Uncommon uses for common effects...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Tricaptain, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Tricaptain


    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    Sup, peeps!

    Pardons in advance if this topic has been done (possibly, to death?) before, but hopin' to continue to learn, get new ideas, 'life-hack' sorts of approaches to things. Also, hopin' to hear from everyone 'up and down' the experience chain... from the Jedis to the Padowans.

    WARNING: This conversation 'may' or 'may not' invoke 'GAS'... hopefully, it offers a new perspective on the gear you may already have!

    ...'may' invoke GAS = if you don't already have certain gear...
    ...'may not' invoke GAS = if it makes you look at your current gear differently...

    As we all know, there are 'major categories' of effects (i.e.: Drive, Compression, Filter, Time-based...). Within those major categories, are all the endless rabbit holes we all have so much fun discussing (especially Overdrive... cuz, DANG.).

    So... in looking at the effects you currently own, what kinds of things can you achieve? Are there ways you use your commonly overlooked effects that might be unique?

    For me (which may be 'common' uses already, but just to share)...

    Drive: Sometimes full-on... sometimes to enhance certain frequencies when stacked against other effects that might normally be a bit too mild... sometimes to really, REALLY enhance a Wah… Sometimes, barely any drive at all to sound like a very slightly overdriven amp... speaking of which, sometimes, just used like a pre-amp...

    EQ: Sometimes to mimic a light overdrive by enhancing certain frequencies... also to enhance other effects... sometimes, to soften (or enhance) the sound of my fingers (naturally, this can help with pick players, as well)… EQ 'might' be one of THE most powerful 'effects' a musician could employ.

    Filters: Similar to above; depending on where I set the range, I can mimic an EQ for a unique tone... Chorus *after* a wah pedal can sound craaaaaaaaaaa-zy!...

    Envelope Filters: Sometimes, I can set the swell to be REALLY slow, so that the envelope never fully engages, and I can coax some REALLY, really cool Electronic Dance Music (EDM) bass sounds out of it (it's SO cool how it almost eliminates your initial attack for a faux-keyboard type of sound!)... great for versatile cover band situations (shout to the Digitech Bass Synth Wah! WAAAAAY more powerful a tool than some might think!)...

    Signal Routing: Example, a Boss LS-2 Line Selector... this has to be one of the most AMAZING tools ever created for experimenting and retaining low end while doing so. For those new to effects, sometimes, the Boss LS-2 can be used when you want to dedicate specific effects to a signal chain, separate from another. This is like creating a 'patch' the way one would in a signal processor... but using separate effects makes the experience more modular (at the expense of cabling and real estate, of course!). Another note, sometimes, it's cool to use 2 separate effects on at the same time... but where they don't actually affect each other. Example: You can have an Octave and an Envelope Filter on at the same time. Without a line selector/signal router, the 2 pedals would be in some kind of order... either Octave into Envelope Filter, or EnvFltr into Octave. Naturally, they would affect each other, depending on the order. If they're on their own dedicated signal path (on at the same time), they can be on, and ONLY affect the dry bass signal, yet not be triggered by one another. Just another cool option to try!

    (By the way, magicians never reveal their tricks! So, don't feel obligated to participate in the chat if you mean to keep your tricks under your hat!)

    Final note on this initial post...
    For those really new to this whole thing: Lots of folks are inspired by their favorite artists to chase there sounds. Keep in mind that even if/when you have ALL the gear your favorite artist uses to get 'their sound', remember that it's also in how you actually play the instrument. OH, and most any effect (regardless of how it's marketed) can be used for any sound/signal chain. Additionally, you might be able to get close to their sound with what you might already have!

    Hoping this chat helps to offer some cool new ways to approach it all... and some cool overall insight.

