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Zoom B3 Noob Question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by glassmoon, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm considering getting a Zoom B3 as a means of reducing my footprint (train travel means lightening the load) and also having a few possibilities for my function band without the need for a lot of pedals (which I don't have).

    Hopefully this will be a simple enough question to answer, but can I do this....
    • Have more than 1 effect per switch?
    • Universally assign a compressor and preamp to each and patch, and then assign an effect to the patch? i.e. 1. Comp/Pre 2. Comp/Pre/Octave 3. Comp/Pre/Chorus
    Or am I shooting too far?
    My thanks in advance.

  2. warrplayer


    Apr 16, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    I don’t have the b3 but have had all the varients. Ms-60b, b1on, etc. to answer your second question first....not really, but you can cheat. You could make the very first patch be just your ‘universal’ comp and preamp and then copy that patch to all the other patch locations. Then all you need to do is add a new effect to each of the following patch locations.

    question 1 is also a no. Each button toggles an effect on or off. But in bank mode each button goes to a completely new patch. So you could have three patches in each bank and switching to a new patch could get you a patch just like your previous one but with two different effects or two effects turned off or on versus the previous patch in that bank. A bit more work but same effectin the end.
    The B3 is getting a bit long in the tooth though and only does 3 effects at a time. Get an ms-60b and you will have an even smaller footprint and 4 effects at a time. Set up your set list so each stomp changes to a certain patch with everything turned on or off to your liking. An ms-100bt will do the same thing and allow for 5 fx at a time. Download the latest os and you will have almost every effect from the b3 available.
    randelj, ppiluk and glassmoon like this.
  3. Massive thanks. That is the kind of answer I wish I always got. Kudos to you @warrplayer
    warrplayer likes this.
  4. warrplayer


    Apr 16, 2008
    Charlotte, NC
    Not trying to sell the B3 short. Sounds just as good as all the variants, and having a separate button to smash to turn each of the 3 effects on or off is a big plus. Still, I am not impressed with any digital comps. (Don’t get me wrong the Zoom comps are usable...just a bit underwhelming in the mojo department) I would rather rock a dedicated comp stomp box and one of the ms pedals than use the b3 for that reason (especially if real estate space is at a premium).
  5. I have been considering that - using the B3 for 3 individual pedals (at a time/per patch or whatever the "actual" term is) - but the size is similar to 3 MXR sized pedals.. which kind of negates the real estate factor, although it does certainly win when you consider (a) that it will use 1, and not 3 power feeds and (b) there are more than 3 effects to use (great for the function band scenario).

    I was just hoping for a more user friendly, or adaptable unit...
  6. The B3 does 3 effects at a time but there are some combination effects.
    The MS60B does 4 effects at a time and offers the same combination effects.

    The B3n does offer more effects at a time Iirc 5 at a time and are a newer rendering however there are a lot of the wilder effects and bass amps missing.
    randelj likes this.
  7. randelj


    Jan 18, 2012
    Gothenburg Sweden
    I have a B3, B3n and a Ms-60b. You can get any of these, the best is that there is a thread "B3 patch ideas" that is very very useful and you can read and apply the patches to the other devices. The funny thing is the 3 devices share most of the effects, except some variations for example: the MS60 has the orange Lim, the dirty gate, Stone Phase (EHX small stone) and gray comp, that the B3 doesn't have, the B3 has the Bass Muff (which sounds extremely close to the Deluxe Big Bass Muff which I own also) but the B3n comes without it; BUT the B3n comes with the Dark Glass pedals simulations..
    glassmoon likes this.
  8. So 3 rather similar yet different animals...
    randelj likes this.
  9. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    FYI, the Darkglass can be sorta' faked on the previous generation models either with the DI+ simulation (MXR) or even the BaMetal (MetalZone emulation if you want a more scooped flavor), then EQ/preamp/compress to your taste.

    I know 'cause that's the only thing I've missed from a B1X four I've owned, but let go after intensively testing it against my old trusty MS-60B, which not only sounds way better (thicker and more detailed, the four sounds remarkably BOXY when A/Bed) but is also less noisy. The four can be EQed to sound good, no problem, but that takes some extra EQ and ZNR. To worsen things the BassPEQ is not 2-band anymore, but just 1, totally defeating the purpose of the extra FX slot. I got a G1Xon instead and customized the firmware to have all bass relevant stuff from the B1Xon. Sounds exactly the same as my MS-60B (which also has custom firmware with guitar amp sims).

    The FX differences between models aren't that relevant as you have the Zoom firmware editor for many models in the latest (B3n/G3n/B1four/B1Xfour/G1four/G1Xfour) and previous (MS-50G/MS-60B/MS-70CDR/B1on/B1Xon/G1on/G1Xon). Only bad thing is the B3 & G3 aren't supported (I own both, my main DI/USB recording tools for bass and guitar). There's also this page I put up with ready made "maxed" firmware versions for the previous gen. (G1on/Xon, B1on/Xon, MS-60B & MS-50G) which add relevant stuff from the guitar/bass counterpart model (i.e., you have a B1on firmware with amps and some more stuff from the G1on model and viceversa, all details for each custom firmware version are there).
    Eli_Kyiv likes this.
  10. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Did you try to update B3n firmware as well? I did 3 times with varying results.
  11. OK, if I wanted a tool purely for effects - chorus, delay, reverb, some decent (and blendable) overdrive/dirt, octave - which Zoom box should I be looking at... I don't need amp and cab mods... I have no clue what IRs are... and I don't need anything weird (although a synth sound might be nice)
  12. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Still B3n. ;)
    glassmoon likes this.
  13. Excellent - many thanks!!!
  14. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I've never owned a B3n (I tried some tho'), but owned a B1X Four (same gen and same chipset AFAIK) that I updated the firmware on (standard Zoom version, not edited) and it worked perfectly.
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  15. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    If you wanted to get into a super nice, bang for your buck intro to Zoom:

    This gives you a little more flexibility by letting you bring a HPF/LPF into the mix. It's inexpensive enough for you to give the Zoom way of doing thigs a try. If you are playing ampless, you will need the DI box of your choice.
    This is a great way to get patches set up the way you like:
    Download – ToneLib
    I've used the windows version, which I really like. They seem to have other flavors as well:
    Download Tonelib ZOOM
    Version 4.3.1: February 11, 2020
    The B3 does have a built in DI, and I have used it. It's a good one. The B3n does not have DI, if that's important...

    I think on the B3 you can set up groups of 3 pedals in the form of patches that you can call up. Advantage is you can turn them on individually. The MS60b has groups of 4, and I think the B1 four will let you do groups of 4 as well. - if you really want to go down the rabbit hole, you could try this:
    Worship Bass Pedalboards

    Good Luck!
    furym and Eli_Kyiv like this.
  16. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Yes it doesn't but for those who misses it and is into DIY ZOOM left some free space near the rear part which seems big enough to put an XLR connector and DI board there. Maybe even dB and ground lift switches will fit there as well.
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    andruca and Wfrance3 like this.
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