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 Post subject: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 9:04 am 
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I would like a small box just to do one job and that is give me BASS. You'd think it would be simple but I'm having a hard time finding/deciding.

Prerequisites/preferences...

Must be cheap (around 100 £/$/€ or less, but could be convinced to up it to under 200)

Small footprint

Be able to do a 'smooth' sinewave-like tone; just a simple sustained bass note with no envelope/filter sweep/spikey waveworm bizznezz goin' on

Have at least an octave 'keyboard' (altho could just be a midi box with no keys as I assume I'll be able to play it with the pads and midi output of the MS-1?)

Must have variable fine tuning, to match samples


I've looked at...
Korg Volca Keys and Bass
Moog Werkstatt01
Yamaha QY series
Teenage Engineering PO Sub
and others
...but either the youtube demo don't show if they can do what I need (coz the demonstrators show off all the fancy shit it can do instead, obvs) or the manual isn't clear on if it can or they have a potentially disqualifying characteristic but it's unclear.

Any other suggestions or do you own the above and can advise?

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:04 am 
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Hey Bro,

for good bass i bought a korg monologue a few years ago and i love it's analog sound. It is cheap (second hand 150 - 200 Euro) and very versatile, 2 VCOs, although no sine, only saw, pulse, triangle, noise. 16-step sequencer, keyboard. Very fast to get good sounds. Can sound tame and smooth but wild and aggressive too.

At first i wanted a bass station 2 - 3 VCOs and capable of sine waves, but the monologue has sonically more character and dirt in my ears, so i went for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:29 pm 
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TGN, it was like being in the Twilight Zone reading your post. Believe it or not I was looking at those exact synths just yesterday. I don't want it for the exact same reason as Run Of The Hind, but I am seriously considering one of those synths.

I desperately want an authentic 8-Bit sampler with authentic analogue filters, but at the same time I'm not financially stable enough to chance buying a second-hand model from the 80s. So I had this crazy idea, why not build my own?

I don't mean from scratch, I mean that in order to replicate such a thing in new gear that is readily available now, all I would need to do is pair a microGranny (authentic 8-Bit sampler) up to a real analogue synthesizer with a real analogue filter (Monologue or Bass Station II).

Cause crazy as it sounds, hear me out ...

The microGranny is not only a true 8-Bit sampler with proper pitching, it also happens to have a proper full-sized MIDI DIN on the back. The icing on the cake is that it has no filter at all, I mean literally, it doesn't have one at all.

So guess what? What this means is that if I wanted to I could pair it up to a Monologue or a Bass Station II, because both of those synths have proper full-sized MIDI DIN Output, they both have an analogue Audio Input into the filter, and of course, being true analogue synths, they both have true analogue filters as well.

So you see where I'm going with this?

Let's say I bought a Monologue and a microGranny. All I would need to do is feed the Analogue Audio Out of the microGranny to the Analogue Audio In of the Monologue. Connect them by MIDI going from the full-sized MIDI OUT of the Monologue to the full-sized MIDI IN of the microGranny and tadaaaaaaaaa - Fairlight sound on a budget!

That's right, together they make an authentic 8-Bit sampler with proper pitching that also has an authentic analogue filter and envelope (just like a Fairlight)! Playing the microGranny from the Monologue (Or Bass Station II) means that each time you hit a key, it triggers an authentic 8-Bit sample that is being fed through an authentic analogue filter and envelope.

Think it couldn't get any better than that?

Of course it can (you knew I was gonna say that). Because whether you use a Monologue or a Bass Station II, they both have key-transposable step sequencers which means you even get to sequence this stuff because the notes are sent to MIDI OUT regardless of whether they are played on the keyboard or whether they come from the sequencer built into those synths.

I think it's an awesome idea and am seriously considering it. I absolutely have to have a microGranny, it's going to be "Fairlight on a Budget" when put through an analogue filter and enevelope, and I'm far too obsessed with 8-Bit put through analogue filters and envelopes to ignore an opportunity like that. I mean the cost of a microGranny and Monologue costs no more than £400 in total (and that's brand spanking new)!!!

Wish I'd thought about that ages ago, cause it also has an incredibly small footprint and since the Monologue has a key-transposable step sequencer as well, the short keybed is actually beneficial.

BTW, this is not exactly what Run Of The Hind was after but since you are both clearly interested in production quality, let me tell you both and anyone else reading this, that 'hand on heart' the single most impressive peice of gear you can buy for production is the Behringer SX3040.

Do not argue, do not question why, just buy one :wink:

I actually already own one but because I cannot get access to my old equipment due to a bent solicitor, I'm going to have to buy another one. They only cost around £100 brand new and mark my words it is one VERY impressive peice of equipment (fully analogue too). It doesn't matter whether you want to thicken-up your bass to crazy levels, or add lushness, or add sparkle, clarity and definition to your sound, it delivers EVERY time BY THE BUCKET LOAD!!!

