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Which bass synths have enough body to fulfill bass guitar duties?
Old 22nd October 2013
  #1
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Which bass synths have enough body to fulfill bass guitar duties?

I'll preface that saying that I'm incompetent in all varieties of string instruments and was wondering if there was ever a way to incorporate synth for bass duties in a traditional 4-5 piece band (singer/guitarist, lead guitar, bassist, drummer). I like the idea of being able to cover bass parts but still having a killer bass synth for actual synth stuff. I know a lot of synths can get phat but which ones can give off an "organic" enough sound to pass as a decent bass. It doesn't necessarily have to sound exactly like a bass guitar but can do bass parts for a traditional band really well.

The primary genre of music would be for rock, jazz, and funk.

The romplers I've tried have bass samples that are too thin and wimpy in the low ends when trying out bass duties. They don't quite have the body.

In a perfect world, I'd have a Rhodes Bass to take around so I can have that rhodes sound without having to take my 73 key stage anywhere.


What are the options?
Old 22nd October 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

(its hilarious cuz I posted reply this in another thread as well BUT)
I use a moog Minitaur with some guitar pedals and a keyboard amp.
The all analog chain is really warm and when you put time into the envelope you can get real good sharp plucks or soft thumps.
I play in a band with this setup alongside two guitars, one of which is a twin reverb tube amp setup.
Couple things, I do to the chain:
ElectroHarmonix Big Bass Muff
Boss Bass Limiter/Enhancer
ElectroHarmonix PAD (big signal attenuator for lowering the amount of power entering the amp. Will clean up the sound and the amp wont smell like burning batteries. YAY!)

This can be used in some nice smooth jazzy room filler bass, or be turned into an intense high cutoff distorted bass/ boarderline rhythm guitar role.
Using pedals will make some synth parameters either behave differently from usual, or be heavily exaggerated. I have tried using a VA instead, the NordLead2x specifically, and it lacked the warmth for an ideal bass in my opinion. However the NL2X has alot more control of the behavior of the synth to make it much closer to the subtleties of a bass guitar. The NL2X is still part of the setup plan, but I am still working on getting the right sound out of it for live use in that role.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #3
In electronic music ; as opposed to rock or pop ; nearly all basses comes from synths ... Funk as always been an hybrid with real bass and analogue synths ... prophet 5 ; Moogs ; Studio Electronics ; Oberheim ; Roland JUNO ( 60 ; 106 ; alpha 1 ; alpha 2 ) ; that s where u gonna try your way ... Having somebody playing bass parts on songs and bass on keys is something u ll still see in decades ... Hope it helps ...


PEACE


MORDICUS
Old 22nd October 2013
  #4
SRT
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The simplest answer: Anything by Moog.

Check out the Moog Minitaur if you are looking budget, or a Little Phatty if you are looking for something a bit more flexible. Not to say that the other options mentioned above aren't good or possibly even better depending upon your taste, but Moog might as well be synonymous with the word bass.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #5
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Trillian is excellent from spectrasonics. A Moog will be good bass but its not going to sound like a real bass like a good rompler like trillian imo.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #6
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I'd also check out alesis nanobass

Sent from my SGH-T999
Old 22nd October 2013
  #7
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Nord Stage might do you.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #8
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The BSII might get the job done. But a digital bass sound is needed as well. A mixture of both through a good bass pedal and maybe a good bass or keyboard amp. BOSS also makes a variety of bass emulation pedals for guitar. I don't know how that would work with a rompler or synth though. EQ is crucial.
Old 24th October 2013
  #9
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davemillermusic's Avatar
 

Minimoog voyager
Old 24th October 2013
  #10
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i also recommend the Minitaur with a pedal
Old 24th October 2013
  #11
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Der Laborant's Avatar
 

FM synths might fit your need
Old 24th October 2013
  #12
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goldphinga's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyklops View Post
i also recommend the Minitaur with a pedal
Exactly
Old 25th October 2013
  #13
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Casio CZ1
Old 25th October 2013
  #14
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyklops View Post
i also recommend the Minitaur with a pedal
I had actually once considered this but couldn't find a cheap pedalboard that would output midi into the minitaur. It was around the time that I wanted to make some sort of synth/organ type setup. What pedal would you use for this?
Old 25th October 2013
  #15
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Moog Prodigy. Was just base'n it today with it.

or anything Moog. (as others have said)
Old 25th October 2013
  #16
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I actually really like using a 303-type sound as the bass part in rock songs. Never played a real 303, but had a preset related to it on a JD990 and tried recreating it on a slim phatty (3 pole filter, one osc, high res). It's a cool sound with a characteristic that reminds me a bit of a bass guitar.
Old 25th October 2013
  #17
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moog subphatty
Old 25th October 2013
  #18
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grumphh's Avatar
 

Any synth that isn't "wimpy" or "thin" from the onset can do bass (guitar) duties.
Just play in the right octaves.

...and if you have one that is wimpy or thin, turn up the bass eq and it will do the job too.
Old 25th October 2013
  #19
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moog all the way
Old 25th October 2013
  #20
Gear Maniac
Trillian
Old 25th October 2013
  #21
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There's Many synths on that potential list!

