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Effect for hip hop: Bass Micro Synth, OC-2, or other?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by smeet, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    It looks like I'll be doing some hip hop gigging in the near future, this is a new genre for me. I'm thinking a 5-string passive P bass with Chromes should work well. Hopefully that is a good starting place? I'm assuming a thick solid bottom is more important than a bright slapping tone. ???

    Anyway, I'm looking at getting a pedal for a basic deep synthy hip hop sound. I have a SA Manta, but I don't get the feeling that envelope filters are all that bit in hip hop. I know the OC-2 is a favorite. How about the EHX BMS? That seems to have some nice sounds, can it do the deep sub-bass sine wave thing as well or even better than the OC-2?

    Or should I get the Aguilar Octamizer? Or... ?
  2. bassvirtuoso

    bassvirtuoso My God, it's full of chrome! Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    When I was doing that genre, I loved my OC-2. The TWA/Godlyke Great Divide replaced it later when I found one, but the OC-2 can't do wrong.
  3. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    That's what I gather, thanks for the vote. Have you tried the BMS? If it worked well for the sub sound, it also has a bunch of other features (filter, attack, octave up, etc.) that could come in handy.

    I would love a Great Divide or a Subterranea, but I'm looking for something more affordable.
  4. M0ses


    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    Where are you going to get a BMS cheaper than a Subterranea?
  5. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I love my BMS, but it wouldn't be my instinctive choice for hip hop. It's versatile, but not in ways I'd associate with hop hop. If I were bringing a synth to the gig, the Markbass Super Synth seems more an intuitive fit.
  6. packhowitzer

    packhowitzer 155mm of pure destruction

    Apr 20, 2011

    that's a bass microsynth in action. i ran through a few different sounds at the end of the vid. iirc the last two minutes has more variation than the first part of it. i should also point out that it's an old 24v model and not one of the newer 9v models.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm no hip-hopper, but OC-2 would rock for it, or maybe an SYB-3 or 5. But really, between an OC-2, envelope filter, and distortion box, you can get plenty of synth sounds.
    sillyfabe likes this.
  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    BMS's come up used at decent prices ($150-ish) and Subterranea are pretty rare.

    Sounds pretty cool. Do you think it would work well in a hip hop or modern R&B context?
    Do the 9v models sound different from 24v?
    And can you get a straight tone with a fixed (not swept) filter? As in, no envelope mod?

    It seems everybody loves the OC-2 (as I already knew) but nobody seems to have a yay or a nay for the BMS. Is that just because few people have tried it?
  9. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    The MXR Bass Octave was my fave. I used it in conjunction with their BEF too and it was awesome.
  10. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    I am not a hip hop bassist but I listen to a fair amount of hip hop, and I don't think you want to go overboard with effects. I would focus on getting a full low end.

    What other instrumentation will there be?
    Berme likes this.
  11. OC-2 > BMS for modern hop sounds.

    I like BMS for 70s synth tones - use it if you want to sound like hip-hop that samples P-funk or something.

    OC-2 or some sort of low-pass filter (MF-101 with expression) would suit current hip-hop better.
  12. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yeah, I'm aware that most hip hop uses a fat clean bass. But I'm trying to cover the instances when there is a keyboard sub bass, and nothing else for the bassist to do. The instrumentation for one group will be drums, bass, guitar, keys. So the keyboard player could do the bass, but I'd like to be able to cover it, both so I'm not just sitting there for half the tunes, and also so the keyboardist can be freed up to do other things.

    I was originally planning to just control my sound with my fingers and tone controls, but I may as well have all the options (probably just an octave divider or similar) available in case the BL wants that.

  13. Tractorr


    Aug 23, 2011
    That is what I was getting at. Let the keyboard player worry about the synth bits. You focus on getting a good strong low end be it through EQ, strings, octaver, etc. Unless you are doing some really experimental hip hop most synth bass pedals aren't going to get you that close to hip hop.
  14. I don't know, I think when the keys are carrying the bassline, you want a more modern almost slap tone to sit above them. In those instances a subtle EF would be good. I would think an active 5-string would be the call, too, rather than a passive. An OC2 and a static LPF would both be really useful as well, sub a graphic EQ as a "poor mans" LPF, but you don't get the benefit of any resonance on the filter that way.
  15. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    OK, the votes be in, looking for another OC-2. I've probably bought and sold these 4 times since the early 80's.
  16. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    My P with Alembic filter preamp in it gets some really huge and almost synthy tones when you roll the filter back, and without the tracking issues/constraints an OC-2 will give you. It is just a resonant filter with a nice spike on the cutoff frequency (I think the built-in Q adds some 6db or so at the cutoff). I also have an Iron Ether Xerograph that gets in a similar territory but seems to have a little less headroom and lacks the same punch to my ears. I love my OC-2 but was surprised how similar I could get the P to sound on its own once I added the Alembic guts. Real Alembic stuff is super pricey, but there's a dude on Ebay selling clones much cheaper that I've heard are up to snuff- I just ordered one to put in an external box myself to make a footswitchable preamp that I can use with all my basses.
  17. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    Been playing radio hip hop for a couple years now. Went from trying to get a synthy tone with my bass guitar to learning to play a synth for the stuff that calls for it and playing bass guitar on everything else. Lately, been going for a brighter more aggressive tone to differentiate between the two even more. Also been throwing a little more slap in lately.

    All that being said, I've also been experimenting with effects more now than in the past. Use an octave on a couple things, but use dirt or an envelope filter much more. Because I have a dedicated synth, I feel much more free to play around with effects, throwing in chorus, delay, phaser, etc. As long as the song is served, and I don't distract or take away from the singers, I'm pretty much left to my own devices. Don't be afraid to play around!
    kazuhank likes this.
  18. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Hey Sumit I say go for the deepest prettiest tone you can come up with or I would want to have something remarkable I wouldn't get sick of if the songs have a lot of repetition. Unique but not a fad. There has to be an idea behind it & a fit fr the song I wouldn't go for a sound that's saturated with effects for the sake of modernity
    I'm thinking burn rubber by the gap band or humpty dance, also some huge tones on the classic hiphop album king of rock which used a rock band behind run dmc. The breaks by kurtis blow--nice jazz bass part I think grandmaster flash also used real band behind him on record whereas planet rock by afrika bambatta obviously did not
    My point is all have appropriate bass parts & tones that fit the song & mc's style.
  19. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Roni size used a db with his rhythm programs most notably on the album new forms which he won the mercury prize see "brown paper bag"
  20. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Most of 90s up to now all use synths

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