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yet another "what pedals" thread

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by chickenJames, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. I realise that this is rather well-trodden ground - please point me at a good thread if you prefer...

    So. Keen beginner bassist seeks advice on his pedals. I play a Spector 5 string, Ampeg PF350, TC BC210 + BC212. I've got non-standard right hand technique, using all fingers and thumb apart from pinkie :-(
    Some examples here if you have time. (very dry recordings, I'm DIed without an amp simulator. You had to be there...)

    Currently my only pedal is a Polytune mini. I have a zoom B2 but I pretty much gave up on it - too fiddly and I haven't managed to get any tones I love out of it. I've been using an old guitar Coloursound Wah for fun, but what I want is something to
    - tighten my sound up
    - have some fun on the funky bits

    I'm thinking I should try a compressor (most of the time) and envelope filter instead of the wah (occasionally).

    All constructive suggestions gratefully received (including - go and play something that isn't a bass!)

  2. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    You're certainly on the right track! And kudos for the right hand technique, I picked up a few techniques from a local classical guitarist (thumb/pointer/middle always alternating) and have found great results on bass with it. It can get funky!
    For your pedal questions, yes a compressor will def tighten up your sound, and an envelope filter will give you great sounds to get a little funk on the jammin' bits!
    A good place to start with compressors is the old Boss CS-2 that is made in Japan. Don't make em anymore so you gotta check ebay or sometimes the talkbass classifieds but it's worth the money. For new ones, the Aguilar TLC is quite nice, the Diamond Bass Comp is sweet, and the BBE compressor pedal is also great.
    For envelope filters, it depends on how crazy u wanna get! I like to keep things simple, so the Electro Harmonix Bassballs is a favorite of mine. Only one knob! Simple! But it is limited in its tones. The old DOD fx25 is AWESOME and only has two knobs, keeps it simple but it's very versatile (again, they don't make it anymore and there were man different variations of it made so do ur homework! If you get a "Kermit green" one for example, it'll run you over $100 but if you get the "fx25b" it's under $50 both are cool it's just a matter of slightly different sound and some collectors hype)
    Old MU-TRON envelopes are super cool, as are Q-TRON, and old Moog's are sweet too!
    For new envelopes, the WMD envelope filter has amazing tones in it and about 20 knobs on it for maximum versatility but that may be a little excessive! And again, Aguilar makes great stuff and their "filter twin" is real versatile (although I hate their top-mounted jacks. Horrible design)

    I'd also suggest trying an Octaver! It's my favorite pedal. Way fun to add some extra booty to your bass. Any brand will get you started, they're just fun to mess around with util you figure out what you want in an octaver (eg. synth-y tone, transparent tone, more sustain, more punch, built-in eq, etc. there are a million out there and they're all different!)
  3. cool, thank you. I just ordered an MXR bass compressor on ebay, going to a shop tomorrow to try some envelope filters.
    Thanks for kind words re: right hand technique. My real background is fingerpicking steel-string acoustic. I've been accused of having a right-hand "like an octopus" which I suppose is nearly cool...

    I tried an Enigma QBalls a while ago, and found it very fiddly to get a good sound.

    Octaver - very interesting, hadn't thought about that! I'll try some and see if they're nice for me.

    Now - a more technical question - what's the right sequence for all of this. I assume it's normal to put the tuner first, but what next? compressor first (I guess it would help for consistency with the BEF?) or is it better to have it last?

    thanks again...
  4. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    Allow me to be unconventional. Or don't allow it.... I will anyway. ;)

    I put my compressor in the MIDDLE of the signal chain. To my ears, the most important thing (to me) is that the comp comes AFTER the autowah(s), but BEFORE the dirt pedal(s).

    I prefer my octaver before my autowah, so it too goes before the compressor by default.
  5. thanks guys, much appreciated, I'll let you know how I get on!
  6. so, I now have an Ashdown BEF, and an MXR compressor is in the post.
    I liked the Ashdown compared to the QBalls - it's a bit more subtle and I found it much easier to get a useful sound. Also a good deal cheaper!

    I'll try the octaver on my zoom B2 and see if I think it's nice.

    So, last question then I'll leave you gents in peace - what's a good pedal board/case? I'm leaning towards a cheap Stagg thing - hardcase, foam, velcro, holds 4 wide pedals. Am I missing out by not going for something more elaborate?

    thanks again
  7. adamsmatthewj


    May 4, 2013
    Hey my only suggestion is to get something that holds a bit more than 4 pedals, just in case u get more into effects! I think everyone outgrows their first pedalboard lol
  8. Don't put the comp in front of the EF, want maximum dynamic range to control the filter with. Comp after the EF can help tame some unruly resonant peaks, something I have found troubling with the DOD filters recommended above.

    3Leaf Proton is a great filter, I have also been enjoying the MXR bass EF, and while the volume can get out of hand, the Qtron+ has some sounds I can't get out of any other EF. The zoom ms-60b is a pretty cool multi that has some decent filter sounds in it, an pretty good octaver, and some cool synth tones too.
  9. If you have an iphone or ipad, you can get a Sonic Port or Apogee Jam (or similar) and buy Jamup and/or Ampkit and play around with a lot of different effects for not a lot of dough. Sounds much better and way easier to use then any multi-effects pedal I've tried.
  10. cool, I hadn't thought of using an ipad.

    I get the idea about putting the comp after the BEF, makes a lot of sense.
    What about EQ? post comp?

    Thanks again for ideas chaps, I understand the theory here but your experience on the practice is very useful indeed.

    next practice is Friday so I'll get to try it all out then!
  11. BenVoiles


    Oct 12, 2013
    What about using a rack mount compressor instead of a pedal? I have several.
  12. Boss LS2. Cheap& great switching& blending options. Also you can power other pedals from it.
  13. Sir Sly Ry

    Sir Sly Ry

    May 21, 2013
    My amp has a compression knob on it. I used to leave it at noon, but after fiddling with it a little bit because of all the talk about compression on TB, I just turned it all the way down. I like my stuff raw, son.
  14. ok, so I now have Spector Legend 5 Classic -> polytune mini -> Ashdown BEF -> Boss Bass EQ -> Ampeg PF350 -> BC210 & BC212
    MXR bass compressor is in the post from Seattle.

    I tried it all for the first time at a practice on Friday, and it's going pretty well for me. The BEF is great fun, guitarist liked it for being "creamy". EQ is extremely useful, I'm mainly using it for little tweaks. I get so much more control than I ever had with the knobs on the bass itself or the 3 way EQ on the little Ampeg. I like the fact that it's easy to balance the overall gain through the EQ so that with it on or off the volume is the same.
    I'd never go back to Multi FX!

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