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Searching for the "right" multi-effects pedal- insights?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by The513Sojourner, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. The513Sojourner


    May 31, 2011

    I play in a sort of post-punk/shoegaze/punk/synth/alt-rock sort of band. Basically a mash of Joy Division, A Place To Bury Strangers, and The Cure, with some Helmet, Exploited, Wolfsheim, Front242, and Jane's Addiction tossed in for good measure.

    All that being said, I'm looking for a cheap'ish multi-effects pedal to throw some difference into the mix. I've went from manufacturer's site to manufacturer's site. Scoured YouTube (where most of the recorded audio is less than optimal for comparisons), and more. The problem is there's a sea of options and I'm not finding the needle in the haystack. So here's hoping someone from TB can narrow the field a bit! I'd love to find a single mullti-pedal with the following:

    1) A computer interface- I'd really prefer to tweak the sounds, or at the very least store my customs, via a computer. The thought of tapping pedals and twisting buttons over and over seems tedious. A few sliders and mouse-clicks would be ideal. I do *not* need the USB for recording or anything, just really want it for tweaking/saving.

    2) Price- While I'd love a Digitech iPB-10 (the one that uses an iPad), $500 is more than I'd care to spend. I suppose I could also buy a bunch of individual pedals, but that too gets costly. Something sub $250 would be great.

    3) Synth- I would almost kill for a synth sound that would get me REALLY close to the sound of an old Moog Taurus bass pedal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moog_Taurus).

    4) Distortion

    5) Chorus- Something that can get me in the same zipcode as Hookey (Peter Hook, bassist of Joy Division). It doesn't have to be exactly the same. This is an original band after all...

    6) A Wah pedal- Not so much for true wah capabilities, but for the ability to stroke/sculpt a sound on the fly. I like the idea of the tactile ability to change sound on the fly, rather than bend over and twist a knob.

    7) Connectivity- Some sort of D.I. type ability so I can run direct-in to our board is nearly a must-have.

    8) Surprises- I'm not exceedingly well versed in effects. Most of my background is in 80's punk, so effects never really concerned me. Now I'm a bit older and branching out, and would welcome the ability to try out a few of the "other" effects such a unit will probably have on-board.

    So what is it? An old Digitech BP-8? A Digitech BP-355? Maybe a Boss or Korg something or another? Obviously you can see I'm not dead set on it having all of the 8 criteria listed above, but the closer to having all 8 on-board the better.

  2. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I'm digging the Zoom B3. It can do a lot. However, dirt from a digital pedal can be a tall order. I like the SVT model OK.
    Also, synth patches per se have tracking issues but the Moog envelope filter model gets me a warm synthesque vibe that I really like. I haven't much liked the filters on other multi effects that I've tried.
  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I would recommend the Zoom B3 too. I haven't tried it myself, but from what I've seen and heard it's a great cheap unit with a huge filter/synth section.
  4. I would say Zoom B3 too. Buy one used and get a distortion pedal used too and you will fly in under your $250. Oh yeah, and a Moog expression pedal so you can make use of the Wah.
    That would pretty much nail all of your criteria. You won't get a real Moog sound out of digital multi but it does have synth sounds based off of a Moog, as well as a filter based off of a Moog too. You can make some really neat patches. A lot of the Stock ones kind of suck.
  5. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    Sounds like zoom b3, ihavent had tracking issue but it has all the things that you want from thepedal.
  6. godblender

    godblender Banned

    Mar 11, 2009
    Whatever direction you do decide to go with regards to effects, I'd sure like to hear some clips of your band! Joy Division and The Cure have been huge sources of inspiration for me and I'd be interested to hear how they've influenced the sound of your band. I'm also confident that I won't read about many other Front 242 inspired bassist around here any time soon. :bassist:

    I personally haven't tried the B3 but most everything I've read on it has been very very positive. I do own the Line 6 M9 (which you can find used for around $250-275) and find it to be very useful in my setup. The distortions aren't particularly good but there is plenty that is. The modulations, delays and even the reverbs work nicely for my purposes. The bass octaver is great and it has some cool synth effects that can be used to good effect if you mess around with settings, or in conjunction with other effects etc. I also like the looper. You need an expression pedal to get the most out of it. Good luck.
  7. Digitech, Boss, Line 6 and Zoom all make good to excellent units and they have made serious strides over the years. There is not a be all end all solution (yet) digital is digital and sometimes analog has a better character.

    I am in the Zoom camp, once you grok the controls there is not much you cannot get. I like the synth sounds the Zoom B2 or B2.1u can get, I don't even take my old BMS to gigs anymore. With the exception of the distortion the Zoom fits most of my needs, the Zoom distortion sounds are pretty good but my preference is still to add analog fuzz and Bass Balls to a Zoom.
    The Zoom B2.1u or the B9ut will give you all the foot control along with versatile outputs.
  8. The513Sojourner


    May 31, 2011
    JD, Cure, LARD, Jane's, Front 242, Sisters Of Mercy, and maybe a little Einstürzende Neubauten if we can find a spare set of hands to handle the found/improvised instruments. I'll make a note to send you a PM when we get some material recorded! :smug:

    I ordered the Zoom B3 and the optional expression pedal last night. Before now I hadn't even looked into it. I'll give it a go and try to remember to come back and post my thoughts on it. From what I've ready and seen in the demo, it looks like it will fit the bill quite nicely. Thanks for the suggestion!
  9. I'd go with whichever pedal has the best reverb/delay/modulation patches. Then get a separate fuzz/distortion pedal. I have never heard anyone get a decent bass fuzz out of any multi-effects box.
    It seems they are all geared towards sounding awesome in headphones, or on a solo-ed instrument. But when played through an amp they have that "disappearing bass" phenomenon, which to be fair, a lot of plain old fuzz boxes have as well.
  10. StyleFreaK


    Nov 15, 2011
    Go B3+ expression pedal. Lovely synths on the thing, almost all the stomp boxes are usable, good amp sims and above average distortions

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