Zoom effects processors

A few of us have Zoom bass effects processors like the B1on, B1four, and B3n:


There’s a lot of fun tips and tricks for these things and we’re hijacking other threads discussing them, so here’s a new thread to talk about them.

First, most crucial tip if you have one: Download ToneLib ZOOM to manage the thing.

This is a program by an independent developer, not Zoom. However it is currently free (as of Oct 2019) and is excellent.


So to use mine the first thing I did was delete 10 of the patches I knew I would never use and then move the 10 in the first bank to the empty slots. This gave me 10 empty slots to save in in bank A.

I made one of these my permanent “bypass” slot. When it is empty there should be a “bypass” effect in there. I agree that it does slightly alter the sound in headphones, but for me this was no problem to EQ around on my bass. What you could probably do in the Zoom is add either an EQ pedal or amp sim to slightly tweak the sound if you want? I have a slot with just an amp sim in it for that.


Another tip - one thing all of these are lacking is some kind of unity volume normalization - in other words, many patches alter the level to some extent. When setting up a patch you can fix this by adjusting the output levels or patch volume. However a few of the voice or synth patches use an Attack trigger (i.e. when you dig in on your bass it alters the sound). This is desirable because it allows you to add expression to the patch, but it requires certain levels to be coming in the input.

The net effect of this is that kind of patch sounds like it doesn’t do anything at normal volumes and then suddenly plays very loud. These patches seem useless at first and when you run in to one, try lowering the master volume or patch volume.

The same is true for patches that seem to have background noise. This happens with real pedals too (particularly phasers and flangers) and you need to adjust levels until it sounds good.

I really wish that had been covered in the manual :slight_smile:


Ah! I’ve encountered that when tinkering with the B1on. Sometimes I barely hear anything from my amp until I “dig in” at which point it really blasts.


That’s a good idea. I.e., I could create a “bypass” patch and then tweak it to sound less flat. Of course, I’m way ahead of myself… I will have owned my bass for two weeks tomorrow! Thanks for the insights, Howard.


No problem! I think that this will mostly be an issue with headphones as an actual amp will add its own color and fill to the tone. That’s also why an amp sim should fix it.


Perfectly normal behaviour: getting ahead of yourself through sheer excitement. I don’t ‘need’ any sort of effects, but where’s the fun in not owning at least one. My justification (as noted elsewhere) is that it works as a silent practice amp (with the bonus of some modelled amp settings). I had to order a headphone adaptor as well, and it’s doing my head in knowing that the adaptor will arrive Saturday but the pedal won’t be here until Monday - that’s about 4 modules later! :wink:


The one thing that is missing from that pedal to make it fulfil what I really want at this stage in my learning, is a DI (direct input) facility.

I’m think @howard has mentioned a workaround, and if so I’m sure he or one of the other Zoom gurus will share it again.


The original B3 had a balanced DI out but none of the others do, including the B3n. I really wish it did.


B1on has arrived. Very first notes played through it were awesome! Not very helpful for a lesson, but great fun. Of course what I’d got wrong in my head is that I can’t play a lesson video AND use the B1on as a headphone amp.

I kind of promised my wife the £25 was spent so she wouldn’t have to listen to me playing into the night. Oops!


You can! Look on the back, find the Aux In port, and smile :slight_smile:


Aha! So, let’s see if I’ve got this right; I need
a) a cable to connect the bass to the pedal - duh!
b) a cable to connect the headphones to the pedal - simple
c) a cable to connect the computer headphones socket to the pedal?

So one more cable than I would usually have wether it was lesson through headphones and bass through amp (or bass through headphones), but just a straight forward 3.5mm male to male cable? I don’t have one of those but it can’t be a hard one to find on Amazon.

I found a USB cable that has the smaller DC5V connector, but am I right in thinking this won’t allow me to play anything back through the Mac or record in Garageband/Audacity?
Sorry for being a technobumbler, I’m really not normally so bad but musical instruments seem like a different world.


The setting that was already open when I plugged in was J9 SpaceFONK which is a real 1970s sci-fi sound - and I LOVE it!

Playing through the pedal is so much cleaner than through the amp, no rattles, scratches, pops, buzz. Thanks for the recommendation.


Yep you just need a male to male cable to run from your sound card or phone into the aux in. I recommend the Line Out on a PC but a PC or Mac headphone out will work too, just take care with levels and try it without the headcans on first.

Sadly the thing is not an audio interface so you cannot use it as a DAI. The USB port is for editing the patches with programs like Tonelib or GuitarLab.

Glad you’re liking it! I wasn’t joking when I said for the money it might be the best cash I ever spent on gear :slight_smile:


Well I remember you saying that earlier in the thread, but then when I found I had to connect it anyway… I guess there’s a reason why it’s not a simple connection since it’s connected anyway, but no need to understand it to know it doesn’t do that. I suspect that’ll be the next thing I want.


Oh, and as a scifi fan and a massive Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy aficionado, I love that the shortcut icon shows 42 on the dial.


Zoom makes nice and inexpensive audio interfaces too. Check out the Zoom U-24 or U-22. I am super happy with my U-24.

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that’s sad ! is it the same thing on the B3n ? I find it’s way better to use the device as an external USB sound card, when possible, to avoid the DAC of the computer soundcard !

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The first patch I’ve downloaded is called “Peaches”. Can you guess who it makes you sound like?

So much so in fact that I worked out the bass line in under 30 seconds without ever having known how to play it before. Granted it’s a fairly simple line, but all the same…

I so wish I could record it right now. The Zoom DAI may be reasonable priced but they’re still £40+ for a refurb one. That’s out of my range for now. Once my new cable arrives I will put it through the amp and do a mic record of it and see it that’s close enough to demo my playing.


Yeah, B3n too. This is indeed sad - if the B3n had a DI out and its USB acted as a DAI it would be literally the only thing you needed.

Even sadder - the B3n’s previous model, the B3, had both a DI and was an audio interface.


I have no idea why they removed those features; a lot of people didn’t upgrade because of it. Which also makes the old B3 a sweet snag to buy used if you find one, even though they are the retired model. The B3n is considerably more powerful though and can play more simultaneous effects. And is getting updates, which was ultimately the reason I went with it instead (since I already have a DAI).

The lineage is something like this:

MS-60B stompbox <-> B1on <-> B3
B1four <-> B3n