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Al Krow

Boss SY-1000 - Synth Engine & Multifx

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23 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Yes, so if you look at the editor, all the fun stuff is up the top of the chain, with just the analogue guitar signal going through effects at the bottom. It would be a shame to waste that processing by not using a GK pickup.

Thanks, agreed. 

Any views on whether an active or passive bass is likely to work better with the SY-1000?

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Come on @ped - chip in, you know you want to (I can see you lurking) 😁

A worthy successor to your VB99 at last?

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51 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks, agreed. 

Any views on whether an active or passive bass is likely to work better with the SY-1000?

Don't see any reason why it would make a difference.

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6 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Thanks, agreed. 

Any views on whether an active or passive bass is likely to work better with the SY-1000?

Either is fine - the input processing options are so vast you can make any bass sound fantastic. I tend to save a clean preset for each bass and have those lined up along my five main presets, each has it's own finely tuned compression and so forth. 

Whilst you should definitely have a 13 pin job to maximise the fun, I tend to use mine line a big clean preamp more than half the time, with a 1/4" input.

I won't be replacing my VB99 with one though.

 

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13 minutes ago, ped said:

Either is fine - the input processing options are so vast you can make any bass sound fantastic. I tend to save a clean preset for each bass and have those lined up along my five main presets, each has it's own finely tuned compression and so forth. 

Whilst you should definitely have a 13 pin job to maximise the fun, I tend to use mine line a big clean preamp more than half the time, with a 1/4" input.

Actually that's really good to know, as I've been reliably informed that latency is an issue with the GK 13 pin unless it's fitted very well? 

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3 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Actually that's really good to know, as I've been reliably informed that latency is an issue with the GK 13 pin unless it's fitted very well? 

I've never heard that except if you use it for pitch to MIDI. The whole point in the GK system is that the pickup works like a normal pickup and processes each string in real time with zero (or as close to) latency, as nothing is being converted.

I am super sensitive to ANY latency (I sold all my wireless transmitters, iRigs and so forth because of it)! The VB99 has none at all.

Think of it as an amazing effects processor, and if you use a 13 pin import those effects can be assigned to individual strings, you can move pickups around, model different string types, octave strings individually - literally after 10 years I'm still dreaming up new things to try. 

But at it's core, it's a superb sounding pre-amp/interface with the best compressors/limiters and most flexible and subtle adjustments possible.

*hugs for my Roland*

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I should add that if you don't fit the pickup very well (too far from strings, not within the prescribed range of bridge, set it up poorly in the unit for sensitivity) then it just won't track very well or be a bit noisy. But it's not hard to place it correctly.

The internal installation works best - no blob on the bass and you can be as minimal as you like (just pick and output) or choose to add an assignable knob, two buttons, an LED and switch. Both of mine have the knob and buttons.

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Actually that's really good to know, as I've been reliably informed that latency is an issue with the GK 13 pin unless it's fitted very well? 

Doesn't affect latency, affects tracking. And it doesn't have to be that good, as there is an adjustment for each string.

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I've been scrutinising the user manual and it's not looking very positive for my specific purposes.  The most frustrating thing is that there are hold functions available both as effect parameters and as part of the oscillator block so the functionality is there.  But it doesn't seem possible to arrange the signal chain in a way that allows the hold functions to feed into the sequencer.  So I wouldn't be replacing all of my current signal chain, just the C4 and whatever modulation pedal happens to be on there (at the moment an Adrenalinn 3).  Given these things are US$1000 each (and probably close to that in GBP once VAT and import duty are included), it's a pricey alternative to the C4.  Especially considering I probably wouldn't  be using 50% of the features on a regular basis.

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15 minutes ago, Kiwi said:

I've been scrutinising the user manual and it's not looking very positive for my specific purposes.  The most frustrating thing is that there are hold functions available both as effect parameters and as part of the oscillator block so the functionality is there.  But it doesn't seem possible to arrange the signal chain in a way that allows the hold functions to feed into the sequencer.  So I wouldn't be replacing all of my current signal chain, just the C4 and whatever modulation pedal happens to be on there (at the moment an Adrenalinn 3).  Given these things are US$1000 each (and probably close to that in GBP once VAT and import duty are included), it's a pricey alternative to the C4.  Especially considering I probably wouldn't  be using 50% of the features on a regular basis.

