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New to Effects.. where to start?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by knucklehead G, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. I'd been hunting a pedal tuner and got a chance to try out a Sansamp VT, and loved it. I haven't bought anything yet as I'm trying to sell some other gear first, but I'm definitely going to be looking into putting together a small board soon-ish.

    The problem is, there are so many things to look at.. I went through the FAQ thread and some of the old links to "what pedal does what" are broken now. If I was putting together something the size of those Pedaltrain Minis (probably homemade though), and assuming probably a Boss tuner and a VT are on it, what else should I look for?

    I know its also about the type of music you play, but at the moment I'm not out gigging or anything, just noodling around and having occasional living room jam sessions over a six-pack. We tend to play a lot of pop and alt-rock (just what everyone knows) so I need this to be flexible in case next week is whiskey and country music night.

    What should every board have? I'm pretty happy with the EQ on my amp so I don't think I need a 100-band graphic EQ at my feet. I am also quite positive that I don't need a Volnott, but I'm open to most other suggestions.
  2. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    You'd do well to start with a Multi Effect pedal. Boss, Digitech, and Zoom each design multieffect pedals for bass.
    It'll help you get a grasp of just which effects you actually want to use.
  3. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    And you might just be happy with a multi effect unit, who knows
  4. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    +1 both.

    No, you won't need an EQ I guess. If your amp does that fine and you're assuming you'll get a VT, you won't need more EQ :).
  5. Robertron


    Feb 12, 2010
    NewYork, NY
    I was actually really happy with just my Digitech BP200 for almost two years before I started replacing it with single effects.
  6. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph provider Supporting Member

    Know the feeling. I started with the El Cheapo Zoom B1. And now 20 or so pedals later, I pretend I know about effects...:oops:
  7. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    +1 to the idea of an inexpensive pedal that's packed with different stuff.

    I don't use much for effects myself, but I've got a Zoom 506 II that I routinely use as a tuner. I'm still finding different ways to goose my sound with it here and there, too. In the case of this unit, you can get a 2nd hand one for dirt, but it's also a good idea to have a manual - it doesn't have a dozen control knobs, but the directions make sense. Also love that I can use it as a headphone amp when I want to do some quiet 'shedding.

    Effects can be fun, but it's hard to know how useful anything might or might not be until you try it in a mix. Some effects draw criticism for sucking the low end out of a bass sound, so that's no fun. Other gizmos can be just too freaky, even if you're a sort of "out front" or "lead bass" type of player. Some pedals like the Boss LS-2 can combine your clean sound with an effect mixed over it and that can keep your fundamental more in tact.

    I really like fuzz as an overdrive option for bass because the low end often seems to hold up - that's just me. Many players like to have decent compression, but I've never really had the bug for it. If you slap or play with some aggression, it can keep your sound more even and civilized for sure.

    A funky essential is the envelope filter or maybe an auto-wah. I have an Electro-Harmonix Q-Tron, but I can also get a nice sort of "quack" out of my Zoom if I need it in a pinch, along with a useful fuzz patch. Those multi's really are a great starting point.
  8. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    try out garage band for mac, and see what effects you like by previewing them, that's where i learned about bitcrushers and funk filters

    been using a wmd geiger counter into a behringer 1002 fx mini mixer for noisy synth industrial rock stuff, and i use a tubeworks blue tube 903 for vintage overdrive/fuzzy

    geiger counter - 299 new
    behringer mixer - 89 new
    blue tube 903 - 89 ebay
  9. Ring mod - essential tool for all forms of music.

    just kidding - if you're going for the VTbass, how are you thinking about using it? As a stand-alone overdrive pedal, or as an always on eq/amp sim? I use it for the latter, which helps no end when DI'ing my board (hate the sound of fuzz pedals DI'd)

    I think just for noodling and jam sessions, the VT will give you a whole range of different sounds, not just light OD but some great amp-like sounds. So just experiment with it and you might find you dont need anything else.

    if you REALLY want to experiment with new sounds, the multi-FX suggestions above are right on the money.
  10. +1 for starting with a multi effect, I am a Zoom fan but Boss, Line 6, Digitech are all good places to start.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Yes. +1 for a multi. It'll give you a little bit of everything, and a great intro to the whole mess of stuff available.
  12. not to dredge up an old thread, (atleast i searched!) what are some good multi effects? (think no more than 250 and im not opposed to used!)
  13. EskimoBassist


    Nov 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    The Line 6 M9 recently became a popular choice, replacing swathes of pedals - it's basically the M13 in a smaller package, great pedal. That would be at the top of your price range, but well worth the money. No DI output unfortunately, but has stereo ins and outs, which is nice. And the firmware is updatable and your effects can be managed/backed-up/manipulated using computer software too, which is very handy. The M13 is a good choice too, bit more flexibility, as expected from the bigger brother of the M9, but it is flippin' massive!

