1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Must Have effects?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BassGoblin, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. BassGoblin


    Dec 11, 2013
    I've always imagined the Bass guitar to be without effects. I have my first bass coming soon and I'm curious if you guys think there are any 'must have' effects for the bass.
  2. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    In most cases, you just need a good cable and an amp. Some genres (Metal, Funk, etc.) use Distortion, Envelope Filters, Flangers and the like. I personally went through using a lot of effects to where I use none unless someone asks me to and then I use a Behringer V-amp Pro Rack and MIDI foot controller.
  3. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I've been gigging for a few years now in a classic rock/country band and have never needed an effects pedal.

    I do have a VT bass deluxe that I take to rehearsal and use as a DI. But it's off except for the buffered by pass now.

    So for me the answer is none. But for others I assume many are necessary to pull off what they want to do musically.
  4. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    You've loaded this a bit by posting in the Effects forum ;-)

    What kind of music do you want to play?

    For my music, almost nothing in the way of 'effects' is needed. I'll occasionally use a bit of chorus or reverb. Compression can be nice. EQ and DI are scarcely 'effects' although they are often found in pedal form - same with tuner. Pedal yes, 'effect' - no.
    A bit of drive can be nice in an ensemble setting to bump the level and change the sound when it's solo time. For 'classic rock' there's something of a vintage, tubey sound that comes with the genre, and various ways to get or emulate that sound.

    The metal guys seem to want a lot of distortion and fuzz, and there are many choices. I don't like any of them, but I don't play metal. If you do, you're in for a long bit of learning and discovery as you begin your quest for 'your tone.' Lots of choices, lots of fanboys for each choice.

    Effects can help shift your (unspecified) bass and (unspecified) amp into another color or genre. Some amp/cab combinations have certain inherent 'baked-in' tonesets. They're easier to put in to something neutral with effects than get out if you don't like them...
  5. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Just starting out? A good tuner is a must. Always tune your instrument before you play to get a good ear for intervals.
  6. WaldoNova

    WaldoNova Having fun yet? Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Yonkers, NY
    There are no must have effects. In fact most bands seem to have a double standard when it comes to stringed instruments. Guitar with effects are cool bass it isn't. It really comes down to what you want/need and what your band wants/needs. When starting out it's a no brainer to have a tuner. Having a tuner in a pedal form can help you stay in tune on the fly which is more important than any effects.
  7. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    There is no MUST HAVE effect IMO. Well, a tuner is really good to have but it doesnt have to be in pedal form of course. A lot of it also has to do with the genre you will be playing. I think most genres can benefit from an OD or dist and possibly a chorus or flanger. Im a total pedal addict so I could go on about effects forever. Depending on your setup a good comp would be beneficial as well. But IMO, a good OD would be a pretty universal effect across the spectrum of all genres.
  8. BassGoblin


    Dec 11, 2013
    Ok. What tuner would you guys recommend? I haven't ever had one in Pedal form.
  9. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks.

    Jan 25, 2011
    Camarillo, CA
    The most utilitarian pedals/devices to own are definitely a tuner and a good DI (countryman 85 or a Radial JDI if you don't mind dropping some coin, but something less expensive like the J48 is good too).
    After that, I would get a good compressor (depending on your tastes, something clean and transparent like the MXR Bass Comp or something more tubey like the Markbass Compressore) and a solid dirt pedal (thousands of possibilities, again depending on your tastes).
    You could always combine these things (something like a Sansamp VT Bass DI or Bass Driver is a great preamp/DI with excellent drive tones). After that you can always get into the world of modulation (chorus, flanger, phaser) or time effects (delay, echo, verb) or filters and funkyfiers.
    Obviously, none of these short of the tuner are absolute essentials, but the ones at the top of the list work in most settings and are a good place to start. After that, who knows? :)
  10. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    You need all of these pedals, otherwise you are not worthy of being a part of the TBFX community.
    (Board courtesy of Waterpilot)


  11. MilkyMcMilkMilk


    Dec 17, 2008
    My must have pedals at this moment are my Proco Rat, Boss Octaver, B3k, Phase 100 and my mini Qtron.
  12. some people have busy careers and no effects. other people can't do a single gig without some.

    i think bearing in mind that many many great players never use them, there are some you really should have tried. a VT bass, especially in modern times where tube amps are usually only used by people buying relatively high-end gear and they're aware of the pros and cons of tube vs solid state. for the $100, its definitely worth trying. envelope filters can change your world... sub octave... ext.
  13. Matt - your picture is from 2012. If you have not added at least $2,000 in pedals from this time, I am going to have to remove you from the TBFX community and ban you from posting.

    Please provide a copy of all receipts, or since you are a first-time offender, an updated picture of your board showing additional pedals in order to rectify the situation.
  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    For me a sansamp BDDI or a VT is a must have, particularly if you're playing a passive bass and want to do any recording.
  15. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area

    (Board by Jean Baudin - pedal board god)

  16. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Cable and tuner.

    The more gear you have the more the chances something will go wrong.

    I use tons of fuzz at home but very rarely when out.
  17. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    Seriously, it all depends on the kind of music you are playing. If you are playing in a blues or R&B band, a tuner may be all you need. If you're playing in multiple types of bands, maybe something like my board may be in order. I play in a a few different bands – reggae, dub/electonic, roots punk/rock and psychedelic funk/rock, so I have put together this board... and I use them all.

    I'd start with a multi effects pedal like a zoom and play around with the different effects and then when you find something you like, do youtube searches for higher quality versions of the effect. However, today's multi effects pedals have gotten very good.

  18. BFunk

    BFunk Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    There are lots of good choices. A good pedal tuner will allow you to tune silently by pressing a button. This is a handy feature in many situations. Do you have a passive instrument? If so, you many want to consider a tuner that is also a good buffer. (A buffer prevents signal loss from long cable runs. A nice feature if you are using a passive bass. Active basses already have a buffer built-in.) I have a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner. It is a very good but expensive tuner. Other popular options are the Boss TU-3, TC Electonic Polytune, and Korg Pitchblack. Also, there are tuners that clip to your head stock. I do not believe they work as reliably in a loud environment as a pedal tuner due to their design, but they are a cheaper option.

  19. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Is tuning to a low B (5- or 6-string) important to you?

    As I said earlier - I do not consider a tuner an 'effect' because ideally, it doesn't affect your tone at all - other than to allow proper pitch.

    And while you should have one, lots of people like pedal tuners, some get good results with clip-on headstock tuners.
  20. yousaiditman

    yousaiditman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    San Clemente, CA
    My board which I consider the essentials.

    Phaser - I like em'

    Attached Files: