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thisisswanbon

My synth sound is disappearing!!!

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Hey Folks!

The more learned bass folks of this community have solved a fair few dilemmas for me in the past, and I'm hoping you can do it again 😀

I'm currently using the following pedal combo for my synth sound 

3 leaf octabvre mini > zvex mastotron > tc Corona mini chorus

I'm finding that this sounds monstrous through headphones, but when run though my rig at gig volume it disappears! Like REALLY disappears.

I've tried it without the chorus, but still exactly the same. I've tried maxing the zvex volume and still the same, although the clip light comes up on the amp I assume there's a volume increase hitting the amp. 

My rig is a GK 1001rbII into a barefaced big twin II so there should be plenty of juice on tap. 

Any ideas please???? 

 

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Hi thisisswanbon,

How are you connecting your headphones, the GK doesn't have a headphone output right?

Edited by TwoTimesBass

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Hey buddy,

You’ve got some good pedals there.

Firstly, on your Octabvre Mini, turn the tone knob all the way to the right. This will give you the most harmonic-rich, honky tone to start with.

If that doesn’t work, my main suggestion is to add an envelope filter between the Mastotron and the chorus. With the right settings, this will give you some squelch and bite that should really help you be heard. Putting the envelope filter after the fuzz/distortion keep the sound tight in my experience, but for something a bit more unruly try putting the filter in front of the fuzz.

My personal favourite standalone envelope filter is the Mr. Black Fwonkbeta - it’s compact, simple and can get very nasty! Filters are very much a matter of personal taste so maybe watch some demos online to get a feel for what’s out there.

Failing that, if you want a one pedal solution, I’d highly recommend getting a Source Audio C4 synth pedal. It’ll give you almost any synth sound you’re likely to need and has the potential to take over your octave, fuzz and filter pedal needs all in one compact unit.

 

 

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Is there any blending happening amp side? If the sound is vanishing almost completely it sounds like a phase issue to me, but I'm not familiar enough with the amps to advise specifically.

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Do you have a keys player making their own patches or potentially a guitar player who's not very good with using pedals in a live setting? I find they like to make sounds with way too much bass which then kill the actual bass. Especially because synth sounds are often lots of bass from octave and treble from drive but little mids.

I think ls2 is a good suggestion and also I would say try playing nearer the bridge to get more mids in the sound and try to play always above or around the 12th fret. You can also try blending in some dry signal for a more cutting sound. 

Synth sounds can be a fickle thing so it is possible your drive just isn't working for the context and you need a different one. I have heard the mastotron is quite a bit weaker for synth sounds but I have no personal experience. 

I hope some of this helps. 

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18 hours ago, TwoTimesBass said:

Hi thisisswanbon,

How are you connecting your headphones, the GK doesn't have a headphone output right?

Hi mate... I use the D.I. out to run into a headphone amp 

18 hours ago, CameronJ said:

Hey buddy,

You’ve got some good pedals there.

Firstly, on your Octabvre Mini, turn the tone knob all the way to the right. This will give you the most harmonic-rich, honky tone to start with.

If that doesn’t work, my main suggestion is to add an envelope filter between the Mastotron and the chorus. With the right settings, this will give you some squelch and bite that should really help you be heard. Putting the envelope filter after the fuzz/distortion keep the sound tight in my experience, but for something a bit more unruly try putting the filter in front of the fuzz.

My personal favourite standalone envelope filter is the Mr. Black Fwonkbeta - it’s compact, simple and can get very nasty! Filters are very much a matter of personal taste so maybe watch some demos online to get a feel for what’s out there.

Failing that, if you want a one pedal solution, I’d highly recommend getting a Source Audio C4 synth pedal. It’ll give you almost any synth sound you’re likely to need and has the potential to take over your octave, fuzz and filter pedal needs all in one compact unit.

 

 

I've actually got an MXR BEF Inbetween the mastotron and chorus... Worth mentioning all of my pedals go into a patch kommander switcher but that shouldn't effect it surely? I've tried the envelope with it but didn't help. I'll try the tone setting dialled clockwise though! A C4 would've been the dream of covid hadn't have lost me (like everyone else) a fortune in gigs haha.

17 hours ago, bobbass4k said:

Is there any blending happening amp side? If the sound is vanishing almost completely it sounds like a phase issue to me, but I'm not familiar enough with the amps to advise specifically.

Not sure what you by blending ampside ... But my clean tone is fine, I'd assume that'd be affected as well if it was phase?

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11 minutes ago, Stingray64 said:

Do you have a keys player making their own patches or potentially a guitar player who's not very good with using pedals in a live setting? I find they like to make sounds with way too much bass which then kill the actual bass. Especially because synth sounds are often lots of bass from octave and treble from drive but little mids.

I think ls2 is a good suggestion and also I would say try playing nearer the bridge to get more mids in the sound and try to play always above or around the 12th fret. You can also try blending in some dry signal for a more cutting sound. 

Synth sounds can be a fickle thing so it is possible your drive just isn't working for the context and you need a different one. I have heard the mastotron is quite a bit weaker for synth sounds but I have no personal experience. 

