Playing with chromes and effects pedal.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jeronimoski, Jun 22, 2021.

  1. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Hi all,

    I play a five string Ibanez premium bass with a pick. I usually play jazz standards but I also play some funk and some prog rock. The chromes sound great but I'm looking to sometimes change the tone when I play funky stuff or prog stuff. Don't want to change strings cause I don't like the scratchy sound I get with a pick and nickel wound.

    What kind of effects pedal to would you recommend? Just to sometimes give me a different tone.
  2. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    I'd start with some overdrive or light distortion. Do you have any pedals at the moment or are you starting to shop around? Any tones from players you like that might help us?
  3. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    I have a compressor pedal. Mxr.
  4. seedokebass


    Mar 21, 2009
    Overdrive and compression can do a lot for your tone... There are a lot of options out there, but if you have some tones in mind from different bass players or artists/bands that would be helpful to know :D
  5. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Well, I just want to change my tone from the normal clean chromes string sound that I use when I play jazz. I love them cause the action is low, I but I do want to do something different with my sound. Maybe a pedal that does a lot. I am willing to pay 200 dollars if need be.

    Basically, playing jazz standards with chromes sounds great with a pick. But what if I want to play Red by King Crimson? Or maybe covering War Pigs by Black Sabbath. Or maybe Culture Clash by The Aristocrats. Or maybe Cissy Strut.
  6. RJ


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    Sounds like an eq pedal might be what you’re looking for.

    They produce less of an ‘effect’ but can radically change your tone.

    MXR, Boss, and Source Audio, make a parametric EQ that are all worth looking into.

    In addition to and EQ an overdrive/distortion pedal could prove useful in helping sculpt your sound.
    mutethatguitar and MTN.bass72 like this.
  7. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    I don't know a lot about pedals except for compressors. What about that tech 21 pedal? I've read stuff about that.
  8. RJ


    Aug 17, 2000
    San Francisco
    You’re going to need to provide some more info. People are trying to give you a hand here. Which Tech 21 pedal…?
  9. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Sorry. Tech 21 V Bass, I think.
  10. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Sorry. Maybe I've not been so clear.

    I have Addario Chromes on my five string. They are really clean. They are great for jazz. But in my other bands, I play prog rock, funk, and fusion. I only know about compressors. I don't want to buy tons of pedals. I was wondering if there was some kind of pedal that I could buy to tweak my sound.
  11. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
    Sounds like you’re looking for some dirt and some tone shaping. I think you might like the Tech 21 VT Bass in some format. It has a powerful EQ and amp simulation that will allow you to dial in a wide range of tones from that old-school Funky Meters thing all the way towards King Crimson type stuff.

    Your Bass already has a pretty nice preamp in it, don’t be afraid of twisting those knobs either. Between that and the VT you should have quite an Arsenal at your fingertips. That being said: flats will always sound like flats. Their attack is just different than rounds, so don’t expect a perfect impression of roundwound strings, even though Chromes can get plenty bright and hairy.

    edit: I really like the VT bass DI, because I find myself using the switchable speaker emulation and bite switch frequently.
  12. jeronimoski


    Sep 27, 2011
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm not looking for any radical changes. Just a bit of change to the tone for different bands and different songs. I play with a pick so I just want to really, really, avoid the pick scratchy sound that I get from roundwounds when I play with a pick.

    Which Tech 21 do you recommend? Price isn't so much of an issue.
  13. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Man! 8 12's. Xotic Effects Bass BB Preamp. Brian Beller is a monster player. Here's his rig run down.
    David McIntire likes this.
  14. darwin-bass

    darwin-bass Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2013
    Salem OR
    With flats, it is hard to restore the tone that is missing by using EQ. I have TI Jazz Flats on my fretless and love the way the sound but they lack the clarity of rounds. I can restore some of it with EQ (via a couple of different pedals) but they still sound like flats.

    Adding some overdrive will add harmonics but they aren't clean harmonics so there is a limit to how widely applicable that approach is.

    The pedal I'm currently experimenting with is the Broughton FlipTop. So far I like what it does.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  15. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Tech 21 VT Bass or a TC Electronics Spectra Drive might be a one-stop shop for you. - with or without your comp
    Pedal. I’d check one or both out in a music store and see. The spectra drive has tone prints, which let you change the one knob drive and one knob comp if that is appealing. The VT Bass has a character knob that will let you change the voicing of your drive side. Both pretty useful boxes in my opinion…
  16. David76112


    Feb 19, 2012
    Lots of things for sale in the TB classifieds and the sellers are usually happy to answer questions about gear.
  17. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I have Chromes on my Stingray 5HH and think they handle overdrive pedals really well. I have five actual effects pedals on my board (plus five "utility" pedals), but three of those five effects are different flavors of overdrives. I find that the flats help tame the highs and I think that helps an overdriven signal by eliminating the harshness from the effected tone.

    I don't use them on a lot of songs, but my other two effects pedals are an octave (EXH Nano POG) and a chorus (Providence Anadime Bass Chorus). FWIW, I picked the Anadime because I think it has a really nice and clear effect and also because I love the adjustable HPF for the effected signal. That helps keep as much low end definition as you want so your sound doesn't come out muddy when using a stronger chorus settings.

    I have a few other effect pedals, but I don't need them for songs my band does, so I didn't make a spot on my board for them.
  18. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    ^ This has been my experience too

    OP - Maybe not full-blown D'Addario SS rounds or anything, but perhaps try nickel-plated steel rounds? Some different brands as well? (DR's happen to be my favorite RW). It can be a lot easier to tame high-end and add "thump" than to try and add back treble when it's just not organically there to begin with. You'll get some clank by adding in OD, even with the flats, to some degree. An EQ pedal or an amp sim pedal (such as the VT Bass) could give you the tonal shaping options you'd like to keep rounds in check while still getting good response from effects pedals.

    Please don't take this as a condescending question, but are you hearing the finger and undesirable pick noise in a band mix or on a recording with a full band? I ask because many folks spend years obsessing over the "bedroom tone" only to find it's a totally different game in a live mix (myself included...VERY included). The finger noise from switching to rounds might not even register once you've got drums and guitars playing next to you. I'd also add that compressor can sometimes bring out finger noise or pick noise that you might find undesirable too. As with any gear or tonal issues, never limit yourself...think outside the box and try every option/variable you have on hand.

    Hope this helps! GL and happy thumpin! :bassist:
    MattZilla, David McIntire and Rilence like this.
  19. Overdrive like the Southampton 5th gear.
  20. Lukasonbass


    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire

    Effects could be cool. Something like an Overdrive or a chorus pedal as others have mentioned for Prog, a wah or octave pedal for Funk is always fun

    I think what you should really focus on is EQ and technique.

    Fingers go a long way with funk, but if you’re not interested or able to be the put the time in you should also look into a felt pick.

    Different pick sizes will also influence the tone too.

    Adding some foam (any foam will work, you don’t need anything fancy) is fun for funk as well.

    Experiment with where you’re picking, maybe try getting down closer to the bridge rather than the neck or vice versa. Roll the bass down for Funk but up for prog, etc. (no right or wrong answer here, just go with what sounds good to you).

    On a side note you’re picking shouldn’t be scratchy unless you’re doing so intentionally. From the sounds of it you may want to try picking at less of an angle and more so straight on with the strings, no using the sides of the pick, just the edge of the face of the pick for downstrokes and the edge of the back of the pick for upstrokes. This is particularly important on bass where you want that nice clean percussion thump. Ideally less of the pick, but if you’re not playing too fast you can use more of the pick for a strong thump.

    hope that helps and keep groovin’
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 27, 2021

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