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MarkBass Super Synth

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by oldprussians, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. oldprussians


    Jan 7, 2008
    United Republic of Europe
    IT Professional!
    Any body NOT like it?
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I'm interested to see what people say about this pedal. I've been eying it for a bit now.
  3. oldprussians


    Jan 7, 2008
    United Republic of Europe
    IT Professional!
    Useful thread then.... :) I really like the look of it and the sound on the demos, but I want to see if there is any genuine bad rep...
  4. Phagor


    Mar 26, 2002
    London, UK
    Lots of threads here on the Super Synth. Here's the big one:


    I'll tell you what I think about mine.

    • It's fat and sounds like a real synth, due to it's three detunable oscillators
    • It has incredible pitch tracking - every note on all my basses is tracked reliably
    • It has a lot of control over the note triggering, which you can use to tweak how it responds to your playing, even on a particular song
    • It has a usable octaver mode too

    Now the bad:

    • It's hard to control using just the knobs on the pedal
    • The oscillators only do sawtooth waveforms
    • It can be tricky to get the note triggering right - the pedal sometimes misses notes or retriggers one long note several times
    • You can't completely eliminate your dry bass sound for 100% synth
    • Big and 12v

    To be honest, I don't think you can figure out if the Super Synth is right for you from reading posts. You'll need to try it, to see if you can make it work for your playing style. If you try it, don't rely on the knobs on the pedal alone - try to use it with the computer editor.

    I think it's the best synth pedal you can buy new. However, at the moment, mine is off my board and instead I'm having fun with octave/gated fuzz/envelope filter combinations. I'm not selling it yet though.
  5. doubleohnodj


    Mar 25, 2013
    I've been looking at synth pedals for a minute now. I was leaning towards the markbass since its the only one I found that can store presets, but after playing with it for about an hour at guitar center I wasn't really impressed. The pre-loaded sounds just aren't very different from each other (the 10 or 12 presets seemed more like 3 different slightly adjusted sounds). I assume that you can get better sounds by using the software, but I haven't found any examples online. I ended up getting the Digitech for $40 on eBay instead.
  6. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    That's not what I call a "super" synth!
  7. doubleohnodj


    Mar 25, 2013
    Especially not for $280!
  8. cica


    Sep 18, 2012
    I have one and I would say that of the 8 synth presets, only 2 or 3 of the stock tones are usable. If you take the time to shape the presets with a pc, it could be very good. I've gleaned all the presets people have published, but have yet to put the time in to set up all new custom presets.

  9. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    For each preset there are 8 'Tone' settings, and many of those are different from one another. So there's really more like 64 presets although I agree, some of them are pretty similar.

    But some are _quite_ different. One's like the intro to 'Birdland' (having fun with that one...) and another is like an envelope-filtered vocal choir. With many in between.

    I downloaded and lit up the software this weekend but didn't really get anywhere with it - the documentation is extremely sketchy and the controls not very intuitive. I'm expecting there's an AHA moment in my future when I finally 'get' what the software controls actually do.

    One of the families of presets (#2) is a nice synth sound but tends to start with a high-pitched 'chirp' - I was trying to dial that out but was never able to figure out where to start. And I wasn't able to figure out how to start with one preset parameter set and store it into another one.

    But it is a 'real bass' pedal in that it triggers and tracks my Lo-B just fine. And while it does track quite accurately, it also tends to 'latch onto' a string and sustain the note even after you hit a new note on a different string. You have to mute the previous string to get it to trigger to the new tone. Still working on that - getting there.

    I think it's fun. Since I am not using it professionally, I don't have to make decisions like 'is it useful' and 'is it worth the investment.' I like it and have no regrets. I think it'll be 'more' useful once I'm able to grok the software.

    The octaver is pretty good although in my environment, I don't think there's much content in the octave below Lo-B... It is a little on the big side and it does want a pretty hefty current of 12VDC but the wall-wart is included.
  10. squarewave

    squarewave Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Iowa City, Iowa USA
    With proper muting technique, I think the tracking is quite good.

    I would not count on usingonly the factory presets on any synth. Take the time to set up your sounds, and the Super Synth will reward you.
  11. oldprussians


    Jan 7, 2008
    United Republic of Europe
    IT Professional!

    Is it really worth the extra money compared to say the boss or the digitech?

    I mean obviously one has pre-sets, which the others don't.
  12. i play with a heavy right hand technique and ive have no issues with tracking that i've noticed.

    ive found it doesnt have as much MASSIVE bottom end as an analogue synth unit, so i have mine blended with my boss OC2
  13. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Big +1 to all the pros and cons you listed.

  14. I had my eye on one of these for ages and finally managed to secure a good quality used one for £150. Biggest disappointment ever! The presets are barely usable, the octave settings are dreadful and the editing software is horrible, not user friendly and not intuitive in any way.
    I kept it for a month to see if I could actually get to like it but failed and ended up selling it on the forum I bought it from. The best part is the guy I sold it to hated it so much he only lasted three days before it was back up for sale!
  15. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I had my doubts about this pedal and I'll never know until I try it, but this def makes me not want to buy it. After all the comments about it being not that intuitive, I'll def try it first before even thinking of buying it. I'm sure it does great for some. Different strokes for different folks.
  16. jamesgor2


    Jun 21, 2011
    Am I allowed to say I like it? This is a great pedal. It is a lot of work understanding the dials, and time playing on the PC. Minute changes in dials mean big changes in sounds as with all synth pedals. That is why it needs presets. Ignor the clichés about wave types, I find the sound range good. After playing for - ---?I have a load of voices which sound like a variety of synth / synth organ key boards following my solo bass, I have variety of distortion and grit settings, I have got various timbres of envelope filter, and have muse like combinations of envelope and grit. Removing the root bass and leaving only synth - no problem just turn the mix dial to 99 . There are endless sounds - suggest the only limits are creativity of the player. Ability to factor in an expression pedal would be good tho'.
  17. jamesgor2


    Jun 21, 2011
    Tho ' having said that about expression pedal don't know which of 12 basic variables it would control.
  18. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Almost certainly something with the filter.

  19. I have one and this is the third time that I have owned one. Anybody that thinks that one pedal is going to turn their bass completely into a synthesizer is quite mistaken. I have a ton of my own presets, you can play the pedal as you tweak the parameters. Also, understanding the basics of a real synth will help with making your own presets.
    I run it through 4 or 5 pedals (Expression controlled LPF, Modulation,Pitch SHifting at times, delay and/or a gate).
    If someone is willing to dig in, it is a real good pedal. When gigging, I recommend an EQ pedal after it so you know that you can cut through the mix if one of your presets needs something else.
    Nevermind the playing, I was just making some noise for some friends but check this out.
  20. Bassics101


    Feb 3, 2011
    I've had one for a while, and think it is "interesting", but not something I regularly use. It does take some time and play to get the settings to what you want. It is versatile. I can't imagine anyone needing more than 10-12 settings in a gig, so once you find those you like, you'r set. Some folks have graciously posted settings online, and I'd recommend some of these. The 12 volt power is an issue; is this true of all MarkBass pedals? Also, I highly recommend that this be the first pedal in the chain for tracking. Works pretty well there. Anyway fun to play with, but would I buy it again? Maybe not.

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