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Multi Effects or Single Effect Pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by JTFormula, May 19, 2011.

  1. JTFormula


    Jan 20, 2011
    Brick, NJ
    Hello all. I recently got back into playing bass after many years of guitar playing (started with bass 22 years ago then switched over) so i've been out of the scene for probably 17 years now. I have found a new love for the low end and started to gather some new equipment. Its a bit overwhelming since I haven't bought any new stuff in about the same 17 year period until recently and there are a lot of advancements since then.

    I have a DigiTech XBC Bass Multi Chorus Pedal and was thinking about adding some type of Noise Gate and Compressor. I was also looking at some of the multi effects pedal units noticing I can get more effects for less money. My concern is I was always under the impression that the quality of the sound is never as good as individual pedals. Also I am getting more effects then I would probably use.

    Should I build a pedal board with maybe 3-5 pedals or should I look into a multi effects unit? Also what would you guys recommend for must haves? My playing style in the band I am currently in is blues/rock/folk.

    I did a search but I wasn't really coming up with the answers I was looking for. Again, its been a long time since I've really paid any attention to Bass stuff or anything equipment oriented in general in a long time. Thanks for the help.
  2. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    It depends. If you want top quality of each effect, then you use individual pedals and choose the ones you like best. That can get pricey and unwieldy (did I just use unwieldy in a sentence??) I mean more wires and power requirements and space needed.

    I have a Line 6 M9 and for what I use it for, its great. Some effects are great, like the bass octaver, some are pretty good like the chorus, flanger, compressor, and others are meh (on bass anyway) They are going used for decent prices so look here on TB if you are looking to save money.
  3. kenstee


    Oct 9, 2009
    This is an endless debate here with no resolution. There is no right and wrong. You'll never know if the sound is what YOU are looking for unless you try the effects with your own rig. What one person considers great another person will say sucks. And know what...they're both right! It is totally subjective. Best bet is to buy them from a place that has a good return policy and keep what you like and send back what you don't. Also, with the genres of music you like you really don't need a ton of effects. Maybe start with a couple of key ones and slowly build out from there. The upside of individual pedals is you can mix and match brands and models to get what works for you best. The upside with multi's is you have all you need and want (probably) all at once. Even if you buy things used here at TB you will probably be able to resell them at nearly the same price if you don't like them or find something that works for you better so you won't lose much money - if anything.
  4. waleross


    Nov 27, 2009
    South Florida
    One pedal that most agree on is the SansAmp vT Pedal and one that I do use often is the Dunlop BassWah and I also use the Digitech BassSqueeze Compressor. I would take the time to read the reviews and decide how much you really want to spend. In my case when I got back into the bass scene, I bought a bass,a cab and head and then I went to the pedals which can cost as much as all the other stuff. I say do your homework and buy slowly,take your time.
  5. JTFormula


    Jan 20, 2011
    Brick, NJ
    waleross - Since I have the one Digitech chorus and a Digitech DSP128 for the guitar (bought in 1989), I have had very good luck with that brand. The BassSqueeze was one of the choices I was leaning towards. I am lucky enough the local dealer I go to has digitech and the MB112 in stock so I can just bring my Jazz and hook everything up in the store and see how it sounds.

    My original plan was the compressor and a noise gate because the band I am with now, the guitarist has a studio in his basement where with practice. I am able to use his Hartke amp and a Peavey Compressor/Envelope/Noise suppressor rack unit. I can see the difference just that effect has with the smoothness of the tone.

    kenstee - I think I was most concerned about the quality of the sound and having all the tones and effects in one unit as to having everything seperate. I don't mind spending a couple $$ if the quality is there. I do not have a tendancy to sell stuff off as I pretty much have most of my amps, guitars, basses, effects, etc from when I first started playing when I was 15/16, now I am 38. Whatever I buy I will be holding onto for a long time.
  6. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    Both? I have a Line 6 M9 and an Octavius Squeezer on my board - both multis - plus an OC-2, a Bugcrusher and a feedback looper, and I am thinking of adding a Nocto Loco.
  7. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph !! Supporting Member


    Personal experience: started out with an el-cheapo Zoom B1 and played with it for a year or so, which helped me define my wants & needs. Then I started buying pedals, starting with a SansAmp PBDDI (the B1 had a decent SansAmp patch) and then other pedals. Oddly enough, my favorite bass effect is chorus (I now play with either a Boss CEB-3 or an EHX Neo Clone) and IMO, the B1 had a really bad chorus sound.

    Can't beat logic !

