Born for guitar, yet brilliant for bass. TC Electronic’s BodyRez acoustic pickup enhancer is essentially one-knob simplicity with a touch of magic in a tiny package…
The idea behind BodyRez is to add a larger-than-life quality to acoustic guitars with piezo pickups. Scooped equalization is the main ingredient, but there is also some compression going on under the hood.
Since it was designed for acoustic guitars, I thought it would be great to try it on a double bass as well as on a fretless Rob Allen Mouse with a piezo pickup. However, a bit of scooping and compression also sounded intriguing to test on an electric bass, so in this review I am using 3 different basses in 5 rounds of sound clips.
This section is going to be extremely brief… BodyRez is born with just one knob named BODY, simply adding more or less effect as you turn it back and forth.
The sound clips in this review are split into 5 rounds. The first 2 cover double bass, the 3rd round is the semi-acoustic Rob Allen Mouse bass and the last 2 rounds is a Fender Jazz bass from 1972.
The approach is methodic simply starting each round with a DRY sample followed by 5 audio clips at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% settings.
NOTE! Please use headphones or ‘real’ speakers. You simply can’t judge low-end material on laptop, tablet or phone speakers…!
NOTE! If you are on a mobile device, please turn it to landscape mode to see the knob settings of the pedal for each audio clip.
Is BodyRez a one-trick pony? Maybe it is, but it pulls off this trick extremely well. I found it most pleasing to the ear at fairly subtle settings between 0% – 40%. And yes, there is definitey an audible difference between DRY and 0%. Much higher than that the scoop becomes quite overwhelming, and while it does sound good on its own, the tone begins to lack definition once you play in a band mix. This is not a criticism as such as it may well be a usable range if you play acoustic guitar, but for bass I like to keep it within the first 40% of its total range.
I did find that it made all of the basses in the test rounds sound better – in particular the double bass. It should be mentioned, however, that my double bass is not a high-end bass and that the pickup system is far from high-end. But maybe it is exactly in such cases that this pedal makes a real difference.
Overall, I do find it very versatile – especially considering its extremely limited control options.
The quality seems high, as I have grown accustomed to with my other TC pedals. The footswitch is click-less, which disturbed me a bit the first time I tried a pedal without a physical and audible ‘payoff’. But now that I have gotten used to it, I am fine with this type of footswitch.
The BodyRez acoustic pickup enhancer is a ‘mini’ pedal with a very tiny footprint and it would fit into almost any pedal board. For a pedal with just one knob, any other size would have been nonsense.
The pedal does have a mini USB port, but it is not officially a TonePrint pedal (learn more about the TonePrint concept in this Flashback Delay review). But I don’t see why it shouldn’t be possible to make it a TonePrint pedal at som epoint, and if you had access to the TonePrint Editor with full control over how much EQ and compression that would be applied – and how it would be applied – it would be a very powerful tool. Fingers crossed!
Today (2015), you can get a brand new TC BodyRez for $99. Yes, as mentioned it is a one-trick pony, but at this price I can definitely live with that. This is the type of pedal that you would usually use to shape your basic tone rather then punch it in and out, and if it helps you nail that ultimate tone (or get you closer), it could easily be worth the price.
I really do like the concept and the simplicity of this pedal. Use it for core tone-shaping or find a nice sweetspot for punching in your slap tone. I was actually surprised how well it worked for bass, bearing in mind it was designed for acoustic guitar first. Love it when you can find alternative, creative uses in pedals!
Sounds great on acoustic as well as electric basses
Good build quality
Great value for money