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Bass synth pedalboard thing

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Just musing about a basic foot switch synth for bass tones. 
I imagine a long strip pedal with 13 non-latching foot switches in the keyboard formation… and maybe a three way toggle switch on the side. This plugs straight into a bass amp and with some cunning internal electronics… you have a full bass, single-octave, sound generator… the three way switch providing Sine, Saw and Square wave forms… maybe a couple of pots providing frequency and volume settings?

 The thing is, I’m not any kind of electronics designer, or synth maker, just how difficult would a project like this end up being
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Comments

  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10925
    Depends what you expect the device to do.

    With a single oscillator, every new note abruptly ends the previous note. Gliding smoothly between two consecutive notes requires controllable Portamento rate and, more significantly, key scanning.

    The electronics to make this happen is, indeed, cunning … and expensive.

    Probably smarter to purchase a pre-owned MIDI bass pedal controller and hook it up to the synth module of your choice.

    A bass guitar amplifier may not be the best choice. The synthesizer deserves uncoloured full-range frequency sound reproduction and the absence of overdrive.
    Be seeing you.
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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    Cheers @Funkfingers ;That’s a shame... I thought I could probably use the echo unit or reverb on the amp (tc electronic tone print) to give a bit of tail to the notes... I’ve a bass amp and a monitor, so I could play with what sounds best. But it was the idea of a fairly simple noise generator to add width to a song if there’s just one guitarist... if the idea worked in a basic way, then move onto improvements.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 6933
    How about using a midi footpedal to control a synth module? You might need to chain two pedals to get a full octave, or you could use a single FCB1010 if you re-programme the bank up and down switches to note on/off. 
    Tree recycler, and guitarist with  https://www.undercoversband.com/.
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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    I wondered about something like that, but the FCB1010 would still be only 12 keys, I’d have to decide which note to leave out... (I was never convinced about F#) And it is £110 plus synth... which I was hoping to be less than £50 quid in the trial phase.
    (maybe I need to be realistic)
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  • For £50 you might be able to do something like this ...



    Same kind of thing with some scavenged organ pedals ...



    But for £127, that Doepfer looks a lot less hassle.

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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    Ok, first steps taken… I found this Yamaha organ on FB that “all lights up, but doesn’t make a sound” going for free. It has a full octave of foot pedals, so if I rob only that part, I’ve got a head start! But I’m hoping there is other useful trinkets inside that may help the build… 

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZSGrzujXdMAk5krF8
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10925
    edited October 2021
    If I recall correctly, one of the @HarrySeven ;Spring 2021 gear clearout Discussions included organ pedals and/or MIDI bass pedal controllers. I do not know which items sold and which went into storage whilst H7 moved to his new, underground, Bond villain style lair. Try sending him a PM.
    Be seeing you.
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  • HarrySevenHarrySeven Frets: 6582
    If I recall correctly, one of the @HarrySeven ;Spring 2021 gear clearout Discussions included organ pedals and/or MIDI bass pedal controllers. I do not know which items sold and which went into storage whilst H7 moved to his new, underground, Bond villain style lair. Try sending him a PM.
    Long gone, sorry! :(

    Mwahahahahahaha! <— Evil supervillain laughter.


    HarrySeven - Intangible Asset Appraiser & Wrecker of Civilisation. Searching for weird guitars - so you don't have to.
    Forum feedback thread.    |     G&B interview #1 & #2

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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 4126
    Shame you're not in my neck of the woods (Berkshire), as I've got a pedalboard off an organ which I acquired for a project which is never going to happen.
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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    Ok, I brought the none functioning Yamaha fe50 home… started to strip it… cleaned up a little and used some contact cleaner… the whole thing works no problem! So a little quandary, do I do summat with the whole beast or go ahead with my plan.

    I think I’m gonna carry on with the pedal build… so if you, or someone you know, wants some cheap organ bits… stump up for postage or come and collect.
    I’m keeping the foot keys, foot volume pedal and output amp/speakers… but there may be some handy bits!



    https://photos.app.goo.gl/NmzbenG5mrdvshfZ7
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 10925
    The FE-50 uses 4-operator FM synthesis. This is good at some sounds and weak/unconvincing at others. Thus, IMO, full refurbishment will be a lot of work for limited reward. You have nothing to lose by stripping the FE-50 for parts. 
    Be seeing you.
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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    Ok… long time no report!

    I stripped the Yammie and bought a couple of useful units… the Doepfer MPB25 bass pedal unit (link below) and the Mik Roe midi Bass synth unit. I robbed a couple of wall warts with appropriate power and threw it all together in a blaze of enthusiasm… it didn’t work… bollox!!!
     Life got in the way for a few months and apart from a few half hearted garage forays, it didn’t progress. Then, about a fortnight ago, I had an inspiration. 
    Previously, I was convinced my unskilled electronicery majik was totally lacking and I’d buggered one of the units I was using; but then I realised I could test them with a jumper wire direct to the Doepfer card connectors… low and behold, a deep moog style note resonated in the garage, AND I could play a scale! Sweet, that just means my pedal to Doepfer wiring was shite… which was a shame because I spent a long time drawing it out and being convinced it was right!!!
    It turns out that Yamaha do things different to Doepfer’s expectations and I kind of had the wiring upside down… so I took today to find that lot out and to use a knackered electronics welder to blob stuff in a totally different way!!! 
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  • DCS222DCS222 Frets: 37
    I’ve tidied up the internals and made it a single power supply; sorted the lid and connected it to my TC electronics tone control amp… so I have an unmodulated, a chorus and a flanger tone set up and I can dial a much grit as I like on the gain. The pedal has 4 octaves and a volume knob.

    Its been more about the build than anything else… but it plays fine! Just got to work out how to use it without falling over… though I doubt I’ll actually use it!

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/LpmLX9c6QBDNKCFDA
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 1133
    Excellent work.

    All you need now is a double-neck guitar for that full 'Alex Lifeson' experience! :)
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