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Want a synth pedal, don't know what I'm doing

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jazznrick, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. So my overdrives, fuzzes, octave, chorus and reverb cannot satiate me. I even ordered a Fredric Bugcrusher.

    The Bananana Matryohska seems to be calling my name. It does look a bit intimidating with its multitude of parameters. What I am asking is do I need an envelope filter? I've never liked that funky 70s vibe they have.

    If so where does it go in the signal chain? Where does the Bananana go?

    If I do this should I ditch the Bugcrusher? Thanks so much
    alecduncan likes this.
  2. stambroker


    Aug 12, 2011
    I'm also not a fan of traditional envelope filter sound, but I urge you to try one in your signal chain before you throw everything out. If you have an octave and fuzz, then a nice filter is the last piece of the equation for that traditional "synthbass" sound. Octave -> Fuzz -> Filter is the foundation, the real fun is adding to that foundation. I really like my 3Leaf Octabvre -> 3Leaf Doom Fuzz -> Moog MF-101 Low Pass Filter, then add phaser, chorus, and light reverb after that.

    Also, since my Fredric Bugcrusher is still on the way, I don't know about its quality quite yet, but I don't know why you'd throw it out! It's a different flavor of sound distortion available that will probably sound rad with an octaver before it!
    jazznrick likes this.
  3. Bug crusher is far from a synth and may help or hinder the chain to get there?..
    If you want a synth filter it’s iron ether Xerograph... I could be wrong but I think most classic approximating synth is octave down - fuzz - filter then add modulation etc... but it’s not the same as a dedicated synth though I have heard some pretty darn cool setups...

    A dedicated synth pedal has a lot of stuff and i think best bet is to YouTube some of the synth bass pedal chains, some pro’s have decent videos but I can’t find any at the moment.
    jazznrick likes this.
  4. Very good guys thanks!!! So if I'm gonna get the Bananana, I don't need an envelope filter? Or I don't need the bananana and need a filter?
  5. stambroker


    Aug 12, 2011
    Well, that's where it gets complicated. In my opinion, dedicated synth pedals sound waaaay different that the octave -> fuzz -> filter combination, and I'm not entirely sure why. I dig the more modular approach myself, but some players may like turning their bass really dubby/synthy with just one footpress.

    I can say that the octave -> fuzz (especially gated fuzz) -> filter will get you "a" synthy sound, but we have no way of knowing what flavor you're looking for or what will be right for you... unfortunately this takes a lot of experimentation and i've gone through a ton of pedals, including the Line6 M series, EHX Bass Microsynth and several filters.

    If you're looking for a Moog synth sound, I can't recommend the Moog MF-101 Low Pass Filter enough. I love mine to pieces!
    jazznrick and eJake like this.
  6. Adamixoye

    Adamixoye A PT Pro is cool for worship, right?

    Apr 9, 2012
    Occasional Beta Tester for Confusion Studios, Singular Sound, and Source Audio
    Assorted thoughts:

    (1) A synth should generally go early in the chain if it is a true synth that tracks notes and generated waveforms based on the input frequency.

    (2) Panda Audio Future Impact is probably the best monophonic-style bass synth on the market today, although it's pricey.

    (3) The Bananana pedal mentioned does seem to have some cool sounds, and it's probably more "plug and play" than the Future Impact.
    BartmanPDX and jazznrick like this.
  7. Anemic_SluG

    Anemic_SluG Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Really depends on what you are looking for. Seems like the love for synth pedals falls in the Future Impact camp. However I went with the Boss Sy-300. So far it’s been amazing. I have done some basic programming and have a cool pop organ sound, and a great synth sound. The possibilities are endless.

    The octave, filter, fuzz is a cool effect and covers a bunch of sounds but I really wanted to get a modern bass synth sound. Good luck in your quest.
    ChubbyJerk likes this.
  8. Start small & cheap, if that gets you the sound you want then great.

    If not, then try something more "dedicated".

    In the end, you may find that something such as the Future Impact is the only thing that will sate your synth tooth — but why spend that kind of coin if the Matryoshka pleases your sonic palate?

    I'd keep the BugCrusher and stick the Bananana near the beginning of your chain.

