TrondC wrote:Boss SYB-3
Everyone who likes that 303-sound but is on a budget should have one of theese. Given a clean, unmodulated signal, it can burst out some pretty 303-lines at 100$. It's a strange box in that it's neitheran effect box nor a synth, because you need to have it triggered by an external source. That said, this box coupled with my microkorg or MC808 sequencer sound pretty darn acidish
Now, the effects this box offers, are some strange filtering that sounds rather rubbish on most sound sources, but with drums, it's a whole other story..
I'm not gonna go on forever here, but for anyone interested in a cheap alternative to the 303, and can live with the somewhat clumsy tracking, (and thus making it even more analog-sounding) it's a very good option for 100$, and it will stay in my rig for a loooong time
BOSS SYB-3 and SYB-5 "Bass Synthesizer" review :
I - THE MACHINES
The SYB-3 is a compact pedal built for electric bass players in 1996. The SYB-5 was born in 2004. Plug a sound source with a jack into the beast, and play ! Programming a SYB is very simple : select the waveform or the filter, then adjust frequency, decay (or LFO rate) and resonance. That's all !
* 1 DSP sound generator : 3 wave forms : saw, square,
PWM, and 4 variations : saw + noise, saw - 1 octave, PWM +
noise, saw + noise - 1 octave. (the "noise" is just an
* 4 filters for external sound : wave-shape normal/reverse
and autowah normal/reverse
* frequency, resonnance and decay knobs
* 1 DSP sound generator : 5 wave forms : saw, square,
pulse 1, pulse 2, PWM, and 4 variations : saw - 1 octav.,
square - 1 octav., saw + LFO, square + LFO
* 2 filters for external sound : wave-shape normal/reverse
* frequency, resonnance and decay knobs
* the “decay” knob is also the “LFO rate” knob
Well, as you can see, the SYB-3 miss the LFO... but the SYB-5 miss the “noise” sound effect.
SYB-3 goodie :
the "noise" effect can be trigged alone, but you must experiment and search for it...
SYB-5 goodies :
the square - 1 octav. mode is a duophonic mode, the lower sound and the original sound are played simultaneously. An external pedal input jack has been added to the SYB-5 for connecting the Roland EV-5 Expression Pedal ($old $eparately), which allows you to control filter cutoff and LFO rate in real time.
With both SYB you can use the onboard pedal to hold a note while playing phrase over it.
It was built for bass players but... in fact the tracking is horrible with a bass guitar (I mean what I say, I'm a bass player too !). Better use it with a keyboard, a drum machine, a sampler : you can experiment with a genuine and simple synth module. It can be hazardous, but it's always exciting.
II - THE SOUNDS
The SAW wave can be deep and liquid, soft, thick or aggressive. The PWM is really a good one, could be the coldest wave never heard or the noisy thing you can face... and the VCF is powerfull, and will increase the output level, so carefull ! The SQUARE is a bit light and soft... and not very usefull.
The autowahs sound clear and the wave shape will evolute with the external sound level from light distortion to amazing noises.
Of course the deep bass sounds are excellents, but the SYB-3 is good for noises, laser beam, powerfull leads, percussive shots, weird sequencing... it's not an effect, it's not a toy, it's a real analog monophonic synthesizer, with its own personnality.
Enter the industrial machine... SYB-5’s sounds are aggressiv, metalic, hard, distorted. The PWM is a modulated “pulse” waveform, instead of the SYB-3’s modulated “square” waveform, so it’s very, very different... SYB-5’s PWM is the ultimate drone generator...
SYB-3’s saw is better than SYB-5’s saw, but SYB-5’s square is fatter, and the duophonic mode is a good idea. The LFO is excellent, very usefull, and the SYB-3 really miss that stuff.
The “pulse 1” sound is dreadfull... but the “pulse 2” is a “vocoder like” sound effect, cool ! There are no autowah filters, but SYB-5’s wave shape is sharper than SYB-3’s. And the “expression” input is very usefull.
The SYB-5 is also cheaper than the SYB-3, with a better tracking.
I only use BOSS SYB bass synths in real time for all my stuff... go there :
You’ll find pictures, complete tracks and sound samples.
III - SO WHAT ?
SYB-3 is an oldschool analog-like machine, SYB-5 is a thick industrial synth. Only 4 knobs each, but... thousands of sounds ! So let's try it !
OFFICIAL LINKS : Boss Corp. :