    I used a Korg AX3000B for years; great pedal and can be bought very cheap. No DI output either and no looping capabilities, but it served me well live and in the studio for years without a single problem.

    Fans of the Boss GT-6B and 10B will also attest that they are good choices too, they both have DI outputs, there's complex routing options available with the 10B, including creating parallel signal chains which is pretty cool, and lot's of control with the expression pedal - like the Korg AX3000B.

    Best thing to do would be to get to a guitar shop and try some pedals out, see what you like. Line 6, Korg, Boss, Zoom, TC Electronics etc. all make great pedals, it's up to you to decide what options that you want and what kind of system best suits your needs. I love my Korg to death, eventually I replaced it with all singles, but it's not for everyone. However, if I were to narrow it down to a few options I would say try the Line 6 M9, and/or the M13 for that matter, try the Boss GT-6B which you can pick up very cheap second hand now (or the newer 10B if you want something a bit more powerful) or if you really just want something a bit more basic and cheaper, try the Zoom B2.1U. Great sounding little unit, DI out, expression control and super cheaps - perfect for your first forray into the world of effects!
  14. For those that are looking for a rough guide to what some pedals do. The Wiki (which seems to be long forgotten at times around here) has effects demos done by members. http://www.talkbass.com/wiki/index.php/Effects_Clip_Database

    Some of the links in there are obsolete, but most of the bad links seem to be cleaned out.

    Other than that, I will recommend the Line6 M series until some other manufacturer makes it obsolete. It's just so easy to use and very versatile in how you can use it, and the effects sound pretty damn good.
  15. Same here. Recently swapped my GT10B for the Zoom B9.1ut .. great decision. Zoom offer a great selection and decent tone.. something I found was lacking with the GT. and the price difference.. well, I'll leave that one alone ;)

    +1 for Zoom

    Edit: Tone was lacking in the GT .. not selection.
  16. ilovenofrets

    ilovenofrets Supporting Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    Another vote here for starting out with an inexpensive multi-effect. They will give you all the effects a bassist will ever use(and some you will not), and 99% of them will have a chromatic tuner that lets you tune silently. My top recomendation has to be the Korg AX1B. I think the sound quality for a pedal from the early 2000's is incredible, and while some of the individual effects have limited tweakability, it still overall has a better sound than some others. That's a matter of personal opinion and taste, though. This unit, as well as different ones from Zoom(506, 506 MKII, 607, BFX-708), and the Digitech BP-200, BP-80, BP-50 or their new BP-90 are great choices as well. Some models don't have a built-in expression pedal, but they do have an input for one. Prices on the units mentioned here will range in price from as little as $25.00 all the way up to about $150.00. Check out the manufacturer websites, check out online reviews, and use your own discretion. You may even end up liking the idea of a multi, and there are bigger/better units out there for the working pro musician. Sorry for the long babble, but I'm trying to give you as much info as possible. Hope this helps. Cheers!!!
  17. id go with a good dirt pedal

    you may not like any of the effects of the multi-effect and i find one of the most helpful pedals is the dirt. be it OD, distortion or Fuzz, you cant go wrong.

    but then again thats just me.
  18. gumtown


    May 7, 2007
    New Zealand
    1+ good advice
  19. carbonfold

    carbonfold Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2006
    Dallas, Texas
    Depending on who you ask around here, 2 pedals are plenty and 50 isn't enough. :D But here is my two cents.

    A good rule of thumb to start out is:

    Tuner >>> Compressor >>> Dirt (Fuzz or Dist) >>> Delay/Echo

    In my opinion, I remember back when I first got into pedals and thought..... "why did I waste money on this Zoom multi effects pedal!" It was a bit overwhelming and honestly, I thought it sounded horrible. However, we are talking about a Zoom multi pedal bought in 1997 haha.... but I'm sure they sound leaps and bounds better now days..

    I personally think single units are easier to trade around if you dont like them. If you don't like it, sell and swap it out with something else. Usually if you don't like it, there is someone else on TB that does.

    Single units, I believe, are more personal and you actually spend more time mastering the one effect vs. trying to create a masterpiece of a dozen effects.

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