1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Synth Bass

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by thawk1979, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. thawk1979


    Jan 7, 2012
    I'm looking at and weighing synth bass options. I've owed a EH micro bass synth pedal before in the past. And it was cool. But I want more options. I'm thinking about going the Roland G-77b route with the floor unit and the actual bass guitar controller. I also have looked at the Peavy Cyberbass. Anyone have experience with these? Are there other options? Are there any super cool pedals out there with mor options?
  2. kaputsport


    Nov 14, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    Atypical, not a typical...
    Well, there are many pedals out there, some with more, some with less.

    Akai Deep Impact
    Korg G5
    Ibanez SB7
    Digitech BSW
    Many older Boss Multi units
    SYB 3 and 5
    Chuck OS
    Markbass Super Synth

    The list goes on and on. Plenty of options. Some say the Deep Impact and G5 are the best and easiest while being flexible, and others think they are overpriced and not relevant anymore.

    you could also go Moog, and pile those up, or go modular synth. You could use a midi pick up and control anything midi related...and the standard octave/fuzz/filter combo as well.

    Too many options to list. What do you want it to do?
  3. thawk1979


    Jan 7, 2012
    I'll look at some pedals but I'm leading toward a bass guitar controller/ midi pickup. But I've heard bad things about latency with add on Midi Pick ups.
  4. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    I have had pedals (and still do), Roland GR-55 and VB-99 (using a Roland GK-3B pickup), I have also had a Peavey Cyber Bass.
    The Cyber Bass is cool, rare-ish, a PITA to get totally dialed in. When the parameters are dialed in to how you play, it is pretty awesome. I got rid of it because I just couldn't see myself hauling around the rack gear and other gear (The thing that distributes it's midi messages, a midi hub thing, a rack synth, a Furman power conditioner, plus my Venom synth, and computer with VSTs) to a show, despite how awesome it was.
    Every synth system/pedal for bass has a major flaw or two. It is a matter of "what can you live with/work around".
    I would go with a Roland GR-55, play higher on the neck for quicker tracking, apply a global octave down to every patch for synth use if I was going to use a synth sounds a lot. It is polyphonic with the GK-3B. There is a breakout box or a mod that will let you plug into the GR-55 with out the Roland pickup and use it monophonically.
    The reality is that I use Synth sounds more at my house messing around and a few actually in my band. Currently I have a MarkBass SuperSynth and BSY-600(cheap but good for cheap).
    I would suggest searching the topic and specific pedals a lot, seek out sound samples etc.
    Also to clarify Kaputsport's remarks about a midi pickup, there is no such thing. There are pickups that are proprietary (Roland, Yamaha, Axon) in nature that take your signal to a midi converter, then your signal goes to whatever you are sending the midi to. Pretty much always with a large amount of latency.
  5. thawk1979


    Jan 7, 2012
    Ultimately I'd like to somehow hook one of my basses into something like a Moog Slim Phatty module. But with the midi latency still a issue. I guess I might have to keep wishing.
  6. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    Yeah, there isn't a true universal midi solution except for the MidiBase/Cyber Bass, Industrial Radio basses type solutions. Those could control the Slim Phatty.
    That is a pretty expensive set-up, IDK your financial situation or anything...
    If I had a $1000 and the Analog Moog sound is what I wanted I would get some MoogerFoogers. A Freq Box, a LowPass Filter, and one more maybe a RingMod, or Murf. From there I would add more as my budget permits.
    Also American Musical Supply has a no credit check, payment plan and they sell some 3 Mooger Fooger packages.
    Worth a shot.
    I have been thinking about the same thing.
    Or getting a GR-55 and doing the mod to it.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If you want flexibility, you could consider putting pedals w/ presets into a bypass looper. In your shoes, I'd think about Source Audio's Multiwave Bass Distortion Pro + Bass Envelope Filter Pro, w/ or w/o an octave pedal.

    The MBDPro isn't at the top of my list for straight-ahead bass OD or distortion, but it's well suited to play a part in a bass synth rig. Both it and the BEF Pro also have MIDI in, so you could simplify calling up combinations of presets.

    If I were using a lot of bass synth, I'd look hard at just using a keyboard.
  8. RoeyHaviv


    Apr 1, 2011
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
    As for SYB-5 I made a run through video with the different sounds you can get out of it:
  9. thawk1979


    Jan 7, 2012
    They keyboard thing is what I was scared of. I guess I might have to start relearning scales and arpeggios.
  10. andysvec

    andysvec Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    I've had a lot of luck with my Akai Deep Impact and Korg G5, I've been looking at ways to emulate keyboard synth lines for years and these two worked best for me so far.