    I see the Bananana unit and a filter as separate things that do different things. Which thing do you need/want? I don't need either, but want both so it's more about which do I get first? I've got a MFX that does an okay job on Filter stuff, so I'd go with the Bananana and purchase a dedicated filter later. Your needs and mileage may vary, and you've already stated you're not a big filter fan. So...
  9. Xandrell


    Aug 23, 2014
    I hooked an expression control pedal to control the volume which is crucial to me in using the SY-300. I think it's better than anything out there for a midiless bass guitar synth. Pricey though.
    sillyfabe likes this.
  10. Anemic_SluG

    Anemic_SluG Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Yeah got a great deal at Prymaxe. Have always gotten great service and deals there.
    It was some coin, but you are getting a fully programmable synth.
  11. Anemic_SluG

    Anemic_SluG Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    Oh and you can also blend in your original bass tone. Helps with not changing the vibe from bass to synth at times.
  12. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Anybody use a real synth like say the novation Mininova? I was playing around with one at the store and it was fun. They have an input that could be used with guitar or bass but I’m not sure how they would track or sound. Might be the ultimate though. Unfortunately I slept on the one I saw used for sale and someone snapped it up. Actually it’s up for sale. Someone must have backed out. Any experience?
  13. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Portland Oregon
    Inputs on synths like that do not let you control the synth with your bass. There is no pitch tracking circuit in synths. The input is used to run your bass through things like the synths filter and drive circuit usually.
  14. craigie


    Nov 11, 2015
    Thanks foR the response. It has a vocoder and can use a line level or instrument level input as well. I couldn’t get it to work today but from the manual it appears like it can map the input character onto the notes you’re playing on the keyboard (like you said). Not so useful foR bass. Maybe if you can just apply the filters and effects it could be interesting
  15. Hello all and update
    I have a Broughton Synth Voice and a broughton bass box on the way. Now I want an envelope filter but unlike the previous two pedals I mentioned I have no idea if I wanna keep it/ don't have to get the very best. Any suggestions for a guy who doesn't like that traditional envelope sound? an Idiotbox Bass O Matic?
    sillyfabe likes this.
  16. sillyfabe

    sillyfabe keeping the low-end silly since '06

    Mar 13, 2009
    San Bernardino,CA
    Since you’re objective appears to be subtractive synthesis BUT not a fan of the traditional sound why not try a Subdecay Prometheus? I HIGHLY recommend the first version as it can get typical envelope filter sounds but has loads more.

    These are the only 2 bass demos I could find for the MK-I version. It has hi-band-low pass filters, up/down sweep, you can stop the sweep for cocked-wah sounds, has a step mode and it can also be used as a phaser!
    jazznrick likes this.
  17. SteveCS


    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    If you are going the octave/filter/fuzz route you might also think about a compressor. This is because the envelope filter is all about the envelope of the note, and a compressor can be used to modify (stretch, squash, expand) the envelope, and therefore can be used to modify the filter response in more 'synthy' ways - slow attack, slow release, filter swells etc are all possible once you have a comp in front.
    jazznrick likes this.
  18. Wow what a great suggestion, sillyfabe! Thank you! where would this go in my chain?
  19. Grahams Groove

    Grahams Groove If it feels heavy, it's heavy. Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    Boulder, CO
    @jazznrick What's your budget for the filter?

    There are a lot of options out there. While you may not want the best or most advanced filter, some of the more feature-rich filters out there will give you control to manipulate the character of the filter itself, not to mention clean blends, and effects loops. All of these features will make them more useful for synth applications. The 3Leaf Groove Regulator 2, Wonderlove, and Wonderlove Deluxe all have effects loops and clean blends. The loops in these can be set-up to be true bypass, meaning you can place an octave and/or fuzz in the loop and engage/disengage all three just using the footswiitch on the filter itself. (Hopefully I described that well.)

    Others with the loop/blend that come to mind are the EHX Enigma Q-Balls (a bit large/unwieldy), Lovetone Meatball (large and expensive), and a couple others I'm sure I'm missing. If you go this route, I would recommend the 3Leaf because they are smaller, cheaper, much easier to dial in, and are extremely well made. If the loop and clean blend are not of great interest, there are a million options out there...
    jazznrick likes this.
  20. and is there any difference between the light blue with yellow text and light blue with white text ones?
  21. I guess I just want one that's good for synth. I hate 70s funk tones and slapping. I'd be willing to spend up to 120, less if possible.

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