    What say you all?
    Cheers, you guys!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Five ways to use a compressor in place of another pedal:

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  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The EHX Blackfinger makes for a fantastic preamp AND tube overdrive. It is sold as a compressor. But you can turn down the compression low enough that it never kicks in. Goose up the gain a little bit and you get a tube signal "warmer". Hit it again and you get a nice mild overdrive. Dime it and it will get a little angry.

    The downside? Some of them are noisy. Some aren't. There's no way to know until you get one in your hand/on your board.
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  4. Jebberz

    Jebberz Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2012
    Quebec city
    I used often my green rhino wit the drive almost at zero just to give a little mid boost and a little volume to one of my basses that was lacking it
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  5. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    I use my Boss TU-3 as a Y splitter
  6. Tricaptain


    Sep 21, 2011
    Right Hear (...it's a pun. Use your ears!). ;D
    I'm just a user/customer that plays gigs. I am not professionally affiliated with any vendor, etc.
    That's exactly how I use mine as well! Nicccce…
  7. Timmy Liam

    Timmy Liam

    Jan 23, 2018
    A little off to the side but my kid likes to sing thru reverse echo, an eerie sound.
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  8. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Back before we could afford mics, my kid band used to sing into a headphone plugged into an amp! We'd wear it sideways over the face!
  9. My Boss CEB-3 chorus works great as a signal boost. I only use it from time to time, but when I do, it's a convenient feature. I also used to use my mini POG as a Y splitter between two amps.
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  10. We used to do the same thing! We also discovered that you could hear through a microphone, but it wasn't very useful.
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    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I've used my OC2 as a clean boost, same w/ the mxr bass EF. Technically any pedal with a separate "dry" level can be a boost, cut, or a mute pedal.

    Edit: I can get very light chorusing effect w/ the mxr carbon copy which is how I like chorus anyway.
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  12. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Allentown, PA!
    Likewise the Boss LS-2 can provide a nice clean boost.
  13. matty1039


    Oct 26, 2015
    New Orleans
    David Gilmour uses a wah to get the seagull sound by running it backwards.

  14. Slough Feg Bass

    Slough Feg Bass Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    San Francisco
    I use a alesis midiverb II with high input and very low blend to get a weird digital distortion sometimes. works interestingly well on keys or across the backing vocal bus.
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  15. I use my Rat clone as a hpf. This is possible because that particular clone has a switch that can disable the clipping diodes. This combined with a low gain setting gives a clean but somewhat colored sound that lacks the lowest tones.
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  16. Hmm mine are all used pretty normally in some ways but to get a “white noise” I have turned on all my drive pedals with almost no input from my bass and then using the wah pedal to filter the sound.

    My oceans 11 modulated reverb setting into my ceb3 at decent levels can provide some pretty eerie sounds too..

    And I can use my mini flanger as a crazy Metallic tremolo similar to the guitar intro of 36 crazy fists “water haul” makes it sound almost underwater
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  17. vlsndgrdn


    Oct 21, 2013
    I use mi boss CS-2 as boost
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  18. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    I used to get some wild tonal transformations from the Line6 DL4 delay pedal. One night, with no other effects in the chain, it managed to make my bass sound like steel drums, a trebly metallic plunk with no bass underneath at all. Didn't record it and I've never been able to get that sound again, so I don't know if it was just glitching out that night or I had chanced onto exactly the right combination of echo settings. I'll be honest, I don't know what I'd use that tone for, but for a moment what came out of the amp felt like winning at bingo.
  19. Not that I normally use it alone but when I use my Boss RE-20Space Echo I put the input gain up enough so that hard notes cause a nice overdrive on top of my gritty tone.

    It would probably work even better on an analog unit. But it sounds great on mine.

    This was years ago and I was using a very thin tone on a Tech21 Tri-AC. I initiallly thought that overdrive was the pedal. It was my Space Echo.
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  20. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    I've lately taken to using my chorus pedal with the bass's tone rolled all the way down.

    It makes the actual "chorus" effect almost completely inaudible, but it's a super chewy sound.
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