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Do we as bass players really need MFX


BassAdder27

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Curious thought with so many bass and guitar multi fx around and more coming .. but do we really need a ton of effects in say a gigging band scenario?

 

Im temped myself from anything as the basic Zoom B1 Four to the new Helix stuff and Boss etc 

 

From a gigging point I would definitely need the tuner, compression and a bit of drive ( very minimal ) 

 

Would we be better off buying a decent pedal tuner Boss TU2 and a drive or Preamp pedal ?

 

With bass sitting where it does in the band mix how much of the “ new effect tone” actually gets heard out front ?

 

Thoughts ?? 

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I wouldn't count a tuner as an effect - more of an accessory. I use a plug in tuner before each gig, then it goes back in my bag. I've had the same tuner for 16 years.

I have never felt the need to add any effects to my bass playing as I am perfectly capable of sounding dreadful without any help.

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The Zoom B1-4 actually has a really good tuner and drum machine for practice & doubles up as a decent headphone amp for when the family is tucked in - that more than pays the entry ticket.

 

I find myself using several of the B1-4 fx in our covers sets e.g.

- analogue chorus

- B7k drive

- Z synth 

- slap back delay

Maybe only for a handful of songs, but it's a nice to have and fx definitely gets heard in the mix - most amusingly when I've accidentally trod on my B1-4 and triggered an fx that neither me or the band were expecting. Lol!

If you're a fan you can also stick a compressor and Zoom's noise reduction sim on each patch.

 

It slips very comfortably into a gig bag pouch. For around £50 used it's amazing value.

Edited by Al Krow
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I use a tuner, that's it. I usually bypass the amp EQ too. Drive comes from pushing the input gain of the amp and how hard I play the strings thereafter. If your music demands effects, then go for it by all means, but don't have the mindset they're a must-have. I have never used a compressor, live, aside from the gentle clipping of the input gain stage. You need to be in tune (well, most of us do 😉 ). Everything else is fluff you should be able to play without in an emergency (or just fundamentally be able to play without). Nobody really gives two figs about the subtle phasing you apply during the second chorus but, if it makes you happy, yeah alright, go for it, spend that cash.

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It’s the age old conundrum… 😂

 

In my experience no. I have a helix and several other pedals but only use one pedal live and that’s a drop pedal. I do have built in compressor and drive in my amp, but in my band I use no effects at all really. I like the tone I have with the gear I have. I’ve had plenty of discussions about this question with fellow bass players and it’s all down to personal choice. 
 

Do you need? No

are they fun and do you want? Yes 

Edited by bassfan
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On 06/10/2021 at 16:30, BassAdder27 said:

Curious thought with so many bass and guitar multi fx around and more coming .. but do we really need a ton of effects in say a gigging band scenario?

 

Im temped myself from anything as the basic Zoom B1 Four to the new Helix stuff and Boss etc 

 

From a gigging point I would definitely need the tuner, compression and a bit of drive ( very minimal ) 

 

Would we be better off buying a decent pedal tuner Boss TU2 and a drive or Preamp pedal ?

 

With bass sitting where it does in the band mix how much of the “ new effect tone” actually gets heard out front ?

 

Thoughts ?? 

 

I suppose it depends on what type of band and what type of player you are. 

 

I've got a Pedaltrain Jr for live work that holds my power supply, wireless receiver, compressor and tuner. It has also got a drive and a chorus pedal that I use (very occasionally) for some gigs as well as octave and filter pedals that I never use*...! 

 

* I say never, but I sometimes use the octave pedal for playing 'I Wanna Tear Your Playhouse Down' and the filter pedal for the Rhubarb & Custard theme that I sometimes muck about in soundchecks 🙂 

 

Edited by peteb
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Big fan, been using Multi FX's for a while, but mainly for the amp/cab modelling, as well as the effects.

 

I like them, they give me the sounds that I want, without spending a fortune on individual pedals (been there, done that).

