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  • Bass on keys

    We've had a (lot of) problems keeping a bass player in our group.



    Consequently, I've spent a lot of time playing both keys and bass. I have a Yamaha S90ES. I've been splitting the keyboard into a key/synth voice on top and a bass on the lower 40% of the keys. However, this requires that I preset all the possible keys voice requirements along with appropriate bass voicings. It prevents me from throwing in a new voice on the run.



    Long story short, any recommendations on how to solve this? I've thought about (a) buying a used Rhodes bass keyboard and becoming the next Ray Manzarek (I wish), (b) getting something like a Novation midi and tuning it down to just the bass sounds, (c) getting a cheap second keyboard to use for just the bass parts.



    I don't need much bass-wise, with the kind of music we do. Just a good 1-2 standup bass voices, and 1-2 electric bass voices.



    Any ideas would be appreciated.



    I'm generally a techno-noob, so simplicity would be helpful.



    Thanks!

  • #2
    Get a small 2nd keyboard, not an old Rhodes key bass. Some kind of rompler like a MOX6, then you'd have a variety of bass sounds and the ability to tweak them to your taste. There are a lot of lower priced boards out there that could cover bass but with the MOX6 you'd be familiar with the operating system since it's another Yamaha.
    My Live Gear: Roland FA-08, Hammond SK1-73, Moog LP
    My Band: http://www.bksband.com

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    • #3
      Just sequence all your bass parts into an old TB-303 . After all, that's what they were originally designed for.

      Comment


      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Old Dirt
        View Post

        However, this requires that I preset all the possible keys voice requirements along with appropriate bass voicings. It prevents me from throwing in a new voice on the run.




        The solution on the MOX -- which may be similar to something you can do on the S90ES -- is to set up a user bank that has one-button access to your 16 favorite right-hand sounds. Create a patch that has your bass sound where you want it on the left, but while playing, leave it in the EDIT mode, the one where you can use the 16 buttons (along with other ways) to select the sound that you're assigning somewhere. Then you can keep playing the LH, but instantly switch your RH on the fly to any of those 16 sounds.



        A second keyboard, of course, frees up the entire S90ES range, so you no longer would have to worry about "running out of keys" if you wanted to play a sound over more notes than what you have left after creating the bass split. The second keyboard could have its own sounds in it, but it doesn't have to, since you can also use MIDI to trigger an S90ES bass sound from a second controller while leaving its own 88 keys fully available to whatever sound(s) you assign to it.



        For bass alone, I find a 37-note board is fine. Though depending on your keyboard stand, you may want something with more keys, because you may find that some boards are too narrow to work on the top tier of a stand that is set wide enough to support an 88.



        Also, you may find other benefits to the second board... like being able to play organ sounds from an unweighted action instead of the weighted action of the S90ES.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys. I'll check out the MOX and the TB-303. Knew I could count on you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Before you start researching, I was actually joking about the 303. It's quite terrible at making a convincing natural bassline. That IS what it was designed for but people found it much better at creating synthetic squelchy bass noises for the techno genre. I was making a sort of inside joke for synth nerds. Sorry if I caused confusion.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also, as you'll see on this thread, Yamaha is coming out with new basic keyboards with 1,000 ES sounds in 49- and 61-key versions. Or a used MO6 or MM6 would also serve the purpose.



              As someone who has played a ton of keyboard bass, having the bass keyboard raised on another tier can be tiring on the left arm. You may want to try having both keyboards at the same height, but in some kind of angled "L" formation - whatever is comfortable if you standing or sitting. Or having the second keyboard just above the other and skewed to the left.... whatever works.
              -------------------------------
              Michael
              Jupiter-50, MOX6, TI Polar, Moog LP, Korg Micro X, JV-1080
              27" iMac, DP 7.24, Omnisphere, Alchemy, many more...
              http://www.youtube.com/keybdwizrd

              Comment


              • #8






                Quote Originally Posted by plaid_emu
                View Post

                Before you start researching, I was actually joking about the 303. It's quite terrible at making a convincing natural bassline. That IS what it was designed for but people found it much better at creating synthetic squelchy bass noises for the techno genre. I was making a sort of inside joke for synth nerds. Sorry if I caused confusion.