Ah shame. 

Yes, the price tag only makes sense to me if this  is a replacement for both a Helix multifx and a C4 / FI, which in my case it would be. 

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Latency will be down to the physics of doing pitch to MIDI conversion and there is simply no way around that without using additional methods like fret sensing. At the very best you need one and half wave cycles for pitch detection (often at least 2 if not more for stability) that means for low E on a bass needs a minimum of 37ms which will only happen under ideal conditions and with a super-clean picking and fretting technique. Most of the time it will be worse. Add to that any additional delays due to MIDI processing by external devices and it's essentially unusable.

Processing the audio provided by each string is much faster since all you are doing is a simple A/D D/A conversion the same as any good quality digital effect.

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23 hours ago, Woodinblack said:

Who are they, I have seen a couple but they are pretty expensive. My friend spent a while taking them apart, because he likes doing that, and has a tray of them, but he got bored of that now, as he does.

Really all you need to do is put the coils closer together: http://chriskingblog.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

Unfortunately this is to be used with the Eastwood copy of the Shergold Marathon 6 bass which has a string spacing in between typical guitar and bass dimensions, The ones I'm currently looking at are by Cycfi Research who appear to be able to produce pickups to any spacing required. TBH I'm very reluctant to do it myself, because I simply don't want to be wrecking £200+ worth of kit. I'd rather pay the money for someone else to do it properly.

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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

Unfortunately this is to be used with the Eastwood copy of the Shergold Marathon 6 bass which has a string spacing in between typical guitar and bass dimensions, The ones I'm currently looking at are by Cycfi Research who appear to be able to produce pickups to any spacing required. TBH I'm very reluctant to do it myself, because I simply don't want to be wrecking £200+ worth of kit. I'd rather pay the money for someone else to do it properly.

Oh they look good

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Last 3 mins of this shows how crazily good this is on guitar!

Still not much out there showing its equivalent use on bass yet though...

Edited by Al Krow

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I have to disagree with that. Some nasty glitching of the sounds, a few good demonstrations of why some of these parts were played using a keyboard to control the synth rather than a guitar, and many of the tunes that I recognised sounded liked they were being played using a cheap Casio Keyboard.

Luckily I'm sold on the overall concept, because based on the video alone I'd be having second thoughts about buying one.

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31 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

I have to disagree with that. Some nasty glitching of the sounds, a few good demonstrations of why some of these parts were played using a keyboard to control the synth rather than a guitar, and many of the tunes that I recognised sounded liked they were being played using a cheap Casio Keyboard.

Luckily I'm sold on the overall concept, because based on the video alone I'd be having second thoughts about buying one.

I'll have it give that another careful listen then as I missed that first time around! At which time-stamps on the last 3 mins was the glitching noticeably bad / obvious? 

What is it about the overall concept that you still particularly like - is it having everything under one bonnet?

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6 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

I'll have it give that another careful listen then as I missed that first time around! At which time-stamps on the last 3 mins was the glitching noticeably bad / obvious? 

What is it about the overall concept that you still particularly like - is it having everything under one bonnet?

The worst bits were all near the beginning from where you had posted, both in terms of glitches and where playing the part on the guitar showed how much more appropriate (and easy) it would have been using a keyboard synth. Having spent a good deal of my younger years trying very hard to firstly make synths sound like guitars and then make guitars (and bass) sound like synths, I now realise that both the controller and the sound generating system are equally important, and that choosing the right method of playing a sound is just as important as the sound itself. For that reason even when I do get an SY-1000, I will still be playing some parts from a keyboard.

For me the SY-1000's strengths are the ability to do synth-type sounds and general sound modification via signal processing rather than pitch to synth engine conversion. And the ability to process separate strings with separate sounds, which will be ideal for the band where I use the bass VI as I won't have the change patches when swapping from "bass" to "guitar" sounds.

