- Multi-effects units are available for bass guitar that include some of the more popular effects types. Rack-mountable effects units often include distortion and overdrive, amp simulators, and time based effects such as delay and flange. They range in price from as little as a couple hundred dollars up to many thousands for higher end models. All are foot-switchable as well, and you can set up user banks that allow you to customize effects for your playing style and type of music.
- There are rack-mounted effects units that are solely used for attaining a dirty, gritty sound on bass. These distortion units are capable of lighter overdrive tones all the way to full-on distortion, mimicking some of the high gain guitar amps from Marshall and Mesa Boogie. You can also use these rack-mounted effects units for subtle overdrive tones that add just the right amount of grit, similar to the sounds of Les Claypool, Billy Gould of Faith No More and Steve Harris from Iron Maiden.
- Amp simulators come in most of the more modern rack mounted effects units. Bass players often use clean sounds, but are very brand specific in nature. Modern digital simulators can create the sound of the preamp from more popular manufacturers such as Ampeg, Trace Elliot and SWR. Modern rock fans can get the sound of a modern Ampeg and an all-tube model as well as the warmth of a Mesa Boogie 400+, all with the same single space rack effects unit.
- More adventurous bass players can use a rack-mounted effects unit for time-based effects such as delay, chorus and flanger. Chorus is one of the most popular time-based effects for bass, as it adds a lushness to the sound by splitting the signal and adding delay to one of the lines. Bass players interested in experimenting can set any of these types of effects in unique ways to come up with innovative sounds that have never been heard before. All of these effects can be tweaked on different parameters including delay time, sensitivity and rate. You can use multiple time-based effects on a single channel for radical sounds on the bass guitar.