                You rascal. I did look at the 303. Five minutes of my life I'll never get back.

                Comment


                • #9






                  Quote Originally Posted by keybdwizrd
                  View Post

                  Also, as you'll see on this thread, Yamaha is coming out with new basic keyboards with 1,000 ES sounds in 49- and 61-key versions. Or a used MO6 or MM6 would also serve the purpose.



                  As someone who has played a ton of keyboard bass, having the bass keyboard raised on another tier can be tiring on the left arm. You may want to try having both keyboards at the same height, but in some kind of angled "L" formation - whatever is comfortable if you standing or sitting. Or having the second keyboard just above the other and skewed to the left.... whatever works.




                  Thanks, I'll check those out. Good point about the raised bass, too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a standing player, I've had no problem playing bass on a 2nd tier board. I won't do it on a 3rd tier again, though!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Apparently, your current keyboard is fine in terms of key range and action. What you don't like is the fact that you don't want to deal with patch change affecting the left split. But I don't see why you need a second keyboard. A more portable option is just to get a rackmount module connected to the S90 MIDI out. Get a module that allows you to set it to ignore Program Change messages. Most of the newer ones do. (Or alternately maybe you can set the S90 to not transmit program changes). Turn off the left split internal patch on the S90 (or 0 its volume) so that the S90 left split doesn't play any internal sound -- it only MIDI controls the module. You may also need to set the right and left splits to different MIDI channels, or set the right split to not transmit MIDI at all, so that the module doesn't also play your right hand part. Or maybe set the module's bass patch to play only a certain note range -- most do that as well.



                      The s90's Master mode will let you set a left/right split with the right playing an internal part only (TGswitch is on for the zone, and MIDIswitch is off) and the left playing only a MIDI module (TGswitch is off for the zone, and MIDIswitch is on). Furthermore, by turning off Bank MIDI and PC MIDI (page 174 in your manual) for the left zone, your S90 won't change the module's patch. So you can get any small box that has a bass sound you like, attach to the S90 MIDI Out, and you're good to go.



                      P.S. I'd also turn off all the other settings (page 174) for the left split.



                      =======================================



                      Hold on! There are also Bank TG and PC TG settings. These control changing the internal patch. What happens if you turn them off for the left zone (in several Master mode setups), and then switch among those setups? This may achieve exactly what you want.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't think an external module solves any issue here, I think the keyboard's ability to manage either side of a split independently is equal regardless of whether the sounds are internal or external. But building off that idea, assuming the S90ES can operate as a multi-zone controller and as a multi-timbral sound source, yet another approach could be to turn Local Off, connect MIDI OUT to MIDI IN, and create a patch where the lower part of the keyboard transmits on Channel 1 and the upper on Channel 2... set Channel 1 for your bass sound, and use the front panel to select your Channel 2 sounds on the fly as you play. Though really, I think that can likely be done just as well without the LOCAL OFF and MIDI cable parts, because you should be able to do the same kind of assignments completely internally. As I said it my first message posted above, I've basically done that on my MOX, and I think the same idea would probably work on an S90ES (and there may be more than one way to do it).

                        Comment


                        • #13






                          Quote Originally Posted by AnotherScott
                          View Post

                          I don't think an external module solves any issue here, I think the keyboard's ability to manage either side of a split independently is equal regardless of whether the sounds are internal or external. But building off that idea, assuming the S90ES can operate as a multi-zone controller and as a multi-timbral sound source, yet another approach could be to turn Local Off, connect MIDI OUT to MIDI IN, and create a patch where the lower part of the keyboard transmits on Channel 1 and the upper on Channel 2... set Channel 1 for your bass sound, and use the front panel to select your Channel 2 sounds on the fly as you play. Though really, I think that can likely be done just as well without the LOCAL OFF and MIDI cable parts, because you should be able to do the same kind of assignments completely internally. As I said it my first message posted above, I've basically done that on my MOX, and I think the same idea would probably work on an S90ES (and there may be more than one way to do it).










