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AKAI SB-1 DEEP IMPACT!!! SYNTH ENV. FILTER

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by camerondye, Feb 1, 2001.


  1. camerondye

    camerondye

    Nov 7, 2000
    Bass player reviewed this pedal this month and I found some sound bytes of it and it sounds awesome. It is brand new and lists at $300, but the sound bytes sound great. Bass player gave good reviews of it also, and should have there own sound bytes shortly. If you can't wait they are at:

    http://www.music.ch/playtronic/produkte/akai.html

    I want to find a music store that has one and probably just fork out the cash for it.
    cam
     
  2. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    camerondye, thanks for posting this. Akai introduced this pedal quite some time ago, but I couldn't find any info. on it - Not even on their own website. I almost completely forgot about it. I definitely want to get my hands (or feet) on one of these pedals and see how much my ears like it.
     
  3. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    Indiana
  4. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I listened to the MP3 sound samples of the SB1 that are on the website from the link camerondye provided above.

    I think that pedal sounds great! It is now on my list of must-have bass gear.

    Does anyone have any Rolaids?... I've got G.A.S. !
     
  5. camerondye

    camerondye

    Nov 7, 2000
    The examples of the pedal on the above address are better than the ones bass player put out and there are more of them. This pedal sounds pretty awesome to me, I wish someone out there owned one and could post on how they like the pedal and how it compares to others.
    cameron
     
  6. =^..^=

    =^..^=

    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I've just ordered one from my local shop, but it will take a week or so to arrive. Soon as I've played with it I'll post back what I think.
     
  7. camerondye

    camerondye

    Nov 7, 2000
    I just bought one of these last night and he sent it last night UPS from New York. I should have it probably by 3-8-01 and I will post on this pedal. Bass Player gave it all 4's and a 5 in Sound, which in my book is the important one...and 4's ain't that bad. The sound clips sound awesome and it seems as if nobody will have one of these. Talk to you Friday about this baby.
    cam
     
  8. I heard those samples, the thing really has some cool sounds. Some were kinda cheesy, but I was impressed with the samples... I only wonder how it tracks?
     
  9. camerondye

    camerondye

    Nov 7, 2000
    I wrote a long review because you just can't find any info besides the good review in the Feb 2001 Bass Player, and I bought it on Bass Player Mag. faith. I just got mine thursday and haven't messed around with it a whole lot because the same night I got my 5 string EB fretless stingray, but here's the skinny on it so far. There are basically 9 different synth sounds on it (the nine soundbytes on the above post are the nine different synth sounds on this pedal). And you have a good amount of control over the settings on it. Here are the settings and what the manual says they do:

    1. Note Off Level: sets the sensitivity for triggering the end of the effect. this setting doesn't change between presets.

    2. Note On Level: sets the sensitivty for triggering the start of the effect. This is setting doesn't change between presets.

    3. Preset: There are 9 different synth sounds in this pedal, but if you only like 4 of them...you can program each sound twice with different settings. Like progam one may have synth sound one, and program two can have synth sound #one.

    4. Attack: Sets how fast the sound sounds.

    5. Decay: Sets how fast the sound diminishes.

    6. Envelope depth: set the amount of change the effect sound makes.

    7. Dynamics: Sets the sensitivity of the tone variation dependant on how hard or soft you hit the string.

    8. Cutoff: Sets the brightness of the effect sound.

    9. Resonance: Adjusts how much the effect sound characterized by synthesizer sound.

    10. Balance: Sets the balance between the original bass sound and the synthesized sound.

    11. Level: Sets the loudness of each program.


    That sounds complicated but it really isn't complex at all. One of the best things about this pedal is it is so easy to use. It automatically remembers the settings you change it to, there is no forgetting to push the memory button (because this is not a multi-effects unit at all!!!!!). This unit has true bypass, which means when it's off....It's off. This is the most quiet pedal I have ever used. It really tracks well once you have gone through the settings and set them for yourself, this pedal is affected a lot by how hard you play, or soft, because you really need to play consitently to get the notes to trigger correctly on fast passes. Also, to help this matter, it has an input and output level knob and an LED to basically make it work for how hard you hit the strings and the output to get the volume to match the non-effects sound. Another cool thing about this pedal is you can choose which of the nine presets you want to use and then click with the left button to the next preset and push the right button to change it to the setting. So if you are using #1 and then want #5, you can do it in the middle of the song without scrambling. One of the annoying things is that the left foot button only goes up 1-9, not down 9-1, but they did add a 1/4" jack that you can add a button switch to go down if you need it that bad. Fortunately, that is not a big deal, a button switch is not that expensive and it probably won't be that big of a deal unless you use this pedal a whole lot...and that takes me in to the last part. DON'T BUY THIS PEDAL UNLESS YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO USE IT!!!! It is very cool, and (from what I heard) much easier to use than the EH micro synth, but still $200 from www.musictoyz.com. It also has an ok envelope filter sound on it also, but it is not unpredictable like the dedicated envelope filters which you may or may not like. I would not buy this as an envelope filter IMO. If you need a good synth pedal that is definitely very user friendly, this is a very good pedal for you to use.
     