 

 

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I have no need for amp modelling and so many are including this for the studio and recording artist etc 

 

As a past guitarist I used Helix FX and it was pretty good but when I decided I loved my amp tone live and needed a boost pedal delay and chorus I sold it and got analogue pedals 

 

There are one or two non modelling models but not many and they still have too much for live bass in my opinion 

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I would say yes to the opening question. 

Mainly because I find my Zoom B1-4 is so very convenient. 

I achieve my main core bass tone from my amps with the help of a HPF , compressor and tuner.

In one of the covers bands I need quick access to a few bass sounds for specific songs, this is achieved with a Tech21 VT Bass Deluxe which delivers 6 preset bass tones.

The Zoom B  1-4 covers all those needs in a small user friendly package ideal for rehearsal and some gigs.

 

Edited by JohnDaBass
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Horses for courses.If you're playing Motown there's no need for a synth pedal but if you're making electronic music it'd probably get a lot of use. A fuzz pedal won't be much use for Jazz but might be fundamental for some Metal bands. Likewise with chorus for 80s stuff, envelope filter for Funk etc. Multi-Fx is the most convenient way of covering all those options - perhaps not all useful for your band but at least the extra things make practicing more interesting and varied. 

 

Edited by SumOne
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I got my B4n to do delay and reverb for lush volume swells, as it's cheaper than two good pedals of either flavour and certainly sounds good enough to my ear. Plus I made a mean squelchy synth patch for "Toxic" when I was in a covers band. Now I've used that programme to load the extra guitar effects on to it, my pedalboard can do double duty for the guitar I bought a few months back.

 

I'm very happy they're a thing!

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5 hours ago, Skybone said:

Big fan, been using Multi FX's for a while, but mainly for the amp/cab modelling, as well as the effects.

 

I like them, they give me the sounds that I want, without spending a fortune on individual pedals (been there, done that).

 

 

I’m with him. I use the ampeg setting, with a  cab effect and bit of compression plus some NR. It’s all stored away in a memory bank and no one can change the settings plus I can carry it about 

Edited by Geek99
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I tried not to use one, as I like having individual pedals that I can adjust on the fly if I need to, but realistically, some of the dep work so do uses synth bass sounds, so it’s just easier to store a patch that turn on a compressor, octaver, filter and chorus at the same time, and allows for different patch variations to be saved ( slower or faster filter sweep, depending on tempo), so I’m all in. 
 

I still use a lot of analogue pedals though; the overdrives just ‘feel’ better  from a playing perspective.

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Tools for the job definitely. For me at present with what I’m doing I prefer the sound of my Ashdown amps to my Sansamp Para Driver, so that’s one FX pedal gone. I do however prefer the sound of my pedal compressor to the on-board so that’s staying, as is the tuner, so still 2 pedals. And the Para Driver is on the same board, so 3 in total.

 

But I bought a Zoom MS60B at the weekend which has nice compression on it and a tuner so this eve I’m going to try that out. Not fussed if it doesn’t cut it as it’s excellent for home practice.

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It's not what I do but is part of the appeal of multi's the fact you can emulate amps that, for an awful lot of us, aren't an option anymore even if we wanted to? I bought my first giggable bass amp last year and it is yet to be used in anger other than at practice sessions. I would love to have a SVT or a 800 watt ABM but until my venues change I'm stuck using house amps. As far as effects go I probably use quite a few but my core sound is my sansamp which is always on (very useful when moving from amp to amp) I use distortion and fuzz and my microsynth in parts of songs. I have a zoom ms60b as my multi, all I use it for at the moment is for univibe in part of one song and detune to enhance my synth sounds in part of another. Sub octave appears a bit as well. Most of the time it is just the sansamp that's on and that's fine. Effects are there to tweak a sound but if they are on all the time it just gets a bit boring (unless you are Peter hook obviously). As someone else said it's horses for courses, I would rather have the option to use them than not. The zoom is a great compromise as it is tiny for a multi. I keep feeling tempted by the line6 stomp but I'm not keen on menus and limitless options, my brain doesn't work like that. I need knobs and restrictions 😂

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19 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Maybe only for a handful of songs, but it's a nice to have and fx definitely gets heard in the mix - most amusingly when I've accidentally trod on my B1-4 and triggered an fx that neither me or the band were expecting. Lol!

