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First time using effects! Zoom B3

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by guardianromero, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. guardianromero


    Jan 7, 2017
    Hello TB! I've just started using effects on my bass after 8 years of clean playing. Acquired the Zoom B3 because I consider it has a little of everything to start. But got a few questions:

    1. Why does it change the output sound when switching the order of the pedals of a Zoom b3 patch? And in what order do you recommend to use them?

    2. Are there specific effects or any patch on it that requires a mandatory use of pedal - foot switch to work properly?

    3. When playing along with a guitar that uses any kind of distortion, my bass gets almost inaudible, hearing only the effect (the clicks, the overdrive noise, etc). What am I doing wrong, and is it because the B3 setup, the amp setup, or my bass setup?

  2. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    1. Just like in the real world, when you change the order effects are in, they behave differently. This is good

    2. not sure how to answer

    3. Could be a number of things. I am guessing you mean when you use distortion patches on the B3, you get lost in the mix? If so, that is not unusual and you have to find the right EQ/Volume level for the patch to compensate.
  3. guardianromero


    Jan 7, 2017
    Thanks for your answer, waveman!

    I actually had a jam session this weekend, and had trouble with my distortion patches. Do you have any tips around setting volume, gain, EQ correctly to avoid trouble with guitar distortion?
  4. SleazyB


    Sep 25, 2016
    Frankfurt a.M.
    Hey bud,
    I used the B3 when I was starting out with bass and as far as I know, it has no use for an external pedal, but you can check on the outlets if any of them is labeled with EXP. If not, you don't need an expression pedal.

    Distortion and Bass is a science for itself. When the lowend of your bass gets distorted, which happens with every bass pedal that has no blend knob, your signal gets mushy and really hard to hear in a bandcontext. I like to use my distortion as some sort of 'binding' with the guitar, so I keep my original signal and the distorted signal.

    Since i never figured a good distortion sound that fitted my needs from the b3 I simply sold it.

    IF you wanna keep the B3 and like the sounds, get a Boss LS2 and mix the B3 Signal with your original signal and your sound should sit better In the mix.

    Eqwise, low mids and less Bass work wonders
    jimfist likes this.
  5. guardianromero


    Jan 7, 2017
    Thanks for the suggestions, SleazyB.

    What I usually do, indeed, is to mix clean guitar with distorted bass, and the opposite. As a hard rock player, sometimes I look for a muff sound to help with that metal distortion the guitarrist uses.
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    @SleazyB offers good advice. My experience with the B3 distortions was also not a very good one, and I felt like I was forever messing with distortion and overdrive settings to get them to meld properly, not only as a bass tone on its own, but in the context of an overall mix.

    I do something similar, but use the Iron Ether Divaricator to frequency divide the bass tone, sending a high passed signal to the effects for processing, and returning them back to the IE pedal to blend back with un-effected low end. The net result is that the stomp pedals and dirt effects don't tone-suck the life out of the low end, so the body of the tone always remains consistent. I posted an example of this on a thread:

    New Iron Ether Divaricator
  7. You can get a good driven sound from the B3 it just takes commitment. Sound design is tricky because what sounds good with just bass will change once you add guitar and drums. Because of that you will need to make adjustments "under fire" until you get a handle on a starting place that works in your band.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I have never found a usable dirt setting on the B3 either. The only thing on it that could cut the mix for me was a fuzz simulator, I think a Big Muff. It was such an extreme fuzz that, while it cut the mix, my bandmates complained more vocally than I had ever heard before.

    You can get some "tube" distortion out of the B3 by turning up the gain on any of the amp models. It sounds friggin' terrible and, for some stupid reason, it is found on every amp model, including solid state ones...
    guardianromero likes this.
  9. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    I agree. Some of the patches Crystalman has worked on sound really good to my ears.
    guardianromero and Crystalman85 like this.
  10. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've no complaints personally with the slightly overdriven tones I can get with the B3's SVT amp model, where it breaks up a bit when I really dig in hard with my playing. But it's not a fully-blown in-your-face distortion sound. Only so many swings at the pinata for me until I just start looking for better sounding, easily obtained solutions.

    Now that I know firsthand (from owing the Zoom G5n) that there are better drives and amp models available (the new B3n), it makes it hard for me to want to muster up the time, patience, and energy to coerce the B3 into submission. LOL. And everyone's anxious to hear the new Darkglass B7k/B3k included in the B3n. Sorry. :sorry:

    The B3's been a great unit for me, but if the B3n is all that it's supposed to be in terms of upgraded sounds, then my trusty B3 goes on backup duty.
    bonruiz and guardianromero like this.
  11. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    neuman, bassbrad and guardianromero like this.
  12. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    Sadly, it appears the B3n has deleted the XLR out. That's a killer for me.
  13. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    bummer. care to elaborate?
  14. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    From the pictures...the new B3n has no XLR out...Very sad, as I use my B3 to go direct. I guess I could always pick up a Countryman 85 and go out of the B3n into the Countryman.

    guardianromero likes this.
  15. guardianromero


    Jan 7, 2017
    Hi everybody, thanks for elaborating this forum space more and more, I haven't asked in a while, but I've been reading and learning a lot. Please keep on adding info, tips, and everything about Zoom B3, pedals and distortions, its awesome how much I've learned from here!
  16. Still digging the B3 for recording but have opted for pairing the MS60b and MS100bt for my pedal board needs.
  17. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Apologies. I'm well aware that the B3n has no XLR output. I was wondering if you'd elaborate more on your usage of the B3n that makes this a "killer" for you. How's your stuff hooked up, and where you're sending the XLR from your B3...that stuff.
  18. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN

    I bought the B3 because I wanted to experiment with effects without having to buy a bunch of pedals. My pedal board at the time was a Polytune tuner and a Countryman 85 DI. I knew all I really needed was a tuner and a DI to plug into the board at church because we use in ears....no stage volume other than drums. An XLR out for the long run to the board was an absolute must. I could probably even live without a tuner if I used a clip on and turned down to tune...but the XLR out is the one and only thing I could not be without.

    The B3 served all my needs. Currently I have no effects enabled normally. I use the B3 as a tuner, a DI, and I have the optional pedal to control volume for quick mutes and swells. The B3 is all that's on my pedal board other than a Radial Big Shot two instrument switcher and a Line 6 remote (which I seldom use other than for sound checks so I can hear what I sound like in the house).

    To upgrade to the new B3n...I'd need it to meet the needs that my current B3 does...and does quite well. The B3n not having an XLR out would mean I'd have to purchase a stand alone DI (probably another Countryman 85...which runs about $150). My church does have a DI for the bass, so I could use the one there...but I would never rely on a venue to have a decent DI.

    If the B3n offered something extra that was attractive to me I'd upgrade and buy a DI. But I seldom ever use the effects, so having the ability to use more effects at the same time isn't attractive to me and on top of losing the XLR...I'm just not interested. If I were going to dump my B3, I'd probably get a programmable EQ, a tuner, and a DI.
  19. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    fair enough.

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