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Pedals vs Multi-effects...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Dweezilmeister, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Hi fellow bassplayers

    Im a beginner and I still only have a basic amp, no effects.

    I would like to experiment on my sound and I am wondering if I should only get a few pedals (I was thinking eq, comp and flanger for a start) or maybe a multi-effect (there are a few good used ME's or even GT's at decent prices)

    I was always a minimalist, even when I played guitar...

    Thanks for the feedback
  2. EskimoBassist


    Nov 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    I think a lot of people will echo this advice: buy a cheapish multi-effects unit first, work out which effects you use and which you don't and then buy the individual effects which correspond to those if you want at a later date.

    Buuuut if you are the minimalist that you say you are, then you may end up just buying a tuner. And that is truly the most important pedal of all.
  3. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    I think digital multis work great for compression, flange, chorus, delay, ect. But when it comes to overdrive, fuzz, distortion, ect... Stick with separate analog pedals. Thats just me though.
  4. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    +1... all good points!
  5. Thanks for the tips.

    One thing I did not mention. My current amp is actually a really cheap marshall jb-15 which I used mostly with headphones.

    So I was thinking that if I go with the multi-effect, I could get one with amp simulator, and save some space...
  6. kesh


    Jul 9, 2012
    Brighton, England
    If you want to experiment with sound I would spend the money on a really could amp/cab set up and different types of strings.
  7. recreate.me


    Apr 2, 2010
    Using a cheap amp with headphones you arent going to get the full sound out of your bass and signal chain. You never will with headphones regardless of what amp you play.

    For headphones i think it would be really good to pick up a sans amp like the para driver or a VT Bass pedal. Both are great pedals and both you can just plug your headphones right into the output jack of. These pedals will give you basic EQ, drive and some amp models of some famous amps to play around with.

    Along with this you can even just plug in a multi-effects pedals before that. Once you start with a 'real' rig chances are you will still get a lot of use out of the sans amp. I still use my VT Bass alot even though i have a full tube head and a Mesa Walkabout.

    Headphones will ruin any drive or fuzz effects so you might as well just not bother.
  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 it's kinda pointless buying effects pedals before you have a good amp.
  9. BassMonstrum


    Mar 7, 2008
    This sums up everything.

    You don't need a full Ampeg-stack or anything, but a nice rule of thumb is:

    1) Get a bass that you truly like.
    2) Get an amp/combo that you truly like.
    3) Get other stuff.
  10. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    Get a multi-effect pedal with a headphone out jack.
  11. I support get a multi effects unit first... and one that has a headphone out and an audio in and runs on a battery. That way you can just skip the amp since your already using headphones.

    BUT... if you plan on playing with anyone you will be wanting a better amp over some effects.

    I decided to get a Line6 Lowdown combo that has tuner, Amp Emulation, and some Effects ... i upgrade my amp and got other stuff to play with ... may be out of your budget though.
  12. +1

    I'm out of the live game, so I got a Epiphone Valve Jr. and a little 8 inch cab that I modded from an Ashdown After Eight and it sounds really good for plucking in my garage or doing some quiet recording. It sounds MUCH better than the Ashdown did as a combo and even better than my bigger amps at low volume. So you don't need to get a big ol' amp, you just need to find the right amp for you.

    Your situation may call for a different setup, but putting effects on a thin, weak signal with low headroom only makes an effected thin, weak signal with low headroom.

    I'm a big fan of the newest multi's, but they have learning curves that individuals don't and can have a few limitations you'll need to work around before cracking open all the possibilities. For instance my M13 has a very low threshold before clipping; I can't use my bass at anywhere near full volume without it clipping somewhere in the chain. I also have to be very careful when using the filters, synths or dirt as the added gain can cause the unit to clip. It is a very dynamically sensitive unit, but not with a lot of headroom.

    If you can get to a music store to try effects, or order from a place that has a fantastic return policy, that would be the best way to find out what you are comfortable with in the short term.

