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Woodinblack

Zoom B1 Four

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I must admit ive not used mine since Thursday. Just seen too busy.

i pretty much agree with Bas over everything he has written, although I’m not explored it as much yet.

i cant comment on the HPF, as ive not used that yet. I not need it as it seems my Paradriver has a HPF built in, which should be enough. Ive never needed a HPF in all my years of playing, but i did get a Thumpinator a while ago to see what it did. Ill keep hold of it for now though. 

I did get a MXR M82 filter this week, and on first play i didnt think it was as good as the M-filter or A-Wah effect’s in the B1on. Unfortunately the M-Filter has been dropped from the B1-Four, but i do like the A-Wah still, and again, I find its better than the M82. The M82 has a very powerful freq boost as the filter is closing. I’m sure i just need to get used to the knobs, but i don’t find any of the Zoom filters to be as pronounced, they seem smoother and more consistent, and so may well be the way forward for me as a one box do it all (other than my Paradriver)

Ive not yet plugged it in to a computer, might do that in a while and see what’s what. Ive not used my B1on with a computer either. I find the patch creation fairly easy and for me its all about getting a nice clean solid tone so i wont be playing much with the synths/delays’ etc. 

Ill check out that sound file in the other thread now 🙂

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The M82 can be quite vicious down low, just realise that the decay knob actually controls the lowest frequency of the sweep rather than the decay time, so just don’t set it too low!

Fave filter on the Zoom though has to be the Z-Tron for me.

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1 hour ago, dannybuoy said:

The M82 can be quite vicious down low, just realise that the decay knob actually controls the lowest frequency of the sweep rather than the decay time, so just don’t set it too low!

 

Cheers DB. I was starting to figure that out but glad to know im on the right track. im getting there.

Yes, i like the Z-tron as well, although i feel as i play with a pick it can sound a bit too aggressive..

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4 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

@Al Krow & @dave_bass5 how does the HPF compare to the Thumpinator? 

In addition to what Bas said, note that there is no HPF out of the box.  It seems you need to use Guitar Lab connected to a Windows or Mac computer to add the "Low EQ" effect.

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As promised, for no other reason than it came as a surprise to me when I counted them up. 

97B91797-F90D-4D75-9C8B-E1153078AAD2.thumb.jpeg.14f8e1bdd43394e9a92402d786caaa26.jpeg

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Face it, Dave, you're a total Zoom fanboy 😂

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24 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Face it, Dave, you're a total Zoom fanboy 😂

Zomboi  maybe 😂

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Haha, nice one boys. Actually I’m not, I’m just rubbish at resisting buying cheap things and too lazy to sell things. 

I only use the R8 and now B1-Four. The guitar stuff is my sons, and the rest is never going to be used again. 

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2 hours ago, jrixn1 said:

In addition to what Bas said, note that there is no HPF out of the box.  It seems you need to use Guitar Lab connected to a Windows or Mac computer to add the "Low EQ" effect.

Can you not just add it via the built in menu like you can on the B3n?

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19 minutes ago, dannybuoy said:

Can you not just add it via the built in menu like you can on the B3n?

I don't have a B3n to compare - but nope, the effect does not exist.

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Just looked up the FX list, lots of them have a blue star next to them which means you can only access them via the software, which is a bit crap. Last time I tried to download their software, Windows Defender blocked it anyway, I wonder if that's been sorted out yet!

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Ive just loaded in the HPF and a few others using the software. it seems like its a one time operation, as they then appears in the list on the device.

Its taken me almost an hour to get the software working (just once), it seems just as bad as its always been for me (on 3 different PC's). I guess the blind monkey they use to code this is still with them.

 

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Not so bad in that case then, if the software just unlocks the effects, and you don't have to connect a PC every time you decide to add a certain effect to a patch! Still an odd decision from Zoom though.

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1 minute ago, dannybuoy said:

Not so bad in that case then, if the software just unlocks the effects, and you don't have to connect a PC every time you decide to add a certain effect to a patch! Still an odd decision from Zoom though.

it is strange but maybe these were added after production started. I kept getting a message that new FW is available, although its not. maybe its talking about these effects.

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Ive just had another go with the software and i can see that without the new patches added the memory is already up around 90%. Maybe they kept a few off to keep this figure lower than 100%. Ive taken quite a few effects off, ones ill never use.

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I'm guessing the additional (HPF and other) patches are only available via the Zoom software and not ToneLib. I'll check when I'm back at the ranch next week. 

It makes sense to delete the surplus patches, as you suggest Dave. Be interesting to see which ones we all keep. I reckon probably no more than 10, tops, of the preloaded ones for me. 

Eg that 'Explosion' is fun, but when are you ever going to actually use it? So why leave that on rather than some of the much more usable modulation or drive patches from the B3N? Ah well, I'm sure we will rectify! 

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Not patches Bas, but actual effects themselves, and yes, Explosion was the first to go. Ive also taken off most of the reverb's and delay's.

 

Im loving patch 27 but cant ever see me using something like that with the band.

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Posted (edited)

Ok back in harness!

The 10 original patches which have made the Krow-cut and will get through to Judges Houses are...

44 SMR400, 40 AMPG SVT

31 Octave down, 30 A Wah

29 Crazy Fuzz (Fuzz + octave up), 27 Wah Dist (only 'cos I have the 'X'!), 25 Dark Crunch

17 Jaco Bass (fretless), 11 MX Clean (this played through an amp and cab epitomises 'heft' for me!**), 10 Sans Clean

That will leave 20 free patches for stuff I want to cobble together and then another 20 that can be song specific. Plenty to be getting on with methinks! :)

Be interested to hear which patches you guys decide to keep?

