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Everything posted by bnt

  1. Is this one of the Harley Benton kits? They’re doing a kit build competition at the moment.
  2. There is a kind of circuit called a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) that locks on to an input signal and produces a new square wave signal, at the same frequency and in phase. It also outputs a voltage proportional to the frequency that other circuits can use. I played with the 4046 chip version years ago, not for pitch detection but more in search of nasty sounds & effects e.g. using dividers on the voltage to get subharmonics. It was finicky, the circuit needs tuning, and it was slow to lock on to a bass signal, so I don’t think e.g. Roland used a general purpose PLL like that. I might get in to it again, but I see someone else has done what I was looking for and more, in pedal form:
  3. I did this on a Hohner B2V years ago, which doesn’t have a nut at all, so there wasn’t that to worry about. I got double ball strings from Status Graphite, I just specified the gauges and they called it a custom set. Bass Centre Elites are another option today.
  4. I only realised after posting that I was responding to something from four years ago - oh well.
  5. (duplicate post)
  6. That’s because the Vbass isn’t doing pitch-to-MIDI conversion on the signal, but instead processing it heavily to do what it does. If you want MIDI output, on the other hand, pitch detection must insert some latency, as already mentioned. If you wait for one full cycle of a low E, which is around 42 Hz, that will take 1/42 seconds, plus the time to calculate pitch, then transmit MIDI, then produce a new note. You will definitely hear that much latency. So Roland has their way around the problem with the Vbass: don’t rely on pitch detection and MIDI. The Fretsense folks have another solution, which also doesn’t require pitch detection.
  7. It’s actually the EX-1, the “theater” version of the GX-1, as described here. Still extremely rare and expensive, maybe a dozen or so were made.
  8. Yep - G4M and others are literally “box shifters” in that sense. That’s one reason why I didn’t go for one of the Coliseum MultiScales mentioned earlier. Between the first samples and actual availability was a long lead time (over six months IIRC), so what I might get could be entirely different in quality.
  9. These seem OK, if a bit conventional, and I'm not really in the market for conventional since I got a conventional (but better) HB a couple of years ago (the MP-4EB). I'm still hoping that Thomann gets back in to the affordable multiscale bass market, but I also don't think that market is big enough to justify the investment.
  10. There is a @Tony Butlerregistered since 2019, no posts…hmm .? 🤔
  11. I was kind of obligated to check out Big Country myself, being from Dunfermline, but I was glad I did. Tony was just a monster on bass, and I was not surprised to read, years later, that he had been a fan of Chris Squire among others. Flame Of The West is still one of my go-to plectrum practice pieces. The first time a I saw them live was in Dublin on the Final Fling tour, a gig kind-of ruined for me by the PA, sadly - way too loud where I was, ear-wrecking levels. The next year, I found myself at the Barrowlands in Glasgow, for the Stuart Adamson Memorial concert. I remember Bill Nelson was there with a massive rack of guitar electronics, playing a long piece he wrote called For Stuart. Bill, with Be-Bop Deluxe, had been a major influence on Stuart, who got Bill to produce one of the Skids albums. Bill introduced Stuart to the E-Bow and IIRC to the MXR Pitch Transposer (kind-of a budget Eventide Harmonizer) that was such a major part of the “bagpipe tone” in the early years. I know some people are down on the Peace In Our Time album, but I don’t get it, since it contains some of Stuart’’s best songs. Thirteen Valleys, Thousand Yard Stare, the title track, and in particular I Could Be Happy Here is up there with the best in my opinion.
  12. Quite the surprise from Korg last week: they released software versions of the opsix and wavestate synths, fully compatible in both directions, with major discounts for owners of the matching hardware. So for $50 extra I can now run multiple instances of the opsix in a DAW, with my own custom patches right there and sounding the same. Now all I need to do is find some talent ..!
  13. Did someone change the title of this thread? That's not what I wrote up top.
  14. Primus has announced a 16-stop tour of Europe, including the UK & Ireland, which includes a full version of Rush's A Farewell To Kings: 27/09: Glasgow, O2 Academy 29/09: London, Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith) 30/09: Manchester, Academy 01/10: Dublin, Olympia Details of the other dates are on Primusville. Tickets go on sale on Friday, 10am in the case of Dublin. I'll try and get a ticket for the Olympia, though I'll be working and can't exactly sit on TicketB'stard all morning!
