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Boss synth pedal


Russkull

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Excited - I finally picked up a used Boss SYB-3, and have been messing with it a bit.

 

So...Jeremy (and anyone else who owns this pedal, or another similar bass synth) what settings do you use, and in what type of song do you use it for? Do you use it in combination with other pedals to get a particular sound?

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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I played with a SYB-5 for a few months and eventually sold it, because I rarely have an occasion to use it and swapped it for a good old TS 808 for my guitar.

I found the Boss synth a bit temperamental, but very flexible. Talking settings would be very difficult: they are so interactive that it would be difficult to communicate a precise sound.

I would recommend you to experiment yourself following these guidelines.

Set everything to noon and experiment with the different modes until you can classify them.

Second, in a given mode, you could see what effect has the filter.

Finally, once you get to a point you like, use resonance to get the nastiness of the sound or drive it into weirdness.

The whas are for funkiness, the internal effects are for soloing or getting a synth-like sound.

Finally, keep some of the unprocessed sound in the mix to preserve some body.

Hope it helps, but, frankly, the SYB is not something they let you step on very often.

-- Michele Costabile (http://proxybar.net)
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Have the SYB-5. Good pedal. Good quality. Rugged as one expects from a Boss. Great toy. Makes lots of cool noises.

 

Since my three bands are 1) Electric Jurassic Rock Hell, 2) URB Old-Skool Blues and 3) URB American Jazz Standards, there's not much need for a synth pedal. Hell, I barely get to use my overdrive anymore.

 

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

 

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I don't use a lot of effects. I've never had much luck, especially with a synth pedal. Honestly, I like the sound of an octave pedal with some dirt for a synth sort of sound.

 

 

Of course, Ed makes me want just about anything he demos. Surely there must be a use for this in church. :o

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I don't remember which model I had, but it was horrible and I sold it without looking back. It couldn't track worth crap, no matter how I adjusted my technique. I find it better to use Aguilar's octave pedal or envelope filter pedal, both of which track extremely well (way better than MXR e.g.) and give you a lot of control over the ratio based on your playing style.

 

I was curious for awhile to see if BOSS could improve theirs and didn't realize they were up to Rev 5 already. I think mine was Rev 2. I didn't comment at first as a result, but as others have jumped in now, I am offering my observations.

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Here I am. Sorry for the delay...I had a very busy week.

 

I'm running my SYB-3 Boss Bass Synthesizer at the same time as an MXR bass octave deluxe.

 

Settings for the SYB-3:

effect 3 o'clock

direct 9 o'clock

freq 1 o'clock

res 11 o'clock

sens 11 o'clock

mode 3

 

This pedal is extremely touch sensitive. If you don't have a consistent touch, you're never going to find a setting that works. I set it up at home and then had to reset it when I actually played it with a band.

 

I use it on funk/disco songs which had synth bass or a mixture of synth and electric bass on the original recordings, for example: songs by the The Gap Band, Rick James, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder.

 

The sound is awesome. Notice that the effect and direct settings are set so that the effect is blended in under the normal sound of my bass.

 

The SYB-5 is a newer model. I'm happy with my pedal, so I haven't tried it.

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Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. Jeremy since I am apparently copying your pedal choices (I got the MXR Octave last year at BPL), I will try that setup. It seems like I've been having trouble getting the synth to trigger unless I really dig in, which doesn't seem right, so hopefully this will help.

 

When I did the research the SYB-3 seemed to get better reviews than the newer SYB-5. I think they got rid of a couple of settings or something on the newer one?

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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Honestly, I like the sound of an octave pedal with some dirt for a synth sort of sound.

Surely there must be a use for this in church. :o

Yes there is! I've been using the MXR Octave, sometimes with my volume pedal for swells, on "Oceans" by Hillsong. I don't keep it on the whole song but I think it really fills out some sections. And yesterday I blended in a little fuzz from the EH Bass Big Muff also, got a very nice tone.

 

The worship leader laughs at my pedal stomping, but he does like the way it sounds. ;)

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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Not sure how grit or synth would be viewed at church. Not that it's a bunch of snooty old people for anything. The WL is 12 years younger than me. I just think the guitar and key guys use enough effects for all of us. I try to keep it solid for a good foundation.
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FWIW, the SYB-3 is older than the SYB-5. The SYB-5 tracks somewhat better than the SYB-3, but it doesn't have the "Touch-Wah" effect (think Envelope Filter) that the SYB-3 had. The other big difference is that the SYB-5 has a Vibrato/Modulation effect added to some of the synth settings, #3 and #6.

 

Unlike the Ibanez or Digitech Bass Synth pedals, which are just glorified Filter effects, the SYB pedals have real Mono Synth circuits built in, thus the erratic tracking issues. You may find you get a similar, and more stable sound, using an Octave effect into an Envelope Follower. For P&W, unless your congregation is into, say, "Bootsy" Collins & Praxis, this might be an odd fit.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

 

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Exactly. That's what I said earlier re: my recommendation on the Aguilar Octave and Filter pedals. Great on 5-string basses, which most aren't, and they track perfectly with any playing style due to the design decisions they made. Neither is a synth pedal but both (independently and/or together) achieve almost the same purpose once you're in the context of a mix.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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