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Thread: Best Synth Pedal

  1. #1
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Best Synth Pedal

    So I've had this idea of a live electro-funk type band, not looking to sell a million records, just have some fun with some mates and get a dancefloor moving to some original, jam based grooves.

    I know it's kinda outside of the sphere of music we usually talk about, but does anyone have any experience with synth pedals?

    I know Sergio has a EH Bass Micro, I think I may have tried the regular Micro but didn't dig it for some reason (maybe tracking).

    I'm interested in the EH Hog 2 or Pigtronix Mothership, I want to create big, phat, monster sounds, tracking is very important. Think dubsteppy type noises kinda thing. I don't want to go MIDI either.

    I've used a Akai Deep Impact on bass and that was very cool for it's time, but a little inflexible for my needs (plus it doesn't work very well with guitar).

    I don't have the luxury of trying before I buy, so what are your guys thoughts? Have you tried any of the above pedals or maybe some others?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    This one has caught my attention :

    http://www.fishman.com/tripleplay
    If I thought I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself!

  3. #3
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I got a buddy in NY that does that sort of thing and he swears by the Mooger Fooger stuff, you can also control the LFO with an expression pedal which is important if you're tryin' to do dub step styled stuff. Look for a Korg G5 Bass Synth pedal too.. almost impossible to find but a killer unit.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Might be able to do an Eventide H9. Would allow for some alternative effects when you don't need a synth.
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  5. #5
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Reading a bit more, going full MIDI might actually be the way to go. Seems all the pedals in the world don't get where a keyboard analog synth would get you. Maybe I should get a Mannmade Roland GK-3 pickup ring adapter, then just find what I want sound wise, maybe a GR-55 or a Moog Little Phatty or Minitaur...

  6. #6
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    I have a GR-55. It's a lot of fun, and some of the sounds can really inspire you to play differently. I use some free software called GR-55 floorboard to setup sounds. There's no way I would want to edit sounds through the device keypad/screen. PM me and maybe I can get it to you to try out and see if you really want one.

  7. #7
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    I have a GR-55. It's a lot of fun, and some of the sounds can really inspire you to play differently. I use some free software called GR-55 floorboard to setup sounds. There's no way I would want to edit sounds through the device keypad/screen. PM me and maybe I can get it to you to try out and see if you really want one.
    That's a fine offer but for the return postage to Aussie land I could just about buy one

    Thank you though!

    I should be able to check one of these out, it's only the uncommon things that aren't in our music stores here.

  8. #8
    moogerfooger

  9. #9
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    That's a fine offer but for the return postage to Aussie land I could just about buy one

    Thank you though!

    I should be able to check one of these out, it's only the uncommon things that aren't in our music stores here.
    No doubt. Postage to AUS would be a bummer.
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  10. #10
    My son uses an EH Hog often. It sounds amazing. He also runs stuff through the filters on his minimoog to get uniquely cool sounds. In fact, he does some very cool things with the Moog filters that have shown up on some of the 30 STM recordings.

    I like the results of running the output of a guitar into analog gear a lot better than I do going with MIDI gear. However...

    If you can get your hands on an old Roland VG-8, made to be a physical modeling synth to use with the GK-2, it is still the best digital guitar tool I've ever used. It was cost-no-object at the time, so it was expensive. People thought of it as an amp modeler, but it's a very interesting guitar synth as well. One of the guys I hang with in the studio has had one since they came out, and he has programmed some very impressive stuff with his. I've borrowed it and really dug it.

    Now imagine pairing it with something like a Moog filter...oooh.

    Also, if you can find one, the German synth company Waldorf made some amazing sounding filter modules that can be used with guitars, synths, any source. Waldorf filters can be incredibly funky, can scream, or be subtle. Different sounding from Moog Filters, too.

    Korg made a very cool touchpad filter-fx thingy I once had, but I can't remember what it's called. Edit: Yes I can. It's called the Kaoss Pad.

    Did some crazy things!

    And now for $40 you can buy something with their MS-20 filter called the Monotron. I've never played one, but how can you not want something for forty bucks that might be very cool for processing audio?

    Also...you may remember that Line6 had something purple called a filter something or other pedal. I think they might still make it. I remember it was pretty cool.

    Finally, per your original post, "best synth pedal", there isn't a best anything. Especially when it comes to the world of synth effects.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-09-2013 at 09:59 PM.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  11. #11
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    You should see how much the HXDA is costing me to ship. Ouch!

    All good points Les, I actually went into town today (I always find it funny that I say that, even though I live 5 minutes from the city centre) and tried out a GR-55. I was impressed at times (very reminiscent of the VG-8 I tried when they first came out, with their $5K price tag...), and then sometimes on the bass synth patches, what I perceived to be the tracking, wasn't that great. I think that was more the patch, or it struggling with the lower notes? Playing fast up top on some patches was no problems at all.

    I was using a Roland/Fender MIDI ready guitar, I think it had an inbuilt GK-3, a no fuss way to go, but yeah, didn't play like a PRS.

    I think I will go the MIDI option, there's much more options this way, go the GR-55 first, maybe try some synth modules, some fx as you suggested. I think it will be a bit of a trial and error thing, and an evolution of finding what I want out of the gear.