  15. Since I recently got my first “proper” keyboard in years (see my Korg opsix thread), I pulled out my old Akai MPC1000 to test how well it drives the Korg for basslines. The MPC1000 might be best described as a multitrack sequencer and multitimbral sample engine, with decent pads for drum programming. It uses standard WAV sample files, and has a USB disk mode so you can transfer samples directly in to its storage. I added the optional disk caddy and a spare 80GB laptop hard drive, years ago, rather than struggle with its limited CompactFlash card. It’s pretty powerful e.g. it’s capable of being a drum machine while also playing back melodic samples and driving multiple external MIDI devices, all from its sequencer. Not the most intuitive to use, though, you do need to read the manual.
  16. adverts.ie has a proper Basses category, which makes me wonder why this is filed under "Other Guitars"? That's probably why I didn't see this before. There's some interesting stuff in the main Basses category e.g. someone from the Dublin area just posted a nice-looking Sandberg California. I don't know what shipping costs to the UK are like at the moment, and some sellers won't ship. You can buy a bass its own seat on a Ryanair flight, which is probably cheaper than shipping, and have a weekend in Dublin or Cork while you're at it.
  17. Some technical notes: There are specific instructions for Windows, which you have to follow before you can talk to the opsix over USB, involving a specific Windows driver for RNDIS Networking. These are in the manual included with the v2.0 upgrade. Once I did that, communication worked straight away. I upgraded straight from v1.0.1 to v 2.0.1: no problem with that process, but I noted that some of the presets mentioned in reviews were missing e.g. "KONG's Footstep". It looks like the v2.0.1 download includes about 90 fewer presets for some reason. The full preset library is on the website to download, and I could apply it through the Librarian. This overwrites all presets, so I did first have to transfer the few patches I had already created, save them to program files (a good idea anyway), then reload them in to the new preset library. About DX7 patches: I downloaded some DX7 SysEx banks from here and loaded them in to the opsix using MIDI-OX. When the opsix receives patches over SysEx, it stops and asks you where to put them e.g. 401-432 are usually free, so I dumped them there. I've only ever spent time with DX7 factory presets in Dexed and they are a bit bland without effects, which the DX7 really needed IMHO (It wasn't until a few years later, with the Roland D-50, Korg M1 etc. that synths with onboard digital effects became a reality.) From what I can hear they sound pretty close, but I did notice one FX sound that didn't work at all. In general. you can sound like an original DX7 from 1983 if you want to, though I don't particularly want to, personally. A couple of additional notes after a fair bit of playing around: Every program can include a sequence with up to 6 "lanes" of polyphony and 6 lanes of motion sequencing (parameter changes). You can record these in real time or step time and edit the results on screen. It has a transposing key trigger mode for live playing e.g. program it in the key of C, then hold down a G to play the sequence transposed down a 4th. (Chromatic only, no Diatonic key support here.) The Arpeggiator is a bit boring, but the Sequencer makes up for it e.g. where another synth lets you create custom arpeggio styles, here that falls under the Sequencer functions. You can combine the two for added complexity. The opsix can create some truly obscene, headphone-murdering sounds. Watch the levels and think of your hearing. I haven't had it through loud speakers yet, but I imagine the aforementioned "KONG's Footstep" would have the neighbours calling engineers to check the stability of their house's foundations. My first attempt at Karplus-Strong string synthesis would peel the paint from the walls in high registers. Low notes sound like that scene from one of the Star Wars prequels when (IIRC) Jango Fett was trying to kill Obi-Wan in the asteroid field with some odd type of missile that produced shock waves. And that doesn't even use FM at all, but rather a single operator in Effects / Comb Filter mode: I still have 5 more operators to play with if I want to, in a single patch. Not very musical, but of course you can dial back the madness with more programming, filters and effects. The opsix is not a workstation, it has only a 3-octave keyboard and doesn't do workstation-style splits or layers of multiple programs. But programs do use layering of different tones as standard, up to 6 layers if you don't stack the operators e.g. organs have up to six variable "manuals" with the faders as drawbars. You can use the operator keytracking at its limits to create splits e.g. one preset uses three operators for an electric piano and the other three for a bass sound.
