Pedal board... or not? That is the Question.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Admiral Akbar, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Yes, I always use a pedalbaord

    129 vote(s)
  2. Sometimes I use a pedalboard

    64 vote(s)
  3. No, I never use effects - I go “straight in”

    29 vote(s)
  4. I eat only a carrot-based diet

    15 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    I’ve been playing bass for about 25 years. Rock, R&B, Jazz, funk, reggae, fusion...

    I usually play going from bass straight into amp, no effects. Once in a while, I’ll use a MuTron III or octave pedal, but that’s about it. Looking through the pages of Talkbass, and more importantly, seeing other players on gigs, it appears I’m in the minority. Is it true most players use some sort of effects board?

    It seems Bass players’ pedal boards often are as large and diverse as guitarists...

    What say you, Talkbass?
  2. Pedals are fun, making your bass sounds out of the norm is an adventure all in itself. The key is moderation.
    Nunovsky, TheBear, JeffC23 and 8 others like this.
  3. My problem is that where my Rig is currently situated (in-law's front hallway), I can't even begin to put ALL my pedals on a board!

    I'm down to the bare minimum of units right now- Tuner, Comp, Octave, Distortion, 2 Preamps, Amp, Speakers.

    I've got between 12 and 15 pedals that I can use at any time- just no room to put them all down and use 'em!!!!


    ARG, indeed!
    Swampish likes this.
  4. klokker


    Jan 7, 2009
    Steele City, NE
    I have a small pedal board that I always take with me. I played for a long time without a pedal board and it was fine, but over time I wanted a little more dirt, grind and shine than I could get without one. It just works better in the mix. But even if I'm not going to use the effects, it's always nice to have a tuner and a DI available for situations where I'm ampless. So I always use it, even when I bypass everything.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    TheBear and Zbysek like this.
  5. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Totally depends on the music you play. I've never been much of an effects guy (been playing about 35 years). Back in high school, when I play a lot of Floyd and the like, I would have a chorus to help fill out the sound (we didn't have as many tracks as on the recordings, obviously). Today, a few tunes need a bit of overdrive, but I just use the drive on my heads, and a footswitch to engage. Other than that, the only "effect" I use is the D-tuner on my basses, which I engage during songs if necessary. I just use a headstock tuner.

    But plenty of other musicians here need effects for the music they play.
    lfmn16, SactoBass and 4 Strings Good like this.
  6. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    IMG_1742[1].JPG IMG_1552[1].JPG When I play my Steinberger electric upright, I usually don't bring pedal board-just tuner and HPF.

    When I play bass guitar, I usually bring small basic pedal board (tuner, compressor, octaver). Sometimes, I bring additional effects, such as envelope filter or tube preamp.

    Recently, I have been thinking about building a bigger pedalboard which could accomodate the rest of my (10+) pedals which had been sitting in my drawer.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  7. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    At shows I see about 50/50. Either plugging directly into the amp or a board with 5 or more pedals.
    Depends a lot on the genre of music being played and the diversity of tones needed.
    I'm usually the odd one out, with just one pedal not attached to any kind of board.
    Admiral Akbar and Zbysek like this.
  8. Pedals are all the rage now, if you don't use pedals you get accused by other bass players on TB of playing boring music. I've been playing for over 45 years (mostly with no pedals), I get complimented on my bass playing often and have no problem getting gigs. Right now I use an MXR Bass DI+ which has a nice distortion feature that I use on 2 songs. I also use an amp that has dual preamps, compression, pass filters and 10 band EQ so really don't have much need for a pedalboard.
    Nunovsky, basslifter and Zbysek like this.
  9. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Even though I only use three pedals (plus wireless receiver), it’s so much easier to move one thing instead of four. But I don’t use “effects,” just a pre, comp, and tuner.
    bumperbass likes this.
  10. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    My three most common signal chains.
    1. Bass → Tuner → Amp (if using an amp with built-in compression)
    2. Bass → Tuner → Compressor → Amp (no built-in compression)
    3. Bass → Tuner → Compressor → Preamp / DI → Board (whenever time and/or limited stage area prevent using a full rig)
    The only time lately I've used effects has been when I've played my fretless (chorus & some reverb) and even then it's minimal.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
    Rocknroller4, basscapes and Zbysek like this.
  11. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Mine is pretty simple.

    Tuner, Zoom B3, Beat Buddy, Fender OD on / off footswitch.

    No plans on adding anything else any time soon.
    Swampish likes this.
  12. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Degen from Up-Country

    Apr 3, 2018
    I LOOOOOVE pedals. :D Granted, with a band I mostly just use compression, a couple dirt pedals and maybe some octave here and there, but I like having chorus, flange and envelope filter pedals on hand just in case I find the right opportunity to use them. Really though, a lot of my interest in pedals is purely for fun, if I'm playing a song that isn't really appropriate for effects I have no problem just sticking with a dry tone. I can't help but grin a little when I get an opportunity to kick a pedal on, though.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    My tone is in the pedal board...the amp is a blank canvas so-to-speak. It's just tuner, comps, character preamp pedals and that's about it. On a plus side, I can stick it in front of just about any backline.

  14. I'm a combination of 2 and/or 3-

    Minimal Rig. Aside from a tuner, I almost always have a compressor on my bass and then right into my amp. This combination has a great tone and works for jamming or last minute calls.

    The second "version" of my "Minimal Rig" incorporates a preamp pedal (in my case, Ampeg SCR-DI) and taking the DI feed from that to FOH. The amp and speaker are then pretty much "monitors" unless the sound guy couldn't even mix a cocktail, much less a band. At that point, I'll take the David Wm. Simms approach to sound engineering (see my sig. line)...
    mark beem and Zbysek like this.
  15. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I play direct to FOH or into backline 95% of the time, so a small board (comp & preamp) helps me sound how I want to sound no matter what I’m plugging into.

    I rarely used effects when I lived in Australia and was using my own amp 100% of the time.
    Swampish, mark beem and basscapes like this.
  16. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    some, sometimes. but i'm not dependent.
    smogg likes this.
  17. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again??

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    My go-to Pre/DI of late has been my Aguilar Tone Hammer with no amp at all. We have our own PA and I can manipulate the EQs to get a good FOH and monitor sound.
  18. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    90% of the time, I don't use any pedal. There isn't any particular tune I've played where I've actually NEEDED it. But whether I actually need one or just feel like using one are two different things.

    But I have a small board with three pedals: Korg Pitchblack Tuner - Baddest Bad Monkey OD - Fender '63 Reverb pedal.

    That's it. I seldom use the OD, but I use the reverb fairly often on slow tunes to fill out the sound, and on every surf tune I play.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  19. I'm not really sure if (or WHAT) the SCR-DI has for any sort of speaker emu at the DI output, but I've used it for recording, and everyone that hears it (without knowing what I've done) thinks they're hearing a really well miked SVT!

    I'll take that complement- in spades!

    Maybe Ampeg GURU @JimmyM can chime in ('cause I can't even begin to look for my frequency genny and my o'scope right now!).
    mark beem likes this.

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