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Suggestion on effect for solo bass sound

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by karla684, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Hi,

    I play in a jazz funk/fusion band. My pedal board covers all my needs except for a tone for bass solos. I currently use [sfx] Micro Red Dragon, mk II for this. A great pedal, but a little rough around the edges for this purpose.

    I'm open to ideas, but what I'm looking for must involve a volume boost, preferably some mild compression (added sustain), but still retain the note attack (i.e. some touch sensitivity).
    It doesn't matter if it looses some low end, perhaps that's even a bonus?! I'm looking for something clear and open sounding, but some clipping/distortion could be fine (as long as it doesn't muddy up the sound).
    A small or relatively small footprint would be good as well.

    Current thoughts on pedals I'm gonna try:
    EWS BMC2 (Bass Mid Control 2)
    Wampler Tumnus

    Any other ideas on pedals or pedal types I should consider?
    I play a Warwick Corvette Std 6-string.

  2. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    I would consider a Source Audio Aftershock for your dirt needs. It pretty much covers the whole dirt spectrum in one fantastic box, it gets even more expansive if you plug it into a laptop and play around with the variables. I would also consider a Zoom MS 70CDR for your ambient needs. It's a great modeller and really is a poor man's Eventide H9. The only thing lacking on it is some external expression control. If you have deep pockets, then an Eventide H9 max with all the fruit is the way to go.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    bassbrad likes this.
  3. Thanks for the suggestion! I think I should clarify what I'm looking for. So rather than going for pedals that inherit a multitude of sounds, I'm looking for a one-trick pony (more or less), only dedicated to bass solos.

    But you've got a point regarding ambience.
    Is there a pedal that incorporates reverb or delay together with tone shaping and/or distortion/clipping that would be a bonus. I've been eyeing the Mad Professor Golden Cello, and will try to test that one as well. Are there other options like that? And again, to clarify, I am not looking for a big reverb or delay sound in that case, but rather something that helps lift the solo tone above the rest of the mix.

  4. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    The MS60B has all that, preamps, amp modeling, reverb, delay, chorus, dirt (the dirt isnt that great but if you spend enough time with it, you can get some decent sounds IMO), EQ and comp. Now it's not the greatest sounds mind you, but I feel they are well enough for what you're buying/spending.

    That BMS would be great if you're simply trying to stick out more. What it sounds to me like you need is a good boost. I would recommend the Sounthampton Fifth Gear. Talk about awesome. Its simple and very effective. It adds some girth and clarity with some added grit and volume. I would use mine all the time but I already use a lot of dirt and preamps so it starts to get mushy if I add the FG to it. But I really think the FG is what you're after.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    karla684 likes this.
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    There are some others that come to mind too. The Pork Loin is a great one, but modded. I did that JohnK single cap swap out on mine and it ended up turning into one of my all time fav ODs. But it can be used in other ways too. It sounds to me like you just need/want to stick out more. I think a good preamp, boost or OD would do this. It just depends on what you particularly want to spend and how much space you have.

    Heck, even the TC Spectrecomp will do what you're after. It has a number of great tone prints to help give you a boost or poke through in the mix better. There is one that my buddy @bassmusic17 uses as a sort of mid boost in spots to help him turn on the heat. I can't remember the tone print though ATM. That is also another idea. I know I use the TC comp as an enhancer/comp and it really shines here.
    karla684 likes this.
  6. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    For a less common choice, I use a Polytope for either clean or dirty parts when I want the bass to jump out a bit more in the mix. At mild settings, the Polytope is essentially a pitch-shifter style chorus that adds a healthy dose of high-end "chime." While the pedal can be weird at many settings, it is flexible enough to dial it down to a subtle effect that does not generate 80's chorus pedal flashbacks. Also, the Polytope has separate volume controls for the effected and clean signals with a lot of volume on tap, so it is easy to dial in a small (or large) boost. As an added bonus, it stacks great on top of overdrive or fuzz if you really want to push yourself out there with a tone that can compete with any guitar solo.
  7. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Have you looked at the Moog MF-Delay?

    Otherwise I would go for a smooth light OD like an OCD style pedal. As you say the low end loss isn't that big a deal in the solo, but the added mids and gentle breakup will highlight you without being obnoxious. Keep the gain really low.

    I've used a Low pass filter in the past with some added resonance, set to a gentle sweep of the higher frequency range... can work well too... a bit of dirt going into it helps too... or after even.

    You are also playing a Warwick - what if you just played the bridge pickup, bass rolled off a bit with a boost?
    karla684 and gregmon79 like this.
  8. If your not looking for the aftershock ( of which I would say the tube setting could definitely be used as a boost ), my go to for this is using cog 66 mini ( which boosts my low mids and general sound anyway) with a ceb3 on pretty much all knobs at noon except with the bass on full cut. The slap and pop parts I play and few really high lines cut through the mix.
    karla684 likes this.
  9. I'd go for some subtle modulation like a univibe that can be used with or without dirt.

    I'd you can do the greatest option and use a ring mod...

