If you’re a bass player, you know how hard, slow and expensive it is to build a full pedalboard, buying all of the effects pedals individually and piecing them together into one board. For that reason, multi–effects pedals have been, for the last 30 years, irreplaceable piece of equipment of many bass players around the world. They will enable you to have a great number of effects and options in one big pedal processor, making it easy for you to find the sound that you want.
Because of that, we decided to bring you the list of 5 best multi–effects pedals for bass, to help you comb through the market and make the right decision. So, let’s get started.
Our Pick for 5 Best Bass Multi-Effects Pedals
1. Zoom B1Xon
Zoom B1Xon is a budget-friendly, low-cost piece of equipment packed with options and functions that will provide you with everything you might need. Being so small and light, from its plastic casing, this pedal is perfect for taking with you on gigs or on the road.
It comes with 100 effects (which can, of course, be changed), drumming machine with 68 preset rhythms, expression pedal, and looper. It also packs headphones input as well as ¼” I/O. It can work on AC adapter, batteries or even USB charger, as it has a USB connection in the back (although it can only be used for charging and firmware updates). The nice addition to all of it is an option to chain up to 5 effects for simultaneous use, saving you from tap-dancing on the pedals while you’re playing.
This small and quirky looking pedal is a great addition for anyone. Never mind if you’re just a beginner or a hardened professional, at this price, you will get a great pedal ready for anything.
2. VOXStompLab 2B
Besides the small packaging, this pedal comes with ¼” I/O and AC adapter (will work on batteries). It offers 100 preset sounds and another 20 slots for you to mix. Every sound is made out of several mods you have on this pedal that includes cabinet, amp, drive, reverb, modulation, noise reduction, fuzz and much more. For every one of them, you have several more options to choose from, which enables you to easily find the sound that you need. Even though the looks of the pedal are minimalistic, you will have no problem of using it as it’s user-friendly after you learn what the buttons do.
This is a great option for anyone who’s looking for a budget, travel version of big pedalboards, as it brings the quality of high-end boards for less money in a smaller package.
Moving on to some of the more sophisticated stuff. Boss ME-50B is considerably larger than the previous two pedals and comes with a lot more options than them. This, of course, means that the price is going to be slightly bigger, but considering what it brings to the table it’s still brat value for money.
ME-50B is a pedal that will bring you analog, knob-based technology, that’s so much simpler and intuitive to use than stomping on the left and right switches trying to go through 100 presets one by one. The main feature of this pedal is its manual and memory mode. In manual mode, this pedal will act just like a pedalboard with three different effects and expression pedal. This means that when you optimize every pedal for itself, you get 4 different sounds you can mix. In memory mode, this thing will act as a classic multi-effects board – it will enable you to get 30 preset sounds, that you can then cycle and use during play.
For mid-range money, with this pedal, you will get excellent quality, great sound without the background noise, and this will become your best friend whether you take it on the road, or you work in the studio.
4. Boss GT-10B
And moving on to the heavyweight in the list. The older brother of the previous pedal processor on the list, Boss GT-10B is a big piece of high-end equipment, that can satisfy your every need, but coming at a high-end price too.
It will come with loads of inputs and outputs, including USB, MIDI I/O, XLR and many more. On the front, it has 6 big pedal switches and one expression pedal, as well as a rather big and bright LED screen. Of course, you can use this pedal with its preset sounds (more than 400 of them), but the main features of this processor are its looper, Parallel Chain technology and EZ sound. Parallel Chain technology will enable you to record multiple different sounds on the loop, thus creating – as the name suggests it – whole songs with one processor. EZ sound is a feature that will help you find just the right sound with its intuitive help. The build is sturdy and will take anything you throw at it.
Even though this is a somewhat older piece, the sheer size and quality of it made sure it’s on this list. IF you’re looking for a high-end professional piece of equipment and have no money issues, this will be your wanted piece.
5. FenderDowntown Express
And now for something completely different. Fender Downtown Express is a bit different than other pedals on this list as it is not a processor, using software to create different sounds, but a full analog multi-effect pedal. That just shows you the full range that multi-effects pedals can go, from fully electronic to fully analog.
Having said that, the Downtown Express itself is rather sturdy built, with thick aluminum case, and it will offer you 3 band equalizer, compressor, and overdrive effects, as well as a mute button. This pedal will offer you a much better quality of sound and lots of options for adjusting the sounds to your like, and it looks like a standard pedal, which means there is no problem of using it and adjusting to controls. For a reasonable price, Downtown Express will give you all of the most wanted and used bass effects, with superb analog Fender quality, and options to mix all of them as you please, making it really hard not to get a sound you need.
This pedal is maybe giving you fewer options than all of the others, but the high-end quality build and sound ensure that sounds it does provide, provide flawlessly.
Sometimes you might wonder if you really need all of them for i.e. 100+ sounds that these sound processors can offer, and it is right that you will likely not use 80% of them. But, the whole point of these devices is to give you a huge range of options in which you can find your wanted sound, without the hassle and expense of buying all the different single effect pedals. And, even though many musicians say that these pedals are solely for beginners, they do find their way into everyone gig or studio set, simply because they can offer you quality and lots of options for several times smaller price than pedalboards.
We hope that we helped you with this list and even though there are many more options on the market we believe that these 5 are definitely worth looking into.