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martthebass

Small bass synth.....

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Any suggestions for a small sub-£200 (used) gig worthy bass synth. Looking to fill the low end on some early 80s electronica. The main keys guy has loads of stuff but only 2 hands....

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On the EDM forum Gearslutz, they love the Novation Bass Station II for its fantastic sound and great flexibility. Personally, I hate its keybed.

Other recommended options:
Arturia MicroBrute (the MiniBrute reportedly has quality issues)
DSI Mopho
Moog Minitaur
Moog Slim Phatty
Novation Super Bass Station
Vermona Mono Lancet Edited by BassTractor

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The microkorg can make some decent noises, I have one here. It wouldn't be my first choice for a bass synth if money was no object, but it can certainly do it, and is cheap / reliable and easily obtainable.

Do you want to use it with keys or a footpedal?

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I've got a minibrute and its very well built, no quality complaints. Sounds the nuts too. I'd imagine the microbrute would be a great choice for a bass synth.

Heard very good things about the novation bass station also. Three Trapped Tigers use them and they get some great bass sounds.

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[quote name='Woodinblack' timestamp='1424521082' post='2697236']
The microkorg can make some decent noises, I have one here. It wouldn't be my first choice for a bass synth if money was no object, but it can certainly do it, and is cheap / reliable and easily obtainable.

Do you want to use it with keys or a footpedal?
[/quote]

Looking at keys at the minute Wil but would also like midi in to have option of using a midi controller from the Bass.

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It would surprise me mucho if you wouldn't be satisfied with the MicroKorg, both because it's a good machine and a lot for the money, and because many or most synths will do a rather good job in the bass range.

A fantastic (IMO) dark horse in the field is the Akai Miniak, I think. Its 1,000 or so presets are better than the presets of its almost identical sibling Alesis Micron, and it comes with three mod wheels and three programmable mod knobs as well as the microphone for the vocoder. Annoying to program without a pc editor (three different ones exist), but very flexible and deep if one needs to go beyond the presets.

If you decide for a keyless one, then a second hand Waldorf Blofeld IMO is virtually unsurpassable as to sound and programming depth. However it is unashamedly digital, and far from the travel through the history of synths that the Miniak is.

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I picked up an immaculate Novation MiniNova for just £150.

Great little synth and has some nice squelchy bass sounds on board :)

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The microkorg does have small keys, but they are ok to play, as long as you don't want anything too fast, and it does mean they fit on small stages pretty well, work on batteries well, and at 4 part polyphonic, just enough to do most things.
Is very good for 80s early digital stuff, and reasonably easy to program and fiddle with the filters live. Works pretty well with the Keith McMillen 12 step I got the other day!

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[quote name='martthebass' timestamp='1424592441' post='2697988']
Thanks for the advice so far guys. Looking at a miniak for sure.....think you got a steal on the Mininova Molan.
[/quote]

Watch EBay like a hawk and look out for 'collection only' sales.

I missed out on an even cheaper one at just £137 before I got the £150 one.

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[quote name='martthebass' timestamp='1424548387' post='2697655']
Looking at keys at the minute Wil but would also like midi in to have option of using a midi controller from the Bass.
[/quote]I wouldn't bother trying to use a bass guitar with a midi controller. My experience with i2m was loads of latency even if your technique is super clean. Better results every time by playing the keyboard.

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Cheers Pete.

I take it the latency is less like a MB SuperSynth (which I found excellent) and more like the Boss SYB5 (which is hopeless)?
In the end I went for the MiniAK - we'll see if I can rejuvenate my keyboard skills......

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I haven't tried the Markbass,but the Sonuus i2M I had was much worse than either the SYB5 or the Behringer clone. Latency is bad and I couldn't play anything faster than 1/8 notes, and there are additional problems with pitch variation unless your fretting is immaculately clean. Mine isn't perfect, but I'd like to think it's at least average.

I have also used a Korg G5 which was great, and the Zoom clones in the likes of the MS60B are not bad either - all of these are much more useable than an i2M.

I have the Roland VB99 which is far superior to any of the above for synth sounds, but comes with it's own problems. I haven't tried using the VB99 as a midi controller, maybe I will get round to it one day.

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[quote name='pete.young' timestamp='1424620930' post='2698359']
I wouldn't bother trying to use a bass guitar with a midi controller. My experience with i2m was loads of latency even if your technique is super clean. Better results every time by playing the keyboard.
[/quote]

Very much this.

Unless you have the cash for an [url=http://www.industrialradio.com.au/index.php]Industrial Radio Bass[/url] MIDI via a bass guitar is a complete non-starter.

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I have a Novation Bass Station for sale, get in touch if you want any details.

Old for sale thread, now no longer live in Manchester ;) - http://basschat.co.uk/topic/183075-fs-novation-bass-station-keyboard-bass-synth

(I'm all paid up for selling on here, so this is ok I think?)

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Do the cheaper synths such as the Miniak, the Blofeld, the Novavation Mininova have as good sound quality as the much more expensive synths such as the Yamaha Motifs etc? I can see that the expensive synths are in much more impressive packages with better IO and connectively, and have more power/polyphony. But, is there a big difference in the sound quality? I do realise that the sound generation methods are very different, e.g. the synths typically don't have much in the way of samples of natural instruments. But, in terms of the brightness, clarity, and lack of aliasing of the oscillators, filters, etc. is there a big difference?

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IME the technical specs of synthesisers in determining sound quality are largely irrelevant and completely subjective. It's a question of picking the right instrument for the job you want it to do, and then it's all down to the skill of the user in programming it.

At the cheaper end of the market the savings are generally made in the quality and size of the keyboard and the friendliness of the user interface. If you can live with non-weighted keys and are prepared to your programming via a computer, then it's simply a question of picking one that produces the kinds of sounds you want with sufficient polyphony and/or multi-timbral capabilities.

There are so many different ways of generating the sounds on modern synths that you need to get one that produces what you want. If you are after accurate reproductions of acoustic instruments then an analogue type synth isn't going to be much use to you.

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Well BRX it'll be a steep learning curve for me on the Miniak, my last synth was a Roland SH09.....great bass sound as long as the oscillator was stable. Fortunately the band has a good programmer so I'll rely on him for the sounds.

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Congrats on the Miniak! I hope it serves you well.
If you get annoyed with the display view angle, you may wish to look up a simple prism/mirror solution that is published on the web somewhere, which you can easily build yourself, and the dimensions of which are chosen exactly for the Miniak.
PM me if you can't find it. I'm sure I have the instructions in an inbox somewhere.

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I use an I-board keyboard and an I-pad.
there's plenty of good synth apps incl. Moog
guess you could use an i-phone otherwise?

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