Episode 003: Minimum effects

Pedalboards go from barebones to NASA space command. What are the minimum effects you need as a bassist?

Music: Jahzzar, Please Listen Carefully; spinningmerkaba, Urbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix)

  • Paul: One of the toughest topics in our initial list that I looked at!
  • Dave: This is a struggle for me for a couple reasons
    • I obsess over packing light
    • I tend to buy pedals that I never really use on stage more than a few times
  • How many do you need?
    • Depends on the gig you’re covering
    • Acoustic/songwriter/folk/pop/jazz
      • A lot of guys will do dry and/or just a compressor
      • Role of the bass is often just to exist in the low end, not drawing any attention… less is more
    • Rock/metal
      • Distortion, overdrive, and/or fuzz
      • I really like Boss Octave (OC3), TC had a Tube Tone simulator
    • Latin/salsa/funk
      • Latin/salsa: Compression and Foam (old school pedal)
    • Don’t forget, a preamp or an amp simulator like the famous Tech 21 Sans Amp can be a lifesaver
      • That was my first pedal and still use it regularly – Great in studio
  • What do you generally use on stage?
    • Dave
      • TC had built in, no-nonsense, compressor – shopping now
      • Octave pedal
      • Optionals: Chorus, volume, synth wah
    • Paul
      • I’ve covered a lot of gigs with just a compressor, absolute must have
      • A lot of times I’m on an active, jazz style bass, so I’ll dig in fingerstyle for a barking tone. I’ll adjust EQ for different tones, more bite vs. more thud
      • Line 6 POD XT floor unit, using it for about 10 years
      • Have a few pedal separates, but starting to buy more into them
      • My favorite effects are a nice analog chorus, and a suboctave… also have a wah for doing some funky solos
  • Loopers, why didn’t we talk about them