The 7 Best Bass Multi-Effects Pedals (2023)
Bass multi-effect pedals are a great way to take your bass sound to the next level. Instead of buying several single-effect pedals, a multi-effects pedal offers a wide range of sounds. It opens up a world of permutations and combinations, all on one processor board.
There are some really good multi-effect pedals available specifically for bass players. To save you the trouble of going through them, I’ve selected my 7 best bass multi-effect pedals.
My top recommended multi-effects pedal is the BOSS GT-1B Premium. A premium-sounding pedalboard for the professional bassist.
My second recommended multi-effects pedal is the VOX StompLab 2B, which is a very compact, versatile, and budget-friendly pedal.
The 7 Best Bass Multi-Effects Pedals (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. BOSS GT-1B Premium
BOSS pedals have long been known as the industry standard. They make quite reliable and are high-quality products for both guitarists and bassists. The BOSS GT-1B Premium is no different.
- A wide library of premium effects and preamps
- Easy to use setup
- Battery slots make it ideal for touring
- With over 90 different effects, there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most from it.
- No brightness levels on display
With over 90 effects, including essentials like Graphic EQ, distortion, modulation, limiter, T-Wah (for those who appreciate Wah pedals), synth, reverb, delay, and a looper, it presents itself as a creative powerhouse. There are almost 200 patches programmed by top bassists and are playable at the switch of a button.
Despite all these sounds, the GT-1B is ridiculously easy to use. With its simple and intuitive interface, even beginners can use the pedal easily. And you can tweak settings in real-time using the onboard switch and expression pedal.
|Sockets||1/4-inch phone type input and output jacks;1/4-inch TRS phone type;Stereo miniature phone type AUX;Stereo miniature phone type phones jack;USB type B; DC IN jack|
|Power||AC;AA batteries x4|
All of its features are designed in a small, compact, battery-powered pedalboard. Plus, it is convenient to carry around. Plus the stereo outputs, the GT-1B is the gigging bassist’s ultimate companion.
2. VOX StompLab 2B
Relaying the torch of the widely-popular VT+ modeling amps and Tone Lab multi-effect units, the VOX StompLab 2B brings you a solid sound engine at an affordable price. It is a solid testament to the fact that great FX processors don’t have to be expensive.
- Gives great value for money
- Ridiculously easy to use
- Compact but elegant body
- Presets can use some editing
One of the best things about this processor is how easy it is to use. In addition to having a user-friendly interface, it also sorts its 61 sounds on the basis of genres like rock, funk, blues, jazz, etc. This makes it really convenient for you to access the pedal even if you don’t know how every effect works.
The StompLab2B is a compact and sophisticated-looking pedal. With an all-metal body, it’s also quite durable. Plus, it can also run on 4 AA batteries. So, even if you are a gigging bassist, you shouldn’t find much trouble carrying it around.
|Sockets||1 monoaural standard input;1 stereo standard output|
|Power||AA batteries x4 DC 9V|
The VOX StompLab 2B is one of the best, inexpensive multi-effect pedals in the market today. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a pro or an amateur, it works well in every setting.
3. BOSS GT-1000CORE
The BOSS GT-1000 CORE comes about as close to professional as any multi-effect pedal can. A powerful, compact, but incredibly versatile processor, it makes for a great experience for both guitarists and bassists. And given its size, it’s easily portable when you’re touring extensively.
- Give wide tonal possibilities
- Excellent sound quality
- Compatible with a lot of devices
- Short loop time
- Amp simulations are not the best, limited number of bass amps
The sheer tonal capability of the GT-1000CORE is something to behold. With 24 simultaneous effect blocks and more than 140 classic and otherwise preamps and bass effects, it gives you a practically endless range of sounds. Additionally, it utilizes a USB port for a USB connection.
The sound quality on this thing is also truly amazing, delivering 32-bit AD/DA, 32-bit floating-point processing, and a 96 kHz sampling rate. Also, thanks to its special AIRD tech, it gives a natural feel and allows for seamless external device integration.
|Sockets||1/4-inch phone type input and output jacks;1/4 -inch TRS phone type output jack;1/4-inch TRS phone type CTL 2, 3/EXP 1､CTL 4, 5/EXP 2;Stereo miniature phone type MIDI connectors;USB Micro-B type;DC IN jack|
For all its merits, the GT-1000CORE comes at a very high price tag. Also, the short loop time is a letdown, as well as the number of amp simulations (amp models) and their overall quality (especially when you consider the price).