Just ones i've actually used:

Arp 2600
SCI Pro One
Moog Minimoog
Moog Rogue
Korg MS-10 ( has better sub than the MS20 )
Realistic MG-1
Yamaha DX7 ( if you're looking for FM vibes )

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Old 25th October 2013
  #22
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Darim's Avatar
As others already said, if you don't have access to a real bass player you should try Spectrasonics Trilian (unless it's one of the wimpy romplers you mentioned). Personally, I love it for all my bass duties!
Old 25th October 2013
  #23
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It depends what you put it through to a large degree. I've even used my Motif through a good quality bass amp in a venue and everyone was blown away with the sound - putting it through a real bass amp and EQing it correctly is a big part of the sound.

That being said, I play A LOT of left-hand bass and these days either use my Nord Stage 2 or MainStage setup with Scarbee Basses (these days released by Native Instruments).

Here's a couple of vids of the Scarbee Basses in a jazz/funk context:

Scarbee Jazz Bass (Neck Pickup):



Scarbee Jazz Bass (Both Pickups):



I've also used a Moog Little Phatty with good success for that warm funky analog sound.
Old 25th October 2013
  #24
my fave for dark round huge bass guitar "stand-in" is original SEM.


also the usual suspect when you want more pluck/wire: minimoog and source. low octave square, high octave narrow pulse - tuned as close as possible.. fantastic "wire" bass but still big analog warm etc.

i love SH2 for bass, but not as bass guitar stand in, it is so purely electronic sound that works best as it is. same with system100.
Old 25th October 2013
  #25
Another vote for the Sh2. The sound doesn't get crazy, but for nice round, punchy bass sounds, it's golden.
Old 25th October 2013
  #26
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LeoRapture's Avatar
 

Trillian
Old 26th October 2013
  #27
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Darim's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by -groovatious- View Post
It depends what you put it through to a large degree. I've even used my Motif through a good quality bass amp in a venue and everyone was blown away with the sound - putting it through a real bass amp and EQing it correctly is a big part of the sound.

That being said, I play A LOT of left-hand bass and these days either use my Nord Stage 2 or MainStage setup with Scarbee Basses (these days released by Native Instruments).

Here's a couple of vids of the Scarbee Basses in a jazz/funk context:

Scarbee Jazz Bass (Neck Pickup):





Scarbee Jazz Bass (Both Pickups):



I've also used a Moog Little Phatty with good success for that warm funky analog sound.
Awesome, thanks for the videos, cool stuff!

I'm so giddy, next week I'm gonna have my first jam session with a funk band. No more spending countless hours with pitch bends, vibrato and modulations to get a decent bass
Old 26th October 2013
  #28
Registered User
The OP posted a link to a Fender Rhodes bass and also lists he has a Roland Juno Stage. I think the Roland romplers have reasonably decent Rhodes, and played down the low end would sound very close to the Rhodes bass. They also have a decent range of other bass sounds which could be useful for supporting live jazz, rock and funk.

I completely understand the problem with these stock rompler sounds - they generally appear to lack bass. But that is largely because they have been voiced with a fairly full spectrum range so they punch through on tiny speaker.

All you have to do is shape them with a decent filter to make them sound as bassy as you want. A Moog 4 pole filter works a treat, and removes a lot of the rubbish and just leaves a decent sub bass with a bit of dirt.

However, I have found that other bass stomp boxes can do a very good job and often with more flavour than the Moog. A lot of the Sansamp products are very worth checking out if you want to get some organic color and a fat bottom end into wimpy digital sounds. The MXR M80 is interesting too. A good EQ pedal can work wonders if it has sufficient headroom (but a lot don't). Some overdrive can help too.

There are digital options that will work too, like Line6 PODs and Boss stuff. These are very work considering if you want to save presets and have the best tone recalled for each voice when you change patches.

Sure, you could buy more synths, but the OP already has plenty of options. Simply tweaking the filters in a preset might be all that is required.

It comes down to how much extra stuff you want to lug around and setup just for a fill in bass sound. Is this just for when the bass player is having a smoke?
Old 26th October 2013
  #29
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Honestly, electric bass is probably the easiest stringed instrument to learn, especially if you already know a thing or two about music, and you don't aspire to be the next Les Claypool. I would simply buy a bass and an amp, and then try to use electronics to get more synthy sounds (or have a bass rig and synth rig together), than try to find the perfect synth/keyboard rig to play bass guitar sounds. If I could play keys half as well as as I play bass, I probably wouldn't need a day job. The hardest part would be adapting muscle memory, but it would probably take a lot less effort to learn than slutting out for a new synth .
Old 5th November 2013
  #30
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Syne Cosyne Dan's Avatar
 

Just an update to my situation. I was driving by a yard sale and someone was selling a bass guitar for $70. It was a Brownsville. I couldn't get much info about it, but i simply liked the look and feel. Ended up driving away and the coming back to buy it passing by on the way home.

Still got my eye out for a good bass synth but I'm momentarily satisfied with a bass guitar. It's not incredibly hard to play for a beginner once some time is put into learning the basics.
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