Bass effects are electronic devices that alter the sounds made from bass guitars, double bass, and similar instruments with low-frequency sound. Bass effects pedals modify the signal coming from the instrument, adding effects that change the way it sounds in order to add interest, create more impact or create alternative soundscapes. Some effects subtly colour a sound, while others transform it dramatically.
Bass effects are distinct from other types of amplification systems due to the particular challenges associated with low-frequency sound reproduction. This distinction affects the design of the loudspeakers, the speaker cabinet, preamplifier and amplifier.
Historically bassists don’t use a huge amount of effects, unlike the guitarist. When they do, the effects are often very subtle. This is due to the fact that most commonly the bass is part of the rhythm section, and as such, you often need clear, well-defined notes. However bassists and their want for new sounds are changing and just beginning to scratch the surface of the sound possibilities available to them for bass specific designed effect units.
Compression is one of the most widely used effects for bass. Compression squeezes, or compresses, the dynamic range of a signal. A compressor will reduce the volume of loud notes, which in turn allows the overall volume to be boosted, giving you a punchier sound. Also, using a slight amount of compression on bass beefs up your sound and can give you a smooth, glassy tone.
Distortion and Fuzz are gaining in popularity, a fact not lost on the effect unit manufactures who are making bass specific effects which ensure the low end sound won’t disappear.
Popular Bass Effects include, Darkglass Electronics, Wren and Cuff, Malekko, Devi Ever, and Blackout Effectors which are all available online here at Guitar FX Direct. Guitar FX Direct are the leading UK provider of boutique and fx pedals, also offering free UK delivery.