Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

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Kenny Ames
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Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Thu Aug 04, 2022 3:21 am

Brand new to this forum.

Im 55yrs old and have played bass professionally all my life. Been an artist, backed up many and have toured extensively (62 countries). When it comes to basses and bass gear, I know it inside and out.

Not so with synths. :-)

Recently joined a weekend band to stay close to home and spend time with the family. 9 piece horn R&B band.
Lots of older cool songs and some newer stuff where I'll be playing about 20% of the show on a bass synth. The band currently has a Little Phatty Stage II.

Currently looking for something that nails the sounds. Tone, tone, tone. All about great bass tone. Features are secondary.

Having said that, Im looking at e Sub Phatty 25 or a Subsequent 25. Fairly new at the keys so dont know if it's worth the effort in getting a Subsequent 37. Sticking to playing bass lines.

Can the Subsequent 37 do all that the Subsequent 25 can do or vice versa? Looking for the ultimate bass machine. Would love to stay 1K or under.

Many thanks in advance!!!
Last edited by Kenny Ames on Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by stiiiiiiive » Thu Aug 04, 2022 6:29 pm

Hi Kenny, welcome to the forum and to the wonderful synth world :)

I'm a selftaught keyboard player and I've played bass lines in a rock-electro band for years with a... Little Phatty: great synth, my synth of choice for live as it has that tone and not too much functions to get lost in.

When I couldn't bring my LP at my firend's for rehearsal, I used his Sub Phatty. My opinion in few points:
- I prefer 3-octave to 2-octave keybeds -but I am a keyboardist, plus you can play with the "transpose" buttons very easily: fun trick.
- I like the LP sound better than the Sub sound -but honestly, if you haven't played any Moog already, you may find they sound very similar
- The Sub offers a bit more than the LP in terms of modulations, but less presets (16 vs 99, which is nonetheless enough for a bass synth, to me)... trade-off.
- Both are easy to program but a different ways: the LP has only 4 knobs (but the edition is a piece of cake) and has some menus for advanced parameters, that you can dive in only once a while; the SP is one-function-one-knob and has no screen so some advanced parameters are to be edited through buttons/key combinations (a cheat sheet does exist). Again, trade-off.

When it comes to the younger Sub/Subsequent line:
- The Subsequent 25 should be seen as a Sub Patty ++ rather than as a budget Subsequent 37: they certainly sound very, very similar but the later offers much more in terms of functions.
- If you go 2 octaves and don't care about duophony, filter feedback or having amore recent synth, a Sub Phatty will allow you to spare some money.

As far as price goes, in EU at this moment, LP go for 700-800 euros, Sub Phatties for 500-650 euros, Subsequent 25 is less than 1K new and Subsequent 37/Sub 37 sell for around 1-1.3k.

Another point worth mentionning if you carry your synth around: the 3 octave keyboards weigh more or less 22lb/10 kg while the 2 octave ones weigh 16.5lb/7.5kg.

FInally, I don't feel 100% comfortable with that but I'm very curious about the Novation Bass Station 2: I read (only read) it's a great synth for few bucks.

Keep us tuned about your choice and first impressions!

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:09 am

Man, thank you SO much for spending the time to respond so thoroughly to my inquiries.

You brought up a lot of good points.

Im leaning towards the Subsequent 25. I like the smaller footprint and as Im just using it to cop synth bass lines the 37 would be lost on me. At least for now. :-)

I've yet to try one. Fortunately, I live in Nashville and there are plenty of pro shops here.

Having woodshed on the Little Phatty (it's the bandleaders but he's looking to retire it to back up status), Im hoping the sounds are comparable. Like the idea of a newer model as I might get more life out of it. Then again, I may miss the feel of 3 octaves.

Not needing a ton of presets. Sixteen would be more than enough. Like to keep things simple.

Lastly, I keep hearing great things regarding the Novation Bass Station 2. Have a friend locally that has owned the Subsequent 25 and 37. He prefers the Novation. WAY cheaper. Im fine with spending what is necessary to get the best tone. However, I've learned in the bass world, that the best and the most expensive arent often the same. At least to my ears. Have some free time midweek next week to go tire kicking and see how things stand up. Enjoyed playing a Sub 37 recently, but agian, think that would be over kill at this point.

Again, thank you for sharing your input.

You and it are greatly appreciated!

-Kenny

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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by stiiiiiiive » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:41 am

You're most welcome Kenny, glad to help!

I feel just as you that a Subsequent 37 would be overkill, provided what you shared.
Don't worry about the Subsequent 25: I'm quite confident you will enjoy it as much as the LP.
Kenny Ames wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:09 am Have a friend locally that has owned the Subsequent 25 and 37. He prefers the Novation. WAY cheaper.
...and way lighter! :)
Kenny Ames wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:09 am Im fine with spending what is necessary to get the best tone. However, I've learned in the bass world, that the best and the most expensive arent often the same. At least to my ears.
Words of wisdom. Just as you said: go try them, your own ears and experience won't lie!

