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The GroovyPlucker

BASS SYNTH

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Hey all,

Looking recommendations for a very good Bass Synth pedal.

Starting to play a lot of 80's pop, I have a Zoom B3, but as with other multi fx boxes the synth has a real bad latency, so for songs with a lot of quick note movement and pushed notes I find that if you miss the note by a nano second it moves out of phase or drops out etc.

Do the stand alone pedals such as the new EHX Bass Mono Synth, MarkBass, BOSS SYB have a better latency situation, or is it just my bad playing. I see the guy in the EHX vid doing fast movements n bends etc and the pedal reproducing smooth synth waves.

So for 80's pawp what's a good synth pedal, need a lot of variations in wave shape too

Your thoughts would be appreciated

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Best synth right now (bar none) Panda Audio Future Impact. They come up from time to time in the FS and get snapped up almost immediately.

The new EHX Bass Mono Synth really does look like it's going to steal the show for "best synth on a budget".

On it's way and could be interesting: Source Audio Spectrum

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You can get great synth like tones from combining fuzz with octave or envelope filter etc. I have a woolly mammoth clone going into a mooer envelope and oc-2 alike pedal. Gets really synthy in a nice analogue way and there are lots of options. It was a  bit cheaper than most synth pedals too.

Edited by Ray Jones
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Cheers, ray Jones, not sure I want to get bogged down in too many pedals, but appreciate your comments, I've thought about that OC-2 before, but might just go down the lazy route and try and get a semi decent dedicated synth pedal, just which one, love the fretless & synth combo, pino is amazing.....

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7 hours ago, The GroovyPlucker said:

Cheers, ray Jones, not sure I want to get bogged down in too many pedals, but appreciate your comments, I've thought about that OC-2 before, but might just go down the lazy route and try and get a semi decent dedicated synth pedal, just which one, love the fretless & synth combo, pino is amazing.....

In addition you mentioned you wanted a bit of variety in waveform in your OP.

The fuzz + octave + filter combo can give you a decent synth sound but with whatever combination of pedals you have, you will be fairly limited in the range of synth sounds you can get from that particular group of pedals. 

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I have a Boss SYB-5 and I find its tracking a bit iffy.

My EH Synth 9 is a nice pedal, but perhaps more of an accompaniment (the Oberheim is very good) than the instrument per-se.

My Markbass SuperSynth (SS) is really good - great tracking, good sustain, configurable via computer. Its downside is it only holds a few presets.

I've not tried the Future Impact, but someone had one at a Bass Bash and it seemed rather good.

The other option is synth pedals; I'm just getting to grips with a Keith McMillen 12-step at the moment.

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If you can hold on until April, the new source audio synth pedal is likely to be in the £140 - £160 price range if their other 1series pedals are anything to go by. 

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10 minutes ago, GisserD said:

If you can hold on until April, the new source audio synth pedal is likely to be in the £140 - £160 price range if their other 1series pedals are anything to go by. 

OP: that's the SA Spectrum I mentioned earlier. 

@GisserD-any sense yet whether it's going to match up to the FI? 

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Whats peoples experience with these things live? I was asking in the pedal board thread but got no answers  - I'd love to hear some sound samples from gigs/coping the tones from some 80's classics especially in the context of the OP's question for an 80's pop covers thing rather than based on what's on the spec sheet.

C'mon synth lads let's hear what we're missing out on in 'no synth pedal' land :)

* I'd have loved to have a pedal which cop'd some synth tones as I could have used them in one of my bands. The SA does look interesting*

 

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IMO if I wanted synth sounds I'd go out and buy a keyboard synth. 

In the past when I have dabbled with making my bass sound like a synth, the only set up that worked adequately for me was using a rack mounted VCF/VCA with full ADSR envelopes which were triggered by MIDI events from the sequenced backing track. Everything else required too much modification in my bass playing technique to get consistent results. 

Even with my very basic keyboard playing I can get far better and most importantly consistent results out of a keyboard synth then I have ever been able to get from trying to make my bass produce synth-like sounds.

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I’d agree that the best choice would be a keys synth and there are many great options out there for the same cost as the holy trinity of bass pedals which one would need to achieve those sorts of tones. 

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

OP: that's the SA Spectrum I mentioned earlier. 

@GisserD-any sense yet whether it's going to match up to the FI? 

They have made some pretty bold statements on the TB sass thread but until they are out in the world, nobody really knows. The demos do make it look like it tracks great tho.

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10 minutes ago, GisserD said:

They have made some pretty bold statements on the TB sass thread but until they are out in the world, nobody really knows. The demos do make it look like it tracks great tho.

Cheers. I think you've hit the nail on the head. With bass synth it's so much about tight tracking. Without that the sounds are not usable live.

The FI does the best job on that score of any bass synth I've encountered so far. The MarkBass SS wasn't too bad, but much more limited in its wave generation / soundscape options and is starting to feel a little outdated these days - and very overpriced new for what it offers (came out in 2011). The Bananana Matryoshka was just wonderfully bizarre :) 

Mixed reviews on TB about the EHX Bass Monosynth ranging from pants to really good! 

Edited by Al Krow

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38 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

Gamechanger Audio Plasma Pedal 

for synth????

 

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16 minutes ago, GisserD said:

for synth????

 

Glad you got there before me :) 

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Synth is a broad topic, y’all are talking about octaves and fuzzes to achieve a synth type tone - certainly with the plasma you can get something very useable in the ball park and synth type tones

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The problem with using a synth pedal is you are effectively (haha!) replacing your bass with a synth and thereby removing the bass.

If you want to add an accompaniment then you really need to start playing notes with your feet (or get a keyboard player).

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Bananana Matryoshka 

 

EDIT: I only later realised you want something for 80s pawp, not sure if this fits the bill, I grew up in the 90s :D

Edited by Romeo2

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cheers again guys for the suggestions, I might just jump in with the new Electro Harmonix Mono Bass synth, seems to have most of what I want, probably playing with a keyboard player, but many 80's bass lines have a synth bass and keys, i,e, Whitney Houston, will have a check of all mentioned, next will be a chorus & gain/distortion pedal possibly, oh jeez!!!!

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, prowla said:

The problem with using a synth pedal is you are effectively (haha!) replacing your bass with a synth and thereby removing the bass.

If you want to add an accompaniment then you really need to start playing notes with your feet (or get a keyboard player).

Not true with the Future Impact, you can create patches which preserve the dry bass signal too, running synth and bass in parallel. The synth doesn’t even need to necessarily be in unison either. Actually, the forthcoming update includes an advanced chord mode whereby you can play chords and a bass note and use a footswitch to change chord type on the fly.

Edited by Quatschmacher
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Posted (edited)

You may be interested in “the journey” but all roads eventually lead to the Future Impact (and then ultimately to keys). Seriously, save yourself the headache, time and money and buy a Future Impact. (Meris Enzo is a close-ish second.)

Edited by Quatschmacher

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