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Woodinblack

Boss SY-1

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Hey Gav this short clip will give you a feel for what the pedal can do:

 

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2 minutes ago, krispn said:

There’s one on FB I might have a sniff at 

Posted the link earlier - would be surprised if it’s still there. Apparently G4M have stock.

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3 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

You can play two notes into a non-polyphonic octaver and two notes come out but that doesn't make it polyphonic...

Fair enough, I don't understand what your meaning of polyphonic means then so I can't comment.

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Posted (edited)

Jesus lads enough already. The pedal appears to work for the stated purpose. Do what we did in the old country Get a room, a bottle of whiskey and a shotgun, hole up for two or three days and you’ll figure it out!

Edited by krispn

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7 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

If it did that I would send it back with the comment that it isn't polyphonic...

Yes, but tracking and latency aren't the same thing.

As I said it avoids latency by using original signal, but it still has to track and process each note separately.

Just spent some quality time with it, it is doing exactly what it said, it is applying the effect to the entire signal. It doesn't do any signal separation, or tracking of any sort, it processes the original signal and triggers any envelope effects on the total signal. To do any different would involve pitch detection, which as mentioned, it definitely doesn't do.

So if that is a problem, send it back

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1 hour ago, krispn said:

Has anyone got any patches setting which would impress my potential Kenny Loggins and Don Henley?

So more soft background pad stuff then in your face synths?

The only problem with just the synth stuff like that is that you either play something for the synth then dance on the pedal and play the bass. And I have done that, its fun but there is the whole balance thing!

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Yeah I’m just wondering if I should commit  to plying the bass line as best as I can and leave the superfluous stuff to a keys wombler!

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this thread has got way too tech-nickel, not seen the Korg G5  before but looks good, but the SY-1 does all that in a COMPACT PEDAL, just missing a few tricks, but begs the question why does the SY-1 make SYNTH so easy on Bass compared to anything else, just a hint to Panda Audio as I believe if Roland/Boss can cram this into a neat(er) package so must they be able to????......

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, The GroovyPlucker said:

this thread has got way too tech-nickel, not seen the Korg G5  before but looks good, but the SY-1 does all that in a COMPACT PEDAL, just missing a few tricks, but begs the question why does the SY-1 make SYNTH so easy on Bass compared to anything else, just a hint to Panda Audio as I believe if Roland/Boss can cram this into a neat(er) package so must they be able to????......

As has been mentioned several times, the underlying technologies are very different. The boss imprints on top of the input signal to give an approximation of the oscillators used in subtractive synthesis , whereas the FI actually produces pure oscillator waveforms (albeit generated by DSP code as opposed to analogue circuitry).

Or by “cram into a neater package” did you simply mean the size of the enclosure? Yes, the FI can go in a smaller housing. 

Worth bearing in mind is that Boss is a huge company with enormous financial resources to sink into R&D and production and a large staff body whereas Panda is a tiny company with three staff. 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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6 hours ago, The GroovyPlucker said:

this thread has got way too tech-nickel, not seen the Korg G5  before but looks good, but the SY-1 does all that in a COMPACT PEDAL, just missing a few tricks, but begs the question why does the SY-1 make SYNTH so easy on Bass compared to anything else, just a hint to Panda Audio as I believe if Roland/Boss can cram this into a neat(er) package so must they be able to????......

The FI is great, fantastic machine and as @Quatschmacher points out it is a real labour of love and triumph for a small team of excellent professionals. Straight out the box you have fantastic sounds to use, and you can tweak.

Source Audio C4 is hardly a monster, comes with 6 stock sounds, popping a new sound to the pedal requires about 2 clicks from a phone, tablet or PC, will hold about 128 presets accessible by midi. There is an open library where people make sounds you can freely use and if you want you can easily design your own sounds or tweak made ones, and unless I am wrong that is a synth.

The whole PC editing thing is guff, some people will bemoan one software saying pedals should work without a deep dive but happily use another’s software. It’s there if you want to and not if you don’t, we barely scratch the surface of most tech we own and it’s certainly easier than the programming and code we were taught in school on ZX Spectrums, BBC’s etc.

Loads of horses for courses

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5 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

...the FI actually produces pure oscillator waveforms (albeit generated by DSP code as opposed to analogue circuitry).

I'm assuming what the FI is doing is pretty much the same as the Source Audio C4?

But is there a difference between waveforms generated by DSP code and VCOs in generating the basic currency of synths i.e. sine, triangle, saw or square wave if the output were to be measured.

Are the voltage controlled filters and amplifiers also DSP code and not analogue circuitry in the FI and C4?

I guess where I am going with this is wondering whether even the best bass synth pedals are in fact a type of software "synth emulator" rather than actual synth pedals, and does it make any real difference to the sounds they produce as compared to a "real" i.e. analogue circuitry generated synth?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I'm assuming what the FI is doing is pretty much the same as the Source Audio C4?

yes.

