Great Question About Pedals on the Band Stand
Günter, a bassist from Germany, asks a great question after seeing my Hocket Delay Video:
my audition went great and I am now the bassist in a rock cover band. We play Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin etc. WOuld you use an effects pedal in such a situation? Would you use the delay pedal more for soloing or also for comping? Your delay playing is totally awesome. I would like to contribute a few solos to my band, but there would be a drummer playing, so I don’t have a perfectly defined tempo I could set in my unit. So can I even program the delay pedal in that case? Will the solo sound out of tempo?
Greetings from the cold,
Great question, Günter!
As for pedals in general:
In a cover band context I’d be careful using too many pedal effects. Sometimes I may use a distortion pedal or an octave pedal, maybe my MXR envelope filter (cuz it is like mega funky!). The goal is to emulate the original and most and foremost fit the song.
Here are a few more suggestions for cool pedals:
- Amp emulations can be great
- Compression – if used well – is nice
- EQ pedals (with presets if possible) are great to match tones
- A Chorus can be useful in ballads
- Reverb (maybe short room sound) – can make the bass sound big
- Filters to emulate filtered sounds (try to get that dark 60’s sound),
- Distortion or saturation – if used wisely – can be good to emulate certain amp sounds.
Just be aware that too many effects on bass can sound gimmicky if not used well.
As for the hocket delay specifically:
I view it more as a special application in a solo context, looping context, or maybe in a duo.
That said, the sky is the limit on creativity, so if it fits with what you are doing in the band, go for it!
Some units allow you to program the tempo with your foot. So while your band is playing and you are getting ready for the solo you tap quarter notes for tempo (or dotted eighth notes if you have to program the dotted eighths that way as well!) into your unit. It is really important everyone can hear you well. With pedals it is all about volume, so you may add a bit of gain (don’t forget to soundcheck the pedal!) since it is your solo. Important that everyone can hear you and react, because there will likely be a bit of fluctuation when you program the pedal and then kick it in.
Or: Use a synced up click track. Some units have midi out and you just give the drummer a feed.
And if it is not the hocket delay but a different type of delay technique you are using then timing is not that critical, as you are not going for a string of even sixteenth notes.
One more thought: make sure that your solo fits the style of the music you are doing.