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So, I'm in. Here's what I have. What's next?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by two fingers, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Octaver

    37 vote(s)
  2. Some sort of blend-capable drive

    14 vote(s)
  3. Something else (please explain)

    20 vote(s)
  4. Gardner Carrotizer 2000...cuz it's crunchy.

    19 vote(s)
  1. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Edit: Big update on page 8!!!! Pedals have been bought. The journey has begun. Thanks for all of the advice!

    I put off diving into the pedal thing for years simply because I am ignorant as to what they do and when to use them effectively. And, for those of you who have been into them for years, surely you must understand that starting from scratch these days is....overwhelming.

    The amount of information out there is insane.

    Reviews are mostly either overly positive or insanely negative.

    But the EHX Black Finger I recently acquired has me rethinking things. (Thanks again @NoiseNinja ) I dig it. It is super useful as either a simple tube pre, a tube overdrive, a compressor, etc. It will do whatever you need it to in that regard. (Mine has zero noise issues that are commonly mentioned in reviews.)

    And, of course, I have a tuner pedal.

    I play fill-in gigs a lot. I cover everything from classic rock and modern country to funk soul and R&B. I play Praise and Worship in a modern music oriented church.

    Heads are the Mesa Walkabout, Ashdown LB30, and a really cool old heavily modded Fender PA100.

    Basses are mostly P basses....and my newly acquired Hammersmith 5 string with a P at the neck and a dual coil at the bridge wired to a series/single/parallel switch. All passive. (rig pic below)

    I usually like old-school tones. But I am open-minded here. I'm all set for EQ. Between the onboard preamps on my heads and the controls on my basses, boosting and cutting of frequencies is not something I need from a pedal....again, for now.

    I rarely slap. I can do it, but rarely find the need. I don't see a synth being useful for me at this point. I won't use really "out there" tones likely. So synths and envelopes (while fun) would probably collect dust in my world.....at least for now. But I can be swayed if given reasons and examples of how/when to use it.

    Other than that, I hit a bass all kinds of ways. Pick, finger, thumb, you name it. I pluck from the bridge to over the neck and all points in between.

    A friend told me a lot of bassists, even in Nashville, use some (usually modded) version of a Tube Screamer with the drive mostly off. I also like the idea of the Billy Sheehan Sig pedal with a blend to send both drive and clean to the FOH. I wouldn't use it to sound like him, but several videos I have watched demonstrate tones I could use easily. The Tube Screamer "Mix" knob is a blend too, I'm assuming?

    The idea of an down octave octaver seems really useful to me, especially in the three piece bands I work with, in an effort to fill up some sonic space.

    OK, I'll shut up and get to the question.

    What's next on my board? Other than the compression/drive/tube pre available on the one pedal I have, what what would be your go-to for mainstream music of varying styles? I'm thinking two more, and some sort of board, for now will get me done until I spend some time learning and figuring out how this stuff works into my sound....and a band mix. I also need to learn how to conveniently and neatly get power to everything. Cable stew will drive me nuts.

    Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding with a 45 year old pedal noob. :D

    last night with rig.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Also, I was thinking of grabbing a nice DI to put on the board as well so everything is wired up ready to go. That way on gigs where I use no amp I can go right to the board and when I do use an amp I can split signals and run both the DI off the board and a signal from my amp line out. Probably a Radial?
    wmmj and Stumbo like this.
  3. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I vote octaver. Reason being that it never really gets old and as you say, fill some good sonic space.

    I'm a filter nut, and it can be a really awesome tool for tone shaping, subtle dynamic accenting, or just wild out there sonic mayhem.

    Whatever the effect, just remember you don't need all the dials at 10, lots of the magic happens at other settings.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    What's your octaver of choice?

    Thanks for the advice.
  5. JRA

    JRA what key? Supporting Member

    sounds like you're off to the races!

    i can't offer you much in the way of advice/counsel on the pedal thing: i'm not exactly a noob, but still a 'conservative' in that i don't use a lot of pedal efx. also: i'm playing fretless (mostly jazz/fusion), so my pedals are meant for soloing, typically. they are, however: chorus, reverb, and a cheap octave pedal for which i have not found a use, in my band...yet.

    a lot of fretless players are endorsing the chorus/reverb thing, i think, but it seems like the chorus could/would also be useful on fretted. i have been interested in the 'synth' bass pedals (and the discussions of them here on TB), but the "good ones" all seem pricey --- if used rarely.

    it's all i got, man! it will be interesting to see where you go with this: good luck! :thumbsup:
    two fingers likes this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah it seems we're in the same place, even if different styles. The journey begins!