    Kaoss Pad - yep my friend has one, a very fun thing. Matt Bellamy from Muse has one installed in his guitar below the bridge for easy access...

    I'll check out the MS-20.

    I think I've "tried" the Line6 stuff in the M13 and HD500 I had, was cool but a bit limited in what it could do from memory.

    and yes, you're right, no such thing as "best" but only "best for me"

  12. #12
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    I say this only because at one time I owned both, but the guitar synth is about as cool as an EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). I feel stylistically that if your gonna do the wobble, then it's cooler if you're playing guitar and processing it's signal rather than using a MIDI synth thing. I kinda look at it like the exact opposite of the Keytar, only it's trying to make a cool looking instrument sound like a boring looking instrument does.

    Since the wobble in dub step is all about the LFO rate changing in time to the beat, and most dramatically when it gets thrown into triplets, you're gonna have to worry first on how you're gonna manage that aspect. If you are willing to deal with some sort of master clock and would consider using a computer, you wouldn't have to really buy anything if you already own an interface and a DAW. You could play through your laptop while running the song which would be controlling a soft synths LFO, that would then be filtering your actual guitar signal.

    I've downloaded a ton of dub step library's and I have to say the majority of the synth tones are not very complex sounding until they go through the processing. A good start for an analog pedal setup would be an Octave pedal, ring modulator, distortion, and maybe if you can one; a tremolo pedal that does continuous controller for the trem rate.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I say this only because at one time I owned both, but the guitar synth is about as cool as an EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). I feel stylistically that if your gonna do the wobble, then it's cooler if you're playing guitar and processing it's signal rather than using a MIDI synth thing. I kinda look at it like the exact opposite of the Keytar, only it's trying to make a cool looking instrument sound like a boring looking instrument does.

    Since the wobble in dub step is all about the LFO rate changing in time to the beat, and most dramatically when it gets thrown into triplets, you're gonna have to worry first on how you're gonna manage that aspect. If you are willing to deal with some sort of master clock and would consider using a computer, you wouldn't have to really buy anything if you already own an interface and a DAW. You could play through your laptop while running the song which would be controlling a soft synths LFO, that would then be filtering your actual guitar signal.

    I've downloaded a ton of dub step library's and I have to say the majority of the synth tones are not very complex sounding until they go through the processing. A good start for an analog pedal setup would be an Octave pedal, ring modulator, distortion, and maybe if you can one; a tremolo pedal that does continuous controller for the trem rate.
    Actually, you don't need a computer to control the LFO. You can do it with control voltage the old fashioned, pre-midi way (yes and I even rode dinosaurs as a kid).

    There is also a new midi clocking pedal device on the market that was reviewed in Tape Op recently. I don't remember the name of the device, however. You can also get MIDI clock from a lot of the digital pedals like the Eventide stuff.

    The thing that makes a synth a synth is generally not so much the oscillators, after all, any signal can serve as an oscillator, it's the filters, the envelopes, and the modulation routing. So Sergio has it on the money. Controlling a synth with a guitar is not the best solution. Using the guitar as an oscillator, however, and running its signal into envelopes, filters, emphasis circuits, and modulation such as LFOs, now you're talking about something unique.

    I agree, you wanna play a synth, get a keyboard. You want to have a real voice, run the guitar signal into processors, and make it your own.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  14. #14
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Well here's something I didn't know! The latest bunch of Roland stuff e.g. VG-99 / GR-55 aren't actually MIDI. They do use their own pickup, but only because they need 6 different "inputs" to do their thing with. So really they are processing the guitar signal, and I did wonder what was going on when I was playing artificial harmonics, it did affect the sound coming out of the 55 today, so obviously it's not a pure MIDI note, but an actual morph of the tone coming from the axe.

    Both units have their pro's and con's, I'm really going to have to do some research before settling on one or the other. I'd love to spend some time with the 99 but there's none here. Might have to stop over in one of the bigger cities next work period.

    Running one of these into various fx processors could be monster!

  15. #15
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    I want my guitar to sound like wobble bass.
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  16. #16
    A♥ hoards guitars A♥ rugerpc's Avatar
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    I want my guitar to sound like David Gilmour is playing it when I'm playing it....

    Who make that 'talent enhancer' pedal?
    Thbbbbbt...
    Check it out: Phillybri used to have a band: Resonance But he's soooo over them now!

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  17. #17
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    I want my guitar to sound like David Gilmour is playing it when I'm playing it....

    Who make that 'talent enhancer' pedal?
    Only Mr. and Mrs. Gilmour. And they've closed up shop!
    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  18. #18
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    Only Mr. and Mrs. Gilmour. And they've closed up shop!
    CLONE HIM!!! GO!!!
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  19. #19
    Check out the demos of the new minifoogers over at Moog's website. I gotta get me some o' those!
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

  20. #20
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Wow they are really nice!

    I feel like I'm going in circles with this stuff, and hatching plans of guitar (re)builds at the same time is confusing the issue.

    I've already got an octaver in the G-System. (plus other possibly usable stuff) and a whole lot of other functionality. I'm wondering if I can control the "pulse" on the fly with a spring loaded stutter button (OK I'd prefer it to be setup so the button when up is off, so press to engage sound, but it can also be bypassed of course) and use other fx e.g. ring mod, filters etc to get where I want to be tone wise.

    Is this a usable solution you reckon?

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