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Recommendation for effect/distortion

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Sundance, Jul 24, 2004.


  1. Sundance

    Sundance

    Jul 24, 2004
    I've been looking to expand my sound for a while, decided to try looking around for some effect or distortion I might like. I'm asking the smart folks who read this forum for help choosing one. I'll start by saying that I play a fretless 5 string bass mostly (the Peavey Cirrus 5 to be exact) and play lots of jazz-derived stuff, but also more of the "edgier" and eclectic side of the genre. Not to say I don't play anything really sweet or bright, I'd like something I can have some versatility with and sound pretty near pleasant, even Jaco-ish. So rock is kind of implied there too, but leaning towards the more instrumental, "prog"-y aspect (though saying prog can be too restrictive or broad, depending on if you think of it). I want something that is gonna react a lot to the subtler qualities of the natural sound of the electric bass (not really acoustic-natural, but just the sounds that tend to come out of the electric bass) like the timbre of the harmonics in relation to the regular tones, or different timbres of the strings. I really have a kind of loose idea of what I'm looking for, but I've heard a lot of stuff I don't like, which I'll detail in the next paragraph. I want something I can work with and create off of, but not something I'll have to relearn the bass for. Something that's pretty characteristic, not necessarily a multi-effect processor, and something I can play fast on and still have it distinguish the individual tones, but can play slow and have it stay rich.

    I hung around my local Guitar Center a few days and tried out the stuff they had there, the Boss ME-50B, Digitech pedals and multi-effect processors, MXR-M80, of the more memorable ones. The store guy was really recommending the M80 but I played it for a while and just couldn't like it that much. It's sweet-or-gritty sound wasn't what I wanted. I was diggin the synth effects on the ME-50B, but wanted more control over the sounds than what it had, and also it was loaded with stuff I wouldn't use anyway and $300 is too much for me. I think I remember liking a few of the other multi-effect processors' settings, but again, not enough control over the single effects and too many things I wouldn't use. Pretty much most popular guitar-ish effects are ruled out, like I doubt I'll like any drives. I ended up taking home a Digitech Bass Synth Wah pedal and a MXR Phase 90, but realized that the pedal wasn't what I wanted. Foremost because I really don't like the octave doubling features which it almost always uses, I doubt I'd want that in an effect. A lot of the more likeable effects are so foggy that it's impossible to tell the difference between octaves at all, too. It sounds too un-bass-ish. Not that I'm going for THAT much of a natural sound, but not something that sounds like an entirely different instrument. I like the range of sounds it can get, but at least half of them are too far-out, and the others are killed by the octave doubling.

    That's what I can describe about what I'm looking for in an effect. It's pretty vague and scattershot I know, but it leaves probably enough space for recommendations at least. So, it should be something, preferably singular, that can stay interesting for a long time. References don't have to stick exactly to what I've described, since I might have accidently ruled out some good possibilities, but use your judgement about what might be right for me or not. I want to build off of this thing. And keep it relatively inexpensive, please. I've got college to pay for.




    PS Along with the Synth Wah and Phaser I've also got a crybaby bass wah from a while ago, so using the individual positions of its pedal is an option.


    Edit: and if it sounds like I need a whole new bass, just say so and give a recommendation anyway cause I'm not made of money, fool.
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    You lost me. I don't know what you want. :(
     
  3. maybe a chorus pedal?
     
  4. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
  5. Sundance

    Sundance

    Jul 24, 2004
    Chorus might be nice, I liked the sound of the samples I heard Digi XBC Multi Chorus Pedal (if they don't have samples at Digitech's site, which they probably do, then they definetly have them at musiciansfriend.com). That paralooper looks pretty interesting, but maybe not worth the time to build one. If it's actually for sale somewhere, which I guess it's not, it would be worth the time to check it out. And I've never tried to biuld anything electronic before really so if I tried, it would probably fry something or take a million tries to get a half-decent version of what it is supposed to be. Anymore suggestions, criticisms of chorus, or places I can get samples?
     
  6. Sundance

    Sundance

    Jul 24, 2004
    Actually it looks like I'm going to try and build that paraloop thing. I talked to my parents, one of which is a robotics engineer and the other a sound optician for the army (a pefect mix for a project like this) and I'm going to try to make it with their and some others' help. I mean, by what the site described, it pretty much is what I'm looking for. I'll see if I can get them to improve on it too, if possible.
     
  7. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Or, if you decide not to build it, I believe you can buy Loooper pedals with blend controls built in.
     
  8. Sundance

    Sundance

    Jul 24, 2004
    Ah, while I'm at it, anyone have schems for a chorus effect, maybe a non-wah synth too? Might as well go to town with this stuff.
     
  9. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I got one, it's not a real blend control, it's just a linear pot. Worthless. Good as a loop pedal but the blend is bogus.
     
  10. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Here's another that looks simpler if you're going to try yourself.

    http://www.runoffgroove.com/splitter-blend.html
     
  11. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    What do mean by "linear pot"? What exactly does it do?

    Is it just like a volume pot controlling the signal level let through to the effect?
     
  12. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Linear vs. audio taper, it just has to do with the way a pot adds resistence. Evenly or bunched to one side.

    Any ways he has it set up to blend two signals in parallel which is already leads to a volume drop with both at full volume and to make it worse at the 50/50 mix point both are at half volume which I think leads to the many complaints about it being real quiet in the middle of the blend.
     
  13. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Ohh, I gotcha. Yeah that doesn't seem like it would work very well.