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Bass into "audio in" of a hardware synth

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Devo-lution, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    Technically, what's the correct way of doing this?

    I've got three analog synths and I was thinking how they could open up a whole new world of crazy Bass effects :bassist:.

    Le problem: Almost every synth expects to receive a line level. What makes it even harder is that it needs to be very loud if you wish to match the output of the VCO's.

    So the question is:
    Is there a device (preferably a pedal) that allows me to turn my bass signal into a loud line level without changing the tone drastically (as in distortion, excessive noise, ...).

    The only thing that actually worked up until now was DI'ing my bass and then running it into a mic preamp and boosting it as hard as the preamp allowed without distorting. It didn't match the VCO's...:scowl:
  2. Whay synths do you have ?
    My synth has an "audio in" jack and a switch which lets me choose between Line or instrument level.

    if your idea is to get a good synth bass tone using your bass+your synth... depends on what synth you own. Most synths accepting audio in, just process that signal with filters and/or effects... If the synth does not trigger VCOs with audio in, it won't be very usefull to get a synthy sound... You have to try though..
  3. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    Arturia Minibrute. It needs the line level. Plus is that I can program a tresshold and when the signal reaches it, it will trigger the envelopes.

    I want to use it mainly to filter the bass (multimode filter) and doing some wacky things (noise generator). Most gigs I'm switching between playing the synth and playing the bass, so matching volumes would be great.

    Other synths: Oberheim Sem (great filter, not as portable) and Korg Monotribe (wouldn't use this one for bass :p)
  4. Oh. cool. The minibrute is awesome... I think you'll get great envelope filter effects using it that way. Doesn't your amp have a Line Out jack ?How about going straight from you DI to the Minibrute ?

    This guy uses a Moog MIniataur to filter his guitar, but he needs to press a key constantly to trigger the effect.

  5. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    That Minitaur filter also sounds great :p. I'm really happy with the Minibrute. Great little synth! Soundwise, I still prefer the Oberheim (I'm keeping both :p), but the Brute is so small and easy. No hassle at all.

    My amp doesn't have a line out jack and the DI is passive so all it'll give is a mic level signal...

    I guess the thing I'm looking for would be a small pedal that converts instrument level to line level (a preamp). But most bass preamp pedals seem like they are either distortions with a built in EQ or have a DI built in.
  6. I'd be happy with a Minibrute too ! Oh.. and yes.. the Oberheim is asesome too !
  7. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
  8. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    SansAmp or another ACTIVE D.I. Box will probably work. Also, a guitar "boost pedal" like the Electro-Harmonix LPB (linear power booster) would probably work also, I think the LPB has +35 dB of boost, that should get it close to line level.
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Any good clean boost should work, but you may need to trigger the gate as well. Some synths have a GATE IN that you can insert a dummy plug into. Not sure how MiniBrute works. But you could also use a powered mixer with line outs.
  10. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    @ Rickenboogie

    With the minibrute it's possible to configure a treshold level for the audio in. When the audio in meets this treshold, the envelopes are triggered. That's why I'd use this synth for processing bass.

    Clean boost seems like the cheapest way of doing it. It's only that I'm afraid that it'd distort a bit at the input of the synth due to an impedance mismatch or anything. Definitely worth the try though.
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    If the MiniBrute has an input level, or threshold, then between that and a clean boost, you should be able to set the perfect level for the synth.
  12. how about one of those cheap 4 channel Behringer mixers ?
  13. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    Yes, that should certainly work :).

    I also have a little 3-channel Mackie mixer which might be perfect for the job.
  14. once you made it work, record it and bring us a link ! we want to hear that
  15. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    Problem is that I usually record on compact cassette. Anyhow, I'm planning to convert some of those cassettes to mp3 in the near future so then I'll be posting some samples :).
  16. Have you seen the new Korg mini MS20 ? It's AWESOME !! and IMHO the best option to process external audio or instruments.

  17. Devo-lution


    Jun 24, 2009
    Seen it and kind of interested. I'm more likely to wait for a good poly to pop up though.