If you are a bassist, then you know how important bass guitar pedals are to adding color and flavor to your bass tones. Once you’ve picked out the best bass guitar, you can buy bass guitar pedals to enhance the sound. Bass guitar pedals are small electronic boxes that work to manipulate sound signals that run through them. Bass effects pedals are typically set on the floor on a pedal board and come with pedal or footswitch that engages and disengages the sound effects. Because there are so many different bass guitar pedals on the market, we have reviewed the best bass guitar pedals for you so that you can get back to playing.
Bass guitar pedal allows you to play freely with your hands. Based on the type of sound effect you want, bass guitar pedals come with switches and knobs that enable you to alternate the parameters of your sound effects. These bass guitar effects are vital whether you are playing punk or heavy metal. They enable you to create atmospheres and sounds that are unique and fresh in your niche. If you are a beginner, expect to try out a number of bass effect pedals before you find the ones that you like.
Types of Bass Guitar Pedals and Their Functions
1. Delay pedals
If you want to transform your bass guitar sounds to something complex and nuanced, then delay pedals are the most ideal. Delay pedals work by recording the input signal from a bass and then playing it later at the time you specify. These pedals allow you to come up with simple delay patterns that make your instrument sound far more unique. They are great for constructing unique sounds from your bass.
2. Volume pedals
Though they sound unimportant, volume pedals allow you to control the volume of your bass guitar right from your feet. They give you a precise control on how you present your sound. With volume pedals, you can easily start playing quietly and get louder as you go to add a swelling sound to your performance. To do this, all you need to do is press the volume down pedal to slowly increase the volume. You can quickly bring sounds in and out to add a dramatic flare.
3. Octave pedals
Jimi Hendrix first came up with Octavia – a type of effect that produces octave notes. Octave pedals are ideal if you are laying indie pop, psych rock, and shoegaze. These pedals create a low-end bass and can be adjusted to create a mimic sound like that of a booming pipe.
4. Overdrive pedals
Overdrive pedals are best played through the use of a tube amp that is set to medium-upper medium volume. They are considered less harsh distortion pedals. The purpose of these pedals is two-fold i.e. to provide a gain boost to a tube amp and to approximate a mildly distorted sound in a slightly boosted tube amp. The difference between distortion pedals and overdrive pedals is that distortion pedals clips any amplified waveform and a specific height and the later circles the top of a clipped wave. These pedals add warmth to your signals when you play gently. You can also use overdrive pedals to add extra charm to any of your sound effects.
5. Distortion pedals
Distortion pedals have been widely used in transforming modern music. In fact, music genres such as punk, metal, and even grunge rely massively on the unyielding sound effects of distortion pedals. The purpose of these pedals is to change the guitar’s signals by magnifying the gain and clipping your guitar signals. This consequently brings enharmonic, harmonic and sustain overtones.
6. Wah pedals
Horn players first invented wah pedals back in 1920’s. They found out that a sound similar to that of crying can be created by cutting the bell in their instruments. Wah pedals effects create a sound that is similar to human voice. The effects are created by sweeping the peak response in up and down filter frequency. These effects are common in hip hop and funk music.
7. Reverb pedals
Regardless of where you are playing, reverb pedals can bring the sound of someone playing in a massive cathedral or a small cave. It delivers a long and reflective sound effect to your guitar’s amplifier. They were first used in several shoegaze bands that went viral in the 90’s.
8. Chorus pedals
When pitch and timbre sounds converge, it creates a chorus effect which is a unique sound. Chorus effects can be easily heard when you are listening to string ensemble or a choir. A chorus effect can also be created by layering together several takes of a similar vocal line into a single song. Chorus pedals are used primarily to highlight different parts of your bass guitar.
9. Compression pedals
These are the pedals that work to spice up your amplified sounds bringing them to an optimum level. They can elevate the sustain of your bass guitar while not distorting the sound. Compression pedals do two things i.e. bring up a sound that is too low or limits a sound that is too loud. In case you want your sound to come out clearly and cleanly, then compression pedals are all you need.
10. Boost pedals
Boost pedals literally boost the bass signals as they travel to the amp. It doesn’t distort the quality of your sound. If you want clean and solid sound, then boost pedal an ideal option. It goes well with solos.
Best Bass Guitar Effects Pedals
Now you know the types of bass guitar pedals, you can pick the ones that you need to improve the sound of your bass. Again, there are several brands and types of guitar pedals you will find on the market. Picking one can prove to be an arduous task. However, below are some of the top picks you should consider. Be sure to buy a pedal board to keep your pedals organized on.
Zoom B1on Bass Guitar Effects Pedal
This is designed for serious musicians and artists. Zoom B1on comes with 80 great bass effects and you can use five of them at the same time and in any order you want. It is an all-inclusive pedal that comes with everything you need to spice up your sounds. Additionally, its onboard is perfectly synchronized and allows you to create CD-quality bass loops. It comes with a primary input where you can connect to your personal music players in case you need.