    I considered a chorus. And I will tuck that away. It will probably end up on the board at some point.

    JRA likes this.
  7. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    A touch of chorus will blend nicely with your needs, along with the octave pedal.

    After that, I'd sit tight until you get a better handle on what you'd like to hear from your rig.
  8. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    For me, I've always chosen pedals based on songs I needed them for, not just to have in the abstract. One of my first was a chorus to try and cop a Chris-Squire-like tone playing Yes songs like Starship Trooper, for instance. So my question is, is there a song you plan to play that you can't get the right tone on with the setup you have? If so, see if there's a pedal that gets that tone. If not, save your money and take your wife out on a nice date.
    BassFace13, Bodeanly, Eikari and 3 others like this.
  9. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Good advice. My wife really likes a nice date. :D But it would be even better (for me) if I could bore her to death blabbering on about my new pedal over beer and wings. :roflmao:

    The main one I have thought about for a while as being "missing" in my signal chain has been the octaver. Several songs in modern country and P&W clearly have two octaves of bass going. I have tried to get around that by sending one bright clean channel from the bass and a fatter, more "boomy", channel from my head and letting the sound guy blend at the board. It doesn't really capture the same sound but sort of "fakes it" close enough in many cases.
    wmmj, hrodbert696 and bassistjoe93 like this.
  10. I'll add a vote for a chorus pedal. It's my newest addition and I already use it more than any other pedal.

    I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. Just a drive pedal and tuner. Here's where I am now if this helps.

    Octave pedal: Aguilar Octamizer. Separate level controls for dry and wet signal. Blend both together for classic octave down sound. Wet signal with no dry signal for a a nice synth tone.

    Chorus: Hartke chorus. Insanely cheap but reliable and sounds great. Very musical. My cheapest pedal but the sound I get asked about the most after shows. I think I paid 50$ new.

    DI box: Radial JDI . Rugged and reliable. Smooth and warm sound from the Jensen transformer inside. Sound guys are very appreciative when they see it.

    Pedal power supply: MXR ISO brick. This has been a very important purchase for me this year. Previously I had way to much noise powering my pedals with a One Spot and I tended to not use my pedal board. It also cut out at some gigs. Since I added the Mxr, the board is perfectly quiet and I bring all my pedals to every gig with no problems.

    Pedal board: Pedaltrain Jr . I fit 6 pedals and the power supply on top. Could probably fit 2 more on top if I attached the power supply underneath but I don't need the space. Have used this board for 3 years no problem.

    Hope this helps you.

  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It does help. Thanks!
    LukeSlywalker likes this.
  12. Blu bro

    Blu bro

    Mar 1, 2012
    Totally agree. Radial DI and octave pedal are a great start.
    Plenty to choose from. I would stick with analog octave pedals. The classic one is the Boss OC-2.
    hintz and LukeSlywalker like this.
  13. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    As for power supplies; after some research, I went with a One Spot Pro.

    It has an internal switching system that allows you to exceed the rated power of each outlet, while still being noise free.

    And it's less expensive than comparable units.

    1 SPOT® Pro CS12 | Truetone
    SLO Surfer and two fingers like this.
  14. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
  15. Jakeman

    Jakeman Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    New Orleans, LA
    +1. Incredibly useful supply. Love the sag outlet.
    tfer and two fingers like this.
  16. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    @two fingers, we're on a similar journey. I just started toying with pedals about 2 years ago. You have the compressor already with the EHX Black Finger. From your postings, I think I get what you normally are playing and the sounds you're probably looking to achieve.

    I don't like a lot of overdrive or distortion. Just was never the sound in my head I was looking for. BUT I do really like the Darkglass Vintage Microtubes pedal. It's not really pricey and can give you tube warmth with different "eras" as a starting point to experiment with. For more classic rock settings, it's an always on pedal for me (dialed pretty mildly at that). For funk/fusion, I only like it when I mix it with an envelope filter (and I really dig the MXR envelope filter with this OD and a MXR octave pedal together. It gets me a fairly synth bass sound that I like a lot).

