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Synth pedal advice needed


BillyBass
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I have an audition after Xmas.  One of the songs I have been asked to learn is 'Take on me' by A-Ha.  This seems to be a synth bass line.  

 

I know very little about synth bass pedals and I've got zero interest in playing around with synth sounds on a computer.  I'm after something that I can tread on and it works.

 

Internet searches point to either the Electro Harmonix Bass mono synth or the Boss SY-1.  

 

The EH bass mono synth is just over £100 which is a plus but apparently it has tracking issues?  I think I could play 'Take on me' without tracking problems as there aren't long sustainy bits and if I focus on my technique I'll be ok but If I get the gig there will probably be other songs I 'll need the pedal for.

 

The Boss SY-1 looks good but it costs £50 more, is it worth it?  Are there other cheaper options? 

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There are some decent synth options on the Zoom B3 which are pretty cheap these days. Of course, you get a whole lot more other stuff with one of these and lots of it is really good (in my opinion). You'd probably get the same stuff on the MS60B as well which is the size of a standard pedal.

Edited by Japhet
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50 minutes ago, BillyBass said:

I have an audition after Xmas.  One of the songs I have been asked to learn is 'Take on me' by A-Ha.  This seems to be a synth bass line.  

 

I know very little about synth bass pedals and I've got zero interest in playing around with synth sounds on a computer.  I'm after something that I can tread on and it works.

 

Internet searches point to either the Electro Harmonix Bass mono synth or the Boss SY-1.  

 

The EH bass mono synth is just over £100 which is a plus but apparently it has tracking issues?  I think I could play 'Take on me' without tracking problems as there aren't long sustainy bits and if I focus on my technique I'll be ok but If I get the gig there will probably be other songs I 'll need the pedal for.

 

The Boss SY-1 looks good but it costs £50 more, is it worth it?  Are there other cheaper options? 

 

In all my years of playing Take On Me, I've never bothered with a synth sound for this song. It's one of those you can easily get away without IMHO - and I do have two synth pedals on my board.

 

If you listen to this live version, it's debatable whether one is being used by them. If it is, after the few opening bars where the bass sound is exposed, I don't you think you would know for sure anyway.

 

If you're thinking about it for just one song, I would save your money.

 

 

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39 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

 

In all my years of playing Take On Me, I've never bothered with a synth sound for this song. It's one of those you can easily get away without IMHO - and I do have two synth pedals on my board.

 

If you listen to this live version, it's debatable whether one is being used by them. If it is, after the few opening bars where the bass sound is exposed, I don't you think you would know for sure anyway.

 

If you're thinking about it for just one song, I would save your money.

I think I'll ask them.  They have a guitarist who also plays keys so I'm not sure what they do about the synth sound for this song.  But if I can get away with not opening the wallet that would be the best solution, this isn't a Gas induced purchase.

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If you do have to open the wallet.... I have the ehx mono synth and you just have to be very clean with your playing to avoid all artifacts but other than that it does sounds good. 

Alternatively, you could always use a bit of octaver to get synthy overtones and an octave pedal would probably be more versatile for other stuff as well.

 

... just seen your latest post!!

Edited by Boodang
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10 minutes ago, Boodang said:

If you do have to open the wallet.... I have the ehx mono synth and you just have to be very clean with your playing to avoid all artifacts but other than that it does sounds good. 

Alternatively, you could always use a bit of octaver to get synthy overtones and an octave pedal would probably be more versatile for other stuff as well.

 

... just seen your latest post!!

How does the EHX mono sound with sustain?  Does it start to glitch when the note starts to flatten?

 

Edited by BillyBass
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2 hours ago, BillyBass said:

How does the EHX mono sound with sustain?  Does it start to glitch when the note starts to flatten?

 

Actually the sustain is quite good. On most presets you could hold a note for at least a bar at a slow-ish tempo. The sounds are really good but the thing that's made me keep it is the addition of an expression pedal which really brings it alive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I sound like a broken record, but the Future Impact should be top of your list.

 

As for how well it tracks a sustained note, here it is tracking a low E for days at the end of this clip. (It’s not the most representative sample of the sounds it is capable of as I was merely using it as an octaver in this patch.)

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WQAQQIQ3zhb3S4hxCJlq8BYt1opXWKhp/view?usp=drivesdk

 

Edited by Quatschmacher
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On 16/12/2021 at 12:56, CJPJ said:

Tracking not brilliant on that although far from bad. I wonder if there is a more recent iteration of a boss pedal which includes all of the above and more with better tracking?

Yes, it's called the SY-1 and was mentioned above. I have one and I think its certainly worth £50 more than the Electro Harmonix.

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4 minutes ago, pete.young said:

Yes, it's called the SY-1 and was mentioned above. I have one and I think its certainly worth £50 more than the Electro Harmonix.

Ha. The post completes its circle 😂. Got it. Looks like an interesting pedal and if it’s an upgrade on the SYB-5 then it probably is worth the extra £50!

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17 hours ago, CJPJ said:

Ha. The post completes its circle 😂. Got it. Looks like an interesting pedal and if it’s an upgrade on the SYB-5 then it probably is worth the extra £50!

It isn't an upgrade as such. It's an entirely different pedal. Totally different class

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I found MacDaddy’s input invaluable when I had already bought the SYB5. Achieved the sounds in the clip, then I tried a bit of noodling, it didn’t track below E on the B string and struggled at times up to F# on the E string….. it’s going back. i gip at paying a couple a hunnert for a single pedal to upgrade. I think I might have found the “Holy Compromise Grail”. 

Edited by Oldman
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