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what should the 1st effect be

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassandlax, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Equalizer

    6 vote(s)
  2. Compressor

    22 vote(s)
  3. Delay / Reverb

    1 vote(s)
  4. Distortion

    28 vote(s)
  5. Synth

    2 vote(s)
  6. Wah

    11 vote(s)
  7. Flanger / Chorus

    17 vote(s)
  8. Other

    6 vote(s)
  1. bassandlax


    Dec 31, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    Hey guys
    Vote for what effect you think is the best effect to purchase first, to a total effect virgin. Then post what you voted for and what brand/model you specifically prefer of that effect.

  2. Well, I bought a compressor first (Boss LMB-3), because I knew I'd be getting more effects and so I needed a good signal chain. Then I purchased a distortion(Ibanez PD7). However, if you are planning on buying only one effect, then I think a distortion or chorus is the best way to go, depending on what you play however. Another good choice is a cheap multi-fx, as these allow you to discover a sound or combination you can use, which you can then improve upon buy buying better effects. My recommendation is either the Zoom BFX708 or the Korg AX1-B
  3. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    My vote was for other as I'm a fan of the Alembic SF-2 Superfilter. I think this device allows you develop a myriad of different tones, making other effects, IMO, unnecessary.

  4. It kinda depends on the effect, and how you play.

    Many effects, such as Envelope Filters, Autowahs, Distortion and Compression are "controlled" by how you play - ie playing dynamics.

    For this reason, it's often a good idea to put the effect most sensitive to playing dynamics at the front.

    Conversely, effects of this nature can be placed after other effects to alter their sound considerably. For example, I place a Prunes'n'Custard (envelope filter/distortion) after my phaser - the phaser's sweep can then "play" the distortion pedal.

    Then you've got questions like: do I place distortion/etc BEFORE or AFTER delay? This can affect the overall sound.

    The real answer? Try out effects in different places in the signal chain, and make notes.
  5. I like envelope filters and synths myself, a good tweakable one will give you a very wide range of sounds and effects. If your an effects virgin I would go with something more clean sounding like a compressor or distortion.
  6. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Depends on the music you play.
    For any hard/heavy/metal/punk/... style an overdrive/distortion pedal is indispensible I guess (I don't play that kind of music though)

    For any other style you don't 'need' any effects at all. If you don't believe it: listen to music you like and see how often bass effects are used...
    Even if all other instruments are very 'effects-heavy' you will realize that the bass often is the only 'natural' sounding instrument (as long as it isn't a programmed bass line)


    BTW delay/reverb is nonsense for bass
  7. avoid multi effect units like the plague. If you dont know what you what you want then you dont need an effect. Effects should be used very sparingly IF AT ALL (like im one to talk here;) ). Work on getting a really solid clean tone from your bass and amp before getting any effects units.
    Also, if you dont know what effects do or how some of them sound go down to www.harmonycentral.com for a decent newbie introduction to them.
  8. NioeZero


    Sep 2, 2001

    Two words: Justin Chancellor.
    He's a delay nut, and I think it fits Tool's music amazingly well.

    Closemindedness is ridiculous, and this is obviously not the forum for it. I'm not ripping at you, Matthias, but if someone is totally new to effects you really shouldn't fill his head with that type of obstinacy.


    A multi-effect box is a good suggestion to figure out what you like in effects, and then upgrade accordingly. I hate recommending those things to anybody, but I started with a multi-FX, and found that I only like about one or two effects. Saved me a lot of money and frustration. So, I'd recommend that route. Or, if friends of yours have pedals you can borrow, fool around with some effects that way. My guitarist still hasn't gotten his flanger back, and its been almost 2 years. :D
  9. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I'm always open to learn and I don't want to appear being narrow minded, so I narrow down my comment to 'reverb is useless for bass, except for recording when you want to simulate a room with reverb' ;)

    Why? Because with reverb the bass notes loose definition, which is bad IMO.
    I thought the same was true with delay...