    But I am interested in the Roland VB-99 and plan on checking that out at NAMM this year, I've recently discovered Bubby Lewis and was checking out some of his vids on it like this one:
  11. Jazzish

    Jazzish Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
  12. Jazzish

    Jazzish Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2006
  13. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Last I heard the godin midi pup system worked better then the Roland. For bass synth synthesizer to use for voices Id look at: Noavation Ultranova, the Maudio Venom and Nord lead2x.
  14. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I had a Roland G-77b and wouldn't recomend it. Things like RPS, IPA etc come to mind when I think about that beast.

    Feeding a Whammy with a fuzz and feeding that to a 105Q can give a keyboardy thing that real time and controlable. Maybe get a Boss LS-2 to do the mix.

    But the fact of the matter is you're better off with a keyboard snyth. Look at what a Minitaur or a little Phatty go for compared to a G77B.

    But what you want, what you need, is a set of Taurus Bass pedals.
  15. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    The VB99 is a nice tool , Synth wise , it's not extremely versatile , a bit limited (By your own programming in fact)
    what what it is doin' , it does it perfectly.
    No latency.
    Unlike the GR55.

    Having unlimited budget , I would personaly go with an Industrial Radio Midibass
    ( 5K $ !!! )
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    there are rumors about a wmd geiger counter pro coming out
  17. thawk1979


    Jan 7, 2012
    That thing is freaking cool. That might be what I'm looking for.
  18. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Keep in mind that will not give you any sense of using a bass guitar as a synth controller. It has no strings. Your not going to do any of the fretting or pick/finger strike nuances you do with stringed bass on it. You dont even have faux strings to strum with it. It might let you do some korg kaoscillator/kaos pad type tricks with the touch screen but thats quite diff thing to using a pick or fingers on real strings.
  19. pjmuck


    Feb 8, 2006
    New Joisey
    There are any number of directions you can go with this. Assuming you want the ability to access both traditional bass sounds and synth sounds, there are several different routes you can go. For the traditional route, you can obtain synth sounds via pedals or triggering sounds via a GK3B PUP, for example, (or the aforementioned Industrial Radio bass) or you can go with a non-traditional instrument like a Ztar Bass, Misa Digital, even a cheap midi controller like a You Rock guitar which have strings to pluck but fretboard pads instead of frets but with zero to little latency and then try to "recapture" real bass sounds via good software. I've tried nearly all options, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages, so it really comes down to how deep you want to get with all of this and what your needs are.

    When all was said and done, I wanted a setup that had:

    1. Synth sounds obtainable via my conventional bass setup, so I can switch between the two sounds or even blend both
    2. LOW latency on all strings. This is key for me, as none of the pitch-to-midi systems out there can track bass frequencies quick enough for pitches lower than A. I don't want to be limited to playing high up on the neck just to obtain synth sounds
    3. Cheap setup. That rules the Industrial Radio Bass out for me, which will now run you over $4000 with shipping.
    4. Unlimited access to sounds. That rules out the Akai Deep Impact and other pedals for me, which have limited sounds
    5. Minimal glitches. If you're in the pitch-to-midi domain, it's almost unavoidable, so it comes down to how well you can avoid false triggers or concealing them

    After much time invested in experimenting with different setups, the best setup I arrived at for both recording and live was my Carvin L50 strung with piccolo strings, my Roland GR-33, and a Digitech Whammy. The piccolo strings give me the ability to play any string and retain good low latency, while the Whammy serves as my ability to capture "real" bass tones (simulated via octave down setting) when needed. (Jack White uses the Whammy the same way for replicating bass). The beauty of the Carvin LB50 is that it has stereo outs, so I can actually run it out to a guitar amp, bass amp, and PA system simultaneously, using the piccolo feed to reproduce guitar sounds, the Whammy feed/octave down to my bass amp for bass, and the GR-33 out to the PA for synths. Instant 1 man band!
  20. RoeyHaviv


    Apr 1, 2011
    Charlotte NC
    Endorsing Artist: Vigier guitars, Pigtronix Effects
    I recently retired my SYB-5 and switched to all analog setup.
    I use an MXR M288 to Disnortion to EP2 - I'm really happy with it so far, but want to add the Pigtronix mothership upfront and Philosopher king to end the chain (has ADSR control).

    BTW my SYB-5 is for sale for 90$ plus shipping :D