The Zoom B1 Four

Hey Everyone, I just bought a Zoom B1 Four at the suggestion of @Barney in another thread (thanks Barney!) and I have to say that I’m a little overwhelmed by it. I’ve read the Quick Guide that came with it and watched many of the Zoom videos on YouTube but I don’t feel that I understand it the way I should. Full disclosure, this is my first experience with any kind of effects processor and that may be at the root of my problem. :laughing:

Are you guys aware of simplified (beginners) guide to this device?

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I’m at work but when I get home in about 5 hours I’ll drop you a message.
It seems complicated at first but I’ll throw together a quick super simple guide to get you going.

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There is also software that can make setting it up much simpler. Forget the name. Someone will comment or you can search the forum. Might be ToneLib

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I’ve got the same pedal and there’s indeed no real easy guide to get started. I’d say start fiddling around.

The Zoom website has a few documents you can read:

The manual: https://zoomcorp.com/media/documents/E_B1FOUR.pdf
Here’s a list of effects: https://zoomcorp.com/media/documents/E_B1FOUR_FX-list.pdf
And a list of the built-in patches: https://zoomcorp.com/media/documents/E_B1FOUR_Patchlist_0.pdf

I can recommend playing with it by creating patches in the last (empty) bank. There’s also a program called “Tonelib Zoom” (Tonelib ZOOM Quick Start – ToneLib) that allows you to create patches and load them into the device over USB. Changes are applied immediately so you can hear the changes if you have your bass and amp plugged in.

Have fun!

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I wouldn’t turn down a copy of your Zoom for Dummies pamphlet! Would you mind copying me on as well? I’ve played with mine some but still tend to only use the tuner, drum machine, and only a couple of the presets (10, 40, 47) right now. You might have some simple start up tips which may be new to me too!

@NipperDog The basics to get going are pretty easy and the more in depth stuff can be worked on later- I have just started messing around with some of the presets and haven’t touched any of the downloadable patches available. Try just powering on with your guitar and amp plugged in and try playing a note or two on each preset- just go to next preset by tapping the pedals with a foot or hand. Pressing the rhythm button will get a drum going- start and stop drummer with the left pedal and the 4 knobs at the top can change the drum beat and speed (I use it like a metronome right now). Pressing both pedals will change to tuner mode and pressing one pedal again will turn off tuner. Don’t sweat the other settings for now- Once you get the very basics down then you can dig into some of the other features.

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Thanks, I wanted to start using the rhythm section but haven’t much luck in customizing it. Your instructions will help.

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The easiest way to learn is to just fiddle with it. I had one, and now have the B3n which is sort of an advanced version of the B1 Four. I read the user guide cover to cover, but still don’t have a complete handle on many of the extra features (drum machine, tuner, looper). I don’t use those features anyway so it doesn’t matter. I guess it depends on which features are important to you. Read the manual and just follow along on the device is the best advice I can give.

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Hmmm, I wonder if they make a .5 or even .1 version of the B1. :laughing:

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It looks as if I’m not the only one that would love to have one of these Guides. :grin:

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Just sent you and @EvenSteven a quick Simple Guide.

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Hey @Barney . Any chance you could throw me copy of your guide please ?
I’ve only had mine 12 months and probably spent 11 1/2 months staring at it thinking WTF have I done?

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Just sent you an invite to view.

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You are not alone @Mac. I use mine for headphone playing and just pick a preset that sounds good. Oh, I did figure out how to use the drum machine too. Other than that, I haven’t bothered caring about fiddling with it. Took it on vacation with me for a week and learned nothing about setting up my own signal chains or fiddling with the effects at all. I don’t like the interface at all and have not yet tried Tone-Lib (although I installed it!).

maybe someday…

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Thank you @Barney

Good to hear I’m not the only one unsure with this @John_E . I really rushed into buying mine after reading the threads about it here and I have had a play around with it but never felt I was getting anywhere regarding tone or should I say nicer tone.

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With more complex stuff I try to set aside a half day or a few hours and youtube the crap out of whatever it is and play without stress. I spend the better part of 8 hours playing with my synth pedal, learning and storing patches I liked. Now I play with the 30+ I stored and I’m happy. There are infinite combos of things it does. Someday I’ll sit and learn to actually build the patches…maybe. Hahaha

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I have one, and it is so unintuitive. I have tried it a couple times, and ended up playing my bass.

I work with computers and computer driven biomed devices and spend my days decoding them. I don’t want to do more of that at home.

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Thread with lots of applicable advice here:

I’ve owned a B1on and B3n and they are really, really great devices for the money.

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Why not just post it in this topic for everyone :thinking:

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Something I think is important is to understand the different modes:
The B14 has three different modes: Memory / Stomp / Edit, which can be toggled with the button in the upper left.

Edit is for editing your patches, though I’d recommend to do that on a computer with Tonelib Zoom, or if you need to, the default Zoom software (which isn’t to bad, Tonelib ist just a bit better). You basically can move the cursor to any one of the 5 effect slots, and select whatever effect you want to have there, and then change the settings of this effect with the 4 knobs. Each effect has up to 4 changeable settings (a Big Muff for example: Sustain, Tone, Balance, Volume)

in Memory mode, you switch between different patches / presets. What you can do is for example move in that mode from one patch to another. What I have done is for example I have one patch for “Invincible”, and then another for “Invincible -Solo”, which I can toggle between via the foot switches. the left one moves down a patch, the right one up.
In this mode, the knobs will control a global equalizer which is always at the end of the chain, kinda like a sixth effect which is always the same for all the patches.

Moving between patches takes some getting used to: with the 2 big foot switches, you only toggle between a set of ten presets. Between 10 - 19, 20 - 29 - 50-59.
You navigate between the groups of ten via the buttons with the number 1 - 5. This works quite well if you have understood that, most people should be absolutely fine to move between 10 of those, so no need to switch between the banks of 10.

The stomp mode for me is good for learning about effects: This one kinda shows better what the Zoom is doing: chain up to five effects in one patch. In this mode, you use the right foot switch to move from one of the five effects to the next, with the left, you toggle it on and off.
Or, you can see the small buttons from 1 - 5 as itsy bitsy, tiny foot switches, each one of them toggles one of the effects. So kinda like 5 really tiny pedals in a row.

What I think falls short on the Zoom is editing effects on the fly. You have to move into edit mode every time, and can’t fiddle with always there knobs like on “real” pedals, which would be more intuitive.

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Stomp is the most useful mode IMO. Once I found it I never used anything else. It lets you set up and control little pedal chains like it were a pedal board.

The difference is biggest on the B3n because it will show three pedals at a time and have four knobs and a bypass per pedal.

The stock presets were pretty mixed - about a third to a half of them are useful, and then mostly as examples at best. The place the unit really shines are the individual effects and sims, which are generally good. So basically, pick a blank patch, add effects you like, and control them in stomp mode, bypassing the ones you aren’t currently using. This worked really well for me.

The thing is an excellent way to learn what different types of effects do and how they interact. One of the best buys you will find in gear, IMO.

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