Zoom announced their B3 Bass Effects and Amp Simulator at NAMM last month, a pedal that combines three stompboxes into one to create a wide array of effects and amp models, plus a whole lot more in this feature-packed device.
The B3’s three large displays, each with their own dedicated footswitch, combine to offer a graphical interface to access up to three stompboxes and amp effects at once. The interface also sports three control knobs – one for each display. This combines to offer an easy way to create, save and arrange effect chains and navigate, both in live and studio settings.
Zoom’s says their newly designed sigmoid curve clipper “re-creates the smooth clipping of a tube amp’s waveform. From the warm, fat sound of R&B to the intense, aggressive tone of metal, the B3 can simulate amplifier sounds that are authentic to the original models while maintaining the nuances of fingering and picking techniques.”
Twelve “super-real” amp models are included, ranging from vintage to modern amp technology replication, and each offering its own distinct cabinet modeling. The device allows for mixing and matching of amps and cabs to digitally create custom rigs.
The bundled amp models include:
- Ampeg SVT
- Fender Bassman 100
- Hartke HA3500
- SWR SM-900
- Ampeg B-15
- Acoustic 360
- Aguilar DB750
- Polytone Mini Brute III
- Marshall Super Bass
- Gallien Krueger 800RB
- Eden WT-800
- Mark Bass Little Mark III
The B3 offers 99 types of stompbox effects, including many popular bass pedals and rack-mount processors. Up to effects can be used in any combination at once, as well as the unit’s stereo tube presets and bass synths. Custom patches designed and used by Victor Wooten, Megadeth’s David Ellefson, Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Living Colour’s Doug Wimbish are all packaged in the B3.
Zoom’s all-new ZFX-IV DSP effects processor is integrated into the B3, offering a boost in power and clarity over Zoom’s previous ZFX version. The ZFX-IV offers 32-bit floating-point processing, which the company says “produce amplifier sounds that are more realistic than ever before.”
The B3’s looper capabilities offer up to 40 seconds of phrase recording and overdubbing (20 seconds if the “undo” setting is activated). The “sound-on-sound” feature allows for layering bass sounds as many times as desired in real time, and using the loops as backing tracks. A built-in drum machine with 40 different rhythm patterns is included as well and can be incorporated into looping performances.
A USB audio interface is included in the B3, offering direct recording to any computer or capable device. All of the sound settings created for performances can be recorded to a DAW. Zoom’s “Edit & Share” software, available for free download, allows for personalizing, editing and saving amp and effect settings on a Windows or Mac computer, and for downloading new patches online or sharing patches with other bassists.
The B3 offers a balanced XLR output for DI use, allowing you to eliminate a DI box from the mix by connecting the device directly to the mixing console. A Pre/Post switch can be used to manage the sound to the main outputs while sending the original analog bass signal directly to the XLR output without passing through an analog-to-digital converter.
The B3’s built in tuner is activated by the unit’s center footswitch, with LCD display and LED indicators displays and silent tuning capabilities.
The device will fit into standard pedalboards as well, and can be powered with an included AC adaptor, USB connected to a computer, or with four AA batteries.
Zoom offers an optional FP02 expression pedal and footswitch for the B3 to add and control effects including wah, pitch shift, volume, drive gain, modulation rate and delay/reverb mix in real time. An optional FS01 footswitch is available to allow for tapping the tempo used for the drum machine, looper and effects as well as muting the Delay/Reverb input or turning Delay Hold on or off.
The company says the unit will be available this month. Expected street price is $199.99. For more info, visit Zoom’s site.
Zoom B3 Bass Effects and Amp Simulator Pedal Specs:
- Three large LCD displays with intuitive amp and stompbox interface
- 12 amp or 99 stompbox models can be used in any combination
- Personally designed patches by Victor Wooten (Béla Fleck & the Flecktones), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Frank Bello (Anthrax) and Doug Wimbish (Living Colour)
- Over 100 built-in ZFX-IV DSP effects
- Create and store up to 100 original tones
- Looper function with 40 seconds of phrase recording and overdubbing
- Integrated drum machine and auto-chromatic tuner
- USB audio interface for DAW recording
- Balanced XLR output and selectable modes for DI use
- Over six hours of operation using four AA batteries/USB bus power (AC adapter included)
- Includes Edit&Share and Steinberg Sequel LE recording software