BassTalk 08.01.2024: Do you some times buy a piece of music equipment that you end up using for something other than what you initially imagined? This is how I feel about my BOSS ME-50B, Bass Multiple Effects. It is a floor unit which is divided into 6 sections: comp/limiter, master, filter/tone, drive/synth, delay/modulation and expression pedal. When it came out many years ago, it looked like a good all-in-one package for live gigs. It is built in a robust metal hardware box, and there are plenty of 'hands on' buttons in the same way as we see on 'stand alone' pedals. So not a lot of cryptic programming. You just turn the knobs and you're up and running.
However I prefer my own homemade pedal board when I play live gigs. Meaning the gigs that require the use of bass effects, and these have mainly been gigs where I play original music.
At the time I bought my ME-50B I played a lot of party gigs, and to be honest I could handle the vast majority of wedding gigs with a Boss Tuner TU-2, and occasionally I would bring an EBS Octabass in the gigbag (the old gray model which was one of the first models to be released by EBS), to kick in in the solos.
During the holydays I have recorded some bass for an album with Cars On Water that will be released in February 2024. On the vast majority of songs I play on my Fender American Standard Jazz Bass '11 with a maple neck (Charcoal Frost Metallic).
But on 3 of the songs I play a fretless Fender Mex Jazz Bass, which is put together of parts from 2 different Mex basses. It has a nice Sage Green Metallic finish, and some very good sounding pickups. When I play on the fretless, I like to use the ME-50B as a preamp, because it has a nice beefy chorus effect that doesn't pull all the bottom out of the bass, and it sounds significantly better than the software plugins in the studio. I also use the master section for EQ, as well as the compressor called Natural with threshold and level set at 12.
So my ME-50B hasn't been at many live gigs, instead it is now enjoying its retirement as a studio preamp when I play fretless bass. From there I go directly into a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, and from here the signal path continues to the computer.
If you are curious about how I track the fretted bass, I have written about it in the BassTalks called Kristian K Lassen - Studio Bass 1 and 2. Finally, I would like to add that there is nothing right or wrong when it comes to recording bass. It's all about experimenting until you get the sound you want, and a sound that fits the music you're recording. Have fun in the studio!
Here's a bass solo from 2014 where I played with the trio Mad Moons. On this gig I used my self-assembled pedal board, which we may have to take a closer look at in an upcoming BassTalk :-)
All the best