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Is there a simple pedal to add a "rythm guitar" sound?


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I play bass in a 5 piece rock covers band (2 guitars, bass, drums, vocals), but sometimes we have to gig as a 4 piece as our rhythm guitarist can’t make it. Our other guitarist fills in well, but when he’s playing a lead break the overall sound thins out. In rehearsals yesterday I used an Ashdown amp that had a button that added a harmonic note, and that thickened out my bass sound a bit. Is there a simple pedal that could add maybe a higher octave note, maybe with some distortion, to my bass, to thicken our overall sound for when the lone guitar is soloing? I borrowed a Zoom B2 but after playing with it for 2 hours and staring at the manual, I still have no idea how to use it and would be too scared to use something that complex in a gig. Does a simple pedal exist? I’ve looked at octave pedals but they all seem to add a lower octave, not a higher one.

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Either enjoy the space not having the other guitarist gives you as it also gives the audience a break from the wall of sound, or listen to more Jack Bruce and move the bass part around. Cream never sounded thin.

Do some walking - or play some octaves with the drums.


3 piece bands (or 3 musicians and a singer !) are the best fun for bassists. Enjoy it!

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Totally agree with the last comment. My current beat combo is a trio plus singer. Mind you, keys fill things out much better than guitar does. It gives me loads of room, which I take advantage of. I use pedals for octave, envelope filter and chorus, and we’re away. I used to be a guitar player, but I’ve almost completely recovered..

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3 hours ago, JimBobTTD said:

Akai Unibass will do just this. They are not easy to find any more. Perhaps someone will chime in with a good replacement. 

At times, I regret selling mine. I used it in a three-piece for when the guitarist started soloing. 

I had one of these years ago and, despite the high reputation and exorbitant price, I wasn't actually that impressed with it.

More recently I needed the same effect again so I bought https://www.andertons.co.uk/fishman-fission-bass-pedal-pro-fsn-bas?LGWCODE=PROFSNBAS;56375;6335&gclid=CjwKCAjw14rbBRB3EiwAKeoG_zZAI2_khAMhHZUjIvSXjJzLqRdiI2DL4UjTcLu8CsKsHvb9WG-RWRoCY2QQAvD_BwE

Still bloody expensive, but iMHO a better pedal.


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Digital octavers can track great but the sound is usually a bit, well, "digital". A good analog octaver with an upper octave will give a more musical sound with a little fuzz. I had a Foxrox Octron which was great, and the COG T-65 should be similar. If it doesn't absolutely have to be one octave up, my latest addition is a tube overdrive (Crazy Tube Circuits Locomotive) which has a very open and natural, guitar-like overdrive and I love it. I also had an Akai Unibass a long time ago, and an Electro Harmonix HOG, which can add an octave+5th above that, but this may not always be ideal because you could find yourself playing outside the scale, since the 5th is always fixed.

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I think the advice to not pretend to be a rhythm guitarist has got to be right; however thickening up your sound can be a good thing if done well. 

I personally prefer the Digitech Mosaic to the EHX Pitchfork, having had both, as it sounds a little more natural to my ears and a little less "digital".

Operative 451 also mentioned the Zoom B3n rhythm guitar patch which I agree is not too bad. 

Here's a few samples comparing them which I pulled together in a spare moment this afternoon:

1) plain (Yamaha BB1025 on P setting)

2) + Zoom B3n rhythm guitar

3) + dirt & chorus

4) + Mosaic & chorus

 ... you may decide you actually prefer the "plain" bass, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts :) 

BB1025 - plain.WAV

BB1025 + Zoom rthmgtr.WAV

BB1025 + dirt & chorus.WAV

BB1025 + mosaic & chorus.WAV

Edited by Al Krow
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19 minutes ago, Muzz said:

This one could be useful for me - I'm struggling to find the Zoom +rhythm guitar patch on my B3 (or in fact any reference to it anywhere), is it only on the B3n?

Advthanksance... 😁

I suspect it's just a B3n patch... 

Edited by Al Krow
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 30/08/2018 at 16:27, Ghost_Bass said:

If you're happy with just adding a note one octave up then buy a octave down pedal, and then simply play that line on the upper octave and let the pedal put out the bass. ;) Cheapest alternative!

Certainly solves the tracking issue with pedals down low.

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On 02/08/2018 at 13:11, songofthewind said:

Blimey, that Fishman on YouTube thing is nuclear. I use the Digitech iStomp with Swing Shift loaded, and it sounds OK, but not like the Fishman.

Yes, they're pretty damn good. I use one occasionally, when a 4 piece I'm in, has to play as a 3 piece. It helps a lot
Although I haven't used the feature on my Zoom B3 for some time (which someone mentions above) - it's definitely a step up from that.
As has been said though, they're pricey, and you don't see many coming up second-hand....

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