1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

But is there a difference between waveforms generated by DSP code and VCOs in generating the basic currency of synths i.e. sine, triangle, saw or square wave if the output were to be measured.

No. A waveform is the same wether it comes from an analogue or digital source. of corse every piece of gear has its own sound, and this may stem from its ability to produce these waveforms "perfectly". Remember a square waveform is the sum of all the odd harmonics of a sine wave. differing amplitude/amount of any of these harmonics will result in an imperfect square wave. the same is true for a triangle/sawtooth wave but with different harmonics.

Fourier_series_for_square_wave.gif

1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Are the voltage controlled filters and amplifiers also DSP code and not analogue circuitry in the FI and C4?

there is no analogue sound processing in either pedal.

1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I guess where I am going with this is wondering whether even the best bass synth pedals are in fact a type of software "synth emulator" rather than actual synth pedals, and does it make any real difference to the sounds they produce as compared to a "real" i.e. analogue circuitry generated synth?

most synth pedals are digital. and therefore run code/software. In a digital world, everything is done precisely. repeatability is unavoidable unless programmed in. that is to say, that the same input will generate the same output every time. Anologue circuitry generates the waveform as the circuit parameters allow. its kind of a living breathing thing, so the output will depend on a number of factors such as temperature, (humidity?), power stability, current supply, condition etc. older analogue synths typically have tuning stability issues for these reasons, and often have to be "warmed up" before use to make sure they play in tune. All of these characteristics are seen as desireable for many die-hard analogue purists.

I personally find analogue gear does "generally" sound better and is more responsive to my inputs. But there are also drawbacks with analogue gear, as mentioned above, as well as as lack of presets which we are all becoming acustomed to with digital systems. 

Edited by GisserD
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18 minutes ago, GisserD said:

 

i personally find analogue gear does "generally" sound better and is more responsive. But there are also drawbacks with analogue gear, as mentioned above, as well as as lack of presets which we are all becoming acustomed to with digital systems. 

Is the Chunk Octavius Squeezer an exception to this? It's all analogue circuitry with a digital preset system, and wonderfully responsive. I do wonder why we don't see more analogue pedals controlled by a digital preset system? Is it the higher cost to manufacture? Are there any other analogue/digital preset pedal hybrids like this? I read that you might be working on a similar type of solution for storing presets on analogue pedals @GisserD?

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Bo0tsy said:

Is the Chunk Octavius Squeezer an exception to this? It's all analogue circuitry with a digital preset system, and wonderfully responsive. I do wonder why we don't see more analogue pedals controlled by a digital preset system? Is it the higher cost to manufacture? Are there any other analogue/digital preset pedal hybrids like this? I read that you might be working on a similar type of solution for storing presets on analogue pedals @GisserD?

yes i beleive the octavius squeeser is as you say. There are other companies doing it aswell, chase bliss? there are probably others....

I now have a fully working prototype and controlling my strymon deco with it (yes i can see the irony). Im able to store 4 presets on 3 pots. So effectively its the proof of concept ive been working towards. Im currently in talks with a patent lawyer, and developing the next version that will be controllable via midi PC and CC, and able to store over 100 presets over 8 channels of controll (8 pots)

Edited by GisserD
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As @GisserD points out, both fully digitally generated oscillators or digitally controlled analogue oscillators (DCOs) are very precise compared to true analogue voltage controlled oscillators (VCOs). Much of the character of analogue synths comes from the imperfections, small variations and tuning instabilities of the analogue circuitry. Happily with digital synths, these imperfections can be recreated. On the the FI I have used the flexi controllers to add tuning drift to the oscillators (over and above the fine pitch offset offered as standard). This helps make the sounds more analogue in character. 

There’s a guy who has really done astounding work on this using the Prophet Rev 2 (a DCO synth). Using the gated sequencer, he has programmed in per-voice pitch, filter and envelope variations which really make it sound like VCOs. For the tech-minded among you, it’s a fascinating read. For non-tech people, just a listen to the comparison clips will show you the results. 

http://www.voicecomponentmodeling.com

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GisserD said:

most synth pedals are digital. and therefore run code/software.

This is also true of most current keyboard synthesisers. The DSI Pro 2 and Prophet 12 have DSP oscillators running into analogue filters. The envelopes on all current Moog synths are digitally generated. Bass Station II has DCOs. Novation Peak and Summit have fully digital FPGA oscillators.

Edited by Quatschmacher

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1 hour ago, GisserD said:

There are other companies doing it aswell, chase bliss? there are probably others....

Yes, Chase Bliss are analogue pedals with digital controls to recall presets - a similar system to that used in stuff like the Moog Subsequent, Phatty, Minitaur, etc.

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I appreciate we've gone all techy over the past couple of pages, but I've certainly enjoyed the in depth discussion and now have a better understanding of the guts of this pedal vs some of the others out there. 

Besides, there's only so many times during the course of a 400 post thread that you can say "this is a great pedal with amazing tracking!" 

