The rhythmic fretwork of the bass guitarist is almost always an essential element in modern music, but when it comes to effects processors, most pedals seem to head for lead guitar stardom. DigiTech is about to treat the rich and versatile electric bass sound to a new multi-effects unit that puts hundreds of sounds, effects, amplifiers and speaker cabinets at a bass player's disposal.

DigiTech has announced a December release for the newest member of its bass effects processor family – the BP355 Bass Multi-Effects Pedal. Hidden away within its rugged die-cast metal housing is DigiTech's AudioDNA 2 processor that offers players a choice of 20 amps, 17 speaker cabinets and over 70 effects, including various distortion pedals, flangers, phasers, envelope filters, compressors, delays and pitch shifters.

There's a 30-sound Tone Library and a choice of 3-band or 4-band semi-parametric EQ. Players control the sonic action via three footswitches that enable them to choose which effect or sound is required, and an onboard expression pedal caters for extra parameter control (such as volume, pitch and modulation). The unit offers a choice of 70 factory presets and 70 user setups, and users can even play along to their own phrasing thanks to a 20 second loop. A built-in tuner helps keep the proceedings note perfect.

For solitary rehearsal, there's 60 CD-quality drum patterns and an audio input for feeding in tunes from an external media player. Players can hook up the device to a computer or laptop via the built-in USB port and record, edit or manipulate to their heart's content using the included Cubase LE5 and DigiTech X-Edit software.

The in and outs are catered for with a 6.4mm (0.25-inch) input jack and 6.4mm and XLR stereo outputs. There's an Amp/Mixer switch that enables onward connection to an amplifier or PA system and a 3.5mm (0.13-inch) headphone jack for some privacy.

The BP355 is set for release later this month for a suggested retail of US$309.