    And being on this board for quite a long time I don't think that it is necessary to use such offensive wording. Here's something for YOU to learn...

  10. You're not a bassplayer without a Compressor/limiter and an overdrive, period ! :D

    A synth should actually be labeled for " Advanced " players, coz it really demands a different-playing style. i'd only reccomend a synth if you've mastered regular playing.
  11. Velkov


    Jan 17, 2001
    Lansdowne, Ontario
    The only pedals I use right now are a Boss equalizer and a Boss limiter. And I only need them because my amp sucks. A lot of amps come with compression circuits and good tone shaping controls and even some sort of an overdrive (tube emulator) What pedals you need depends on what sound you already have and what you want to change in it. I'd say if you don't know what pedal you need, then you probably don't need a pedal at all so you can go and buy the Bassballs.:D
  12. Tee hee, gosh I'm glowing someone actually recognizes the difficulty in synth playing. Your on the path to knowlege AllodoX.
  13. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    A compressor can definitely improve your sound, but I would rather call it a 'tool' or a 'helper' than call it an 'effect' because usually you (respectively a non-musician listener) do not actually hear an effect - unless you set it so high that 'squashing' of the notes is audible which is usually not the aim.

    Others may see this different of cause.

  14. i think the COOLEST effect is an envelope filter (i have an Electro Harmonix Q-Tron), but for your first effect i would suggest a dist./overdrive or a chorus. Boss and Ibanez have good distortions.
  15. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    If compression is considered an effect for the list, then I say that is the first one a bass player would want. If something other than a compressor, I would say the EQ. After that, chorus can be nice.
  16. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  17. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I'd agree with that, except minus a compressor, but that is because i don't like compressors. You don't necessarily need a stage tuner, though.
  18. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Compression and distortion are two sides of the same coin. The "blend" knob on the Sansamp Bass Driver provides some compression.
  19. It will still sound like a bass. But it makes getting lows and highs so much easier.
  20. Mohawk Freak

    Mohawk Freak

    Mar 8, 2002
    For my tuppenceworth:

    You've got to think how often will you use it? It's no good splashing out £200 (uk!) on a Q-tron+ (which I LOVE have had for over half a year and are STILL figuring out more good settings & combos for) if you're only going to use it in one song (Which I pretty much do, D'oh!!!!). My first effect was actually a George Dennis Wah-Volume Switch (switchable between bass and g****r frequencies). I didn't really know how to use it properly and ended up experiencing technical difficulties for years so havn't started using it untill recently, when I got it repaired, but mostly as a volume pedal. As I have the Q-tron I tend not to bother with the wah except for modulating other effects to CraZyNEsS in the comfort of my own room). Anyway, back to the point.....
    I bought a compressor next as I went through that "slap-monkey" period and just could NOT get a decent sound out of my little practise amp. It helped a lot but other things were to blame for my sound equally as much (like my playing for example!)I've since found it a lesser used but extremely valuable tool, however I tend to use it to attenuate and alter the effect of other pedals so in this context it would be useless by itself. It's one I tend to ignore most of the time buyt is crucially usefull when I need it.
    If you're playing in a rock outfit then think about a OD/distortion pedal, depend what you're playing. I like a decent bit of drive-->foul noise under me sometimes, but then I've now become a bit of a noise monkey and love seeing how I can screw up my sound with pedal combos/extreme settings :D OD is a funny one; as mentioned previously in the cacophony of noise some bands produce it's suprising to hear that the bass is the only clean one, on the other hand, check out classic Rage Against The Machine for some nicely driven basslines. Seems to be more usefull in a band where all the instruments contribute to the texture in a more significant way (Check out plenty of Muse numbers for prime examples of this.
    A good alternative to OD is some sort of modulation, depends what you're playing. There's nothing more satisfying in my opinion than a gorgeous swooshey phaser (sorry, rambling on about phasers again!) I'm currrently investigating the best one to buy for my sound. Flangers have their place but will definately be used less often as they tend to be more extreme (although it's all in the settings). However, as I've been lead to believe a carefull, subtle, setup on a decent flanger can be very useable and very "chorus like" (though everyone else feel free to dissagree). Not my first choice though. I have one and am struggling to find opportunities to use it (or is that just me?).
    Chorus: Someone slated chorus earlier but in my opinion its usefullness is understated. You would probably use chorus more than any other modulation effect if you liked the sound. It's geat for adding texture but it can also be set pretty extreme, in a vibrato kind of way. Strangely it's pretty much the only effect I don't own, but have been hankering after for some time. I've tended to go for more obvious effects. You're less likely to go "I simply MUST have some CHORUS in there" than you ware with other effects but to that end it probably has a wider scope of use. Chorus is good on bass, doesn't interfere with the function of the instrument so you don't have to be too carefull with it.
    I wouldn't touch Reverb (what's the point???!!! :confused: ). Delay has it's uses I believe but not for beginners. I think it's of very limited use.
    So... where was I? If you've made it this far you're doing well! :oops:
    Regarding multieffects units I am in 2 minds.
    When I went to buy my compressor I decided to spend out about £20 more and get a zoom506 bass multieffects unit. It was GREAT fun to play with! :D and I found myself putting together some really extreme effects that I liked in recordings (though never quite the same!) and creating plenty of my own. The thing is though, when playing with other people I only ever tended to use 3 of the settings. One was compression (which was what I bought the pedal in place of in the first place), the nearest I could get to a Mutron, (not that near but it did for the price) and a bit of distortion. Oh, and a VERY USEFULL tuner! I gradually began replacing the usefull functions of the pedal with separates which have every advantage over a unit like this to the point where I sold it to fund A boss ODB-3 Overdrive. I wasn't sorry to see it go but it gave me a lot of good service. The problem with multi effects units is that if you don't like one or more of the effects you cant replace them with a better quality one. Also the digital step settings mean that if you want something between "3" and "4" you're screwed. Shame zoom stuff generally isn't up to scrach in quality terms but this would do you well if you wanted a range of bog-(sub!)-standard effects to play wth. I guarantee you'd be replacing it in time though with separates. Also, some of the effects I love now are ones I didn't touch on the zoom. Also they can sound very different in stompboxform (usually MUCH nicer)

    SOOOOOOOO...... In conclusion (finally!)

    Think useage, if you're gonna use OD then Think about an OD pedal (the boss ODB-3 does very nicely for this in my opinion but that's a whole debate in itself).
    If you're not, think modulation, Chorus or Phaser. If you're not too bothered about getting quite as much use out of it then plump for a good phaser. Gotta love 'em!
    A compressor can be very usefull (indespensible even) but only if you need it. If you're not sure you do then there's an argument that you probably dont. It's a difficult bugger to try in shops though as it tends to be very dependant on your rig AND they tike a lot of time to work out how to use if you don't know.
    I'd stay away from More advanced effects like filters for now. Less general usefullness (unless that's your sound).
    There is a lot to be said for a good tuner (the boss TU-2 is fantastic, I can't say enough good things about it!) but you could buy a handheld job. Not quite as flashy and more of a pain in the arse to use on stage but hey, it tunes!
    I cant speak on DI boxes, when I started to need a DI box I started to need my own rig so bought one with the DI built in.
    Metronome, I love mine but it's a writing tool for me. Feel the music flow man!

    What I would say, echoing some previous commenst, is TRY B4 U BUY!!!! If you can't borrow an effect to try then go into a shop and piss them off by having a go on all the shiney things in the cabinet! after all, you're the customer! Also remeber that effects can differ wildly between manufacturers. You could buy a whole load second hand for the price of a new tu-2 if you wen't too bothered about the quality of the effect. Even better borrow, on a permanent bassis if possible (heh heh heh!)

    I aquired almost all of my current effects (xcept compressor and wah) within the last year. It's why I can't get out of debt! (see "post your signal chain" if you wanna see em' all!)

    Is anyone still awake out there?

    Dammitt. :(

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