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My Studio – Part I: Bass Gear

One of my hobbies is playing, recording, and producing music and narration. I’m primarily a bass player, but I have experience playing drums and some rudimentary guitar.

Over a few years I’ve been building a collection of hardware that I use to get the job done. Here’s part one of my studio rundown:

Basses

I currently play an Ibanez SSR625 5-string with Bartolini MK1 pickups, and a Bacchus Woodline Ash 4-string – a Japanese handmade Jazz bass. I prefer the J-bass for jazz, punk and slap, but the Ibanez usually cuts through better through for rock and metal with my playing style. I’ve played bass finger-style since I was 14 years old, but I’ve recently begun practicing with a pick for greater attack in faster songs.


Bass Pedalboards

Right now I run two pedalboards for my basses. A large board that I get my “METALLLLL” sound from, and a smaller board that is a LOT lighter and more general purpose. I also have a Zoom B3 digital multiFX that I use to experiment and for amp/cab simulation.

 

The Metal Board

The Metal Pedalboard

I use this board primarily for metal and hard rock bass. The signal chain is as follows:

  1. BASS
  2. MXR M87 Bass Comp info
  3. BOSS Bass EQ info
  4. MXR Bass D.I.+ info
  5. BOSS Noise Supressor info
  6. Darkglass Microtubes B7K info
  7. BBE Sonic Stomp info
  8. AMP

An ST-200 tuner (info) is connected to the MXR D.I’s parallel output.

Both the clean DI (MXR) and dirty DI(B7K) can be sent to FOH or recorded via XLR.

 

The Nomad Board

My Portable Pedalboard

The is the board that wanders around the house, and it is light enough to be carried on a train or bus. It’s my general-purpose board that sounds fine with both active and passive basses. Here’s the signal chain:

  1. BASS
  2. TC Electronic Polytune2  info
  3. EWS Bass Mid Control (BMC)2 info
  4. BOSS Limiter Enhancer info
  5. BOSS Bass Overdrive (ODB3) info
  6. Tech21 VT Bass DI info
  7. AMP or FOH.

 

The All-in-One Experimental MultiFX Zoom B3 Thinger

Zoom B3 MultiFX pedal

I recently bought a Zoom B3 multiFX for:

  1. Testing out new effects
  2. Looping
  3. Practicing with headphones in confined spaces / noisy environments
  4. Practicing with the built-in rhythm patterns and metronome

I’m impressed by the quality of the signal and the huge range of effects available. It doesn’t color or weaken the sound in the way that Zoom multi-effects used to. The distortion and overdrive tones sound overly harsh and hard to control – as is the norm with digital FX, but the delays and amp sims are excellent considering the size and price of the unit. It makes an excellent practice tool, and can be run off of 4x AA (1.5v) batteries for ultimate portability.

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