OK, so before picking up the bass, I had not played any other string instrument, and I am trying to understand what the deal is with those gadzillion effects and pedals that can be found for guitar and bass. While I understand that every instrument has certain parts and certain design features that contribute to the overall “sound” of that instrument (and that let people fiddle with them to make the sound more individual), no other instrument than the electric guitar (and apparently the bass) has potentially such a huge armada of sound shaping devices in the signal path from the instrument to the speakers.
Sure, certain types of music (metal, swing, reggae, country, …) “require” a certain sound, and here - as I understand it - the bass model, the pickups, the strings, plucking style, the amp model, the EQ settings etc all play in. And then you might need an overdrive/distortion, perhaps some chorus, some reverb (what I would call the “classic” stuff), but why spent additionally thousands of dollars for exotic effects that fuzz, drone, clip, warble, and burp and do other weird things, which might work for one song or even for a short solo before almost inevitably everybody gets sick of hearing that particular effect?
I guess since I am not familiar with shaping sound on string instruments I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the motivation to lugging around 10-15 pedals, connecting them all on-stage and tweaking them just so, and perhaps even adjusting settings during the gig… And, does this all have to be “analog”/hard-wired nowadays? How are modeling amps and digital effects going to change all this?
All this probably beckons an even more fundamental question: how to go about “finding” and tuning one’s own sound? Or is that an old-fashioned way to think?
Curious to hear what the collective wisdom of this group has to say about all this!