Your Advice

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Licketysplit, Oct 4, 2000.

  1. Licketysplit


    Mar 15, 2000
    I hope its okay for me to refer to you on a first name basis :). I know that there are plenty of threads about all different sorts of effects, but I wanted your proffesional advice (not that I'm saying no one else is a "proffesional", I hope no one misinterprets my words) on racks, multi-effects, and so forth.

    First off, could you please tell me what some of the advantages and disadvantages are for stomp-boxes, multieffects, or rack units? I want your opinion on these.

    Secondly, there are many distortion boxes out there, but I noticed that most of them pretty much suck (for lack of a better term) the bottom end completely drops out. So I was wondering, in your experience which is the best distortion/stomp box that you have used under 200$? I mean one that leaves the low end in tact.

    Thirdly, I have read that using too many stomp-boxes will result in a signal degrade, if this is so, could you maybe put an equalizer last in the chain to reshape to your original tone?

    Fourthly (lots of questions :)), what about using guitar effects on bass? I see that guitarists have so many options, lots of wierd effects. How well does using a guitar effect on a bass work?

    And, lastly, I am in a jamish band that does lots of spacey jams, but right now I'm using a POS multieffects pedal. For 500$ or less what kind of multieffect, stomp-boxes, or rack unit could I get to create "great sonic textures" like lots of unique effects and loops, and especially an envelope filter. I'm striving for the ultimate pedal board (im still in my teens, so I have a pretty tight budget) for the best bang for the buck.

    Thanx in advance Steve!!!
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    all three have specific functions - stomp boxes are good for one sound - they are dedicated to that sound, and designed to do that well. If all you want is chorus, then a chorus pedal is like to give you a better sound for your money than a multi FX box with loads of sound you won't use.

    Rack units are nice for big gigs, where you want your stuff tucked away, and where you want to control lots of separate units via midi. floor unit multi FX are a great comprimise between these two - all the sounds, without the need for the rack, but aren't expandable...

    mm - under 200 US? not sure - my favourite is the SWR Interstellar Overdrive, which is amazing, but a bit more than $200. you'll find that some amps and pedals work well together - the best idea with any gear buying is to audition it with your own set up. Find a shop that has your amp in, and take your own bass. try them out - if they have a side room that you can go in and not be bothered, that's even better.

    EQ is not really the problem - if tone is actually missing, you can replace with EQ what isn't there. If pedals are losing high end, thinning the sound and adding hiss, the only way round it is to have them in effects loops - also experiment with the order - sometimes that can help. EQ is just like a frequency specific volume control - use it sparingly unless you want a really mad sound...

    I use a Lexicon MPX-G2 which is labelled as a guitar FX. bass FX, guitar FX - are largely labels to do with presets, and EQ frequency bands. If you find a guitar unit that has enough control over the low end for you, then go for it. There's nothing 'magical' about bass effects - if it sounds good, it is good...

    there are a few mulit FX that give some cool sounds - the Digitech BP8 is way cool, and at the cheaper end, you can get OK results with the Zoom BFX-708 (and have 6 seconds of loop time). The Korg AX300B is also worth checking out.

    For loops though, try the Akai headrush, or Line6 DL4 delay modeler...

    good luck and keep those questions coming!



    [Edited by Steve Lawson on 10-05-2000 at 12:04 PM]
  3. RMcNeill


    Mar 20, 2005
    I've run into many of the same problems while pedal searching. I spent over $800 because i bought pedals that i thought worked after the intitial use of using them at a store but once i got them home i promptly figured out that some aspects didnt work. If your looking to buy a distortion pedal for $200 dont bother, BOSS has an amazing bass multi-effects pedal, main advantage is everything on it is made for bass at a price of $295 (this includes 60 amazing effects and about 120 famous guitar cabinet and head replicator. This will more than likely give you that effects that famous bands use)

    Your second option is to make pedals. Distortions are easy cheap and sound amazing. I built an MXR DISTORTION PLUS and let me tell you, i lose no bottom or upper-end or lower also it extremely simple and haasone pot which lets you control between the low gain (a really nice fuzz type distortion) and high gain (a really loud heavy distortion which sounds like doom)

    The parts for making pedals you can get at Radio Shack! Thats why i dont buy many pedals, i can build thme for 15 bucks

    So go build!

  4. Jpat


    Mar 13, 2005
    Leonardville Kansas
    I've never really been much for a lot of effects. I guess it would be the style youre looking for. What I was taught was that how an effect sounds in the music store is totally different in you rown rig. If you can do it, try to rent some effects to try them out, or bring your rig to the store. (That's a pain in the butt) :rolleyes:

    I had a 506 effects pedal. Too much noise for me. And I lost a great deal of signal. Digital/Analog thing..... Just experimentation is what I would suggest. :bassist: