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Talk me out of buying a Source Audio C4


matybigfro

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 I have been missing having a envelope filter pedal on my board for a while and my new band has a pop/edm edge that really leans towards a bit of wub wub, funky filter effects and synthy tones

 

I've loved the Moog MF-101 ever since I saw Corinne Bailey Rae live about ten years ago, her bass player had one it just sounded so good. My other filter gas had always been the the EHC microsynth, i had always chased after that dramatic slow rising filter effect it does so well many classic filter pedals cant cop.

 

So in my latest GAS I started wondering how easy it would be to clone the moog but i think it's probably far beyond my skill, i've looked at few other project filters but am not sure. In my googling I stumbled across a number of posts comparing the moog to the source audio spectrum and started to get intrigued, then I heard that the C4 can cop all the filter effects the spectrum managers and more. I've also seen mention that it can do some bit crushing sounds and that is another effect I've been considering for some time too.

 

My only reservation really is that I'm a bit of pedal Luddite in that I prefer to have individual pedals for as many elements of my sounds as possible this was one of the reasons I've never gone for the EHC microsynth as I like to have separate fully controllable octave, drive and fuzz effects. Although this does lead to some inevitable tap dancing escapades at time.

 

Currently on my board I have a Boss OC-2 most for the classic 1 octave down sound, a Digitech Riccochet for digital fast tracking doubled octave down plus clean and some whammy-esque bits, Myrtle Corvid (Coloursound jumbo tonebender clone) for Fuzz and a mad professor blueberry bass OD clone for those sounds currently. 

 

In my reading I've also heard people praise the C4/Spectrum it's octave effects so I'm also wondering if it can would replace the OC-2 and Riccochet, I can see that I might need to also pick up a DMC micro and expression pedal to go with too so that I have access to different presets easily as switching between sounds like just octave and adding in filters ontop would be really beneficial. 

 

So is it worth it? Is there anything I'm over looking.

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I've not tried the Ricochet, but the C4 made all of my filters and my OC-2 redundant. As you say, a C4 and a switch (DMC micro is what I use) and I strongly suspect you'll be sorted.

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I know a lot of people like the C4, but the fact that to get the most of it you need to add a switcher and programme it via your phone or computer, puts me off it. It becomes expensive, and I prefer a pedal that I can easily tweak on stage.

 

I think you've already got the coolest octave pedal, so I'd just look for a decent envelope filter- my favourite is the Emma Discumbobulator.

 

 

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What @Doddy said.

If you love computer programming and having to buy extra stuff, if you absolutely know you can nail the precise sounds you will need and not have to tweak them on stage then go for the C4, definitely.

If you lack patience, computer skills or the time needed to learn them, I suggest you stay away.

I've a whole board of SA pedals and never been able to gig them.

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Does the app editor have the same level of functionality as the desktop software or atleast full control of all parameters?

 

If I can edit via my phone that will work well enough for rehearsals and I don't see myself wanting to make adjustments lives so I can live with that.

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Instead of buying a C4, buy individual pedals for each sound.... why would you do this? Because it means more GAS fun! Who wants to buy one pedal when you buy dozens!!

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I mean this is also very temping, although I have a personal rule that I'll never use a pedal board bigger than my current Ikea Gorm build that is 30" by 12" between that and the monies I do have limitations.

 

I had been considering replacing my Ricochet and OC-2 with an OC-5 too though, but also eyeing up the EHX Mainframe for bit crushing and praying for behringer to bring out mf-101 clone.

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The trouble I found thinking the C4 would replace other pedals is that in many ways technically it can, you can listen to demos and it'll do very similar sounds. But that's not the same as having a few individual pedals each with their own footswitch and knobs. 

 

Saying that though, the C4 is very good as a synth pedal if you don't mind the hardware limitations.

 

I'm keen to get one again mostly for the MF-101 sound as there aren't many alternatives and things like the Xerograph, Barbanera, Future Impact all cost at least as much, hopefully the Behringer clone gets made. Also the C4 does a good Reece, OC-2, Pads, and envelope filters.

 

Source Audio have acknowledged that the hardware limitations are an issue for a lot of people though and are making a version with more hardware controls so I'm waiting for that.

 

Quite exciting times for Bass synth pedals with the things from Future Impact, Boss, and Source Audio all now tracking really well with very low latency and some very good sounds and they're only going to be getting even better. The limitations are more that actually playing a keyboard synth often seems to me a more practical way of playing synth sounds and adjusting parameters. Bass guitar is more fun to play though.

 

 

 

Edited by SumOne
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I managed to get one last year as I wanted (note not “needed”!) a synth. The boss sy200 tempted me but when a c4 and midi switch popped up for sale here I snapped it up. I prefer it to the future impact as it’s smaller. I like the software. 
The majority of good advice on here has been given. It can replace a few pedals, it does synth and some env filters well, but you need the midi switch to unlock its full capabilities. I have specific songs downloaded to presets. There’s a nice sounding moogesque patch on there to download that I specifically wanted for one song. 
 