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@BigRedX - that now makes very good sense.

If you're comparing any bass synth pedal to a decent keyboard synth, it's game over: the keyboard synth is going to win out every time.

If, however, you were comparing the tracking of the Boss SY-1 / SY-1000 to any other bass-synth pedal currently available, my money would be on the Boss no question!

Do you have date pencilled in for when you are planning on getting yours?

Edited by Al Krow

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No definite time scale yet. It will very much depend on 1. my band getting back together for rehearsing, which won't be happening until all this COVID-19 nonsense is over and 2. Getting new body made for the Eastwood Hooky 6 Bass with routing for the custom 6-way pickup which I'll need for the SY-1000.

Regarding using synths or stringed instruments with synth pedals, I've found that even with my appalling keyboard technique, there is less practicing required for me to be able to play convincing synth parts from a keyboard than it is to do the same using a guitar or bass. 

Edited by BigRedX

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16 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

No definite time scale yet. It will very much depend on 1. my band getting back together for rehearsing, which won't be happening until all this COVID-19 nonsense is over and 2. Getting new body made for the Eastwood Hooky 6 Bass with routing for the custom 6-way pickup which I'll need for the SY-1000.

Regarding using synths or stringed instruments with synth pedals, I've found that even with my appalling keyboard technique, there is less practicing required for me to be able to play convincing synth parts from a keyboard than it is to do the same using a guitar or bass. 

Could you just not use the GK3 as an additional pup, in the interim, or indeed as a much cheaper alternative? (Although I know from your general approach / other purchases, you don't scrimp on costs!)

Yeah - I totally get your keyboard point. But worth checking what a blo*dy good synth bass tone @Quatschmacher is getting from his monophonic (if I remember correctly) FI at the end of the "blown away by the bass tone" thread in Gen Disc. Bodes well for bass + synth pedal combos IMO and tech is only going to get better. And the SY-1000 is poly which should further assist with tracking.

The  issues / risks with the keys route for me are (i) another piece of kit to carry / set up and integrate (and learn!) and (ii) in my case I won't be the best keyboard player in the either of my bands by a long way and if we start using keys where the band are thinking "eh up, the bass line sounds better on keys", it's then a very short walk to a pure "band management" role for me 😂

Edited by Al Krow

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14 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

Regarding using synths or stringed instruments with synth pedals, I've found that even with my appalling keyboard technique, there is less practicing required for me to be able to play convincing synth parts from a keyboard than it is to do the same using a guitar or bass. 

Agreed wholeheartedly, although I am a great fan of guitar synths, you do need to be very good on them to get up to "passable keyboard player" level.

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7 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Could you just not use the GK3 as an additional pup, in the interim, or indeed as a much cheaper alternative? (Although I know from your general approach / other purchases, you don't scrimp on costs!)

If you remember from previous threads, the GK3 has the wrong spacing for a 6 string bass

 

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5 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

If you remember from previous threads, the GK3 has the wrong spacing for a 6 string bass

Even a Bass VI which has guitar spacing?

But it's a useful point to be aware of regarding using it on a normal 18mm / 19mm 5 string bass i.e. it's not going to work for me; so thanks for the reminder!

Edited by Al Krow

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58 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Even a Bass VI which has guitar spacing?

But it's a useful point to be aware of regarding using it on a normal 18mm / 19mm 5 string bass i.e. it's not going to work for me; so thanks for the reminder!

That's why you have a GK3B. Used that on my 19mm 5-string Bass Collection, and it can also cope with a 6-string.

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12 minutes ago, pete.young said:

That's why you have a GK3B. Used that on my 19mm 5-string Bass Collection, and it can also cope with a 6-string.

Brilliant thanks! I was just thinking it's a real shame that they didn't think to make a bass version, except they did! 

Really interested what you were pairing your GK3B with in terms of pedals and if you have any clips of you what you produced, that would be marvellous.

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