    I have owned and tried several chorus pedals...It's an effect "you" really need to experiement with, and decide what you like, and how you want to use it. Everyone here has their own opinion on what a good chorus sound is...thats what makes this forum so great...but at the end of the's up to you and your ears to decide what you like.

    To give you a couple of ideas and where to maybe start:

    If you like heavy full on/watery/warbley type chorus sound, try out the analogman clone chorus (used around $200). It's a bit pricey, but great for that type of chorus effect. As far as Boss pedals go, CE-5 (for me anyway) is a bit of a heavier sounding Boss chorus.

    If you like a more subtle/shimmery type chorus sound, try out the TC Electronic Stereo Chorus Flanger (SCF). It's pricey also (used around $200), but a beautufully subtle pedal. Again, as far as Boss, try the CEB-3 for a more subtle sound.

    I just picked up a Voodoo Lab Analog Chorus from another TB'r to try out,and so far I think it sounds pretty good (got it today, so I haven't spent a lot of time with it yet). I did notice there is a slight volume swell when it is engaged, but I don't think it will be an issue for me.
  16. I'll chime in here.

    one thing about chorus: It sounds best in stereo. It's like two different effects between mono and stereo

    An EXCELLENT pedal to use for Chorus is the Boss CE-20. Used can be had for less than 100. This pedal has a number of different chorus options, including the greatest CE-1 clone this side of the Retrosonic Chorus, as well as the highly regarded Dimensional Chorus. It even has a setting for bass.

    This pedal will give you a number of different chorus settings to experiment with, and at least some of them are top notch, though none are bad.

    I agree wholeheartedly chorus is a good first effect for bass. Guns n Roses used bass chorus a lot (notably on Pretty Tied Up).
  17. I believe this is ok but maybe you would be interested in a trade of some sort, I understand it is not ok to list for sale unless we are supporting members but since you have something I am interested in "your Boss" and I have something you may want as well so PM sent
  18. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    I wouldn't buy a chorus as an "only" effect. It tends to sound a bit '80s and cheesy on its own (unless you go for that "swimming-in-chorus" Joy Division sorta sound, which is cool. :)). Useful for beefing up other sounds though (fuzz into chorus gets very synthy, for example).

    As someone above already suggested, an envelope filter might be a good idea. Also check out octave pedals. Adding another octave might not sound very exciting, but depending on the pedal it can really change your sound. The Boss OC-2 is super popular so you can find used ones cheap. The EHX Micro POG has more features (it's polyphonic, and can give you an octave up) but it's digital and some people don't like the sound so much.
  19. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Line 6 tonecore Liquaflange. Used for under a hundred, new for not much more. Many, many, many options for flange and chorus, vintage, modern, subtle, extreme, and very diverse.

    On another note, I think compression can be very pungent, especially if your bass has passive electronics. My EBS multicomp adds plenty of heft, while staying relatively transparent, as far as compression artifacts go.

    You might as well come to terms right now, that you are going to need many more than just one effect pedal. Have fun. James
  20. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Boise, ID, USA
    Compression stinks? :eyebrow: