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What should I get first?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by FunkySpoo, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I'm totally new to effects. I'm not one of the "purest" types. I've just never felt like I needed an effect. But after listening to a bunch of sound clips I'm interested in getting something. If you were in my boat what would you get first. Are there "gotta haves"? Maybe an overdrive or a fuzzy distortion thing? Are they the same thing?. See how little I know. :(
    Help an effectless bassist out. :bassist:
  2. giacomini


    Dec 14, 2008
    Florianopolis - Brazil
    Endorsing: Copetti Guitars
    Yeah, maybe dirt is the answer for a 1st pedal. 0.02
  3. Yeah a dirt pedal and a delay pedal. I would first start off with a good bass + good amp + good cab. Everything else comes second.
  4. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I think I got that covered. 20th anniversary SR5. Demeter VTBP-201s into a QSC PLX 1602 into a Bergantino NV215.

    When you guys say DIRT, do you all mean distortion?
  5. kenstee


    Oct 9, 2009
    Actually, I'd start immediately with a tuner pedal - to me that's the only "gotta have." Then, think about the type of music you want to make. And the tone of some of the bass players you really like. Find out what they use to get that tone. Then and only then start exploring pedal options both brand and model (believe me not all pedals are created equal) for each of the effects you are interested in. Remember, if you buy retail you can try the pedal out for 30 or 45 or even 1 year (@ tonefactor.com) and return it (in new condition) if you don't like it. Or you can go the used route here at TB, harmonycentral.com, thegearpage.net, Craig's List or even eBay. In most instances, you'll be able to resell the pedal for about what you paid for it if you don't like it.

    And everybody here is going to have opinions about what you need and whats great, what sux, etc. Read them, file away BUT also ignore them. The only opinion that matter's is......yours. That's why there are so many pedal types and brands out there! There are also tons of reviews for all of them. All good input but also pour lots of salt on them as well.

    Also, remember that a lot of amazing bass players played with minimal or zero effects. They relied on their bass, choice of pups, amp and their fingers! Examples...Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones (with Zep,) McCartney, Jack Cassidy (Jefferson Airplane,) Duck Dunn, Jamerson, Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers) etc.

    P.S. Saw your play list. Might consider a Tech 21 VT Bass pedal for Ampeg-type tones (for your R&B/Soul numbers) & tone shaping as well as overdrive/slight distortion (when needed.)
  6. I would get a cheap used Multi Effect from the forums here...That way you can get an idea of what kind of pedals you like and mix it up... Save major $$$$ with less trial and error

    Plus check out Youtube for demo's of pedals :)
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    First, decide what you *need*. Name a few tunes that have you inspired. I've run with *zero* effects for years, but a band needed some synth bass sounds (for p-funk tunes), so I set up pedal board to do that. I'd actually rather not - I just like to PLAY, not fumble with pedals, but I want to serve the gig, ya know?

    So decide what your goal is, THEN worry about how to get there.
  8. ItsMichaelYeah


    Jun 4, 2008
    I would bunch dirt as Overdrive, Distortion, and fuzz pedals.

    a Tuner is always a good starting point :)
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    An overdrive and a distortion pedal are not quite the same thing. Close, but no cigar. A good overdrive is characterized by high gain - usually with some harmonic distortion, but it tends to be a little more nuanced and natural that a distortion pedal. A distortion pedal doesn't necessarily have such high gain, but can often provide extreme, even unnatural degrees of distortion - more so than the typical overdrive pedal. My take... :meh:

    I'm not a big fan of using digital delay for bass - unless you're into super-spacy ambient/electronic stuff. Then, just about anything goes. For time-based effects, a nice wah pedal, chorus, flange, and phase all have their place.

    For one good first pedal, I'd get the Zoom B2 multi-effects pedal. The price is very nice, and it does practically everything but wash the dishes... :smug:

  10. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Had I the opportunity to start over I'd probably get my rig set up with stompboxes in this order:

    1. Tuner
    2. Preamp/DI with distortion/drive
    3. Limiter/Enhancer
    4. Chorus
    5. Overdrive
    6. (non-limiting) Compressor
    7. Envelope filter/follower
    8. Octave down/synthesis
    9. EQ
    10. Blender
    11. delay/looping

    ...but if you want an 'effect' then I'd have to say to go to the EHX Bassballs - it's a dirt but it's also an Envelope Follower. It's pretty subtle and can be really extreme.

    If you go that route, it'll play really well with octave and some kind of Modulation like Flanger, Phaser, or Chorus and would really benefit with compression if you want to turn it up nice and high.

