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EHX Bass Microsynth issues

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by tbirdsp, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

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    I have been trying to get a decent synth sound for some cover songs. Tried a Zoom B3 - tracking sucked and it was way more pedal than I needed. Bought a well-worn EHX Microsynth. I like the sound and tracking but have two frustrating issues:
    1. This is the big one - when I kick it on it's much quieter than my bass (passive Jazz) is when bypassed. I have played with the little internal trim pot to no avail. I can't believe they didn't just put an output level on the stupid thing! I don't run any other pedals so there's no way for me to make up the gain by kicking something else on.

    2. Any notes below my open A sound crappy.

    Is this just the nature of the beast?

    Is the MarkBass SuperSynth any better?
  2. David Beers

    David Beers

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    Disclosures:
    Sales, Marketing, Design @ Brimstone Audio
    The bottom five notes don't track well, it's true. Analog synthesis is not perfect, so I'd say it's the nature of the beast. I usually play higher on the neck to get the best sound. If you add in a little of the sub octave, it should be big and thick and juicy. I also get good results using the whammy after, one octave down sweeps are pretty sweet.

    I've never had a volume issue... I have the dry volume slider up about halfway (I usually roll the tone knob on the bass all the way back when using the micro), the main synth volume almost all the way up, and then a bit of the sub bass... If you can't get it loud enough I would begin to question the integrity of the unit.

    Also, double check the exact version you have with online material to make sure the trim pot does what you think it doing. My memory is foggy but I think it varies on different versions.
  3. andrew

    andrew Supporting Member

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    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Regenerate Guitar Works
    Yes, you shouldn't have an issue getting more volume out of the Microsynth. That seems like something is off.

    I didn't know there was an internal trim pot, mine is loud as snot.
  4. WJGreer

    WJGreer

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    ^ This is the output level on the BMS, really- have you experimented with it?

    In my experience with synth pedals, which is not inconsiderable, I've found the BMS to be the best. Mine is old and beat up now, and maybe not trustworthy for a gigging pedalboard, but I have loved it.

    I didn't hate the SYB-5, though, and most people do. It's digital, but for the specific Moog-y sound I was after, it did a nice job. If you find yourself wanting to experiment.

    The synth sound samples I've heard from the newish Zoom multi aren't bad either.
  5. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

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    I use my EHX Bass Microsynth a lot in my cover band for Madonna, Cindy Lauper, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, etc. -- I have two of them actually. Here are some suggestions:

    1. Set the gain per the instructions in the manual. If you don't have a manual and can't find the instructions online, PM me.

    2. You can improve low frequency tracking by lowering the Trigger control. I can get my B-string low F to track well with the Trigger control properly set (usually about "60% up").

    3. Usually my tracking is much better using the bridge pickup only, and with no bass boost. (Treble boost doesn't seem to bother the tracking.)

    4. If you have more than one bass, try them all. My Sadowsky and Gibson EB5 both track particularly well. Some of my others don't track as well.

    5. If you're playing low notes, don't get silly with the Sub control. Remember that the octave of your low A is about 27.5 Hz.

    Hope this helps!
    Greg

  6. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

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    Thanks all for the replies. To clarify - it seems that if I increase the trim pot gain to a sufficient level to get the desired output I thought I was overdriving the preamp. Not sure that is what's going on now though.

    gregbackstrom - yeah we are doing Gaga, Katy Perry, etc.
    If you could share some specific settings that would be great, I know that's a lot to ask though. (I have the templates sheet from EHX, so if you start with one of those and tweak it that might be easier to explain)

    I do have the manual but the instructions are just how to physically do it, not really a specific procedure to set it (if that makes sense). As for trying multiple basses - I have done that and unfortunately my main player Am Std Jazz is the worst, best seems to be my old Yamaha practice beater:meh:

    This unit has been well used - one of the bottom panel screws is stripped and the trim pot showed signs someone had messed with it (plastic arrow slot a little buggered up). I don't think it's defective though.

    I'll mess with it some more using the suggestions I've gotten. Thanks all!
  7. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

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    PM your phone number and good time(s) to call and we can discuss.
  8. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

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    gregbackstrom, thanks for the kind offer! I think I got it figured out though. I'll will PM you if I need more help.

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