    The bass on the tune in my sig has a signal chain that goes:
    Peavey Patriot> M13 (Bass Octave>Dimension Chorus)> EHX Bassballs> MXR M80> Epi Valve Jr.
    MXR M80 was also DI into my recorder and mixed with the amp about 50/50.
  13. JEBassman

    JEBassman Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    The advice here sounds good. I also would get a better amp first, and add a multi-effect after I have a decent amp and speaker cab(s).

    You'll want an amp that can be used in a band setting, and your small practice amp won't be strong enough for the job.
  14. bigmuff113


    Jul 4, 2012
    San Antonio
    Pedals all the way for me
  15. Edinjazz


    Jul 26, 2012
    New York, NY
    Endorsing artist: MTD (Michael Tobias Design) electric basses
    If you'd ask me, but that's my personal opinion, since you're a beginner, try to make sure you spend ample time playing the bass clean, with no effects, to develop a great sound ethics, produce warm tone, agile technique, before you get into effects. Personally, I hadn't gotten into pedals until I was 11 years into my professional career, but am quite extreme when it comes to music making. When I started with the pedals I first bought only the pedals that were required by the bands/projects I worked with. For instance, I was in a funk band that required an auto-wah pedal. So that was the first pedal I got. It can get addicting to get pedals. As a bassists, if you want to start off with something, I'd suggest an Auto Wah/Manual Wah, Chorus/Flanger/Pitch Modulator (similar effects that are often bundled in one pedal), Octabass (if you play a 4 string, that's a great way to enhance your bottom range) and maybe, a compressor. But again, that is my personal opinion. Every one has different ideas and tastes. Bottom line, make sure that serving the music you play is in the forefront of whatever choices you make.
  16. jbailes


    Apr 5, 2012
    It's very important not to get GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) right from the start. If you're new to the bass, it's important to get get your chops up and make sure your timing is solid first. But I can understand your need to have some tone that inspires you to pick up that bass and play.
    One thing you might try is picking up something cheap like a zoom B-2 for about a hundred bucks new (less used) that specializes in amp modeling, along with many time based and overdrive effects. That way, you'll have a ton of new sounds to work with and it won't set you back by much. Just my 2 cents.
  17. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    I've a zoom b2.1u... nice for a first dabble in effects, with a handy drum machine and tuner. Works a charm. What I need now is a more satisfactory compressor.

    For those who love effects a multi effects pedal is a decent way to start. :D
  18. Jason Hall

    Jason Hall

    Jun 21, 2012
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Get a Zoom B3... best sounding and easiest to use digital multi effect unit I've tried and I've tried most. The models are accurate and have most of the same options as the real pedals. You also get a headphone jack, drum sounds, tuner, etc. Once you find some models you really like, or if you want a sound that you've heard that isn't covered with the B3... then think about buying some separate pedals to go along with it.

    Some effects just sound better analog, especially distortion and envelope filters (though there's some good digital ones as well). Think of the B3 as a way to try before you buy kinda deal... then when you get other pedals to go with it you can use more of the eq and mod effects. It's fun to experiment.
  19. Edinjazz


    Jul 26, 2012
    New York, NY
    Endorsing artist: MTD (Michael Tobias Design) electric basses
    Did you ever try Boss GT-10B? I know its a pricier unit but, since you had said you tried most, I am just wondering how it is?

  20. Jason Hall

    Jason Hall

    Jun 21, 2012
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I had one for a couple months. Some people like it, I didn't care for it. Before owning one I had a bass pod xt pro and a zoom b2.1u and didn't think the sounds were any better for the price, leaving me with a giant pedal to lug around. I've also had several digitech models, a boss ME-50B, line 6 bass pod pro (the kidney shaped one), and a few other random ones (I think I have multi effect ocd). The Zoom B3 is by far my favorite for practicing and adding some effects along with my pedals.

    I'd suggest trying them out before biting though if you can. I bought my B3 on a whim recently and I love it.

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