 

** does anyone else come close to agreeing with that when they play through their amp and cab?!

Edited by Al Krow
Dave is correct about Sub Boogie - didn't get through Judges Houses... :)

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I love all those patches, other than Sub Boogie, as i have no use for it. 

Ive had a surprising amount of fun with the Jaco preset. Not something I’d use live but its good in a sound like a fretless.....sort of way. 

For me Clean Sans is the one i use the most. Ive added a pitch shift at the start for leaning songs in different keys. 

Not had a lot of time editing stuff, although its way ahead of the B1-on as far as editing goes. 

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Posted (edited)

Well that's good to know that we're thinking on the same lines! 

I agree the Jaco is fun.

I think you mentioned you also like 42 Motown = Ampeg B-15N ? Try as I might, I couldn't quite get myself into that, I guess largely because I can get a really good treble-rolled-off vintage tone on my Yammys so it had quite a high bar to reach! 

Are you going to be keeping any other original patches besides the 10 in common with my list that you like, plus Motown?

Edited by Al Krow
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I like the Motown patch more because i play with a pick and it sort of rounds the tone a bit, takes the edge of the top end but still has a nice thump. Sort of what you would get with fingers anyway.

So far i only need one patch so the rest can stay until i need to change or use them. I dont think ill be using it live just yet so its just for learning songs etc. 

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Posted (edited)

Are the Zoom B1/X-4 & Zoom B3N multi-fx 'good enough' for live use? (Or should I stick with / step up to a Helix Stomp?)

"The Zoom workflow and simplicity is just what the doctor ordered...preference to play my instrument more and menu-dive less." 

"the more sophisticated modelling multi-fx are capable of certain routing configurations and real-time (and/or automated) control of individual/multiple parameters...boxes like the HX Stomp and HX Effects are truly marvellous at their price point"

I got asked by a mate earlier why I was moving my Helix Stomp on? My sense is this little B1X-4 is going to be sufficiently on point for live use that I can use it in place of my Helix Stomp. I love the fact that it's so user friendly. The Stomp is undoubtedly the 'better' / more sophisticated piece of kit, but I really think this will be plenty good enough in the mix with my bands and I'll be surprised if anyone in the audience will notice any significant difference on most of the usual classic effects - and that's the litmus test for me.

@jimfist who has far more experience of multis than me was coincidentally arriving at the very same decision to move his Stomp on and his reasons are very much what I was feeling, but just a lot better articulated! This is what he had to say (over on TB):

“Essentially the same modelling set, but I've come to the same conclusion with my B3n, and I'm prepping my HX Stomp to go off for sale to someone who'll use it more effectively than I will. I've dedicated hundreds upon hundreds of hours programming multi-fx modellers over the years and have grown fatigued of the process. The Zoom workflow and simplicity is just what the doctor ordered. It's not a knock on the more sophisticated pieces of gear (of which I've owned many), but more a knock on the work flow and preference to play my instrument more and menu-dive less (let alone having to be tied to a computer for more robust editing).

That the Zoom box(es) get the job done is all that matters, even though the "big boy" modellers are so much more capable. The audience I cater to now would sooner notice 10% better musicianship than they ever would care about a 20% subjective improvement in tone, especially when that "great tone" can be totally screwed a dozen different ways in a live performance situation (a great equalizer).

I geeked out on the Fractal AxeFx for years. Then on a whim I got the old B3 and used it for a couple of gigs. Nobody noticed or cared. That's when I started re-thinking my priorities...taboo on a gear forum!!

The big caveat here is that the more sophisticated modelling multi-fx are capable of certain routing configurations and real-time (and/or automated) control of individual/multiple parameters, which the current Zoom boxes aren't able to do. If your needs are simple, then no worries. Otherwise, the more specific and sophisticated your needs, the more likely you'll find the "big boy" modellers more attractive and necessary. In that respect, boxes like the HX Stomp and HX Effects are truly marvellous at their price point. Still, there's no denying the value you get from the inexpensive Zoom boxes, limited though they may be.” 

Perfectly put. Thank you Jim.

Edited by Al Krow
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I just realized on the top of each foot switch is an alternative mini switch which is slightly easier to operate by hand.  Nice touch, Zoom 👍

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Nice post Bas. I agree that the B1 is more than up to the job for those who want to keep it fairly simple. Its easy to get bogged down in routing, splitting the signal in to 7 different  OD’s along the chain, getting something that sounds like a toy keyboard etc, but i think for the majority of those wanting a simple multi FX, with the ability to combine one or two tones in the traditional stomp box method the B1 is going to work very well.

My only concern is that in the heat of the moment on stage, a box with limited footswitchs like this can easily go tits up. Its very easy to hit the wrong, or both pedals at the same time  and get all manor of weird noises. This is where  feel the B3n is better, although maybe not as convenient for transportation.

 

If anyone is moving their Helix on i have a brand new B1-Four I’m willing to do a straight  swap with 🙂

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Excellent contributions from @Al Krow, @dave_bass5 & @jrixn1. Their knowledge and experience help us to evaluate what really matters and cuts through the hype & "me too" mentally with their informative, honest assessments. It's funny how every day I still use my Line6 Bass Floor Pod for silent noodling, it's simple, sounds good (IMO) and convenient allowing me to focus on playing the instrument than twiddling & tweaking. 

bassfloorpod.png

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