String Theory vs Effect

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 4StringAxe, May 26, 2012.

  1. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    Had a bass playing friend over the other day, so naturally we jammed for a while. He kicked on my OC-2 and after a few minutes commented on how he doesn't like the way Octave pedals track with round wound strings, I took over and showed him I had no issues using it with the same bass. So then we switched to a bass strung with flats ... again I had no problems and with the flats neither did he. So it made me wonder if any of you have any preference concerning Sting brand / type when it came to using effets of any type. I don't want to start a flats vs round debate or effects vs plugging straight into the amp :rollno:. Just wondering what the people in my favorite forum thought. :D
  2. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Octave pedals are especially sensitive to a good clean technique. I would suspect your buddy's approach generates too much hash for the circuitry to be able to easily recognize the fundamental pitch.

    I had a good friend who could never use an envelope filter for similar reasons. You do have to adapt your technique (even if you do it unwittingly) to the effects.

    But strings? No difference...

  3. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    Well, I admit I did not mention to him that his technique is some what sloppy compared to me. I just let him clank away for a bit. I realized technique with a octiave pedal is vital as soon as I got it, I never thought about string type till he mentioned it. Thanks for the reply :bassist:
  4. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Flatwounds would, I think, have more fundamental relative to the higher overtones than rounds. Maybe that would make it easier for the pedal to track. Just a theory. Of course technique and the rest of the signal chain could make a difference as well.
  5. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    That sounds right to me.
  6. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    Have 2 basses (flats and rounds) and it seems certain effects can be further manipulated by the type of string. Here is what I have found...

    Rounds vs flats.

    Fuzz:R: more bite,zingier,grindier, F: better for doom,mushier fuzz
    Octave:R: slight lose of tracking, makes synth mod more pronounced (on OC-2), F: better tracking, more ooomph
    Filters:R: slightly more pronounced when sweeping a higher freq, F: slightly easier to trigger filter, pronounced low-end sweep.
    Pitch-shifter:R: slightly more warbly on those minor chords/weird double stops, F:loses some of that digital-tone and makes it a little better (HOG rocks though) with less warbles.
    Phasing: R: makes it much more pronounced, F: can be lost esp. with tone dimmed.
    Flanging: R: once again more pronounced,F: flanging seems to remain mostly unchanged.
    Chorus: no changes IMHO
    Echo/Delay: no changes IMHO....

  7. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    Interesting comments so far. I have no gig tonight so maybe I'll do some a and b comparisons with my effects such as Sillyfabe as mentioned. See how many fundamental differences I hear with each effect vs string type. Though my basses have different out put, which I would imagine will all so have an impact for certain effects. My main bass is a Fender RH Jazz with Ernie Ball hybrid rounds, The other is a Fender P with chromes.
  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Where does physics come in to all this?
  9. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    LOL .... Just sounded good for a thread title. Figured it would get more attention then it deserves this way ;)
  10. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    you should just plug straight into the amp. haha.

    in my experience, with my bass, hands, technique, etc... whenever i switch back and forth from rounds to flats, i notice that the flats maintain a little more punch through the signal chain, but that i have less sustain and have to work a little harder to get long synth type sounds. rounds i can kinda rock out a little more and it still works, whereas flats i tend to play slightly more deliberately. subtle changes, but changes nonetheless...

  11. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    With flats I've noticed tracked notes hang on quite a bit longer on the OC-2 before they start warbling. We had a tune we recorded last year that I actually couldn't record on my Thumb because of a long note on the OC-2, but my Squier with flats did the job.
  12. JohnDavisNYC


    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    weird... for me it's the opposite.... but i'm also generally talking about the same bass (my old jazz bass) but with different strings. my tone is always off all the way, too.

  13. 4StringAxe


    Jul 27, 2009
    So I guess it is just the combination of things with technique being the major factor.
    Interesting to learn I may have a better technique than my buddy, but he may have a better ear. Thanks for the comments people !
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