  10. =^..^=

    =^..^=

    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    and I'm impressed. Camerondye has covered the hardware side of things, so I'll add my comments on how it sounds !

    A good example of a usefull sound you can get from it is the bass synth sound in Jamiroqaui's "High Times" from "Travelling Without Moving". One of the presets sounds just like it. In fact just listen to most JK stuff - theres a synth bass in there just like this !

    Most of the presets are suited for quite short notes and funky rythms, a riff which seemed to suit most of the presets quite well was the intro to "Fire" (Jimi H) or "Suck my Kiss" (RHCP) - nice stacato stuff. The Dark Bubble preset makes "suck my kiss" sound kinda like waap-waap, waap waap waap. Altering the attack and envelope changes this to waaapa-waaapa, waaapa waaapa waaapa !

    A couple of the presets (Bright Synth and Majesty)though would not go amiss in an early 70's sci-fi movie - totally distorted with a very long decay. Just right for a bit of suspense.

    Quite a bit of fun was had with "In the hall of the mountain Kings" by Grieg. A nice classical piece played with a totally wacked out sound. Completely tripping :)

    Anyone want that Spinal Tap "Big Bottom" sound ? Yep this box will do one of the bass sounds for you !

    One thing I noticed though was a distinct lack of grunt or bottom end in the preset sounds. Except for one they all seem quite middly. I had been intending on putting my EBS ahead of it in the effects chain, but it tracks quite happily off the synth effect and fills out the lower end of the sound quite nicely.

    Chords and Harmonics.. Errr no. Forget them unless you like tracking glitches. That said the preset I used to mimic the aforementioned Big Bottom handled a root and fifth chord. The glitches though can be controlled and used to good effect, I tried out using the tip of my finger to strum a single note about 10 frets above the note I was fretting, this generated a slight tracking glitch which gave a nice randomly generated note and pattern which could be used in just about any house or dance track you care to mention.

    Drone - for single notes it tracks pefectly on my four string - I haven't got a five or six string to try it out on, so I can't comment on anything lower than E

    A very nice bit of kit, dominates my floor set up due to the very big box, totally 70's look, just trying to program up a mini moog sound for those Gary Numan moments now !

    The only thing I would question is how often will I use it ? perhaps once in a night for a couple of bars ? No matter. Its a way funky toy which is gonna freak our guitarist out on saturday night, and what better reason is there for buying anything ?
     
  11. Thanks guys...It's funny you mention the jamiroquai sound, that's exactly the tone I was looking for. I tried out the bass SYB-3 and I absolutely hated the tracking...I was thinking about the electro-harmonix unit, but to be pefectly honest, I like what I've heard from the Akai a lot better-at least what I can find in the way of sound samples on the net...
     
  12. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Is the Deep Impact strictly monophonic (only synthesizes one note at a time)? How is it for classic MiniMoog style bass sounds--can you get a "Boogie On Reggae Woman" Stevie Wonder kind of sound?
     
  13. Bassplayer.com has some samples of the akai. They also have some samples of the EBS bass IQ, on a side note....There is also some other site that has an mp3 of each of the settings...I am not sure where now though...
     
  14. =^..^=

    =^..^=

    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    Winston - I've not heard that track, but I'm hoping to get a couple of hours to sit and play round with the settings today and I'll see what I can come up with. I'll post some mp3's of the best !
     
  15. Steve Cat

    Steve Cat

    Mar 19, 2001
    I seem to have a problem with tracking errors, especially fast passages, on my MIM Fretless.

    What would reduce traking errors most
    1. Note on level
    2. Note off level
    3. Input level

    I think part of my problem is that I don't completely stop the note from ringing before moving on to the next note, i.e, I think it becomes a partial chord.

    I agree that some/most of the traking errors are melodic, but I would like the envelope to track perfectly or isn't this possible and a fretless.
    Anyway, any general hints to reduce traking errors?
     
  16. =^..^=

    =^..^=

    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    I'm not sure as I'm not getting that problem - possibly the note off level needs raising. You could alter the decay length to suit the style your playing (a shorter decay for the shorter notes)

    Some of the presets don't seem to mind two notes, as they re-trigger from the new (louder) note but you can hear the other note coming through in the dry signal.

    I gave my fretless a try on Sunday but didn't really like the sounds I was getting as they didn't seem to suit the context of the bass synth.

    But at the end of the day I suspect it is as you say it could just be leaving the string ringing which is doing it.
     
  17. camerondye

    camerondye

    Nov 7, 2000
    I don't think the akai likes fretless basses, I tried mine and was not that impressed with most of the settings. You definitely need to first look at how you are fingering the notes when you use the SB-1. Not necessarily a light or hard touch, just consistent and make sure you are lighting the orange on the input LED. You need to play very sturdy, I usually have a compressor in front of the Synth Bass and maybe that is why I am having such good luck with it. I still think this is a really cool pedal...for me though...it's not for everybody.
    cam
     
  18. Steve Cat

    Steve Cat

    Mar 19, 2001
    So you think maybe going through the effects loop which I assume comes after the preamp and after the built in compressor might help. I agree, I love the sound of this pedal. I want to work out the bugs before using it in my church band.