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Kicking Bass Basics - Pedals New At NAMM 2013

Published: Thu January 31, 2013  News Feed

Kicking Bass Basics - Pedals New At NAMM 2013

For years bassists have been clamouring for a different approach to their effects pedals. Standard guitar pedals often don't cut it, with too little attention paid to what happens in the low end. On your typical guitar setup there might not be much going on under 100Hz but on bass the fundamental frequency of many notes lies in this range.

Often it's claimed guitar pedals "sap" your low end but this is not always true, your classic NYC Big Muff is actually passing much pretty much all of that low end information. However just like your mid range and treble it's massively distorted and uneven, so you don't hear it as that classic sinusoidal sub that we all know and love. Perhaps the most popular technique to get around this is to simply blend in some of the pure, clean signal of your bass along with the effected tone. More and more manufacturers are making pedals with bassists in mind, incorporating wet/dry blends and controls better suited for bass use. They were a notable presence at NAMM 2013, so here's our pick of a few favourites.

EBS Billy Sheehan Signature Bass Drive Pedal

This pedal is almost more like a one stop shop solution for common bass tone problems. So many pedals sound good in the mid range but sap low-end energy or cause bass "wobbles" and wooliness, not only does the Billy Sheehan Drive pedal offer an overdrive tailored to bass it also gives you a blend function.

Dial in a bit of aggression from the drive but keep a balanced tone and maintain your low end with the clean tone. Further to this is a built in compressor which will further help keep your presence in the potential maelstrom that distortion can bring.

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Bass Big Muff Pi

Perhaps the most famous fuzz of them all gets true bass pedal treatment with wet/dry blend, pad for active pickups and XLR out for further tone blending.

MXR Bass Chorus Deluxe Effects Pedal

It's not all dirt boxes, bassists get a first class analogue chorus with blender and great depth. MXR have a great range of pedals for bassists.

From Jaco Pastorius through Sting and Marcus Miller right up to rock and metal acts like Guns N' Roses and Tool bass chorus has featured on some classic tracks. Now get true analogue bucket brigade modulation without sacrificing your bottom end.

Dr. Green Bearded Lady Fuzz Pedal

A bass fuzz of epic proportions, the Bearded Lady employs vintage fuzz tones controllable via ‘hi’ and ‘lo’ fuzz rotary controls, making sure you don’t lose any of your bottom end while still maintaining those transient highs that define your tone.

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