    I would suggest an octave pedal next. I have two that I use, the EHX Micro POG, and the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe. The POG has its uses, but for me, it's somewhat limited and limiting. I use the MXR BOD quite a bit more frequently. Look, I know there are 1000's of options and opinions out there, but for me, this one just got the sound I wanted.

    Not sure if this helps much, just my 2 pennies.
    oren, Milo's and two fingers like this.
  17. Pumpkin


    May 19, 2016
    Washington, DC
    Fun times are ahead!

    I think you're on the right track looking for a drive and pedal that work for you. I have the Billy Sheehan signature drive and ime it's waaaaay more 80's crunchy high gain in person than it is in the demos. I have the first gen purple box but do not have experience with the subsequent gen brown box versions. If you do go down that road be aware that most players I've heard talk about the Sheehan pedal like the brown version and hate the purple one. The difference between the two is not just the color of the housing. Do you know what your OD goals are? There's so many options that you can get lost in funhouse mirrors without a plan.

    As for Octave- make sure you try out what you're looking at and see how it tracks. I use an MXR bass octaver deluxe and it's pretty great. It's biggest strength is probably it's clean channel- you really can get a sub sound with your clean tone poking through. IME that's consistnent acorss MXR pedals, so if that's your goal I would check their options out. I'm looking into a Boss OC-2 or OC-3 because they have a reputation for procuding a very synthy octave and I like that.
    two fingers likes this.
  18. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Thanks man. Yeah at this point, any real-world experiences are appreciated.
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  19. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    A Golden Delicious next!

    Oops, wrong thread...
    Chicory Blue likes this.
  20. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    You are welcome :)

    The Black Finger is my own favorite pedal as in it is the only pedal I own that I truly would have a hard time doing without.

    So maybe you don't need more?

    It will depend on the music you are playing, the context, and your personal preference in tone though, a whole lot in fact.

    I just made the jump and cut off most of the dirt effects in my rig as well as my Zoom B3 multi effect that took care of everything else (mind not perfectly, but it still did a decent job emulating different effects), since I found out I would not really come to use them in the main band I play in at the time being, a classic power trio consisting of drums, guitar and bass, playing heavy slow dark rock.

    I will still bring all my effects when I rehearse ones in a while with the jam trio consisting of drums, keys and bass that I play in though, as I found out effects are much more useful in that context.

    What I did keep for my main bi-amping rig was the Black Finger going to my SS part, and then a graphic EQ (Behringer BEQ700), a flanger (Monarch MFL-22) and an overdrive (Joyo Orange Juice) going to the tube amp part of my rig.

    All above mentioned are always on pedals and not really obvious effects in the mix, more like flavor and tone shaping in addition to the base tone of my rig. Also the flanger is set to a more chorusish setting, but still not really obvious in the mix, just really for fattening my tone up further a bit.

    One more pedal though that I use with my main rig:
    I just acquired a chorus (Boss CE-5).
    That one goes before the Black Finger into my solid state amp and is used as a real obvious effect to spice up my tone on more melodic/soft parts, as I wasn't satisfied with any of the choruses my Zoom B3 offered.

    So speaking from my own point of view I would advise you maybe to try out a chorus and/or a flanger.

    Flangers I have really no idea what is best, just recently discovered how nice an effect it is, after beginning to include an old pedal I had lying around in my setup (The flanger I got is not in production anymore).

    All I can say about flangers is that they will be able to produce a chorus effect as well, although it wont be as versatile as a chorus effect as a real dedicated one.

    Of choruses I would personally recommend the EHX Bass Clone, really lush sounding and versatile chorus.

    Although the Boss CE-5 is not bad either.

    Only reason I bought that over the Bass Clone though, was that I got a good offer.

    Maybe best advice I can give is to look up different effects on YouTube and then come back when you know which type of effects you are interested in and get more specific advise on those.

    Effects as general topic is almost too comprehensive to give a sound advise just based on that.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
    two fingers likes this.