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bass synth

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by CaptainHueso, Jan 31, 2005.


  1. I've been recently bitten by the effects bug. I currently dont own any but after doing a hefty amount of research I've narrowed it down and am asking some expert advice or at least some anecdotes from personal usage. I checked out Electro Harmonix's website to see what they had to say about the Bass Microsynth, and after listening to what it can possibly do, I'm damn near sold on it. The sounds and effects are stunning, but unfortunately it looks incredibly difficult to use and difficult to change settings quickly on, but if anyone can let me know any important info about the unit I'd appreciate it. I'm also considering getting their Bassballs unit as well. Also looking into the Boss CEB-3 for chrous, and a Morley Power Wah if i can find one in good enough shape. All fed into a GBE 600 and Sansamp RBI. My bass has passive bartolini's and an active 3 band bartolini preamp. Thoughts, reccomendations, suggested settings, additions, or removals?
     
  2. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    i too am stricken with the effects bug :)

    basically, as far as synths go the e~h bass micro synth gets pretty good reviews. ive never used one but i dont think it would be any more difficult to use than ur average bass synth, just instead of rotating knobs you have vertical sliders to vary your sound.

    everyone seems to want an akai deep impact (me included).. they have been discontinued tho and you can only find them on ebay. one of the big issues when it comes to bass triggered synth is tracking - which is how accurately or quickly the unit identifies the frequency of the sound you played on your bass and reproduces it.

    i have owned the boss syb-3 and now own the boss syb-5 which are two of the cheaper bass synths. the syb-3 tracks terribly... i dont play with a pick and the unit found it hard to cope with that. it would miss half the notes i played (or more) when played at any reasonable tempo. the syb-5 is a fair bit better, its at least usable.. but the only usable sounds i can get out of it are either quirky or geared towards trance or techno type sounds which arent of great use to me.

    there are a couple of others around too: the digitech bass synth wah, and the ibanez sb7 neither of which i have used, and both get 'ok' reviews.

    so my order of preference:

    1. akai deep impact
    2. e~h bass microsynth / korg g5 **edited in**
    3. boss syb-5
    4. digitech synth wah
    5. ibanez sb7 / boss syb-3

    also theres a pedal by pigtronix called the envelope phaser that might be worth looking into as well as some death by audio pedals.

    hope that helps somewhat.
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    There's also the Korg G5, which is also discontinued. It has a number of cool features, including being able to use an expression pedal with it to change the waveform parameters on the fly.
    The EHX is fine, new units are supposedly true bypass which is a major improvement (they tone sucked like mad when off before).
    The sliders are kind of flimsy, and can break easy (I speak from experience here!). As you said, there's issues moving between sounds and the tracking IMO isn't as good as the deep impact.
    The boss synth pedals have been pretty unusable IME. The tracking on the syb-3 was terrible. They improved it on the syb-5. Now it tracks poorly.
     
  4. N*Joy

    N*Joy

    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    I've always had the impression from reviews that the G5 is pretty much on a par with the Deep Impact - anyone have experience of both?

    I ummed and arrred too much about a year ago on one for just over £100 (less than $200), should've got it if only for comparison :crying:
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Yup. I'd say the tracking is better on the Deep Impact, and the bypass is better also. Of course, if you have the G5 in a loop it doesn't matter. The G5's plastic buttons always made me slightly nervous also, but I never had a problem with them.
     
  6. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    whatever akai did with their tracking setup they need to let boss in on it.

    listen to some live muse tracks for an example of how well it can track.

    the syb-5 has expression capability but i havent used it and dont imagine that i will use it... mainly because the thing doesnt really produce any sounds worth buying an expression pedal for...

    maybe im just no good at finding good settings... anyone find any decent settings for syb-5 ?
     
  7. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    With the Akai it's really like using a non-tracking effect as long as you play cleanly. It's really amazing. It's baffling to me why they don't reissue them.
     
  8. haujobb

    haujobb

    Dec 16, 2004
    Wallaceburg
    The Ibanez SB7 tracks perfectly, it has something to do with the way in which it processes the sound. IIRC most pedals run the sound through a AD/DA converter while the SB7 doesn't. Because of that, the SB7 is a little bit less versatile but isn't effected by tracking delays.
     
  9. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    because its akai... they were dumb enough to stop making them in the first place!
     
  10. N*Joy

    N*Joy

    Nov 30, 2002
    Birmingham, UK
    You can't really knock akai - the huge production runs they do result in drastic overstocking of pedals that don't fly off the shelves (and lets face it, it took a good few years for the deep impact to gain the reputation it currently has). They were quite expensive to begin with and it took the discounted pedals which were sold off when production finished, the ones you all got from MF or your local store for $100-150, to actually build the reputation .

    There probably still isn't enough demand to bother producing another batch.
     
  11. dirtgroove

    dirtgroove

    Jan 10, 2003
    Taipei, Taiwan
    1. akai deep impact
    2. e~h bass microsynth
    3. boss syb-5
    4. digitech synth wah
    5. ibanez sb7 / boss syb-3

    another vore for the korg g5 at the top of that list, in terms of tracking and overalll sounds. (unti it died that is :crying: )
    Having spent around a year of reliable rehearsing, recording and gigging a deep impact- I now appreciate the akai even more than the korg.
     
  12. I own and love a EH Bass Microsynth. It can take a bit of fiddling to find usable sounds at first, but there is a lot of depth in this effect. I really love all of the left-field "wrong" type sounds you can get out of it. Nothing I've heard can touch it as far as sound quality, but I'm sure most other synth pedals are easier to use. I also have a Bassballs....it's a fun toy but I don't find it as useful.
     
  13. Can you make the "muse-sound" with the Ehx Bass Micro Synth? Like the one used on "time is runing out" or "hysteria"...
     
  14. xan

    xan

    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    surely u can... just a matter of adjusting the decay rate