    Just saying...
    karla684 and skydivingninja like this.
  10. For jazz/fusion I might look at an analog delay (or digital with short repeats), modulation like phaser or chorus, or just a clean (or colored) boost pedal like the DOD 410/FX10, MXR Micro Amp, or TC Spark Booster. The EHX Bass Soul Food can also be used as a good clean boost, or you can turn the drive down, blend all the way up, and then adjust the tone how you'd like.
    karla684 and gregmon79 like this.
  11. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Very good call, the OCD. Totally agree with that.
    Alien8 likes this.
  12. GMC


    Jan 1, 2006
    I guess it depends on what kind of solo we are talking about here. Smooth jazz, hard rock or ambient swells? All would have a very different suit of pedals and settings. As much as I like an OCD, I don't think I would ever call it a light OD...it's on the heavier OD into Fuzz territory. Which can sound great in a solo if that's your thang. Personally, I like either a bright RAT sound or Gated Fuzz for a bright and punchy 12 fret solo, pop a bit of reverb on the end of that it it sound sweet.
    karla684 likes this.
  13. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I would consider some sort of light overdrive.

    Personally I would chose a Joyo Orange Juice, cause it's got this raw raunchy gnarly tone to it, although in your case you would probably be better off with something more subtle, mellow and smooth like the EHX Bass Sould Food.

    But I guess you already found out, as well as your preferred overdrive tone with the Wampler Tumnus.

    That really only leaves chorus as an obvious effect, and here I would probably go for an EHX Bass Clone.

    Although some sort of compressor might come into handy too, to make your solo tone stand out as more defined and pronounced.

    Otherwise, I guess it is only your imagination that sets the limits, at least I can't imagine any applyed effects, set right, in the right context and blend that wouldn't be able to bring something unique to your solos that could potentially lift them even further up, but the ones above I would say are the obvious effects that I wouldn't be without in your case.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    karla684 and gregmon79 like this.
  14. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I played a gig with my jazz funk/fusion band last night.
    My solo pedal is an EQ set to cut low end but bring up the overall volume.
    Does all of the above.
  15. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    @karla684 , I play most often in that jazz/funk fusion genre and have been swapping pedals in and out chasing a solo tone also. Not sure I can suggest a one trick pony, and I really don't like OD by itself for the genre. I've been really happy with MXR's M87 bass compressor to control the attack/sustain... and it's pretty solid for slap and pop funk too. I also will blend in either an EHX Micro POG (dialed in really mildly) or the MXR M288 bass octave deluxe (also dialed in just enough for a mild effect). I use the MXR M82 envelope filter also, but not usually for soloing, more for pounding out grooves. And with the envelope filter, I sometimes mix in a Darkglass Microtubes OD, but just subtly. OD does mix with the envelope filter well. Just don't like OD by itself for that genre.
    Helix and karla684 like this.
  16. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    Any pedal with a usable dynamic drive range, turned to a minimum will produce a light, just on the edge of breakup. I use my RAT with the drive very near to minimum, and did the same with my OCD and both were in the same realm as the fifth gear / ToneHammer range. Barely a breakup.

    The stereo types that are placed on pedals can be misleading.
    gregmon79 likes this.
  17. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Not the Fulltone OCD. That does not do a fuzz. Not IMO anyway. And it can do a light OD. But fuzz is not what I think of when I think of the OCD. Now I have played a couple OCD clones that can get pretty saturated. But that was not my exp with the Fulltone.

    I'm just saying because I do agree with @Alien8 in that the OCD can help the OP get to where he wants to get to. I wouldnt want him strayed away from a great ave is all.
  18. Hi all,

    OP here. Thanks for all the great suggestions. It has given me some ideas to try out. I thought I was asking for the next pedal to buy, but with all the great ideas, I will start trying different concepts with pedals I already own (which are far too many already). When I find a sound/concept I like, I might search deeper to find the perfect pedal.

    The idea to use modulation (Polytope, vibe or chorus) is great. I've got the EQD The Depths which I will try out. It's got lots of different sounds to have solos getting some natural movement. It can also be tweaked with different eq voicing and has crazy amount of volume boost available as well.

    The thought to use only a volume boost, or combined with a low pass filter is also good. I'll try my Xotic EP Booster and Broughton H/LPF, and see if they'll fly.

    Regarding the Fifth Gear, I think that is similar to what I'm expecting from the Tumnus. A mild od with mid boost, right?! Would you consider the Fifth Gear smooth or farty? I've got quite a few overdrive pedals that I really like, but I tend to lean towards the farty type of pedals (Barbershop, SFT, Micro Red Dragon, etc.) and for the current purpose I think I want a
    smoother sound.
    I've got a Wampler Ecstasy (Euphoria) which is smoother. I will bring that one to rehearsal and try as well.
    I did own an OCD once, but it was a long time ago. I did like it, but got rid of it due to minor low end loss. Might be worth looking into again...

    About the delay suggestions. I've got a Strymon El Capistan on my board. Main intention is to use it to get a bigger sound when playing chord like things behind the guitar solo e.g. But I might use it for solos as well. I have tried the Moog MF Drive and Chorus and think they are absolutely brilliant, but I don't intend to add another delay to the board at the moment.

    My current board looks like this (except I'm lacking an actual board :)):

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I will let you know how it goes.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  19. ...and then I only need to learn how to play decent solos as well... :)

    I'm really new to the whole improvised jazz soloing stuff. But I think that's why I really wish for a great sound that will inspire me when improvising. I won't be able to fake it if I don't feel it. Probably won't be able to do it anyways, but with a great sound I'll at least enjoy trying :)

    Thanks again!
  20. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    I think it would be worth trying the Durham Sex Drive, it has compression and OD in one pedal. Can give yourself a little volume boost, some added sustain, and a touch of grit all with one stomp of the foot.
    karla684 likes this.

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