But.. I also have an oc5 and a couple of env filters (mainly for fun). Don’t sell your oc2 keep that as an investment. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve had mine a few days now so here is my take.

 

if you aren’t prepared to hook it up to your PC forget it.

 

If you are prepared to spend a few days trying out various presets, tweaking them to your needs and saving 6 easy access presets then it’s simply the best synth pedal out there.

 

Tracking is superb.  The onboard fuzzes and overdrives are actually great. 6 easy access presets is more than enough for most set lists.

 

You don’t “need” to buy anything else to get the most out of it if you already have a computer.

 

I love it. It’s phenomenal.

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I was going to sell mine, but the second hand price has collapsed so spectacularly, I've changed my mind.

It's not hurting sitting in its case, and who knows, one day there might be a comprehensive instruction course and I might learn to use it.

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Has anything been confirmed about them bringing out a version that is actually useable in a live context without an additional midi switch/hub?  Even just a version with an actual DIN input would work for me, but I just resent the idea of having to buy additional equipment just to have access to more than 1 preset with your feet.

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15 minutes ago, Kev said:

Has anything been confirmed about them bringing out a version that is actually useable in a live context without an additional midi switch/hub?  Even just a version with an actual DIN input would work for me, but I just resent the idea of having to buy additional equipment just to have access to more than 1 preset with your feet.


You have access to 3 presets via the toggle switch and another via via the alt button. 
 

I’m struggling to think of another pedal the covers as much range that doesn’t need at least one hand control as well as pedal switch - I suppose you’re looking up a range at the Helix stuff?

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On 23/04/2022 at 11:53, Kev said:

Has anything been confirmed about them bringing out a version that is actually useable in a live context without an additional midi switch/hub?  Even just a version with an actual DIN input would work for me, but I just resent the idea of having to buy additional equipment just to have access to more than 1 preset with your feet.

Is your gripe the cost or the number of pieces of equipment? An upgraded version that doesn’t require additional hardware would still cost as much as a C4 plus small controller. 

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9 hours ago, Quatschmacher said:

Is your gripe the cost or the number of pieces of equipment? An upgraded version that doesn’t require additional hardware would still cost as much as a C4 plus small controller. 

Number of pieces of equipment.  Multiple power sources, additikal cables, additional footprint, everything that comes with it.

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7 hours ago, Kev said:

Number of pieces of equipment.  Multiple power sources, additikal cables, additional footprint, everything that comes with it.

Agreed. Plus, cost (even the cheapest option of a DMC micro is £149, and it only offers Preset scrolling - no additional parameter adjusting controls) and the hassles of setup. Lots of C4 forum threads have posts about people faffing to set up external equipment, I expect it's a reason quite a lot of C4's come along reasonably cheap second hand. It makes things like the Future Impact or SY-200 more viable.

 

Source Audio know its an issue for people, they said themselves on Talkbass it has outgrown the hardware and there will be a larger version. 

 

 

 

Edited by SumOne
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45 minutes ago, SumOne said:

Agreed. Plus, cost (even the cheapest option of a DMC micro is £149, and it only offers Preset scrolling - no additional parameter adjusting controls) and the hassles of setup. Lots of C4 forum threads have posts about people faffing to set up external equipment, I expect it's a reason quite a lot of C4's come along reasonably cheap second hand. It makes things like the Future Impact or SY-200 more viable.

 

Source Audio know its an issue for people, they said themselves on Talkbass it has outgrown the hardware and there will be a larger version. 

 

 

 

They didn’t say “larger”, they said “upgraded”.

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Does anybody know if a controller such as the Hotone Ampero Control (it says it does midi over usb) would work with a C4?

It would be handy to have some footswitchable presets, if they worked together. 

 

https://www.hotoneaudio.com/products/controlers/Ampero Control

 

 

edit: it doesn't look like it, it doesn't do 'usb host' whatever that is, and it seems that's the key. As you were.

Edited by mcnach
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On 07/04/2022 at 08:01, Doddy said:

I know a lot of people like the C4, but the fact that to get the most of it you need to add a switcher and programme it via your phone or computer, puts me off it. It becomes expensive, and I prefer a pedal that I can easily tweak on stage.

 

I think you've already got the coolest octave pedal, so I'd just look for a decent envelope filter- my favourite is the Emma Discumbobulator.

I think it's for preparing canned songs rather than tweaking on-stage.

However, these small pedals are evidently going to need supplementary switcher pedals to avoid you having to do some bizarre multi-footswitch hokey-kokey mid-song on stage.

It's the same with the HX Stomp; it's nigh-on impossible without an up/down switcher.

The downside is that you have to prepare in advance.

The upside in using a computer is that you have a backup of your settings, rather than having to twiddle knobs manually; if you look at MiniMoog players, they often have two of them, because they need two different sounds dialed in ready to go.

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