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Ska bassist new to the pedal game. Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by asawisemansaid, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. asawisemansaid


    Jan 3, 2012
    Hey all.
    I am a bassist in a ska/punk band with a lot of jazz and reggae influence and I am looking for ways to spice up my playing and tones, but I am sort of new to the pedal game. I have a few already that I've been using and a few ideas on what I might want to get but I was wondering what you guys might suggest.

    As of right now my rig is:
    Fender P special modified by adding seymour duncan Vintage Jazz and 3/4 pound P pickups and a leo quan badass III

    Ampeg BA115HP

    Sansamp Programmable Bass Driver DI - which I use both as a DI when needed and as a pedal to adjust my tone to the song/section and some volume boosting

    Boss TU-2

    As for pedals I have in mind, I am thinking a Boss oc-3 could sound cool for some reggae parts and solos I do, the Tech 21 Bass Boost Chorus for some more interesting effects (honestly, don't know when I'd use it off hand, but I really like the sounds I've heard off of it), MXR Bass Compressor for...well... compression, and probably a verb and delay, which I haven't decided on what I want yet.

    I am really hoping for some ideas or comments on my ideas for my stylistic purpose. One of the things that's been so tough about shopping for pedals is that every review or comparison video I see caters largely to funk and prog players, and while they get awesome sounds and drop killer licks everywhere, its hard to apply what they're doing to the style of music my band is playing.

    Thanks for your time!
  2. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    I'm a fan of a little overdrive (although I have a bit of buyer's remorse over my SansAmp BDDI. The EQing it does leaves me cold and I wish I would have got a Tone Hammer instead.) I'm a fan of compression, too, and I love, love, love my MXR compressor. Throw in a good pedal tuner and..what else do you need? I have an envelope filter, but I'm not sure that's gonna be your thing...

    I don't care for choruses or delays on bass, but to each his own.
  3. rratajski

    rratajski Commercial User

    Jul 1, 2008
    Mount Laurel, NJ
    Ditch the sansamp and get a preamp.
    Grab an analog or analog-voiced delay for slapback and jams.
  4. Knettgummi


    Sep 28, 2011
    I'd imagine a delay with tap tempo, such as the boss DD-7, could be cool for ska stuff if used right. If you set the delay to high volume and low feedback, tap the tempo and play sparingly, it can produce some great syncopated rhythms.

    Envelope filters are funk mainstays, but most filters with a sensitivity control can also be tweaked to do that super low/no highs reggae sound.
  5. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Low pass filter for the reggae stuff.
  6. zacwbass


    Jul 13, 2010
    I think a key thing to do whilst shopping for pedals is to really get into the language of effects and listen to guys using them in a range of contexts i.e Justin Meldal Johnsen, Jon Evans, Juan Alderete etc and see how they use pedals that are stylistically outside of there chosen fields to their advantage. Then you'll start thinking of ways to make that 'prog' pedal work for your Ska stuff. Sky's the limit mate, best of luck!!
  7. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    My favorite bands include Streetlight Manifesto and Less Than Jake so I can throw in a little knowledge of the genre.

    Overdrive for sure. I had the Sansamp BDDI. It works great for the lower to moderate priced overdrive stuff and the DI option is cool to have. My amp has a DI on it....and I was ready to improve my sound, so I ditched it for a Darkglass B3K. Never looked back. That's totally a way to go if you can throw down the money. I think the B7K has a DI....but that's a good bit of money. Well worth it, though.

    If it's more like a Streetlight type band where it's just you and a guitar and sometimes you're laying it down on your own....I would get a fuzz and a chorus (after the overdrive). If you're in something where there's two guitarists and/or you're not finding yourself alone a lot...the overdrive should be able to handle it. The chorus would be to beef up the rhythm during the slow stuff and the fuzz would beef it up during the heavy. Sets some amazing foundation for the other guys.

    I'm not having much luck with choruses. Most make me want to put on some acid washed jeans and take the frets off my bass and start jamming out some soundtracks to the Highlander series....which would be lame....I'm looking at the Neunaber Chroma Chorus and will pull the trigger, soon. It doesn't have that outdated wobble sound in it and that gives it a fresher more modern sound. As far as fuzz....there's a billion great pedals and it all depends on personal taste. I'm currently hooked on the Fairfield Circuitry Unpleasant Surprise. But again, if you're not having to lay down some rhythm all by your lonesome...a good overdrive will get you where you need to be.

    Delay would be cool for the slow reggae stuff....a la the more reggaeish songs the Mad Caddies put out. I think I would personally place that after the other stuff if I were in your position....I would go overdrive, chorus, fuzz, delay.

    But it all depends on what you're looking for and how much your band is slow or how much it's hard.

    My one advice is don't settle on cheap pedals just so you can get a chorus, fuzz, and delay all at the same time. Listen to a bunch of youtube demos and read the reviews and when you find one you like...save up for it. If you DO have to settle on something...make sure it's a hot item you can easily unload on the classifieds here without that much depreciation.....and buy used from the classifieds.
  8. asawisemansaid


    Jan 3, 2012
    Hey all, thanks for the great responses so far.
    My band does every kind of ska from really old school type stuff and reggae groove instrumentals to 4th wave "punk-with-horns" type stuff, and even a straight up jazz tune with guitar upstroke comping. The lineup is drums, bass, 1 guitar and 5 horns (2 trumpets, trombone alto/tenor sax and bari) so I'm out on an island a lot with space to create. Here is a link to our FB if you're curious.
    The Pandemics (NY SKA!) | Facebook

    Right now one of my settings on my sansamp DI is sort of taking the place of a low pass filter (I know it doesn't work the same, but it is giving me great boom on the reggae stuff), one is set like a tube fuzz to get some growl on punk stuff, and one is just a mostly clean volume boost for solo work or to give extra strength behind choruses and such. I know it's probably not as good as having 3 separate pedals that are designed specifically for each job, but IMO it sounds great so far.

    Looking forward to more suggestions and comments. Everything so far is giving me a lot to consider. Thanks!

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