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New to effects and need help!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bareass, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Hey all,
    I just joined a wedding/party band playing everything to waltz and polka, to classic rock, to pop. We are all using in ears, so I've decided to build a pedal board, with a DI and not use an amp.

    Now I have a DI in mind (reddi) and have a poly tune. But I know nothing about effects!

    I'm thinking something along an overdrive, chorus, an octave, maybe an envelope filter, and a synth bass.

    I'm not sure what brands/models have better tone, or even what other effects I should look into.

    I do know that if possible, I would like the option to have the clean signal pass though as well as the effect. Meaning having both the clean and the effect heard at the same time. At least on some of the effects

  2. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I run a Sansamp Bass Driver DI and have it set so there is a fairly heavy overdrive going out the DI and then the clean, unaffected output goes to the other fx and then to my amp which gets mic'ed or a DI out too. I use this setup for seriously overdriven and fuzzed out (thanks to the Megalith) bass but I imagine you could do a similar thing for your purposes.
  3. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Sounds like you want a multi-effects processor. for your needs, I would recommend the zoom b3. I have sound samples of the zoom b3 on my soundclick website. here's the link.


    Feel free to check it out.
  4. oopss.... sorry,
    ment to add that i would like to stay away form multi units. i rather just hit what i need, and mix and match from there.
  5. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    The first question I would ask myself if I were you, is 'do I really need all these effects?'.

    I play in a versatile covers band that plays weddings and parties, as well as bar gigs, so covering a range of genres from classic and indie rock and pop, to disco and soul. I have a pedal board but most of the pedals are always on 'utility' types, ie, compressions, eq, tuner. The only real effect I use frequently is overdrive for the heavier rock songs, and fuzz and octaver to cop the odd Muse-like synthy tones.

    I have been down the same road in the past, having unnecessary effects that get used once in a set and rarely noticed, making more work for myself trying to emulate particular tones, and struggling with making all the different tones sit in the mix.

    So I would really recommend considering what pedals are necessary rather than desired. As such, I would recommend a compressor to even out you signal a little (as you're not going through an amp) and perhaps a parametric eq, or even an amp simulator such as the Tech21 VT bass to get a little valve-like warmth and eq control.

    As far as getting a parallel clean tone, as NKUSigEp mentioned, the sansamp can send a parallel clean sound, but many people don't like it's eq, but there are other DI boxes than can send two signals, one wet, one dry, so maybe a little more research is in order. If you want to be in control of what effects are mixed in and out at will, you'll need a looper/blender pedal, something like the Boss LS-2, which allows you to kick in a series of effects in one go and if set up correctly, in parallel with your clean tone.
  6. well as it stands, i just replaced the use of bass tracks in this band. There is still synth bass tracks on some of the pop songs that i double. hence the desire for a synth pedal, with a clean parallel.

    as for the rest of the effects, they are just that. effects.

    the eq i don't think is needed. I boost very little (if at all) from my bass as it is, and run direct pre eq from my amp. the eqing is happening from the board. i want to give as clean a signal as possible. other than the effects that is.
  7. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I think the most hard to nail down issue is overdrive/distortion. Some like a little rock tube sound. Others like a full-on distortion. Still others like a completely fuzzed out sound. It really all depends on what you mean. For a mild, retro rock sound you can often get that in conjunction with a DI as in the SansAamp Bass Driver DI. You can get some DI/Preamp units with more distortion such as the MXR M80.

    If you've decided you're already set for a DI, you can get a VT Bass pedal for retro rock sounds. Or you can get something that goes even further like a Darkglass B3K. To go total fuzz, I'm not sure... see if you like the Way Huge Swollen Pickle.

    I'm not a chorus user, but it's pretty popular. Lots of folks are buzzing right now about the new MXR unit.

    MXR makes a really nice octaver, too. I've had my eye on it for a while.

    Not to sound like an MXR employee, but MXR makes a terrific envelope filter, too. I used to own it myself and it's great.

    I myself decided to invest in Source Audio units: Both their envelope filter and their distortion. Why? Because they're incredibly flexible, going from "standard" to WHAT THE...?? Plus together they can create some very good synth sounds. Filling in the blanks from there, I'll be getting a distortion/DI unit soon, probably the MXR M80. After that, possibly nothing. Maybe that MXR Octaver.

    I'm not a huge fan of any synth pedals right now. They all seem either flawed, limited, expensive or out of production--or some combination of those. I'm watching to see if Source Audio makes something in this space. You could punt and get a BOSS Syb 5. That might be worth having for a few pop tunes. There's one or two others that might be worth their cost. Others will no doubt chime in on that area better than I can.
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If you want individual pedals, I'd seriously nail down exactly what types of effects you want, set a budget, and search on each one extensively. Far too many choices, and in the end, personal preference will rule. Expect to spend $100-$150 a piece for them, unless you go for something boutique, which can double or triple the price.Standard stuff, Boss, MXR, ElectroHarmonix, etc, is all good, but like I said, persoanl preference. Now, synth pedals, that's a whole lot of research needed, as there really is no one good choice. All are some sort of compromise, and in the end, sometimes using a string of effects like fuzz/octave/filter will yield better results. Good luck to you.
  9. Mattbass97


    Apr 9, 2011
    Mxr everything they're brilliant!
  10. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    Keep it simple - I happen to know a LOT of wedding/party band musicians, real pros, here in NYC. The best ones, the bassists especially, can do a lot with only a small handful of stuff.

