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First pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Juddium, May 24, 2004.

  1. Juddium


    May 24, 2004
    Alright, been playing bass for a little over a year now, doing worship band type stuff - don't actually own my own bass, I use whatever someone else has if they need me to play. I'm borrowing a bass, and I'm looking to get a little more into bass playing, anyone have any suggestions for a solid pedal that I won't be unsatisfied with for quite a while? I want something that I can experiment with and has a lot of flexibility so I can still use it when I actually know what I'm doing

    Was looking at the DigiTech BP200, is there something better than that? (price range, oh, heck, say under $300)
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    welcome to Talkbass!

    IMO, the best multi-fx box out there in that range is the new boss me-50b. The Digitech BP200 is ok, but the Boss is worth the extra money.

    If you do a search here you'll find a lot of discussion about it.
  3. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Effects on bass should be used VERY sparingly. A lot of us (myself included) get the curiosity bug and fool around with effects...but soon realize that what you really need is good TONE first, not a bunch of geegaws.

    It's like makeup on a woman...good and sparing use of it can make an attractive woman stunning...but if she's not attractive to start with, no amount of paint will make her look good...and the more heavy-handed the application, the worse the end result.

    Don't get me wrong...effects do have their place. But it's a lot better to spend your money on a good rig (thereby getting killer tone) and let the music do the talking. Put another way, don't expect a pedal to make you sound better than you already do. You'll sound DIFFERENT, but if the basic, underlying high-quality sound isn't there to start with, no effect in the world will give it to you.

    Having said this, the best single pedal to get IHMO is the SansAmp Bass Driver DI. Not only is it a good preamp/eq, it's also a good overdrive/distortion pedal. And it can serve as the first component of a full rig...just add a power amp and a speaker cabinet, and you're ready to go.

    After an overdrive/distortion, the most useful effect is probably chorus. The Boss CEB-3 is a great pedal for this, and inexpensive. It's good because it's got a knob that allows you to apply the effect only to the upper registers, leaving the low notes unaffected. This is really important, because when you apply chorus to the lower frequencies they turn to mud.

    These two pedals together should cost you under $200 used.

    But really...if you've only been playing for a year and don't even own an instrument, you should probably save your money and buy the basics before you go shopping for add-ons.
  4. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Hi Juddium- Welcome, to talkbass.
    I agree, adouglas- Having a your own bass is a good, good start-
    but I'm not so sure If I agree with your use with moderation comments..

    I sincerely respect your opinion but I also recognise it as simply your opinion. Even if it is held by the masses it doesn't validate it any more- it's all about individual taste and what you want to do with the sound.
    Personally, I don't think effects should be used sparingly at all. But that's just my opinion.
    If it's not coming out through seven filters all out of sync with 13.666* seconds of delay, then octaved up and down before being put through a slow, cuttingtremolo with your cabs submerged in a porcelain fishtank (last bit's vital) I'm already yawning before you reach the end of the first bar note. Well, not quite but- you get my drift.

    What is far more important with use of effects however is control. If you're not in control of the effects that your're using then you won't be able to create the soundscapes that you so desire. The way I see it most people don't learn to play their effects and as a result, opt for a pinch of compression with a touch of shimmering chorus because they aren't aware/familiar with of the tonal variation that they have at their disposal.

    I agree with you that killer tone is important- and again, having a bass in the first place isn't the worst place to start- But one man's killer tone is another man's bad clanking bassist from a dodgy metal band, that sound's like a box of tick tacks to another.
    If you already have your killer tone with that bucket, broomstick and peice of string I say bring on the effects. squash invert it and mutilate it- If that's what you want to do. But that's just my opinion.
  5. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Yes, it's all personal preference.

    The best way to really find out is to try it, which hopefully the original poster has the financial ability to do. Play with all the effects, tart up the sound like crazy, find something that really wows you. Play that way for a while, and be sure to play with others, not by yourself (what sounds great when you're alone often sounds lousy when the rest of the band is playing).

    Then shut it all off and see what happens. Is the sound clearer, better defined, more pleasing? Does it do the job of supporting the music better?

    That should really tell you, your bandmates and your audience whether having a zillion effects is a good idea.

    Having been there/done that long ago (let's see...I've had wah, digital delay, flanger, a couple of different chorus boxes, a couple of different multi-fx units, a SansAmp, compressor and probably a few things I just don't remember), I came to the conclusions posted earlier. But as you say, it's just my $0.02.

    I still have one multi-fx/amp modeler (a Pandora PX4B) and a chorus (Boss CEB-3). Of the 50-odd songs my band plays, the chorus gets used on one of them, and then only for part of the song. Three or four of the Pandora patches get used on a few others. The effects are used in specific places, for specific needs that we just can't get around (for example, since we have no lead guitarist I have to play some crucial guitar hooks on certain cover songs, so I'll kick in some heavy distortion).

    But for 90 percent of what we do, the effects are off...because it simply sounds *better* that way.

    The journey is an important part of this. I may not have come to that conclusion had I not tried all that stuff first. Many of us, myself included, go through a phase where we want more of everything...more knobs, more eq, more effects, more power, more, more, MORE! That magical sound that's going to tickle my neocortex and send shivers down my spine has to be in there SOMEPLACE! If I get this gadget I'll be able to sound just like (insert your favorite bassist/song here)!

    Eventually the appeal of the K.I.S.S. approach came through. I wound up going back to basics: A good bass, a good preamp and a good cabinet. I've never sounded better.

    But that's just me.
  6. dirtgroove


    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Love you adouglas! :D
    Didn't mean to vent!