                          Quote Originally Posted by j_e_f_f_g
                          View Post

                          Apparently, your current keyboard is fine in terms of key range and action. What you don't like is the fact that you don't want to deal with patch change affecting the left split. But I don't see why you need a second keyboard. A more portable option is just to get a rackmount module connected to the S90 MIDI out. Get a module that allows you to set it to ignore Program Change messages. Most of the newer ones do. (Or alternately maybe you can set the S90 to not transmit program changes). Turn off the left split internal patch on the S90 (or 0 its volume) so that the S90 left split doesn't play any internal sound -- it only MIDI controls the module. You may also need to set the right and left splits to different MIDI channels, or set the right split to not transmit MIDI at all, so that the module doesn't also play your right hand part. Or maybe set the module's bass patch to play only a certain note range -- most do that as well.



                          The s90's Master mode will let you set a left/right split with the right playing an internal part only (TGswitch is on for the zone, and MIDIswitch is off) and the left playing only a MIDI module (TGswitch is off for the zone, and MIDIswitch is on). Furthermore, by turning off Bank MIDI and PC MIDI (page 174 in your manual) for the left zone, your S90 won't change the module's patch. So you can get any small box that has a bass sound you like, attach to the S90 MIDI Out, and you're good to go.



                          P.S. I'd also turn off all the other settings (page 174) for the left split.



                          =======================================



                          Hold on! There are also Bank TG and PC TG settings. These control changing the internal patch. What happens if you turn them off for the left zone (in several Master mode setups), and then switch among those setups? This may achieve exactly what you want.




                          Thanks guys. I'm going to have to sit down at my S90 and see what I can do with both these suggestions. As I mentioned, I'm pretty much a tech-noob here so it'll take me awhile. I hope there's not a test!!



                          I know, I'll get my son to help!



                          But seriously, thanks for taking the time to provide all this feedback!

                          Comment


                          • #14






                            Quote Originally Posted by Old Dirt
                            View Post

                            We've had a (lot of) problems keeping a bass player in our group.



                            Consequently, I've spent a lot of time playing both keys and bass. I have a Yamaha S90ES. I've been splitting the keyboard into a key/synth voice on top and a bass on the lower 40% of the keys. However, this requires that I preset all the possible keys voice requirements along with appropriate bass voicings. It prevents me from throwing in a new voice on the run.



                            Long story short, any recommendations on how to solve this? I've thought about (a) buying a used Rhodes bass keyboard and becoming the next Ray Manzarek (I wish), (b) getting something like a Novation midi and tuning it down to just the bass sounds, (c) getting a cheap second keyboard to use for just the bass parts.



                            I don't need much bass-wise, with the kind of music we do. Just a good 1-2 standup bass voices, and 1-2 electric bass voices.



                            Any ideas would be appreciated.



                            I'm generally a techno-noob, so simplicity would be helpful.



                            Thanks!




                            the second small board is how a buddy of mine does it. That said, I think i would also take a look at why you cant keep a bass player. It could be as simple as busy left hand syndrome on the part of your keyboard player. Bass players hate that ****************.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park&quot;</div><br>

                            Comment


                            • #15





                              It could be as simple as busy left hand syndrome on the part of your keyboard player. Bass players hate that ****************.



                              Word. A lot of my comping uses only one finger on the left hand, and it's usually within a 4th of middle C. And a lot of it uses no left hand at all.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer">--<br><br>Hammond: BC, M3, Split L111, L122 / Leslie: 51, 760 / Yamaha: DGX-620, PF-85<br><br>Follow my new band, <a href="http://DrBombay.ca/connect.html" target="_blank">Dr. Bombay</a>! We're going to be organasmic!</div>

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