I have no idea!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by projectBdaddy8, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. I am a bassist of about one year and ive never really done anything with bass effects pedals. I read an article about them, but i still dont know what to use, how to use, why to use. I would like to keep my sound pretty clean (in other words, no distortion). What should i look into?
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    The easiest way to keep your sound clean is to avoid cheap effects pedals altogether, as they often introduce noise and distortion and can easily suck all the bass out of your tone - especially if they were designed for guitars !!
  3. punkfunkfreak


    Dec 16, 2001
    or indeed all the tone out of your bass ;)
  4. Stupidnick


    Mar 22, 2002
    ...my room...
    you could get a delay.. the boss digital delay is good.. it wont effect your tone i dont think.
    The Headrush is really good =D
    a bass chorus might be good.. if you listen to funk you might wanna check out a Envelope filter or a Wah pedal..
    You could try out stuff like Tremelo pedals, vibratos, slapback echos(fun), It depends what kinda person you are.. I dont use any effects anymore. I play with my distortion and my envelope filter once in a blue moon but thats it.
  5. My experience with effects...
    ...and the experience of many others as well.

    Start off with reasonabily priced effects,
    move on to multi-effects.
    Then expensive multi-effects.

    Discover after much $$$ and time that they are basicly tone sucks.

    Have to manage lots of wire connections and batteries.
    Risk of problems on stage are magnified.
    Buy lot's of batteries. Trip over wires. Kick boxes.

    Go expensive.

    Individual handwired, expensive pedals that are all analog with true bypass.

    Find that these pedals sound MUCH better then anything else out-there.

    Realize a few great pedals are better then more.

    Finally after hundreds (thousands) of dollars and many years spent experimenting in the search for the "Holy Grail" of tone...

    The clouds part and a ray of light beams down from the heavens... and you finally learn that the best sound available comes from a great bass, amp, & cab.

    No need for effects anymore.

    The University of Effects was an expensive education, but like many schools, you never really need it in the real world.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    YES, YES - this is exactly it! Some of the older members try to save others the expense and time involved in ths process, but all we get is abuse usually! :rolleyes:

    I'm starting to feel like we should let them get on with it and waste all that hard-earned money from saturday jobs etc!

    The only thing that Donne has left out is that at each stage you try to sell or trade in the old stuff for new and almost always lose out each time! :(
  7. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Try them out. If you like one and think you can use it, go for it. I would not make a big giant holy quest out of it. I would not expect effects to play the notes for me or end world hunger. They makes the sound of your bass different, period. They shouldn't cause anxiety. If you get all worked uop about them you are probably better off without them.

    There are many types, distortion/overdrive, time based like delays, chorus, etc, weird stuff like synth sounds and ring modulators. There are literally thousands of choices, so doing the research once you narrow down a sound is a good idea. Have fun.
  8. thanx for the info, i was just thinkin that maybe compressor/expanders (etc.) would IMPROVE my tone! :) Oh, well!?:rolleyes:
  9. Compression solves alots of problems. It's much easier for equipment to reproduce signals with a constant general level, so compress everything, then limit it to compress the peaks. Live, this increases stage volume & will protect speakers from overloading. Look for a compressor that has a Low Pass Filter so the huge load that low freq. produce, doesn't cause the compressor to clamp down.
    Also the Peak Limiter is extra Headroom insurance when pushing to the max.

    Compression = Volume, Sustain, Even-ness.

    The process of Compression can remove some transients, you sometimes lose the attack on strings. So a BBE Sonic Maximizer or Aphex Enhancer brings back transients to create lots of high-order even harmonic distortion to make things sound brighter, thereby making the instruments seem clearer under those vocals. I only use compression before the enhancer process to make sure that the signal going into them is crisp and clean.

    The Noise Reduction Feature of the BBE 362NR is especially useful for killing the high freq. noise that is emphasized by compression.
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    My suggestion is to try a decent chorus --- preferably an EBS but a Boss will do. They make your bass sound "pretty and lush."

    Give them a try. Or if you can't, they're are always buyers for them because they're respected units that lots of bassists are after on the used market.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No - I think as Donne pointed out - it can be a hard and long lesson to learn - but "tone" comes from your bass - the better the bass the better the tone. That's not allowing for the effect of the player of course - tone also come from your hands - maybe even more so.

    But any effect is only working on the basic tone that comes from your bass - if you don't have a good starting point, no effect will be able to disguise that fact. You can't polish a ....

    This doesn't apply so much with guitars as they are working in a different part of the frequency range - but good bass tone doesn't live in the range of most effects and can only be provided by a bass that works well and accurate reproduction from your amplifcation.

    It is very easy to lose bass, the more you put between the source and the speakers.