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How do you test new effects pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Growler, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
    I've been playing funk for quite a while without any effects ('cept a bit of compression in the amp). And I've been thinking about adding an envelope filter to it. I know there's a 1000 posts here recommending different brands, and I figure I'll see what my local guitar shop has and test those out. They've got a few models including the often discussed EBS bassIQ and a few others (which I can't remember off hand).

    My question is, how would one go about testing/comparing them out? Set the knobs at 12:00 or whatever is the "least effect" and dial up from there? Should I start by adjusting the threshold until I like the sound and then adjust the attack?

    I know with the analog filters that your playing style greatly effects how the pedal modifies your sound and you have to adjust to playing with the pedal, so is it possible that what should be 'the perfect pedal for you', sounds like sh*t in the store b/c you haven't adjusted to playing with that specific pedal?

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    As you say, how the filter will respond depends on your playing style and bass output.
    I'd agree that with a relatively simple two knob filter such as the ebs, I'll generally get the triggering threshold first and then find the attack I want. With something like the Emma, with three knobs, it takes a little longer :)
    I can't remember if the EBS manual has examples, I think it does. The Emma certainly does. I also like to use the examples, and adjust from there to taste.
    Hope that helps, have fun testing the pedals!
  3. Also, it is always a good idea to bring your own bass at the store to try the pedal. An even better idea would be to bring your bass AND your amp to test it for real.

    Always ask yourself if there is a couple of sounds are usable for you. Sometimes, the funkiest machine on earth won't fit your style or what you're looking for.
  4. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Just show up and plug into it. Very elementary, my dear Wattson.
  5. Growler


    Sep 26, 2004
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I grab a bass similar to mine and plug into an amp similar to mine, try all kinds of different playing styles, EQing differently, etc. Haven't been really let down yet.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    First I ask them a few softball questions: how are the kids, done any traveling lately? Then I stick the tough questions to them: should the US get out of Iraq, have you stopped beating your wife?

    Then I plug my bass in and try a few different EQ settings and playing styles.
  8. Newget


    Mar 10, 2006
    Some have a suggested setting level in the manual, start there. Then when you are done tinkering in the store buy a Moogerfooger lowpass filter and acheive the funkiest envelope sounds on the planet.
  9. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process...

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    I find that Stoicheometric equations, followed by a brisk set of DFQ's usually works..

    Then I plug in my bass, and try different settings...

    All kidding aside, when using an effect, I let my ADD lead the way... If I can't get a desireable tone in less than 30 seconds, per knob, I don't get it...

    This is the main reason EHX is on my Board *L* all of them are easy to get good sounds out of.

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