4. Zoom B3n Processor
The Zoom B3n multi-effect pedal is a nice processor, specifically designed for bassists of all levels. Whether you are a pro or novice. It brings together a lot of nifty, well-executed features in a fairly small processor board.
- Has 67 effects, 5 new amp emulators, and 5 cabinet emulators
- 80-second looper and 68 built-in rhythm patterns, great for practice
- Simple, straightforward interface
- No XLR DI jack
The whole point of a bass multi-effects processor is to give you a plethora of sounds in one place. B3n does that very well by giving you 67 high-quality stompbox DSP effects, 5 new amp emulators, and 5 cabinet emulators.
In addition to being a great tool to have during a performance, it’s also great to practice with. You can loop up to 80-second long bass parts and create many layers. It also has 68 built-in rhythms, which basically eliminates the need for a fellow drummer to sharpen your rhythmic skills.
|Sockets||Standard monaural phone jack input and output;Stereo mini-jack AUX input;Standard stereo phone jack L/MONO/PHONE;USB MIDI;USB Micro-B|
|Power||500 mA (ZOOM AD-16); DC 9V|
The B3n further stakes its claim as a well-rounded processor by having a simple interface. You should get used to it quickly and then start experimenting your way around it.
5. Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig v2
Until recently, guitarists have enjoyed Tech 21’s top-selling Fly Rig 5. But now, the legendary company has also introduced the Bass Fly Rig v2, a fully-loaded multi-effect processor just for bassists that comes with a power supply.
- Give you complete tonal control
- 7 high-quality analog effects and a chromatic tuner
- Portable device
- Too many controls might confuse users at first
The tone of this unit is centered around Tech 21’s patented SansAmp. Pair that with three-band EQ, and you have control over your tone no matter the setting you are playing in.
As for the analog effects, you have the Drive to add gain and overdrive, Pre-Boost to add distortion, Fuzz in the OCTAFILTER section, COMP to bring in a whole lot of sustain, and Chorus. There’s also a chromatic tuner within the chorus section to tune your bass. And the best part is that you can use Fuzz, Pre-Boost, and OCTAFILTER at the same time.
¼-inch output;One ¼ (send), one ¼ (return)XLR output
|Power||250mA, 9V DC|
Being an analog processor has its advantages. The sound tends to be more natural, and smoother. With the Bass Fly Rig v2, you can take your playing to a new level.
6. SONICAKE Boom Ave Processor
Another budget multi-effect pedal, the Sonicake BOOM Ave is a very wise choice for any bass player looking to incorporate the essentials into their playing. It’s pretty much a one-stop solution for bass players whether at a gig or recording.
- Covers the essentials
- Quite inexpensive compared to other pedals on the list
- Straightforward design makes it beginner-friendly
- Not the sturdiest design
The processor employs analog effects for great results. These include a Compressor, Boost, a Fuzz, a Preamp, and an Octave. You can always optimize them further and incorporate them into your playing. These features make this pedal ideal for rock playing.
With the BOOM Ave, you also get a lot of control over your bass tone. This is thanks to the 3-band EQ that helps you get your desired sound. In addition to being beginner-friendly, it is also budget-friendly.
|Sockets||¼ Input jack;¼ Output jack;XLR output;FX loop|
|Power||60 mA, 9V DC|
Convenience is another factor why the BOOM Ave is considered a good pedal. It has a simple and accessible design, and you can carry it with you easily. You can also attach a PA mixer, a sound card, and add loop FX on this pedal.
7. VALETON Dapper
It’s not uncommon for even experienced bassists to use only a chosen few effects in their playing. And VALETON Dapper takes advantage of that fact. It’s a high-quality analog processor that, instead of going all-out with its tonal offerings, stays minimalistic.