    Like others have suggested here - some sort of Tech 21 Sansamp product (the Bass driver DI is a good place to start), maybe a compressor, and a chorus (for "Don't Stop Believing," "Living on a prayer," and other '80s staples). YES, you can get more stuff, but honestly, you'd be spending lots of dough on effects that you'll only use once or twice a set.

    EDIT: Keep in mind that, given the tight set-up times and infrequent/short soundchecks, you may not have the chance to really dial in and troubleshoot a more complicated rig. Trust me, keep it simple.
  11. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Note: I just got the MXR M80 for Christmas. Whoa. If you need an analog distortion unit and could use a good DI as well, wow. This thing is nasty. It leaves behind the flatulence of the SansAmp Bass Driver and takes you straight to distortion nirvana. I think I've finally got the live sound for what my engineer dialed in for my Ramones cover.
  12. AndyLES


    Aug 25, 2008
    New York
    *threadjack alert*

    Told ya you'd like it. Like I said in that other thread, I use it for every gig. ;) :bassist: :bag:

    *threadjack over*
  13. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    How much is your budget? Are you really sure that you need the pedals that you mention?
  14. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good call on the REDDI! Effects are quite cool, but I believe you should add them one at a time, and never just add them just because you think you might need them. I would start with the overdrive because that's the most useful for classic rock, and start researching and listening to clips and getting opinions. Go out and play some at music stores, too.
  15. The reddi is the for sure go for me.
    I would like the chorus, I think it will be used the most.
    The distortion, I would just be adding a bit... Not playing metal or anything like that.
    The filter would be nice for the funky stuff, just to add some flare.
    As for the synth, we are looking to remove the synth bass tracks, and have me play them with effects, however, a lot of it needs to be doubled with a clean tone, that's why I'm looking for a synth pedal. It would be used a lot.... We we play at the casino in town, the whole night is mainly new pop / party music, which has a lot of synth in it

    As for budget, I'll be adding to everything slowly... But I want to buy the pedal board once, so need to think of the lay out. No real budget. We're a busy band, so I rather spend it once on quality items
  16. HereIGoAgain


    Oct 16, 2011
    Glad I found this thread. I'm in somewhat of the same boat. I'm familiar with effects and pedalboards for guitar, but I'm starting one for bass.

    I have:
    -Korg Pitchblack Plus tuner (on way)
    -Wah (Dunlop 535Q)
    -Overdrive (Digitech Hardwire Tube Overdrive)
    -Distortion (Digitech Hardwire Valve Distortion)

    The Hardwire purchases were somewhat inspired by searches on this forum.

    I am looking for what I need to complete my board. In my case, there is a criteria based on simplicity and cost: my board needs to work for both bass and guitar. I'm actually not sure what I need next. For what I do on bass, I'll need to be able to pop, rock, blues, hard rock, and maybe approaching metal. I'm really not one for rarely-used effects, nor am I one for needing the manual in-hand during the sound check.

    So, what else do I need? I do appreciate JimmyM's points as effects can be quite a money drain.

  17. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I'll refute the flatulent bddi comment and add that I found the m80 to be thin and tinny sounding...so to each their own. :)
  18. Unless you have a very specific reason for passing on a multi effect pedal, I'd strongly recommend giving the B3 or Line6 M5 a try before ruling them out. Multi effects aren't quite the pariah they used to be. They have usable and sometimes good (GASP!) sounds without the digital noise that used to accompany all of them. Otherwise you are in for a long, expensive, process of finding the right pedals for you.

    Worst case scenario you hate it and resent me for suggesting you take the time to try it, best case scenario you love it and decide you don't need anything else. More likely, you like the multi for a handful of its effects and round out the rest of your board with dedicated pedals.

    FWIW I find the Bass Octave and Dimension Chorus on the M5 to be good sounding effects, regardless of competition. I don't own a B3, that recommendation is based mostly on reviews and clips.

    Good luck.
  19. as an update.
    I have my REDDI now, and bought a Trailer Trash board to mount everything to.
    I've decided on a Cry Baby Bass, and probably the MXR Bass Chorus. I bought an MXR Bass Octive Deluxe.
    after doing some listening, a octave>Fuzz>Filter chain will probably be used for my synth sound.
    so i'm looking for options of a good fuzz to meet that need, as well as a good filter. I like the MXR envelope Filter, but am open to other suggestions.

    I'm looking for a distortion or OD to give a light distortion for more rocky songs. i also think a compression pedal should be used to smooth everything out before going to the DI. and maybe an EQ to tweek a bit.

    also, i've decided to split my tone with a ernie ball stereo volume/pan pedal. that will give me a blendable mix of clean and effect signal.
  20. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    The MXR envelope filter is really good in my opinion. Fuzz/dirt/distortion/overdrive/grit/etc. is a whole can of worms... It really depends on what you like, what kind of music you play and a lot of other things.

    Me, I am using the stuff in my sig. Super flexible and way out there envelope filter and distortion units from Source Audio. Plus the MXR for a more traditional dirt/EQ/DI.