Only takes a little while to master how to use it properly and I'm telling you now, once you do you realise what an incredible peice of kit is, and I'm not exaggerating in the slightest either! Like I said, I already own one yet I am prepared to buy another, so there you go. Any person who cares about production quality will surely be ejaculating by the bucket-load after hearing what that thing does to their sound!

Makes me laugh the amount of so-called "Professionals" out there on YouTube giving advice, yet I've not come across one yet who had the brains or knowledge to even talk about this wonder-box of audio bliss!

Fucking amateurs :wink:

But yeah, trust me on that, the Behringer SX3040 is one peice of gear you will NEVER part with unless you are a complete and utter retard (I literally do mean that you would have to be destitute or and actual retard to part with it). It's not feasible, because once you use it on your audio, you know immediately that there's no going back, no way you could ever part with it because you automatically know that without it, your productions will be severly lacking in comparison, and you'd miss the 'Big Studio' and quality production sound that it gives.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 5:03 pm 
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BTW, regards that SX3040, when I say the "Big Studio Sound", I am referring to how music used to sound in the 80s; that big, punchy, crisp and clear sound that we have all come to recognise from the 80s.

I'm not talking about the shit that most modern producers think is acceptable these days, I'm talking 'proper old school sound quality' here, from an age when people know how to master records properly. Anyone who follows Jaytreaze' music video thread might remember a track I posted by Agnetha Faltskog, and that I remarked how incredibly well produced it sounds.

Well, buy one of these and you'll soon realise how it is achieved. I also posted in a separate thread an album by Momoko Kikuchi, that also has this same type of device all over it, it's what gives it presence and makes it glisten.

Agnetha Faltskog Track:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luhi24LP9ug

Momoko Kikuchi Album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0CJAvXRKZ0

If either of those sound good to your ears, then trust me, you need a Behringer SX3040, and I should know cause like I said I already own one and that is exactly the sort of production sound you will get out of it!

The Faltskog track uses it mainly for punch and presence whereas the Kikuchi album uses it mainly for adding width, and glisten and presence to the vocal and some of the instrumentation. You 'learn' to hear these things once you've used one (just in case you think I'm talking shit).


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:37 pm 
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Just looked on YouTube to see if I could find anything decent and unfortunately there appears to be nothing. Not a single person who knows how to use it properly and neither does the one I have attached a link for, but at least this one shows you better than the others.

PLEASE ignore all the videos on YouTube, other than this one, they're all fucking clueless including that newer one with the title "Stand Out With Awesome Sound", which is so hopeless I refuse point blank to even link to it. Sure, you will "stand out with awesome sound" if you learn how to use it properly, but that guy appears to be one of those clowns who doesn't, and also appears to think that using something barely audible somehow makes you look more professional. It doesn't, and his video does not give you a clue of the power of this thing - not even close.

So the best video I could find is from the dude I have attached, and while he does not know how to use it properly either, he at least appears to have the basic idea down right and his video gives a much better scope of ability than the clueless idiots in the other videos.

Behringer SX3040:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Zlpfq3JuM


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:18 am 
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I've fuctwit a bunch of SPL Vitalizers and BBEs and Aphexes and weird branded enhancer rack thingys loads before. The Behringer will undoubtedly be a straight clone of one of those, since that's Uli's modus operandi. They were originally designed to brighten up dull tape recordings, lolz. They generally add harmonic distortion to the mid and upper freqs, to make them 'sizzle', and some also compress all but the bass to make it boom (or is it compress only the bass?) using an internal crossover. The SPLs also mess with the phase to give a wide stereo spread. Must be used with caution else they can cause ear fatigue.
These days, I like to keep it simple and just use one of the mastering presets in the VS880EX. The 880 has an enhancer effect too, which can give interesting results...but I usually don't like to get that involved.

The Monologue would be ideal in many ways but it's a bit more machine than I'm looking for, both in size and capabilities, really. It'll stay on the list tho.

Lots of squelch and scream machines about, coz that's what sells, when all I want is a small box that can just do simple bass notes, lolz.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2022 11:00 am 
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Run Of The Hind wrote:
The Behringer will undoubtedly be a straight clone of one of those, since that's Uli's modus operandi. They were originally designed to brighten up dull tape recordings, lolz. They generally add harmonic distortion to the mid and upper freqs, to make them 'sizzle', and some also compress all but the bass to make it boom (or is it compress only the bass?) using an internal crossover. The SPLs also mess with the phase to give a wide stereo spread. Must be used with caution else they can cause ear fatigue.