- Provides a great value for money
- Lets you run as many parallel effects as you want
- 3-band EQ and built-in tuner produce natural sounds
- Has a sturdy construction
- Not the best for professional use
You get five solid effects, Compression/Boost, Envelope Filter (Auto-Wah), Octave, Chorus, and Dirty Q. The last one adds Fuzz. Like all analog processors, this one also has a 3-band EQ to produce a good-quality natural tone as well as let you have the final say in your bass sound. Having a built-in tuner also helps a lot.
Using the dry signal THRU output, you can run parallel effects and do some re-amping. The FX loop also allows you to add additional effects.
|Sockets||¼-inch input;¼-inch output;FX loop;THRU output;XLR DI output|
|Power||85mA, 9V PSU|
If a highly versatile multi-effect pedal is what you want, then this won’t suffice. However, if you’re looking for an absolute workhorse of a pedal that gives you good-sounding essential effects, then the VALETON Dapper is a great choice.
What is a Multi-Effects Bass Pedal?
I’m sure you have seen or even used analog single pedals. However, with single pedals, you are very limited in the sound. To counter this, pedal makers started combining multiple effects into one big processor, which we now know as the multi-effect pedal.
Multi-effect pedals are available for both guitar and bass guitar, they provide musicians with a wide range of tonal combinations by pressing a few knobs.
Do you need a Multi-Effects Bass Pedal?
Common wisdom puts the quality of single-effect pedals higher than multi-effect. And many musicians strongly advocate for that. That said, in recent times, the multi-effect industry has really come of age with high-quality processors.
These pedals present themselves as an ideal option for bass players who want something compact and lightweight to carry around instead of carrying a bunch of single pedals. They are also very cost-effective when compared to single pedals.
Lastly, the main thing that multi-effect pedals have going for them is the sheer versatility they offer to the player. In addition to the existing effects, you can make endless combinations. You can also add in your own effects and even add FX loops.
All this makes a multi effects unit a great tool to have in every bassist’s arsenal.
Can you use a Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal for Bass?
More often than not, there’s no harm in using guitar effect pedals for bass. And they are even more changeable if you play both instruments. Many multi-effect pedals work well with either instrument.
So if you’re wondering why do we need bass-specific multi-effect pedals, then it is important to know that guitars and bass operate on different frequencies. Bass frequency is generally an octave lower than that of a guitar. Also, the EQ curve is different for both instruments.
What makes bass pedals a better option for bassists is that these pedals are tweaked specifically for the instrument. The frequency response and EQ are set lower so that it gets the most out of a bass’s tone.
So, it won’t hurt to use a guitar effect pedal, but it’s better to use one made for bass.
The benefits of a Multi-Effects Pedal vs Single Function Pedals?
Single effect pedals may have more acceptance in the string community, but multi-effect pedals are proving their worth. They hold many advantages over the former, which make them an ideal gigging companion.
Multi-effect pedals are more compact than a pedalboard consisting of a dozen pedals, all the while giving a huge spectrum of sounds. On top of that, they are quite simple to use even if you’re a beginner. Since they are mostly lightweight, they are also easier to carry around if you tour or move in and out of a studio a lot.
And because you’re getting a lot of sounds within one processor, multi-effect pedals prove themselves to be quite cost-effective.
What to look for in a Multi-Effects Bass Pedal when buying?
The whole point of a multi-effect pedal is to offer multiple FX within one unit. Even the name gives it away. So, naturally, you want your pedal to have a lot of effects and preset patches. It also helps if they have additional features like loops, editable effects, etc.
But only having a lot of effects is not enough. They actually need to sound good. Otherwise, they might as well be white noise. This is why having a high-quality processor is also important.
Lastly, you have got to look at the price. This might be irrelevant if you are a professional musician, but if you’re not, it’s better not to go overboard. You will know your budget much better than I do so I hope you make a thought-out decision.
Multi-effect bass pedals are changing the game of bass playing. Instead of relying on multiple single effect pedals, you get a lot of effects in one compact place, at the switch of a button. These pedals are a blessing for bassists who want to expand their bass sound without shelling out too much.
My top pick is the BOSS GT-1B Premium. It is one of the best overall processors in the market with an array of high-quality effects.
If you’re running on a budget, then the best option for you might be the VOX StompLab 2B. It’s a small, yet powerful pedal that’s very easy to use.