 

 

That's one of my main beefs with Multi-FX, they seems a bit too open to user error!

 

I know it's possible with individual pedals too but it seems a bit more obvious with them e.g. clicking the wrong pedal on, or having the dials in the wrong places - the equivalent with Multi-FX can be one click too far for a completely different preset, or the correct preset but an effect within a it has been accidentally dis-engaged or one of it's parameters (on the third page of scrolling) has been accidentally auto-saved incorrectly etc. 

 

 

 

 

  

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I seems to remember Lemmy saying he didn't need pedals, he did however need quite a lot of very big and expensive equipment to get his sound (and things like guitar techs, engineers with compressors and EQ etc). 

 

With unlimited resources I'd prefer to have a Ric with new roundwounds and a Marshall cranked to 11 for the times I wanted a tone like Lemmy, and a P Bass with dead flatwounds and B-15 when I wanted a James Jamerson tone, for the time being though I'll have to rely on pedals!

Edited by SumOne
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17 hours ago, fretmeister said:

The set list decides the issue.

That is the definitive answer, really. 

 

I vacillated between MFX and individual stomp boxes for years, before I settled on my minimal Zoom B3 + BDI 21 set up. That's all I need. I use maybe 4-5 pedal sounds and I could use stomp boxes for those, of course, but I like the fact that there's not much to go wrong with my set up. And if it does all go 'bang!' at a gig, the world wouldn't end if I had to bypass them completely. 

 

Collecting pedals is fun, but when it comes to people really noticing different sounds, unless you're using filthy drive noises or ultra-wobbly chorused sounds, you might be the only person in the room that hears the difference. 

Edited by rushbo
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21 hours ago, BassAdder27 said:

Curious thought with so many bass and guitar multi fx around and more coming .. but do we really need a ton of effects in say a gigging band scenario?

 

Im temped myself from anything as the basic Zoom B1 Four to the new Helix stuff and Boss etc 

 

From a gigging point I would definitely need the tuner, compression and a bit of drive ( very minimal ) 

 

Would we be better off buying a decent pedal tuner Boss TU2 and a drive or Preamp pedal ?

 

With bass sitting where it does in the band mix how much of the “ new effect tone” actually gets heard out front ?

 

Thoughts ?? 

What do you use it for?

I am the kind of player who doesn't really use pedals. 

But also play at church straight into a PA with no backline, and for me the ability to have an amp and cab sim, and some Eq makes the HX stomp worth it for me. Now I've got that I can branch out into compression, chorus, drive whatever if I want too. 

It's a lot easier to carry around than an amp

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It depends on whether you think of them as "effects" or devices that produce the core tone for whatever band you are in.

 

I've been using multi-effects units since the late 80s when I bought a Roland GP8 and the FC100 foot controller and in one go replaced all my pedals and rack units for both guitar and bass. Having come from a synth playing background the ability to be able to recall all my settings at the press of a footswitch was essential, and I certainly won't be that musician who can't remember what order their pedals were connected from one rehearsal to the next let alone where the knobs should be set (and believe me, I've been in bands with people like this).

 

Even when I was playing in a psychobilly/garage rock band my multi-effects unit of the time (BassPod) was invaluable. I looked at as "my sound in a box". I could plug into any given amp and have something close to the right sound within seconds. And it didn't really matter that I was only using 4 very basic presets - my core sound, a slightly brighter version of my core sound and then a slightly louder and more distorted version of each that I used during the guitar solos.

 

Since then I've changed bands and upgraded the bassPod to a Helix Floor. I've also ditched my conventional bass rig in favour of an FRFR powered cab. I'm using a lot more functions on the Helix but it is still essentially "my sound in a box".

Edited by BigRedX
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