You don’t ‘need’ a computer to use the Zoom. You plug in your bass and scroll through the premade patches/sounds.
There are over 40 If I remember correctly and I liked at least 10 of them. You can adjust the various settings of the pedals within the unit itself on the small lcd screen.
You can turn on/off pedals within each patch and use the physical knobs on the unit to adjust the individual pedal settings.
It also has an in built drum machine so you can work in your timing. That was the best thing about it for me. It forced me to work on my timing and make me a better player.
Hands down the best value pedal out there. I still use mine when I go on trips.
I’ve played a bunch of the settings in the one I got for my son and keep going back to the darkglass emulation. I may have to “borrow” it back next month for recording the album. It’s just too good and too easy to get really decent tones with.
This comment came at a good time because I like it too, but I struggled with it recently. After some months of experimentation with my setup (TRBX505, ZOOM B1four, Markbass nano mark 2, Warwick lightweight 12" celestion cabinets), I realized last week that I messed up the tone with my patch, basically killing the “bass feeling” in our mix in the rehearsal room. After more tests yesterday, it turns out that even a 30%-mix signal from the clone darkglass effect “dark pre” greatly reduces bass clarity and presence in the low end (the fundamental maybe?), especially when playing with a pick. It’s not quite noticeable when playing alone, but clearly audible together with guitars/drums. Fingerstyle, it actually gives pretty good results, adding some grit/clank/higher frequencies to the otherwise “too polite” Yamaha tone.
What would you tweak to get good results with a pick (i.e EQ pre/post, compressor…) or is it just something intrinsic in the darkglass effect?
Could it be a side-effect of the Zoom “great value” introducing noise/distortion, whereas the real darkglass pedal would keep the low end intact?
I’m quite sure I would just leave the effect off for now, when picking… although I really like the tone on its own
@paolo.pfm the blend is exactly what to adjust. That will dictate how much original signal is still present. The low mid and bass will add some but I would probably keep whatever amount of the fundamental tone you want and just enough of the dark pre. This will be a pretty low mix. Place an eq before it as a boost because you can focus it to push into the specific ranges you want the grit without compressing or flubbing out the bottom end. Compressor after to add sustain, if you want, without affecting the gain structure in any way. Let us know!!!
I’ve already read something about the eq pre-effect, but somehow I don’t understand fully how it should work, nor do I hear any great deal of difference with the headphones at home (which lead to problems in the first place…). Spending a lot of time in the practice room fiddling with the pedal and taking time away from the rehearsal is not greatly appreciated… and rightly so.
So please be patient if this is pedantic, but I already thought once I had things figured out, only to realize the hard way it was clearly not the case. I would be really glad if you could help me navigate this issue a little bit more
So for example, one could go
bass → pedal/onboard preamp eq: mid boost-> distortion → amp/pedal eq: mids cut → cab
to increase the mid distortion without touching the low end much.
Is that how it’s supposed to work?
Given that I like my clean pick sound and the plucking distorted sound, which frequency would make more sense to start playing around with? mids? low mids?
After a few quick on-the-fly adjustments, it seemed that 120 Hz is a good place to boost the clean signal when picking, but again, it didn’t help much with the “dark pre” turned on.
I usually have the pickups balanced 40% neck - 60% bridge. Playing around with this setting (i.e. more neck pu) also didn’t seem to recover the bottom end at all.
EDIT: or where do the pedal eq settings sit in the chain? before the distortion, right?
And, more specifically for the “dark pre”, what’s supposed to be the difference in using the boost (low and/or high) compared to the low and high eq bands? To me, it sounds cleaner than the pedal tone itself, and it also works with blend at 0
This would create a version of a neutralizing effect. Boosting mids into cut mids creates a net zero effect.
Bass > eq (adjusted in the live setting to taste) > dark pre (mix set low enough to retain the bottom end character you want. Maybe add low mid in the dark pre eq to compliment)
By using the eq this way you really can isolate which frequency range sizzles the way you want and which ones might be backed down to clean up any flubbiness. This also allows you to mix for certain rooms. Don’t forget the tone we love when we play alone isn’t always the right tone when mixed with band mates. Hopefully that helps!!
This confuses me a little, still. I thought that having the distortion in between would change the tone anyway. Something like boosting the mid before the distortion and the low and high after, while turning the volume down a bit.
Guess I’ll have to prepare a few new different patches and hear them while playing together. This is how I actually found out that the “dark pre” was the culprit, instead of compression, eq, or else
But yeah, this probably saved me at least one (possibly more) mistake along the way, so thank you again for your input
For additional info, I’ve found somebody else complaining about the thin low end of the “dark pre” and shared his solution.
I just copy and paste from the Talkbass forum, post by the user andruca. Let me know if this is a problem, I’ll delete it.
After that I started tweaking similar patches with the DarkPre instead of the BassDRV, with the goal of it being more or less covering the same spectrum (timbrical differences aside) so I don’t have to re-EQ my amp for each patch. I was for sure expecting the DarkPre to be flatter (less scooped), I’ve tried a couple B7Ks at stores (not any of my amps, so nothing conclusive, could change with every amp), but this emulation seems extra boxy to me. It both isn’t thick enough (and the low control isn’t helping much) and also has an annoying resonance arount 180hz. I’m dealing with both problems using 2 instances of the BassPEQ (wish this was like the MS-60B’s BassPEQ, which was 2 band, I would’ve used just 1 pedal slot -BassGEQ is of no use either in this case as it jumps from 120hz to 400hz-). Happens both to clean and more distorted patches, just might get away with a little less thickening and/or more mids when cleaner, still has the 180hz boxyness (a pity, because the kinda’ grit this emulation gives is real nice)
Overdrive, distortion and fuzz is hard to make it sound “right” on a digital multi-fx pedal. Effects like chorus, reverb, delay, usually sound fine, but drive/gain is a bit different imo. Especially fuzz!
Even on the HX Stomp I thought the Darkglass effect didn’t sound as it should be. Funny enough the Neural DSP plugin nailed it, so it should be possible.
The B7K was prob one of my favorite preamps. Just saying that it’s hard to emulate.