MrChumley
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by MrChumley » Fri Aug 05, 2022 3:28 pm

I've got a Subsequent 25 and a Bass Station 2. Soundwise there is virtually nothing between them, but to my mind the Moog has a nicer key action; the Novation is a bit on the plasticky side, probably because it's aimed more at studio use. As you say though, it's much cheaper (less than half the price in the UK) and around a third of the weight (2.5kg).

It also has more presets and arguably some more esoteric features, but it doesn't sound like either of those would be relevant to you.

It might also be worth noting that the Moog has a great editor which makes programming your presets a lot easier. I've still to find a decent one for the Bass Station.

Last but not least, the Moog will look damn cool when you're stood behind it. Not sure the same is true of the Bass Station.

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Fri Aug 05, 2022 7:19 pm

Hehe. Point taken.

I dont anyone will ever get laid digging into a Basestation. However, the Moog....

Then again, at 55 and very happily married, that's not a factor. :-)

The weight and price are factors. The money being less an issue. Not that Im made of it, but Im going for the best tone/sound and if I've to pay double to be slightly better, than so be it.

Really appreciate your input. Leaning towards the Moog, but should have hands on experience come next week.

Again, thank you for your time and thoughts!

Appreciated!

MrChumley
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by MrChumley » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:00 pm

Thanks, you're welcome. Whatever your choice, you will have a very nice mono synth. And if you can't decide, do what I do - buy both :D

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Fri Aug 05, 2022 8:20 pm

Ha!

While I’m good with that, my better half would kill me. 🙂

Thanks again!

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Mon Aug 08, 2022 9:22 pm

Question: If I end up getting a Subsequent 25 would I be able to import 10 or so patches from the Little Phatty??

Thanks again for your input!!!

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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by stiiiiiiive » Tue Aug 09, 2022 9:11 am

No sir, you won't.

But no doubt you will be able to recreate them quickly.
If the LP's dad can attend a session with his synth, you can start with a parameter value match on both instruments and fine tune by ears.

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Tue Aug 09, 2022 12:24 pm

10-4.

Thanks again!!

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:36 am

I really appreciate everyone’s patience and time.

One more question:

If I got the Minitaur and a midi controller could I save patches to the controller and call them up in a live setting?

Was able to play a Novation Bass Station II. Have not played a Subsequent 25. Thought the BS II was pretty impressive for the coin. But while it’s called a Bass Station, to my ears that was its weakest function. And that’s what I’m looking for. Thought the Little Phatty II was stronger in that department.

So, I guess it’s definitely a Moog.
Listened to a YouTube video of the Minitaur and was impressed.

So, probably down to a Minitaur or the Subsequent 25.

But if with Minitaur I CANT save presets, then it’s the Subsequent 25.


Again, appreciate all the great information and time from you guys.

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stiiiiiiive
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by stiiiiiiive » Thu Aug 11, 2022 2:52 am

Thanks for sharing your impressions on that Bass Station; I very quickly tested it once in a store, but had no time to dive into it.

The Minitaur certainly is talented for bass sounds. You definitely CAN save patches on the unit itself; i.e. without the dedicated software editor/librarian. Preset selection can be performed through MIDI or on the unit itself. In the later case though, it's done by cycling through presets with no indication of where you currently are.

You can consult the Minitaur manual, especially the section titled MOOG MINITAUR FIRMWARE v2.1 ADDENDUM.

Kenny Ames
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by Kenny Ames » Thu Aug 11, 2022 11:38 am

Can’t begin to thank you enough.

Fun and humbling experience to be learning a new instrument at this point after spending my entire life and career on the bass.

Having a blast having to learn to give myself grace that I’m not as proficient on the synth as I am on the bass guitar. A lot of things transfer.

Love how theoretically the keyboard is laid out in a far more logical sense the the bass. Makes comprehension a lot easier. Just wanting my physicality to catch up. 🙂

Anyway, again, THANK YOU!

MrChumley
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Re: Help me determine which to get! Thanks!!

Post by MrChumley » Thu Aug 11, 2022 1:52 pm

I'm a bit surprised you couldn't get any bass out of the BS2 - mine goes very low! I would definitely have another go before you discount it. Maybe drop the resonance and the overdrive a bit as they tend to take some of the bottom end out. The Subsequent 25 is the same IMHO.

The Minitaur plus midi keyboard is an interesting idea. It gets you over the 2 octave limit, which can be frustrating. I find a lot of bass patches are only really effective across a 2 octave range, but C to C isn't usually it. Stating the obvious, don't sacrifice the quality of the action.

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