I hope some of this helps. 

Haha it's as if you've seen is! Unfortunately aim afflicted by both of these things, but the issue also happens when it's just drums and bass 😬... 

Through headphones the mastotron sounds absolutely huge! It just doesn't want to translate to live volumes 😫 a bit of dry blend may not be a bad shout though!

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45 minutes ago, thisisswanbon said:

I've actually got an MXR BEF Inbetween the mastotron and chorus... Worth mentioning all of my pedals go into a patch kommander switcher but that shouldn't effect it surely? I've tried the envelope with it but didn't help. I'll try the tone setting dialled clockwise though! A C4 would've been the dream of covid hadn't have lost me (like everyone else) a fortune in gigs haha.

I personally hated the BEF when I had it...sounded anemic compared to some of the other filters I’ve owned (mainly as it’s a bandpass filter rather than low pass!) others love it but for synth duties it just wasn’t fat enough for me.

If you sold a couple of pedals a C4 would be easily attainable...!

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Don’t know what to say, I have used these very pedals together and it sounds huge. 

Turn the dry off on the mini. Even with the tone fully anti-clockwise it should be fine. 

Have you got the Subs switch set to 3 on the Mastotron?.

I have mine set like the photo below. 

Then I run it into a lowpass filter. Works best with something with a loop to preserve input dynamics so something like  a Wonderlove, Chromatron, C4 or Spectrum.

014E7FEC-ABA9-457B-83EA-DD5A70282A7B.jpeg

 

 

 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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My guess ...

It's a masking problem ... you need a band chat about how to make space for one another in the mix. 

Also, make sure you aren't short on 80hz -160hz band energy as that's where you can win the arms race and still gain audible volume. You can have lots of sub / deep bass going on but it's not always that effective in terms of loudness.

Edited by funkydoug
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2 hours ago, thisisswanbon said:

Hi mate... I use the D.I. out to run into a headphone amp 

Trying to rule out the 'good on headphones bad through cab' thing, does the pre/post EQ switch on the DI output change anything? Or plugging the bass straight into the amp and run the pedals on the FX Loop?

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3 hours ago, CameronJ said:

I personally hated the BEF when I had it...sounded anemic compared to some of the other filters I’ve owned (mainly as it’s a bandpass filter rather than low pass!) others love it but for synth duties it just wasn’t fat enough for me.

If you sold a couple of pedals a C4 would be easily attainable...!

I'm also on the fence with my BEF in honesty, wanted the filter twin but was out of budget at the time and was too impatient to save up haha. Only issue with selling pedals to pay for a C4 is I'd need them all to sell at once, which isn't likely in the current climate! Plus I REALLY love my octabvre!

 

3 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

Don’t know what to say, I have used these very pedals together and it sounds huge. 

Turn the dry off on the mini. Even with the tone fully anti-clockwise it should be fine. 

Have you got the Subs switch set to 3 on the Mastotron?.

I have mine set like the photo below. 

Then I run it into a lowpass filter. Works best with something with a loop to preserve input dynamics so something like  a Wonderlove, Chromatron, C4 or Spectrum.

014E7FEC-ABA9-457B-83EA-DD5A70282A7B.jpeg

 

 

 

I was flabbergasted when I tried it for the first time through my rig, it sounded world shattering through 'phones, but just so quiet through my rig.

Have tried with mini mix 50/50 and all wet, even tried without it... Subs switch is set to 3 as well. A lot of the knobs on mine are closer to 12, bar the relax/push and volume which around around 3 o clock, but both basses are passive... The clip light on my head goes wild when I kick it in so I'm assuming there's more hitting the front of the amp 🤯 (That clip sounds awesome btw)

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3 hours ago, funkydoug said:

My guess ...

It's a masking problem ... you need a band chat about how to make space for one another in the mix. 

Also, make sure you aren't short on 80hz -160hz band energy as that's where you can win the arms race and still gain audible volume. You can have lots of sub / deep bass going on but it's not always that effective in terms of loudness.

Problem is, it's the same when keys and guitars drop out... Its almost as if the overall sound has taken a volume dip. Not sure what the freq is for the bass eq on my head, but it's set pretty high.

 

2 hours ago, TwoTimesBass said:

Trying to rule out the 'good on headphones bad through cab' thing, does the pre/post EQ switch on the DI output change anything? Or plugging the bass straight into the amp and run the pedals on the FX Loop?

Never thought to try it pre or post in honesty... I always just have it set post so it's as close to my onstage sound as possible... Never thought to try the FX loop either! Always assumed that was a no no for drives and fuzzes!

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2 hours ago, thisisswanbon said:

I'm also on the fence with my BEF in honesty, wanted the filter twin but was out of budget at the time and was too impatient to save up haha. Only issue with selling pedals to pay for a C4 is I'd need them all to sell at once, which isn't likely in the current climate! Plus I REALLY love my octabvre!

 

I was flabbergasted when I tried it for the first time through my rig, it sounded world shattering through 'phones, but just so quiet through my rig.

