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synthlike sounds - what products are available

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by nickname, May 15, 2005.

  1. nickname


    Jan 22, 2005
    I play bass in a rock group but id like to create a lot of synth sounds and even have prerecorded rifts to play via pedal or effets box. any ideas or suggestions on what type of products are out there would be wicked.

    a synth keyboard would be ideal.. but cant really do that while playing bass.
  2. marqj


    Jan 2, 2005
    If you have an "extra" bass and a little "extra $$$ this would be a good idea......
    1.Purchase a midi bass pickup and converter to install on your soon 2B "midi bass" (roland makes a good one farily cheap)
    2.Purchase and install a set of "piccalo" bass strings which are an octave higher
    ( Piccalo strings are best because they track alot better to midi conversion than standard gauge bass strings. GHS makes a good set.)
    3. Choose your poison as far as a midi bass sound source
    i.e. Novation, Virus, Nord, SE-1
    4. Blow minds and have a ball!¡!¡
    What is crazy is when you mix the "natural" higher octave bass sound with the synth. And to make the sound even more foolish add your preference of distortion to the "natural" bass along with the midi synth! The stage you will rule!!!!! JUST WATCH FOR FLYING DEBRIS FROM THE GUITAR SECTION..........¡¡¡¡¡!!!!!

    I did this with my '87 Pedulla that I wasnt really using. Opened me up to a whole new world of ENDLESS sonic possibilities! LaMarquis Jefferson :bassist:
  3. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland
    I don't think you'll find much, if you want your bass to sound like a "mini-moog". The problem is that most true synth units don't "track" your playing worth a darn.

    Search-features here and on the Bass Player magazine lowdown lowdown will yield a lot, but don't discount lots of "effects" (filter, distortion, echo, etc.) rather than true synth.
  4. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    I think this sounds like a great idea!

    But I'm new to this stuff. I don't understand your point #3. Midi Bass Source: Novation / Virus / Nord / SE-1. Can you(or anyone) VERY BRIEFLY elaborate, please?

    The only thing I know of is the Roland V-Bass, which I'm sure is really really good, but also about 700 smackers, I think.
  5. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    The Akai Deep Impact is supposed to track very well, but I just won't pony up 4 bills for one, that's all.

    The Moog MF-103 & MF-105 seem to offer lots of great sounds.

    Also the Crowther Audio "Prunes & Custard" is supposed to do great synth sounds + other real interesting sounds. And because it doesn't really track, there're no tracking issues. I think new units are around $225.
  6. marqj


    Jan 2, 2005
    What I mean by point #3 is its up to you to decide which source you want to pull your synth sounds from via midi. Roland makes a midi bass unit that has no internal sounds that is pretty cheap. I generally use the Novation A-station and the Studio Electronics SE-1 sound modules as my sound sources. Njoy! :p
  7. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    what do you do with the converter? The pickup your talking about, is that the GK3B from Roland?
  8. marqj


    Jan 2, 2005
    Yes it is. Its can handle 4,5, and 6 string applications. The converter (Roland GI-20 a single space rack mount unit with no internal sounds) is the interface by which your playing is transfered into midi. You would then midi "out" of the interface then midi "in" into your sound source i.e. keyboard, sound module, computer, etc....make sure the transmit and receive midi channels are the same for both units do a little sensitivity tweaking for your playing style and your off and running.
    I actually use a much older model meant for guitar. The Roland GR-30. It has internal sounds (which I dont use) and easy to access in your face programming, which I prefer.

    P.S. one more thing......picking and fingerstyle work best for midi. Technics that trigger "ghost notes" such as slapping can be some what confusing to the converter :rollno:
  9. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    How about fretless, can you slide? So i cant have the converter into the amp?
  10. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    I use an Ibanez SB7 pedal, and for its price this thing rocks! Not a huge array of tones, but it has 2 different and very customisable synth sounds, and an autowah (which I don't use that much, but mainly because I have a BassBalls).

    Get a used one cheap, it is well worth it!
  11. marqj


    Jan 2, 2005
    Yes you can use fretless bass. Im now having a frettless Ritter "Raptor" made (www.ritter-basses.com) with Lightwave pickups (www.lightwave-systems.com) w/the (HexFX) midi accessory added.
    Now about the converter......all it does is converts your bass playing into midi notes which are in turn transmitted to your module. It makes no sound in and of itself. The only way you can plug the converter directly into your amp is if you are using a converter which ALSO has internal sounds. Most converters WITH onboard sound (in my opinion) have cheessy sounds not suitable for what bassist are looking for. In this case I always opt for a sound module.
  12. Thurisarz


    Aug 20, 2004
    So i can't use my amp and i have to drag my computer to gigs and such?

    So it's:
    Bass w/special pickup - converter - computer?
  13. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    No, you haven't understood what he said.
    Bass w/divided pickup - converter - soundgenerator - amp

    The converter turns the divided signal into midi notes with pitch/velocity/duration. The sound generator turns those midi signals into sound, which can then go out to an amp.
    You can buy separate convertors / generators, or units which do both (such as roland gr-20 or axon 100-sb)
    Even if you buy an 'all in one' convertor/generator, a unit like the axon has a midi out so you could choose to use another higher quality sound generator instead of / in addition to the Axon's built in sounds.
  14. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    I got mine on ebay for $130. It does track pretty well - it responds fairly quickly and gets the notes right, although it does glitch (play a wrong note) sometimes if you don't play very cleanly. I tried the Boss pedal, which by comparison felt very sluggish to me, I couldn't groove with it at all.

    My big complaint with the Akai is that it has a very limited palette of sounds. I've got one setting I love, a couple that are fun to play with, and that's about it.
  15. Bassin' 'Round

    Bassin' 'Round Banned

    Apr 30, 2005
    $130 is fantastic. You either bought it a long time ago, the seller was completely unaware, or the unit(while maybe functioning well) looks beat up.

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