Published On: Fri, Jun 24th, 2011

DigiTech BP355 Bass Multi-Effects Processor

More sounds, e ects, fl exibility and control for the money than any other unit around: that’s Digitech’s claim for its very latest bass multi-FX. Review by Gareth Morgan

Price: £228

Contact: Sound Technology, 01462 480000

Over the last 10 years the selection of sound-shaping devices available for bassists has mushroomed, and here at Guitar & Bass we’ve been fortunate enough to investigate a fair selection of them in depth. The latest to land in our lap is the compact BP355 multi-effects gizmo from DigiTech.

Multi-FX units are favoured by some players as they provide a variety of effects in one box that can be combined, saved and dialled up as and when desired with a minimum of fuss. That’s the case with the BP355, except it also offers simulated (‘modelled’) amps and cabinets, plus a digital tuner. There’s also a drum machine with a mass of practical pre-programmed patterns, so the BP355 can be used as a basic practising tool. A USB port and Cubase software are provided for PC/Mac interface for sound editing or recording.

The unit is of rugged metal construction and stands 445mm wide, 222mm deep and 64mm high, with the main controls numbering three plastic footswitches (Value Up and Down, Amp A/B), six control knobs (Tone Library, FX Library, FX Level, Amp Gain, Amp Level and Master Volume) and an expression pedal. Connectivity is fairly extensive, featuring stereo outs of both the jack and balanced XLR variety and, as well as the obligatory headphone mini-jack, an Aux in of similar nature means you can feed MP3s or CD into the BP355, blending via the Master Level control.

Sounds

The BP355 offers 20 modelled amps including Ampeg, Fender, Sunn, Trace Elliot and Mesa Boogie, and 13 cabinets such as an Acoustic 360, Eden 4×10, Ampeg 8×10 and SWR Basic Black. These, together with a ton of effects (including chorus, distortion, vibrato and envelope filter), can be accessed individually or via Tone and Effects Libraries. You can also sample and multi-track up to 20 seconds of music using the Looper feature.

There are two modes accessed via the footswitches, Stomp and Preset: the BP355 Bass Multi-Effects Processor former is suited to making a sound on the spot while Preset is useful for accessing one of the 70 pre-programmed patches, which can also then be edited and stored at the touch of a button. In terms of what’s already in the can, we feel that too many of the presets are based on some form of distortion; of course, it’s all very editable, but these tend to colour the direction you take while at the same time being largely uninspiring. There’s lots of other decent effects on offer and, as always, the ability to blend degrees of any of the effects with your clean signal is really useful. While you can’t alter parameters other than gain with the amp and cab models, editing the FX is straightforward and the Store button makes saving the result of your labours a simple affair.

In some ways, the most useful elements are the drum machine and ability to plug in an MP3/CD player for practising, with or without headphones, utilising all the features for some serious inspiration when there’s some hard work to be done.

Verdict

We’ll give the BP355 a guarded thumbsup. There’s a good selection of practical effects in here but, as with the majority of these types of unit, there’s also a big handful of fairly useless offerings. The amp/cabinet models are good, and PC/ Mac compatibility means the BP355 is set-up with the modern home recording scenario in mind. As a practice tool, it’s excellent. It’s also compact and seemingly well-built, and just under £230 it represents decent value for money.

Build Quality Playability Sound Value Vibe Score
18 16 16 17 16 83

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