SYnth Bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BassTerd, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. BassTerd

    BassTerd Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I will be working with a new band and was asked if I could play synth bass. Esentially there will be 2 bass players, regular electric bass and synth bass. Instead of breaking down and buying a keyboard, moog, whatever type of synth bass, I was wondering if there are any synth bass effects, pedals that can emulate modern and old synth bass sounds?
  2. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Best your gonna find is an Akai Deep Impact. But they are really expensive even used. They go for around $350 or $400 on the 'Bay. Boss make one called an SYB-5, which is newer (and supposedly better) than the Boss SYB-3. And I believe Ibanez do one too, an SYB-7 I think it's called. I haven't ever used a Synth pedal, so I couldnt comment, but they are the best 3 options I can think of off the top of my head.

    Edit: You could also consider a Digitech Bass Synth Wah, which is an Envelope Filter, but as the name says, it has Synth functions on it, as well as Envelope Filter and Octave-ing functions. Sound samples can be found at Digitech's Site. Just click the Listen Icon at the top.
  3. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i'd also recommend looking at a Line6 FM4. Some people dont like it because its not analog, but through some tubes it sounded pretty nice to me when i tried it out for a bit
  4. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    IMO, you may be able to emulate some synth sounds, but you'll usually (or at least often) be hard-pressed to emulate the feel of a synth-bass part on a bass guitar, no matter how good the effects pedal.

    I personally love the Korg G5... my favorite synth pedal (also used to own a Deep Impact, and tried the Digitech). However, a small keyboard may be a good investment, assuming you can play keyboards currently, or at least well enough for keyboard bass parts. Of course, this depends on the actual songs and their bass parts... you may be perfectly fine with a synth-pedal, but for other songs (for some reason, the Michael Jackson song "The Way You Make Me Feel" comes to mind... :rollno:, probably 'cuz I once played that on synth bass in a cover band), a real synth will be the best way to go.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Whenever I'm asked to play synth bass, they want it on keys. Instead of buying a pedal that may not get you the gig, get a Yamaha DX-7 or something.
  6. JPrisus


    Jun 8, 2005
    Just get a Korg MS2000... you can either play the bass part on the keys, or use it as a big effects processor for your bass, either way giving the band what they want, and way better than ANY synth pedal i've heard.
  7. BassTerd

    BassTerd Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for all your input. Well I guess I should break down and get a actual keyboard. I've been asked more than once if I could play synth bass. I'll just have to shed a little, no biggie. Well I can get some pretty killer deals on yamaha boards so I will want to take that route. What kind of Yamaha keyboard should I get for a synth bass?
  8. I'd recommend the Korg Microkorg or MS2000. Both are reasonably priced and sound great. They don't take up too much space either :)
  9. EHX Bass Micro Synth... Completely love that unit!
  10. bassman314

    bassman314 I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2005
    Bay Area, CA
    Before you cgo drop tke cash on a keyboard, find out from your bandmates exactly what they want... Maybe an EB through synth and effects will work. As far as I've seen, most keyboards that are worth buying are going to run you as much as most of the pedals you'd purchase for a bass.

    +1 on the EHX Bass Microsynth...

    Also look at flanges, ring modulators, envelope filters, chorus, and phasor... Overdrive and distortion doesn't hurt either.
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If the band aren't a bunch of synth sticklers, you can get away with using various filter devices like aforementioned Digitech Bass Synth Wah, or EH Bass Synth. The Akai and Boss pedals are true monophonic synths, but they require some adaptations in order to get them to track cleanly - and since they're very basic monophonic synths, some of the phrasing and dynamic possibilities you take for granted on a bass guitar may not be achievable with them.

    Once you start looking at the more expensive filter devices, like the Line 6 FM, and pure-bred guitar synths like the Roland GR-20, the prices start to overlap with some good low-end keyboard synths. The MicroKorg and the Alesis Micron are tiny analog modelers, good for playing basslines and sell around $400.
  12. jomahu


    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    the sounds samples on that page don't seem to give a good indication of how cool this pedal actually is. best to try it out in a store.

    EHX bass microsynth is lovely, though...
  13. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Still, better to have SOME sound samples rather than none at all :p

    Distortion through an Envelope Filter can give you some cool Synth like sounds.