The Best Bass Guitar Pedals 2021

Music equipment can be prohibitively costly. From basses and amps, to cables and tuners, upgrades to existing gear will incur considerable initial expenditure and ongoing expenditure.

Sweetwater employees have put together this curated list of bass guitar pedals from PA-ready preamps to envelope filters, utility pedals, equalizers and octave effects – everything is here!

1. Line 6 HX Stomp

The Helix series of digital amp modellers created quite an uproar when released, but the HX Stomp goes one step further by providing its signature effects and features in an ultra-compact pedal that barely larger than traditional pedals.

Like the rest of Helix pedals, the HX Stomp offers incredible power and tone for its size. It can serve as either an effect pedal alone, an add-on tone expander with other Helix processors or as part of a full guitar/bass rig setup – it supports six processing blocks simultaneously with over 300 amps/cabs/effects available!

Three capacitive-sensing footswitches equipped with color-coded LED rings enable preset selection and editing, while connecting optional footswitches or expression pedals to control any parameter via the MIDI learn mode, or integrate them into preset signal chains using two effects loops is simple and seamless. Plus, with its PSU, stereo ins/outs jacks (that can be configured as either mono/stereo pairs), and TRS expression jack socket, there are plenty of connectivity options!

Easy to use with its intuitive display and straightforward interface, SnapShot pedal is designed for simplicity with clear displays and user-friendly features that make every task clear and straightforward. From selecting new presets or altering parameters to creating Snapshots or Snapshots – everything’s straightforward. Additionally, its effects sound incredible: some have even been described as being among the finest available in such pedals!

The blocks are also an impressive draw, providing a range of tones to explore and the option to import custom cabinet IRs further enhancing your sound.

The HX Stomp is fully-equipped for real-life gigging, too, with 126 user presets for guitar, bass and keyboards; full chromatic tuner; traditional MIDI in/out; FX return inputs for 4-cable amp integration; 2-channel expansion jack; free software editor to make customizing and tweaking pedals easier than ever – an incredible piece of gear which could make an ideal addition to any bassist’s collection.

2. Aguilar Octamizer V2

This pedal is an excellent way to add more punch to your bass sounds. Suitable as both a stompbox effect and as part of an amp setup, this pedal works particularly well in heavier genres such as rock and metal music. When combined with other pedals such as overdrive and distortion effects pedals it creates even stronger sounds!

The Aguilar Octamizer is an analogue octave pedal designed to produce an array of musical sounds one octave below their original note. Featuring separate volume controls for clean and octave sounds, dialing in exactly how much of each is desired is simple and its two separate signal paths also boast their own tone controls, expanding its sonic possibilities further.

This octave pedal boasts an impressive variety of tones, from smooth and deep to edgy and aggressive. You can use it to add funky synth-bass-esque feels to your bass line or more natural sounds when underlining chords of bass guitar chords, as well as adding punchy extra punch to bass drums.

The Octamizer offers excellent tracking abilities, making it an excellent choice for bassists looking to combine it with other pedals. To optimize its effectiveness and ensure maximum clarity in tone delivery, place it near the beginning of your pedal chain so as to preserve its effects without becoming overwhelmed by other effects. Doing so also protects against feedback.

The Octamizer boasts a sturdy roadworthy build and is easy to use. Powered by either one 9V battery or an AC adapter, its built-in LED indicates its status; its foot switch has precise movement; input/output sockets are conveniently side mounted to keep cables organized neatly; all this makes Aguilar’s pedal an outstanding choice for bassists searching for organic analogue octave effects; perfect for Motown to prog-metal genres and ideal when used alongside overdrive/ distortion pedals!

3. Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI V2

The Tech 21 SansAmp Bass Driver DI is a direct box pedal designed to add signal processing capabilities to your bass guitar, including preamping or equalization to help achieve the perfect tone in both live performance and studio environments. This versatile pedal can help create everything from classic tube sounds, modern slap sounds and even gnarly distortion – ideal for bassists seeking an accessible yet compact pedal solution.

This pedal is extremely compact and straightforward to use, powered either by a 9V power supply or four AA batteries. The input jack features a high 1megOhm input impedance that accepts mono and stereo signals with ease, plus there is a bypass switch when needed. A blend control lets you add some clean signal into the tube amp emulation; additionally there are controls for treble, mid, and bass tone adjustment.

Three-pole filters also include sliders to control resonance, start and stop frequencies and the rate of sweep allowing you to quickly switch from sharp attack through to warbling dinosaur-war cry, creating some truly unpredictable sounds. You could also run this pedal into a delay pedal for some truly crazy effects.

This pedal offers another useful feature in its programmable multiband compressor: this works according to the same algorithm as TC Electronic’s high-end System 6000 compressor and can help keep levels under control without losing dynamic range or low end taming capabilities. Plus, its sparkling harmonics create sparkly high harmonics beloved by bass players!

One thing that makes this pedal stand out from its competition is its multipurpose use – both as a preamp and effect. This feature makes it particularly suitable for live performances where noise reduction is necessary while still having access to dynamic tone adjustments on-demand.

4. Neural DSP Quad Cortex

Neural DSP has long been recognized for providing cutting-edge amp and effect modeling to plugins, and their debut in hardware is this self-contained floor processor powered by Quad-Core SHARC DSP. Combining high precision studio tones with real world gigging flexibility, presets are available via cloud download as well as rig capture feature enabling you to bring along any amplifiers/pedals/cab/pedals combinations in order to capture their interaction digitally preserving any sophisticated interactions among amp, cabinet/cab and pedals digitally preserved digitally preserved!

Recreating your gear couldn’t be simpler or more straightforward – simply plug an amp or pedal into the capture button to capture its entire signal chain, followed by clear instructions that ensure proper connections and levels are set correctly. Neural DSP’s advanced AI then works its magic, faithfully replicating all aspects of amp, cab and pedal interactions – such as sag, saturation distortion compression. Everything remains true-to-form for an authentic experience!

Quad Cortex comes preloaded with over 50 amps, effects and cabinet IRs to get you started, with new models continually being added by the company. Furthermore, its adaptable nature means it can profile any amp, pedal or device so even rare and expensive amps stored at home can come along on tour; and vintage overdrive pedals too valuable to take out on tour can still be brought along as valuable assets.

The Quad Cortex’s 7-inch touch screen is big, bright and intuitive to navigate – giving visual confirmation of changes while providing an easy overview of signal paths. Eleven rotary footswitches with twist and stomp functionality double as dials to provide hands-on amp tweaking without hassle-free foot control.

No matter if you are using Preset Mode (easily accessible via one click of your foot) or Stomp Mode with four independent pedal chains and instant switching via four stomp buttons), everything is made incredibly straightforward – simply drag-and-drop to rearrange blocks or swap features in/out with ease!

Quad Cortex provides unparalleled connectivity, featuring TS, TRS and XLR inputs with two effects loops, two available MIDI connections for automated switching and control, 48 V phantom power for microphones and anodised aluminium tour-grade cases designed to withstand road life onstage – even offering touchscreen protection of 1.8mm chemically strengthened protective glass!