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setting up the ultimate bass synth :D

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by DonKartofflo, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. So for some months now I have been thinking about how to set up a perfect bass synth. I experimented with pigtronix and moog pedals and halso had a look on some more exotic ones (geiger counter) but finally came to the conclusion that it is more or less impossible to get REALLY decent analogue synth sounds from a couple of stomp boxes. And just when i finally wanted to settle for a freq box, a hog and moog lowpass, i came across the analogue systems rs-35 modular eurorack pitch to control voltage converter. And this really was what i was looking for and so i decided to build a modular bass controlled synth.
    so heres my setup: (all eurorack modules in a doepfer 6he suitcase)

    -adaptor big plug from bass to small eurorack plugs
    -mfb low pass filter, to filter the incoming signal down to a sine wave to improve tracking of the
    -rs-35 pitch to cv, gives out different signals to open and close filters and vcas and oscillators
    -mfb osc-02 triple oscillator, can do three different or unison signals (nice for sub octave)
    -doepfer "wasp" filter, multimode filter with high, low, band and notchpass. really nice overdriven sound, this will be my main audio filter.
    -doepfer standart vca, as long as i dont have a lfo or an adsr, the rs-35 will control it via a special output
    -doepfer external input. a preamp to integrate my dry bass signal into the system
    -doepfer audio mixer. this module is important for me as it will allow me to blend the clean signal from the external input with the output of the osc-02

    so this is my concept, final costs are.gonna be somewhat 1200EUR which sounds like a lot but i think for what you get (excellent sound and tracking) it isn't too much :) i will have all the parts by the end of march and will.post some pics then :D
    so let me know what you.think :)
  2. Sub'd
  3. Tysinger


    Feb 26, 2008
    I'm intrigued. It seems like you are putting a lot of faith in the RS-35 working well.

    If it were me, I'd probably go the MIDI pickup route (Roland GK-3 into a Roland GI-20, for example) and control a synth via MIDI. It would be tempting to use a Moog Minitaur, but I'm not sure I'd want to be limited to monophonic playing.
  4. well at first i was kinda suspicious about it's capabilities, but after some research, i found out that when a low pass filter is put in front of it, it tracks perfectly, at least thats what analogue systems, bigcitymusic and schneidersladen (european analogue haven) say.

    And about that midi stuff: at first im always negative about digital stuff and i can't really get myself to buy a midi pick up and ruin my beautiful jaguar with it : /
    but sure that would be my second guess: moog minitaur and roland gi-20. costs about the same though ;)
  5. Damascus


    Aug 9, 2008
    Thanks for pointing out the RS35. Will have to keep my eye out for that one. ;)
    Talk about a useful little module.
  6. chromium


    Jul 17, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    Modular is a lot of fun as a bass processor. Even if you don't find the rs35 tracking to your satisfaction, you could grab a wavefolder/wave-multiplier (Doepfer a-137, STG..), run the bass thru that and filter that signal for some synth-like sounds. I think you're on the right track with the rs35 as far as prepping the signal goes. A preamp and compressor might help too.

    I recorded the following whilst goofing around with an old Korg X-911 synth, and it did a reasonable job tracking a bass in the middle and upper registers:


    That unit does pitch-to-CV conversion much like the rs35, and has built-in VCOs and filter ala the Korg MS-20. All the buzzy analog sounds there came from the Korg processing an Alembic Distillate, and the glitchy sound came from running my hand over the roundwounds while the Korg was spazzing out trying to track it :)

    I actually had an rs35 sitting here for a year but never got to try it. I've been building up a 5U system over the past few years, and the plan was to migrate it to a panel to fit in my synth. I eventually realized I have more projects than time, though, and sold it. I have some of those old Roland guitar systems, and they cover that space pretty well. The thing I actually miss most about pitch-to-CV is the unpredictable stuff - mistracking, running drum machines thru it, etc... You can get some really interesting results.

    Good luck- this stuff can be addicting! :bassist:

  7. Sounds VERY intriguing...I too have been searching for the ultimate bass synth setup (pedals don't cut it for me either).

    I have a different approach that's still in the planning stages (maybe I'll make a thread on it later) but it involves using a piccolo bass...
  8. Zauriel


    Jul 2, 2004
    @ Chromium: That's a VERY cool little number - do you have more of that stuff? Love it!
  9. Whoa man that's extremely nice :O and after hearing much negative stuff about the tracking of the Korg I'm pleasantly surprised how nicely it tracks :D i think there was somewhat one glitch in the whole song?
    really good stuff and your modulra looks soooooo friggin nice :D
    are these synthesizers.com modules?
  10. chromium


    Jul 17, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    It does take some doing to get the tracking dialed in, and you most definitely have to adapt your playing to it... but that never really bothered me much. Its something different, and inspires different things than I might normally play.

    That modular has a fair chunk of Synthesizers.com (including the cabinets), with some things from Club of the Knobs, Cynthia, Hordijk, STG, Blacet, and Encore to round it out. I've pieced most of it together used from the forums/newsgroups. I also have a growing stack of stuff here to build for that top cabinet - EMS Synthi oscillators, some Buchla and Serge-alike clones, etc... Its a lot easier to find stuff like that readily available in Eurorack format - so good choice there.

    Thanks! I wish I had more to share, but haven't had time to record much of anything lately. I did dig up a rough, unfinished idea where I was processing a '76 Ovation Magnum-I bass in stereo through the modular. This will give the OP an idea what the bass sounds like through a wavefolder and filter (this and this, IIRC).

  11. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
  12. chromium


    Jul 17, 2006
    Chandler, AZ
    There is no doubt a Roland system is the better value, and a different animal really. It is worth noting that bass-processing is not the primary driver behind why I have a modular system :ninja:. But since it's here...
  13. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    sorry I don't get it :meh:
  14. Mr.Hat


    Sep 18, 2010
  15. yeah that's really also my point. I really like the axon bass to midi and how it tracks like a friggin bloodhound. but ive seen demos of the rs-35, and i must say it tracks incredibly and on the other hand, i just have to connect a dark time sequencer or some keyboard and a midi-cv interface and I'm ready to go techno all over the place :D :D
  16. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I wasn't all that impressed with the rmc--->axon combination frankly...
  17. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I tried every possible Pitch to MIDI thing that exists on earth and they all had atrocious tracking and heavy latency.
    It's absolutly un-playable for a bass player , even in 2012.

    That's why I was suggesting a VB99 for that kind of budget instead of going with pedals.

    PS : The VB99 doesn't generate it's sounds with pitch to MIDI.
  18. JehuJava

    JehuJava Bass Frequency Technician

    Oct 15, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Pitch to midi is tough with long waveforms especially below an A.
  19. rust_preacher


    Dec 17, 2009
    FWIW, I find that my Telecaster Bass (humbucker way up the body close to the neck) with flats gives me the best stompbox synth tracking and sounds (Insert Your Favorite Stompbox Here).
  20. Exactly, that's why I'm considering using a piccolo bass instead (5 string if possible) strung up BEADG. Acoustic and electric guitars seem to track very well from what I've seen, bass just isn't there yet from a usable standpoint.

    Has anyone here used the midi bass mentioned in an earlier post?

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