  8. ThorGodOfBass


    Feb 20, 2011
    Here's a question: do any milti effects out there allow you to play multiple effects at the same time? For instance an envelope and a fuzz?
  9. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph !! Supporting Member

    I think that in most cases, you have to create the patches you want or use the ones in the databank. Was the case for the B1 anyway.
  10. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Just about all of them allow this with varying degrees of flexibility. The M13 is probably the mist flexible.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    First, you shouldn't *need* a noise gate. If you stick with better quality singles, you shouldn't have noise issues. Though I'm not knocking Digitech, they aren't known to be one of the 'better" brands. Your chorus pedal may well be the source of the noise, and ALOT of chorus pedals will have this problem, but not all. As far as multi's go, they certainly are legitamate, but also, with the wide variety of fx they offer, there are compromises. Might be worth a fresh start, seeking out the 3 or 4 fx you really want, and spending a little more to get better gear.
  12. JTFormula


    Jan 20, 2011
    Brick, NJ
    When I use both the bridge and neck pickups I do not get any noise but when I use one or the other alone, I get a little. Its not from the chorus because I only hook that up when (if) I need it. That is mostly used at home, not during practice or shows. I just remember when I was younger, every band I was in the guitarist had a noise gate on his pedal board (that was one of the few things I traded out years ago) and it just stuck with me as something one should have.

    I think I am in agreement that I am going to research the compressor pedals first and then add as I go. I don't mind getting individual pedals over an All-in-One unit. This way I can mix and match the best type of pedals so I have quality stuff that will last. It seems the Markbass Compressor has been mentioned a lot. I take it this is one that many TB'ers use and recommend?
  13. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    There are plenty of decent multi-effects processors out there. like stomp boxes, there's no perfect multi-effects processor. it's all about personal taste in sound quality. also a multi-effects processor is a great way for bassists to find what kind of effects that they like. I have recorded sound samples of multi-effects processors that I've previously owned and posted them on my soundclick website. here's the link.

    SoundClick artist: Crystalman85 - page with MP3 music downloads

    Feel free to check it out.
  14. xikbastard


    May 7, 2007
    used a M9 for a year now works really well.
  15. tylerwylie


    Jan 5, 2008
    Dunwoody, GA
    I'm having this issue too, I look at the Boss GT-10B and I start drooling, so many features and I'd use a lot, the looper, compression, delay/chorus etc, some amp modeling could be cool too but my ideal rig I think will be a GT-10B with a Tech21 BDDI or VT Bass, though the GT-10B is probably going to do 95% of what I want.

    Right now my pedalboard is this:

    Boss TU-2, Bass Big Muff Pi(Love the dry mix!) Digitech Whammy(only really use octave up and octave down feature), Boss Chorus CE-5, Boss DD-3 Delay, and Sansamp BDDI. I have no tone suckage through this setup, and it's not noisy at all. I'd like to swap out the whammy for a POG, and add an Aguilar TLC(and thus, only requiring the One Spot to power it all!) or go for the GT-10B. Wish I could have both hah.

    I'd love to add a reverb, phaser, flanger, bass wah/auto wah(have the EHX Bassballs but it's in GA and won't get shipped lol) and some sort of looper so the multi FX pedal starts to become more appealing...but the effects I just mentioned aren't really core to my tone I'd just love to have them. Damn indecisiveness!
  16. +1 Horses for courses, I say. Along with my single effects, I'm holding onto my B1X primarily because its delay modes give me a cheap option for specifying the delay time accurately (in ms) and it has a pretty useful detune option, apart from a few other usable effects. To find these in individual pedals (i.e. a tap tempo/user-specifiable delay and a usable detuner) would cost me quite a bit of money, relatively speaking. Singles may be better in quality, but if the quality of my little multifx box suffices, I'm not inclined to get a manifold more expensive option until I have money to burn.
  17. TheBogart


    Oct 1, 2008
    The GT-10B it's the most amazing multifx that you can buy.
  18. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    As one who understands brand loyalty (owner of numerous apple products!) and someone who as been through numerous compressors, I would strongly advise against the Bass Squeeze. They do make some great pedals (Bad Monkey, Multi Chorus, Synth Bass Wah, Brian May sig), but the Bass Squeeze really isn't very good. There is much better out there for similar money.

    As far as multi's go, it's nearly always a compromise, some are stronger and weaker in certain areas, whereas another will have different strengths and weaknesses. For example, Line 6 tends to do amp sim and drive sounds better than say Boss who excel in modulation (don't flame me, just my opnion). Read some reviews, try some out, then decide which strengths are important to you and if you can live with their inherent weaknesses. Also download some pdf manuals to see how easy they are to operate and program, esp if you want to try one out.
  19. ergbass


    Nov 26, 2010
    I prefer individual pedals, i use just dirt, oct, filter and wah. I dont need nothing more. Better sound quality to me.

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