Demo Review: Zoom B6 Bass Multi-Effects Processor

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Zoom B6 Bass Multi-Effects Processor

Big Tone for the Bottom End

When we received Zoom's new B6 multi-effects processor, we wanted to dive in and really get our hands on all its features. The spec sheet is certainly impressive, and it boasts a lot of capability, so we wanted to put it to the test.

We take a close look at how this feature packed multi-effects processor changes the game in the world of bass.

Video Transcript

Hey everyone, Big Mikey C here at Cosmo Music. Hello 2022! New year, you're probably asking "BMC? What's new in the bass world for 2022?” I got something that is really, really cool man, and it has just arrived here at Cosmo. The new Zoom B6 multi-bass effect.

This thing is packed with a ton of features. Designed in conjunction with very esteemed bass player Carlitos Del Puerto from Los Angeles, well-renowned bass player, played with the likes of Chick Corea, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Lukather. This is a previous incarnation of the pedal of this current unit. It's the Zoom V3, and what Zoom did is they took a lot of the great features of this pedal and incorporated into this new 2022 version.

What features does this bad boy have? Four DI's, two solid state, two tube, two input selects, so you can use two basses at the same time. Either if you're using a fretted and a fretless, a P bass and a jazz bass, or even a situation where you're using upright and electric, it actually has the impedance selector on the back for either 10 meg or one meg. In a situation where if you're using an upright, you'd have piezo pickup, it can handle that situation. Effect wise, you can do nine effects at one time. Amazing! It has a built-in looper, which you can do 45 seconds of loop time. That also increases with an SD card that you can put in the back and you can have up to two hours of loop time. 

What they've also done is Bluetooth connectivity. There's a little bluetooth dongle from Zoom that connects in the back of the unit. The 4.3 inch colour screen, touch sensitive as well, you can actually see that on your phone with bluetooth capability. At the moment it's only available for iPhone, but Zoom, if you're listening, Android please! Zoom has even thought of availability for the visually impaired, which unbelievable that they even thought of that. I'm gonna turn it on here, beautiful colour screen here, all the pretty lights.

Essentially now we can start with the DI type. Either two different tubes or two different solid state. For this example, I'm just gonna choose Solid State 1. Also, it actually shows you in the screen the actual type of DI. We're not going to hit the effects bypass because we obviously want to hear it. We're going to start off with the actual bank section, so I just picked this sound as an example. We've got a synth sound. What you can also do is if you actually switch to the effect board, section, you can actually see all the effects that actually make up this patch. We've got basically a bass stereo chorus, a filter, the Z-synth, and then the LMT 76. So what's really cool is that all the actual colours, the purple, yellow, orange, lilac blue, actually coincide with these buttons down here at the bottom. So if in this particular situation, if you didn't want the filter, you literally just, you can turn it off and then it's indicated by the little, the little orange dots. Let's go back, and now we're back into the patch, and actually now let's just hear what this sounds like.

So pretty cool sounds, like the actual chameleon. One thing that's great that Zoom does an excellent, amazing job, is their synth sounds for bass. In this unit and even their previous units, are totally, totally awesome. So I really wanted to choose this one for the actual bass legend factor. It's in a section actually appropriately called Legends. Patch is called Portrait, ala Mr. Jaco himself. I'm not Jaco but definitely has that Jaco vibe. One other great feature is that you can actually create an actual pedal scene, where if you want to set up a string of different sounds from the banks for a certain tune where you want a certain tone for the verse and then a certain tone for the chorus, and then a certain tone for the bridge, it will actually enable you to do that.

Wow bubble synth, I dig this one. Wow.

Man, it tracks great. No latency at all. Slap 42, obviously this has to be homage to the great Mark King from level 42. Big fan of his. I was an 80s kid, man.

So for me I'm thinking it's a little too bassy. There's a screen that you can access that has all the editing capabilities. So we're going to go to edit effects, and then probably it's the pre that I actually want to tweak a little bit. So yes, so I'm maybe gonna lower the gain a little bit and then I'm not really overly happy with it, a little too bassy for me, so I'm gonna lower the bass a little bit and maybe just up, maybe. So that's not too bad. I'm pretty happy with that. so now we just go back and now we're actually, we're back to the sound, and it's now edited. You can totally tweak it to your heart's desire. Here we go, “Running in the Family”. Love that tune. One other great thing that they've added with this amazing product is there's a built-in drum machine. Let's check it out and how you actually access and how you actually get the rhythms, and how you can change everything. It's quite simple. So we're just on here, our actual sound, 80 Studio, you scroll down in the menu and you go to play with rhythm. If you click on the rhythm, there's a plethora of rhythms. I believe almost 60 different rhythms. We're gonna just stay on the funk one that I selected. You can also have a count on. You can change the actual tempo, you can change the volume of it. There are some great editing features that you can use with it. So let's just play with it, so it's kind of a little slow. My liking it's quite easy to actually bump it up with these two knobs. You're going to control the beats per minute and the volume, so we're just going to go up to my liking, I'm going to say roughly about 120-121ish. Way too hot in the volume so I'm going to turn down the volume. So maybe it's still a little too fast. So that's pretty good. It's 110. So I'm just going to play something, I'm going to play along. So pretty cool.

So for you solo bassists out there, we're just going to touch briefly on the actual looper. In this unit, so essentially we've got it set up here. I've called up a pretty, well, a sound to use as well. It's 80 Studio. Essentially all you need to do is just hit record and play, and we'll hit play. So we've got the line there. So now we do have the opportunity to overdub over this. So hopefully it should be there. There we go, and the great thing about looper that you can get up and dance! (Sorry, horrible dancer! I had to do that).

So as a bass player, with this product, why would I need this? I can honestly tell you just for the fact from my personal experience, I had the monster pedal board with everything on it. One gig, the leader said “Hey man, for a bass player, you’ve got a lot of pedals!” I took it to heart and got rid of all my pedals. In this situation, this is really, really small, compact. It's pretty discreet, but pound-for-pound, the features that they've included in this unit, you don't need the monster pedal board. And you literally have everything that you need from the gigging touring bass player perspective. Put this in your carry-on. It's basically the same size as a laptop. This is your back line, and Carlitos, he's in the trenches. Good call man, even for the person at home recording, interface built right into it. And even the unit actually comes with some Cubase software, so out of the box, literally just plug it into your computer and you're ready to record.

I'm Big Mikey C, check out the Zoom B6 and other great bass products at CosmoMusic.ca. Until next time, keep safe, and play more bass!

Here at Cosmo, we drop weekly videos. We'd really love it if you actually would hit subscribe. Any questions, comments, concerns, shout outs for me, you can actually put them in the comments section. So much love to everybody. Take care.

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