It operates on an alkaline battery and can last for up to 20 hours. Its chromatic tuner is easily accessible meaning you never strain when playing. The rhythm function is also at your fingertips and if you are still training, it makes everything simple and you can battle your way out with ease. It has approximately 68 rich rhythms for you to select. With this pedal, you can also select and edit effects based on your needs. The other good thing about this pedal is that in case you don’t like the amp sound, you can set it to your preferred tune. Create unlimited rich and complex effects with Zoom B1on pedal. You can explore your creativity to the maximum with this pedal.
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Bass Guitar Pedal
If you want to bring your dreams and instincts to reality, then Electro-Harmonix will be your companion. Bass players who love Big Muff sound understand the purpose of this pedal best. It features an ergonomic design with volume, tone, sustain knob and bass boost switch all at your fingertips.
You can adjust the output level of your distortion, change the range of sounds with ease and even choose from the three distinct sounds with no fuss. The better switching experience due to the ergonomic settings give you a quality sound that is pretty distinct. It guarantees you an intense distortion. In fact it makes any bass guitar sound gnarly and gnarly. The pedal itself is solidly built and if you’ve got a huge appetite for bass, then this is a recommended friend you can add to your arsenal. It amazingly boosts your tones and gives a low-end bass.
Behringer CS400 Compressor Bass Guitar Pedal
A sound is not great unless it comes with endless pleasure through a smooth and uplifting sustain. Behringer CS400 is designed to help boost low signals and compress loud ones without degrading the quality of sound. Featured are dedicated level, attack, sustain and attack controls that enable you to customize the quality of sound you want. From rough to subtle rock solos, Behringer CS400 is designed to enhance your sound as the core of attention. Even the beginners love this bass pedal because of the easy-to-use controls. Its overall rugged construction makes it look unique and long lasting. Make every note be of the same volume and your sound clean and clear with Behringer. This pedal works better than you can expect from a cheap bass guitar pedal. It accomplishes all that is intended to.
Behringer Bass Graphic BEQ 700 Pedal
This pedal comes with seven different bands for equalization. If you didn’t know that equalization can either make or break the quality of your sound, then try this and see the difference. It allows you to shape the quality of your sound and eliminate any undesirable feedback. Its frequency range is 10 kHz to 50 Hz making it very customizable by cutting or boosting tones of certain frequencies. It makes it easy for you to reduce the frequency bands that offend the quality of your sound by raising the volume or boosting one band. The control of your bass is in your hands and this pedal does everything simple for you. Isolate bad frequencies and personalize your tone.
Beaspire NUX Chorus Bass Guitar Effect Pedal
This is a robust bass guitar pedal that has a whole-aluminum alloy construction. It is not only stable but also lightweight and easy-to-carry. It’s built-in amplifier produces a clean, natural and clear sound. The true-bypass design ensures that no tone is lost. You can control the amount of chorus effect with ease using the two-blend knobs. Additionally, Beaspire Pedal enables you to play anywhere and anytime. The LED light illuminates the board when it is dark. You can use an AC power source or its built-in battery. Again, in case of an overcurrent, the LED indicator blinks to notify you. It is a great pedal that comes at an affordable price.
KLIQ TinyTune Bass Guitar Pedal
As a bassist, speedy tuning is imperative. With an A1 precision, KLIQ TinyTune enables you to enjoy accurate and instant tuning meaning you enjoy an extended play time with reduced tuning time. Tuning accuracy is -/+ 0.5. Again, you’ll never compromise your tone when tuning as this pedal can entirely mute the input signal. Therefore, you’ll never experience those annoying pops and tone coloring. The overall design is a rugged aluminum body and metal chassis construction that makes it both portable and durable. There is a LED display that provides easy reading, and you can also monitor the battery levels. It is a superior pedal that comes at a great price.
Zoom FP02M Expression Bass Guitar Pedal
Do you need a bass guitar pedal that works with different zoom effects? As a bassist, you don’t want to be limited when it comes to expressing the quality of your tones. Zoom FP02M is a revolutionary pedal that features metal construction for added durability. It is compatible with several types of pedals and zoom effects. It also provides a smooth movement and easy Wah and volume controls. It is not mandatory to use a battery or AC power supply as it uses phantom power. It is pretty easy to use, well-built and is not heavy or bulky. However, it doesn’t have an engage/disengage switch. You just turn the effect with one foot then swap your feet to use it. Overly, it is a great pedal for any bass enthusiast.
Ernie Ball MVP Bass Guitar Pedal
This comes with a gain boost and a minimum volume control. What makes it great is that it can control and manipulate any signal in the signal chain. In fact, you can operate it with both active and passive audio signals. For leads, you can push it up. Bassists love it due to the super smooth foot sweep it provides. Regardless of any volume, you can never lose high frequency. In terms of design, it has a rugged aluminum construction that makes it highly enduring. If you want to turn the quality of your bass around, then have this. It is very nice and amazing pedal to use.
Bass guitar pedals are like spices to your food. They enhance your sound quality making a seemingly dull sound come out clean and clear. They can be added to various instruments as well. Listed above are the best bass guitar pedals that you should consider adding to you rig.