Have tried with mini mix 50/50 and all wet, even tried without it... Subs switch is set to 3 as well. A lot of the knobs on mine are closer to 12, bar the relax/push and volume which around around 3 o clock, but both basses are passive... The clip light on my head goes wild when I kick it in so I'm assuming there's more hitting the front of the amp 🤯 (That clip sounds awesome btw)

Don’t sell the Octabvre. As nice as the octaves in C4 and Spectrum are, they are not quite as nice as an analogue octaver.

I’m getting really nice results running octaver/fuzz combinations through the Spectrum. It has all the envelope shapes of the C4, several of which are very snappy, way quicker than what you’d get from a normal envelope filter. The advantage it has over the C4 is the access to 8 (as opposed to 6) parameters right from the top of the pedal. With those, I can get masses of variation out of a single preset.

Glad you like the clip.   

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Just now, charlietuna said:

That’s cool as hell, I remember listening to it previously. What is making the “laser” sounds/bloops? Is that a Collider doing?  

I can’t listen on my phone. I’ll fire up the desktop in s bit and have a listen and report back. 

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1 hour ago, charlietuna said:

That’s cool as hell, I remember listening to it previously. What is making the “laser” sounds/bloops? Is that a Collider doing?  

The laser sounds are just from a high setting of the filter resonance, though they might seem intensified by the delay and reverb.

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1 hour ago, Quatschmacher said:

The laser sounds are just from a high setting of the filter resonance, though they might seem intensified by the delay and reverb.

Listening back I hear how the delay and reverb are contributing to the sound.  Can't wait to try the Collider in this type of setup, whenever that may be.  Thanks.

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On 20/09/2020 at 20:41, Quatschmacher said:

Here's a clip; this uses the octave in the Okto Nojs, same principle though.

Spectrum ON Mastotron Collider acid.mp3 1.67 MB · 10 downloads

@charlietuna

As I've now got the time to make changes etc as there are no gigs on the horizon, I've bought a C4... Can't wait to try some of your patches @Quatschmacher! I've been skulking on the C4 thread and the graft you've put into that is tremendous!

 

I'm worried I'm going to be out of my depth with it as it looks a steep learning curve! But basically I'll be looking for a prodigy - omen/dizzee rascal - bonkers style synth, and a squelchy envelope, something in the ball park of an Aggie filter twin would be the dream if not a tad ambitious! Any pointers you may have would be HUGELY appreciated 😬

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50 minutes ago, thisisswanbon said:

As I've now got the time to make changes etc as there are no gigs on the horizon, I've bought a C4... Can't wait to try some of your patches @Quatschmacher! I've been skulking on the C4 thread and the graft you've put into that is tremendous!

 

I'm worried I'm going to be out of my depth with it as it looks a steep learning curve! But basically I'll be looking for a prodigy - omen/dizzee rascal - bonkers style synth, and a squelchy envelope, something in the ball park of an Aggie filter twin would be the dream if not a tad ambitious! Any pointers you may have would be HUGELY appreciated 😬

Start by browsing the user patches. Remember to readjust the input knob and volume knob for each one before you assess its suitability. (See the manual to see how to set the input level correctly.)

I posted some Filter Twin patches already  you can search and filter by keyword, pedal type and user so you should be able to find them. Search for C4 (with compatibility box ticked), my username and keyword “twins”.

As regards learning, I put together a patch which is set up to help users explore the features. In the patch’s description the is a link to a post on Talkbass where I wrote a mini-tutorial. I’d suggest looking through that. ( @dodge_bass, it might be worth your while too.) I can’t remember what I called the patch but it will be obvious when you see it. I’ll have a look and amend here and link to it.  

 

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1 hour ago, Quatschmacher said:

Start by browsing the user patches. Remember to readjust the input knob and volume knob for each one before you assess its suitability. (See the manual to see how to set the input level correctly.)

I posted some Filter Twin patches already  you can search and filter by keyword, pedal type and user so you should be able to find them. Search for C4 (with compatibility box ticked), my username and keyword “twins”.

As regards learning, I put together a patch which is set up to help users explore the features. In the patch’s description the is a link to a post on Talkbass where I wrote a mini-tutorial. I’d suggest looking through that. ( @dodge_bass, it might be worth your while too.) I can’t remember what I called the patch but it will be obvious when you see it. I’ll have a look and amend here and link to it.  

 

Amazing - sounds great I’ll check it out. Thanks @Quatschmacher

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6 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

Start by browsing the user patches. Remember to readjust the input knob and volume knob for each one before you assess its suitability. (See the manual to see how to set the input level correctly.)

I posted some Filter Twin patches already  you can search and filter by keyword, pedal type and user so you should be able to find them. Search for C4 (with compatibility box ticked), my username and keyword “twins”.

As regards learning, I put together a patch which is set up to help users explore the features. In the patch’s description the is a link to a post on Talkbass where I wrote a mini-tutorial. I’d suggest looking through that. ( @dodge_bass, it might be worth your while too.) I can’t remember what I called the patch but it will be obvious when you see it. I’ll have a look and amend here and link to it.  

 

Thanks mate, can't wait to check it out. Will have a dig through your tutorial whilst I await delivery!

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