😁

 

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14 hours ago, krispn said:

Yeah I’m just wondering if I should commit  to plying the bass line as best as I can and leave the superfluous stuff to a keys wombler!

No! Never surrender territory!

Seriously they are good fun, but they are not really a replacement for synths as such. I use one live, but I also have a synth pedalboard for pads and backing.

13 hours ago, The GroovyPlucker said:

this thread has got way too tech-nickel, not seen the Korg G5  before but looks good, but the SY-1 does all that in a COMPACT PEDAL, just missing a few tricks, but begs the question why does the SY-1 make SYNTH so easy on Bass compared to anything else, just a hint to Panda Audio as I believe if Roland/Boss can cram this into a neat(er) package so must they be able to????......

Because they are not the same things. The G5 is a mono bass synth pedal, so it guesses the (single) pitch and tracks on it, applying effects. The same way the old single tracking octaver pedals did it (but not all octavers).

As to the other 'actual synth' pedals, there is a lot more work to be done from that, as you can see that Roland / boss also sell the GR-55 which is an actual synth, for quite a bit more and a SY-1000 which incorporates an actual synth as well as this technology, which i like to think would give you the best of both worlds.

If you do actual pitch detection, unlile the (lower) SY's (1 and 300) and the Korg etc, you can have a midi out and feed it to something else.

 

6 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I guess where I am going with this is wondering whether even the best bass synth pedals are in fact a type of software "synth emulator" rather than actual synth pedals, and does it make any real difference to the sounds they produce as compared to a "real" i.e. analogue circuitry generated synth?

Not really, no. But as previously mentioned, an analogue synth is no more real than a digital one, if the steps taken are the same, in the same way that a bass neck made of carbon fibre is no less a bass neck than one made of wood.

 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting that the SY-1000 incorporates an actual synth. Sadly it costs an absolute fortune. The Mooer GE 300 is the only multifx with a genuine synth engine, although there are a couple of effects sims on the Helix that pupport to churn out sine, saw and square waves, which would be worth looking into further. 

@Woodinblack @GisserD, you both have Helix: are the Helix digital sims actual digital synth (like the FI and C4) or merely synth emulations like the older EHX "synth 9" style pedals? 

Anyone know what the EHX Bass Microsynth was doing in terms of its (tbf pretty average) synth sounds?

Edited by Al Krow

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18 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Anyone know what the EHX Bass Microsynth was doing in terms of its (tbf pretty average) synth sounds?

That was dry signal, octave up, octave down (via signal divide-down like most other analogue octavers) and fuzz going through a resonant filter with the fixed filter envelope sweep being triggered by note volume above the set threshold. No synth in sight.   

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34 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Interesting that the SY-1000 incorporates an actual synth. Sadly it costs an absolute fortune.

Not that much considering it is a full synth, a full guitar synth and an SY300 clone all in one box. OK, I am not rushing out to get one yet, but if you are in the actual guitar synth world (rather than a guitar synth stomp box), it is the first update since the GR-55, which is quite old (or the GI10 which was guitar only).

34 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

The Mooer GE 300 is the only multifx with a genuine synth engine, although there are a couple of effects sims on the Helix that pupport to churn out sine, saw and square waves, which would be worth looking into further. 

@Woodinblack @GisserD, you both have Helix: are the Helix digital sims actual digital synth (like the FI and C4) or merely synth emulations like the older EHX "synth 9" style pedals?

The helix is funny. No it doesn't have anything like the FI or C4 (not that I have either of those to compare, but what I know of). It does have an actual waveform generation section, and TBH, I have no idea where they are going with that, or what use it is. Maybe because i hadn't played with it, but it doesn't seem like something I could use for anything. And genuinely I would like if it was, as I have synth footpedals, so it would save some space if the helix did it.

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Posted (edited)

A TalkBass chap has just posted this on their SY-1 thread today:

"Finally got around to trying this on guitar mode, gets closer than anything else I’ve tried.

For Moog sounds (for playing along to The Police):
Type: bass
Variation 6
Depth 9:00
Tone 2:00
Effect 12:00
Direct 11:00

If anyone finds a setting closer to a Moog Taurus let us know!"

What's really interesting for me is that's pretty much the exact setting I was describing in my pic / post above a few days back (April 26th). There's a little variation between dry and wet mix - but they are the most 'cosmetic' setting changes to the overall sound.

The key difference is my pedal was set on the bass mode whereas his is on guitar mode, but we both really like our respective settings.

Will be very straightforward to audition that patch in both bass mode and guitar mode (by sliding the switch at the rear) and hear what that does to the sound - looking forward to doing exactly that. You may also want to try this at home yourselves! 

[UPDATE] - when the variation dial is set to 'bass', sliding the switch at the back from bass mode --> guitar mode alters the pitch by an octave i.e. from root + octave up --> octave down + root

Edited by Al Krow
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