  18. You might not need to replace the socket, it might be enough to re-solder the connections. PSU joints tend to be larger, the main risk IMHO would be applying too much solder and causing a short. So some solder removal braid would be good to have handy.
  19. Personally, if all else failed, I’d be willing to experiment a bit in an attempt to save the amp. It’s a tiny SMD resistor that had quite a voltage going to it, so I’d start with a high value such as 1M. Using a pot to dial in a value might be an option too, in series with e.g. a 1k to limit the possible current.
  20. V2.0 did introduce some stability issues, I saw that Korg put out 2.0.1 as a fix for those. I upgraded to that straight out of the box.
  21. On the question of programming, just playing with the basic sound is a doddle, with the six knobs and sliders controlling operator ratio/frequency and levels respectively. So you can quickly change the fundamental tone, even live. More detailed editing & tuning means some shallow menu diving. There’s a drawbar organ patch that can be “voiced” live with the controls. PS if you’re going to check out YouTube videos, on the opsix, be aware that most don’t cover the new Effects operators that were introduced with v2.0 software about 3 months ago. These significantly expand the possibilities for non-FM synthesis methods. Look for videos by Oscillator Sink (yes, with a K). Those are what gave me the final push towards getting one.
  22. The Opsix definitely appeals to the maths geek in me. It can load DX7 SysEx files but doesn’t promise to play them perfectly, since there are differences in the operator envelopes (simpler ADSR instead of the DX7’s multi-stage envelopes. My previous experience of FM is mostly through the Synclavier Go app on the iPad, which is an enhanced emulation of the Synclavier II. That uses up to 4 “partials”, each a carrier/modulator pair i.e. 8 operators total but no flexibility. The carrier is an additive oscillator, so you can get more complex tones that way. Last night, for fun, I programmed the famous Galactic Cymbal sound from Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” intro. I just copied the numbers from the app, and it came out a close match, despite having to skip the 4th partial.
  23. Just arrived today from Thomann after resisting for some weeks. My only other actual synth is a tiny Novation Xio that is OK in a pinch, but it’s hard to use and program and doesn’t sound that great. I like bass synth and wanted something I could potentially use live as well as for sound design. The opsix is a kind of hybrid design: the sound engine defaults to a 6-operator FM structure close to that of the Yamaha DX7, but then expands on that in three major ways: A full filter section and effects section, unlike the DX7, which is more user-friendly than FM usually is. Operators are not limited to sine waves only, they can produce other wave types too. (Others have done this too, including Yamaha.) Just playing around with a sawtooth wave and the unison/detune voice modes, it was a doddle to make a fat “supersaw” with just one operator. An operator is therefore like an oscillator in other synths, but each also has its own envelope section, rather than all feeding in to a single common envelope. Between that and the filter, you can emulate other analog synths, and there is a decent selection of YouTube videos on this. Operators also have other modes of operation that are not FM at all, which opens up other possibilities too. There are Effects operators that can alter their own sound as well as sounds fed in from other operators. There’s one guy who figured out how to use a comb filter to generate plucked or bowed string sounds from white noise, which sounds amazing. So there’s a lot of potential there, I think.
  24. There are also forums at KVR Audio, though I can’t say much more. https://www.kvraudio.com/forum/
  25. My favourite fretless players are those who don't do the clichéd fretless things. The early 80s UK players are a big part of that for me, such as Pino (natch), Percy Jones, Mick Karn, and Paul Webb of Talk Talk, an unsung bass hero IMHO. Listen to Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, that's Tony Levin on fretless through an octave pedal with a plectrum. I converted my Tune TWB43 to fretless last year and it still needs a bit of work but it's very playable. I used a dark wood filler in the fret slots to give me lines, but found they're basically useless at the moment, since in sanding down the fretboard, the rosewood grain came out lighter and obscures the lines. When I play standing with a strap, I can only see the edge of the fretboard anyway, and the side dots are tiny. So I'm basically playing by ear unless I bend over and squint. 👓
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