Synth: Future Impact vs Source Audio C4?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bruno40gr, Jul 7, 2019.


  1. Ultimately I prefer to be more hands on and in the moment with my effects. When the C4 came out I got excited about it being able to potentially replace half my pedal board, but in the end I'm a knob twiddler that likes to make new sounds in the moment, which was limited by the UI of the pedal. It sounded great and I liked creating sounds in addition to pulling some from the library, but the pedal ultimately didn't work well with my work flow.

    I have never owned a future impact but I've borrowed a friend's before. It's a good pedal but i'd say the interface of the C4 is more approachable. The C4 may track better too.
     
    Bundy the wolf likes this.
  2. Thanks a ton for that thorough information Grapevine. All makes sense. Yeah, I'm also trying to factor in what pedal would be better for live performances. I seem to be stuck in the mud with this..
     
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Both C4 and FI are more designed to have presets ready to go, though each also has at least some 'surface level' facility to make a few adjustments. Nature of the beast, given the wide array of controls you need to actually have a decent amount of adjustment of a lot of parameters. They're different pedals and sound different to me. I have both on my board but my go-to for a live setting has been the C4 because the editor is a bit less of a bear to learn and use.

    They're both fantastic sounding synths, albeit in different ways. The C4 also has a balance on being an envelope/filter creating machine and being a synth...while the FI has way more depth and facility in being a moog-style synthesizer of some complexity, but without as built out a suite of easily accessible filter options.
     
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  4. Thanks for the info!! Which one has the better tracking? For example, when I play a note, or a fast riff, I want it to track everything!!
    My previous pedal, the EH Mono Bass Synth tracked terribly, I would have to say that I play clean and have a pretty soft touch. I'm looking for something that doesn't cut-out when I play a riff.
     
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    These days they're both great, but as with any synth that's pitch tracked and monophonic you'll have to be a clean tight play for any of 'em not to glitch.
     
    Bundy the wolf likes this.
  6. I appreciate your input.
    Last question: Is the Future Impact worth the extra $$, or is the C4 the better option because of the much cheaper price? The only reason I ask is because I'm always super hesitant buying a pedal before playing/testing it first, especially one that is >$400 (the Future Impact).
     
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    They're both great, if you want to dive into full blown synthesis with the full interface the Future Impact will take you there. I personally found the editor to be daunting to tackle. It sounds fantastic and has a tonal richness that's really nice and goes with it being hi-fi. There's also lots of great patches out there already for downloading and/or using as a jumping off point for your own sounds.

    The C4's editor is a little more user friendly though it doesn't go as deep into the synth side, it probably does most of what most players will ever use or need...with the added bonus of having a really accessible envelope/filter suite OC-2 style pitch shifting and basic arpeggiation, etc. It's definitely easier to get up and running with the editor and be elbows deep fairly quickly. You can do some fun stuff like use traditional OC-2 tones layered with a different envelope filter or a traditional filter tone that's got a sub-octave sine wave hidden below it...

    The C4 is definitely a jack of more trades for me when it comes to things in 'the box' the Future Impact on the other hand would be where I'd go if I was looking to get deeper into synthesis in the classical sense.

    Also, if board size matters, the FI is a big pedal I rehoused mine in a 'Future Compact' box to make it a little easier to deal with on my board.
     
  8. This is probably the best review/advice I've gotten, MUCH APPRECIATED. I used to consider myself a "purest", and would shun effect pedals...boy was I misguided. After being in this cover band and having pop songs on our playlist, I have been OBSESSED with finding the exact sounds that I'm looking for. I'm kinda at the crossroads of looking for the "jack of all trades" synth pedal and the "going deep into synthesis path". Now I just have to make a decision, sounds like I can't really go wrong either way.
     
  9. After reading that you emply a light playing touch I definitely think you should try the SA C4 because it does offer the option to set up for playing sensitivity. That should help with tracking.
    Playing with a soft touch would certainly explain your experience with EHX because those pedals like a definite firm attack for clean triggering.
     
    AlexanderB and Bundy the wolf like this.
  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I bought my Future Impact about a year before the C4...I really love some of the sounds but since I'm not a cover guy, often I had a pile of sounds but not really a soundscape to use them in. I still have it on my board for an occasional live moment where I can fit in one or two bits here and there.

    The C4 on the other hand was obvious right off that I would use it to remove a handful of other pedals from my board. I could program multiple envelopes that would work in a handful of songs I already do. I could find another phaser or OC2 sound that would be useful for me in places, and it has enough synth to have some things on 'hold' for if I wanted to grab and go with them. I retain both because hope springs eternal (or a turtle) for me...I'd love to really tackle the FI editor at some point and if I wanted to get into the super hefty end of the Moog bass world, etc. I'd go here. I love that I can get both pedals to work with my favorite patch (Proton Lenny aka Zach Rizer's) Blade Runner synth tone...though if I had to stake a claim, I'd say the FI version sounds a little bit better.
     
    AlexanderB and Bundy the wolf like this.
  11. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    The FI also has an input sensitivity control. Something else to consider would be that often synth pedals that are pitch triggered sometimes like a less bright tone since those overtones in your sound often 'confuse' the tracking.
     
    Bundy the wolf likes this.
  12. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin

    Jul 28, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    Check Panda Midi's official site. They're currently offering v3 of the FI for €299 which is roughly $320. And, unless it's changed, VAT is included in that price and you can request a refund for it if you live outside of Europe since that's really only where it applies. So they're currently much closer in price than they were a few months ago.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    BurningSkies and Bundy the wolf like this.
  13. Awesome advice. Much appreciated!!
     
  14. Cool! I actually just looked at their website a few hours ago and noticed the price, I was a little confused, but then remember reading in another thread that there was some crazy high dollar tax associated with the shipping or whatever (VAT?). Anyway, I emailed their customer support team at that time and I'm waiting to hear back.
     
  15. What are your thoughts about trying to switch through the two for different sounds in a live setting (between songs), which one is easier?
     
  16. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    The C4 gives you 6 different sounds that are pretty easy to access (3 position switch with another switch to toggle to another 3 sounds) but if you want all 127 sounds you can load on it, you'll need a MIDI controller (can be a small fairly cheap one).

    The FI allows you to access all 99 from its footswitch (single hit, patch up, double hit patch down) and/or push-button control knob (Bank up), but in use I found it to be clumsy to double tap to go down, so a MIDI controler to do it is also easier.

    In the end, I found a controller that had dedicated up/down for scrolling to be better for both.
     
    AlexanderB likes this.
  17. I figured as much (needing a MIDI) switch; that's reasonable. I would need the smallest switch possible because I'm running out of room on my board. :(
    Good problem to have.
     
  18. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin

    Jul 28, 2014
    Atlanta, GA
    Even without the refund, the price is worth it. Well, for me at any rate. I bought the C4 twice and returned it both times. I just like the sounds the FI produces much better. But that's because I did want to get heavily into the Moog bass side of things with a synth pedal. Or really, I wanted a Deep Impact reissue that didn't cost $1000 and was customizable with a few extra features, and I guarantee you there is nothing closer than the FI for that. Tracking was almost exactly the same between the two from what I could tell. Really it all comes down to what sounds and features you're wanting as to which one to go with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2020
    AlexanderB and Bundy the wolf like this.
  19. Thanks Sir!!
     
  20. Quatschmacher

    Quatschmacher

    May 16, 2007
    FI is currently €299 by the way.
    Check my links to clips of both pedals here:Synth: Future Impact vs Source Audio C4?
     
    Bundy the wolf likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Sep 19, 2021

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