    It's loads of fun and will leave you open to getting more effects.

    If you just want a distortion pedal I suggest you try the Boss OS-2 Overdrive/Distortion. You can blend between creamy overdrive or ratty distortion.

    If you want a funk box that sounds clean, I suggest an envelope filter like a qtron

    If you want a tone box I suggest Chorus.

    If you want a 'best bang for buck' I suggest a Behringer BDI21 - it's a sansamp bass driver for under $50. Bass DI/preamp with drive.

    Another great option for THAT is the MXR Bass DI...For under $150 you get a bass preamp with distortion and gate.

    However...you'd be best to get a tuner pedal first.

    Get used to acting pro.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Is there something particular that you like the sound of or want?

    I'd probably start with something dirty as well, but there are plenty of other things you can play with too.
  12. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    I thought you all might ask what kind of stuff we play so I downloaded our first set play list. There's a lot of different stuff on there: Motown, 70's pop and blues. There's only a couple of songs on there that I think would benefit from dirt and a few of the funkier songs that would benefit from something an envelope filter. Envelopes are for some funky stuff right?
    1. Get Ready
    2. Feelin Alright
    3. Long Train Runnin
    4. Take Me to the River
    5. Back to the River
    6. Blues Is My Business
    7. Ain’t No Sunshine
    8. Crossroads
    9. You Really Got Me
    10. Noise With the Boys
    11. My Way
    12. Born Under A Bad Sign
    13. Higher Ground
    15. Heaven
    16. Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On
    17. Rock Steady
    18. Miss Understood
    19. Johnny B Goode
    20. Never Felt No Blues
    21. Cadillac Hotel
  13. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Yikes. Slow down there buckaroo. Ya lost me. It's like I was dropped in from another planet. I have know idea what most of that stuff is or does.:confused::D
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    you could play all those songs with a clean sound. you could also play all those songs with a little overdrive. i used to play clean but i'm to the point now where i like at least a little bit of overdrive on everything. it's not always noticeable in a mix, but it adds a nice layer of glue to the mix. an envelope would be cool on higher ground (yes, it's an automatic wah wah triggered by finger pressure).

    i use a vt pedal because i'm all ampeg all the time, and mine is the vt deluxe so i can set 3 different od's ranging from slightly dirty to b-15 turned up all the way. there are a couple other really good ampeg flavored od's...the catalinbread sft and the ofc flipster, but the vt is the pedal of the future. there are plenty of others out there that aren't quite as ampeggy if you wish, though.

    you might consider buying a used multi-effect unit so you can get an idea of what other effects do. it's cheap but the zoom b2 is great for that purpose and has some highly usable sounds. then when you decide what you like, you can get pedal versions of those sounds. or not...some stick with it because it works for them. there's better ones out there, but for sheer value vs money spent, hard to beat the b2.
  15. Very nice. Yeah get an overdrive, fuzz pedal and a delay pedal.

    Recommendations? Way Huge Pork Loin (overdrive), Earthbound Audio Supercollider (fuzz) and Boss DD20 (delay, I recommend this because it has presets). I think you'd have a lot of fun and could cover a lot of ground.
  16. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Tech 21 VT Bass. End of thread.
  17. After all that $ spent on his rig and now you want to change his tone completely? Hellz no. Of course, that's my opinion.
  18. davecanady

    davecanady Guest

    Aug 24, 2008
    A tuner for sure.... I take my SansAmp Bass Driver Programmable everywhere. It gives me a DI for the few places I can leave my amp rig at home. It also gives me three saved tones. I keep a warm rock tube tone, a flat acoustic thump for Ska and Jazz, and a rock tone with some grit. I've saved each tone so the volume remains the same. I can get dirty without getting loud. I also have distortion, wah, chorus, and delay pedals but mostly they just take up space on my board.
  19. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you're new to effects, a multi-effects processor would be a good choice for a first effect. multi-effects processors can help you discover your ideal sound. for amateur and advanced bass players, I would recommend the zoom b2.1u. I have sound samples of the zoom b2.1u on my soundclick website. here's the link.


    Feel free to check it out.
  20. dokazaado


    Mar 25, 2009
    Empty Hills
    I'm going to go against the grain and say try a nice analog octave pedal.

    Dirt can be a tricky thing - it's very personal and finding the right one for you can be an arduous journey.
    For someone just getting their feet wet, it might be a little discouraging.

    but something like an MXR Bass Octave Deluxe - that is pure fun and I've found it quite useful, too.

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