Close but not quite. I believe it's a clone to an extent but I read some years back that it basically takes the best aspects of two different products (both of which were found in every serious studio in the 80s and beyond) and merges them into one unit. You can use the SX3040 for all of those things; it does bass fattening, adding sparkle through additional harmonics, and plays around with phase allowing you to widen things and play with the amount of presence.

Indeed, my most favourite use of it is with a 3-Head cassette deck. Cause it means that you can stick it between the output of your gear and the input of your cassette deck, and actually hear what it is doing to the recording as you record it. When you have one of these and three heads, the results are absolutely amazing, cause you are able to tailor it to your cassette deck while listening to the recording in progress. It's actually very addictive to play with because the audio you get from it constantly amazes.

That said, if you had something like this and don't now, then you almost certainly wasn't using it right. If you use it right there is no way you can go back to not having one, the difference is just too obvious and painful, lol!!!

I think what a lot of people sadly don't understand with these things is that you are not always expected to use all apects of it on any specific peice of audio. For example if you wanted to fatten-up a bass drum then you would use only one channel and would not even touch the exciter section. In contrast it might be a really bad idea to use the bass enhancer when you're wanting to add clarity.

Often it is better to treat individual tracks and instruments than it is to put it on the master. The only time you should put it on the master is if the source material has a very full spectrum of sound to start with otherwise you have to be very careful and moderate with it. This is something the guy in the video sadly does not seem to realise because he clearly sees it as a way to enhance the sound of his MP3s on the master output. This is valid in a lot of cases but in the case of his video, despite his good intentions he literally could not have chosen a worse type of music to demonstrate it on.

Then you have to consider inversion, and by "inversion" I am talking about an effect where you reach a certain point where the effect is in fact reversing itself out and creating a hollow, boxy type of effect. This can clearly be heard in the video and is in fact the polar opposite of what the device is designed to achieve. In contrast, the studio engineer in the Falskog track, he's used it correctly and to very impressive effect, that's a stunning peice of production right there and it is because he's used it individually (and most importantly, correctly) where it needs to be before finally pushing the full mix through it.

In other words using one is usually not the one-step process that people seem to think it is. You often need to use it to fix individual elements before using it to process the full mix. In a nutshell, if you can successfully process a full mix with it then you know the source mix is already pretty good.

The operative word there being "successfully" :lol:

Can't offer many recommendations for synths other than what TGN already suggested, other than perhaps the NORAND MONO, that has a thick, fat bass sound but it's quite expensive (well made though). The only other that comes to mind is one of those EREBUS synths which I thought sounded really nice and thick (the original green-graphics one).

Might have to ask TGN if he'll try something for me later. I'm currently trying to find out whether the sequencer on the Monologue outputs MIDI notes. As you can see, I went off on one of my 'head-in-the-clouds' daydreams yesterday, talking about how I could pair it up to a microGranny and be in Fairlight heaven, when all of a sudden I remembered how Korg like to cripple their MIDI implementations. So although it would work when playing the keys, I actually have no idea whether that sequencer on the Monologue sends the notes to MIDI Out. I think I've seen a video before showing that the Bass Station II does, but not sure about the Monologue.

BTW, something I forget to mention about the microGranny is that you actually have various playback modes. You can have it play back different samples on different keys or you can pick any one sample and it will map it across the entire keyboard. So although it's mono and monophonic, you do get the simplicity and it's actually beneficial in that both the Monologue and microGranny are both monophonic. This is why having the Monologue's key-transposable step sequencer output MIDI note information would be the icing on the cake!

They're literally the perfect combo as long as that bloody sequencer actually outputs notes to MIDI, but knowing my luck, it probably doesn't!


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2022 7:36 pm 
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Looks like the Monologue and microGranny thing is a no go. I just read that when you sample on the device itself, the sampling rate is reduced by half of the sampling rate it handles if you have it play back pre-recorded wav files.

That's no good, and explains a lot actually, cause I did wonder why some sounded fairly high fidelity while others sounded overly noisy.

Man, what a bummer.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:18 pm 
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Hey SP-USER,

Your idea with the microgranny and the monologue combi is genious! I read the sampling rate of tbe microgranny is fix, always 22kHz. You have to convert your samples into 8 bit or 16 bit mono 22kHz and then you can put it on the card. Not a dealbreaker, there is good software for thos purpose (audacity, for example). But i would be more on the sampling by myself-side, bc no need of a pc.
Be aware that for using the external in of the monologue you need to play or hold a note on the logue. But this wouldn't be a dealbreaker too if you gonna play the microgranny from the logue via midi. You can use the sequencer for this, too. I am gonna check both: does the seq of the monologue send its notes to midi out? And 2nd, is the audio input open, while running a sequence so you can sequence other gear and mangle its sound with logue's Filter, Resonance, Drive and EG...
EDIT: Works like a charme! Seq sends out midi and at the same time you have the audio in open automatically and listen to the dedicatwd synth/sampler receiving your midi sequence. you can tweak filter cutoff, reso, analog drive and attack, release on the logue to alter the sound... and you can record up to 4 knob movements into the sequencer, too and/or set them per step! And you can throw the lfo on the filter of course!
But if you want to have the audio input always open you have to send a long note to the monologue via midi or just place your cup of tea onto one key... or you program one note into the the sequencer...but this is not the same, cause it retriggers every 16 notes, or 32 when you set the seq of the logue to half speed... so best is really to sequence or play the Microgranny from the logue.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:37 pm 
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@Run:

What about a microkorg? Or, if it is really to much machine, what about a good old 90's rompler, like emu mo phat or proteus?

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:39 pm 
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Cheers mate I really appreciate that, and yep, great idea but like I said the microGranny only samples at a very low rate stand-alone when you use the line-in or the microphone. In other words it can handle double that sampling frequency but only for playback, it cannot actually sample at that rate.

Listen to the fidelity on the attached promo video and it sounds bloody great, punchy even, but that's because it's playing back samples that are running at twice the sampling frequency that it can stand-alone sample at. If it could actually sample at that rate it would be absolutely fantasic but unfortuinately it can't, so as you said it requires a computer for that.

There's always something to fuck things up, always.

The microGranny sounds great even on its own at that sample rate, so just imagine how good it would sound with the analogue envelopes, filters and drive of the Monologue. Bloody shame it doesn't actually sample at that frequency too cause it really would have worked as a proper analogue/sampler combo, it really would be like Emulator II and Fairlight CMI IIx kinda sound.

It's a shame no one has reprogrammed the microGranny to make it to do that, cause after all the microGranny is Open Source. I'd have a go myself if I were a programmer but unfortunately I'm not, not skilled enough for that sort of stuff anyway.

microGranny at full fidelity (but only on pre-prepared files):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hOkFjVMYMk


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:51 pm 
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I do not understand that, SP! On the www everywhere i read about the microgranny, it is stated that sampling rate is 22kHz and this does not matter if sampled directly into the mg or put samples on the sd card which have to be in 22kHz then...

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 9:10 pm 
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TGN wrote:
@Run:

What about a microkorg? Or, if it is really to much machine, what about a good old 90's rompler, like emu mo phat or proteus?


Ha ha. I thought about the microKorg but I can't on principle - if I got that, I'd have EXACTLY the set-up I had in Feb before I sold it all for the SP808, roflz. Yep, still on the list tho.

Yeah, I nearly got a Roland M-VS1 the other day (basically the JV Vintage Keys Expansion card in MIDI a rack unit - had one before, lolz) but didn't pull the trigger. Trouble is with romplers is that the sounds are often whack but also uneditable. But, yeah, they're under consideration too.

The Boss DR202 would be ideal, coz I know it can do what I want. If I see one cheap enough and decide to go back down the sequecer route, I'll get one.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 10:54 am 
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Run Of The Hind wrote:
Ha ha. I thought about the microKorg but I can't on principle - if I got that, I'd have EXACTLY the set-up I had in Feb before I sold it all for the SP808, roflz.

Hey, don't let that stop you bruh :lol:
Like I said in the other thread, it could be a good sign!


TGN wrote:
I do not understand that, SP! On the www everywhere i read about the microgranny, it is stated that sampling rate is 22kHz and this does not matter if sampled directly into the mg or put samples on the sd card which have to be in 22kHz then...

You're right, I checked with the official site and I think what happened is someone got mixed up between sample rates and bit-depth. I had read in the comments of one of the videos that it was the sample rate that is half, but actually, it is the bit-depth. So you get 16-Bit at 22 if you prepare the samples on a computer, and 8-Bit at 22 if you sample stand-alone on the microGranny.

The issue is still the same though, cause the fidelity you hear in that opening sample in the video is not achievable by sampling on the microGranny itself. That sample is definitely one of the pre-prepared ones to sound that good, no way you will get that sound from 8-Bit running at 22.

The Fairlight CMI IIX for example, while being 8-Bit, it's sampling rate was still pretty respectable at 32k. The problem with the microGranny is that it's running 8-Bit at just 22k, and when we're comparing sample rates and bit depths at those sorts of levels the audible differences are very noticable.

The sampling you can do on the microGranny in stand alone mode is way too aliased IMHO, it sounds far too much like a bit crusher to me. Putting it through an analogue filter will help massively but it will still lack the punch and bass you hear in that 16-Bit demo sample.


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Out... BASS
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:35 pm 
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Just bought a Zoom Rhythmtrak RT-123, lolz. Cheap (£45), has sine waves (according to manual), has a 'keyboard' and can be tuned. BOOM.

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