At last I have a semblance of a bass effects pedal rig to use for recording and for bigger live gigs. After much procrastination about whether to build my own wooden pedal board with custom power supply – using something like the BBE Supa-charger.
I decided to buy a Stagefive Pro Pedalboard. These are virtually impossible to get in Australia for anything near what is a reasonable cost to beat making your own board. So I got mine after much searching from the USA. The Stage Five board is major overkill for my purposes with effects sending and return, stereo amping options and a buffered pre-amp. Its a large board too, but what I like about it is its low to the ground and has just bout every voltage option covered for your petals. Plus I did’didn’t have to try remember or rely on my woodworking skills from highschool. I’m using the Korg Pitchblack I bought a while back for tuning duties.
When I think about it my effects rig is kind of divided into three sections:
For bass distortion I’m using the classic Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff and the very interesting Soundblox Pro Multiwave Bass Distortion pedal. The Big Muff will give you Ampeg like classic tube distortion sounds a lot like Christopher Wolstenholme uses in Muse. The Soundblox is a new petal which takes a more technical approach to bass distortion. The signal can be divided up by frequency sections which you can individually distort. It has 23 different bass effects with 6 presets and a seven band graphic equalizer. I’m still learning and testing tones with this pedal on the distortion side. I also use this petal for its excellent clean boost/equalization section.
I’m using all MXR pedals for bass fuzz effects. My core bass fuzz effects unit is the MXR Bass Blow Torch pedal. This pedal is really a distortion pedal however it also fuzzes out very well too. I’m using it like a fuzz pedal I suppose for more mildish fuzz sounds or the slightly overdriven tube sound I might need. When I want I mad fuzz tone I hit the MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz. This pedal has a crazy hot signal so watch out when you first turn the volume knob. I’ve also been borrowing Shea’s MI Audio Pollyanna Octave pedal. This is a sweet octave fuzz which gives you up to 2 octaves below and one above your note. I have to get one myself.. or perhaps steal Sheas… then make him disappear..
By “special effects” I mean effects such as chorus, delay or tremolo. I have’nt seen it worth it yet to buy separate pedals for what I’m playing. Well, other than the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe I bought which also crosses over into the fuzz effects section. At the moment I’m using my old Zoom Bass multi-effects pedal bypassing everything in it only accessing its tremolo, chorus, and delay effects which I rarely need. There are also a couple of over-drive emulation patches which don’t sound too bad as well (Sansamp & SVT). I’m also using this unit for its wah and volume expression pedal.
Check out Ed Friedland’s youtube page. His gear reviews and overall bass guru-ness have been the basis for most of my recent pedal/amp selections.