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Thread: What is the difference between a synth bass and an electric bass ?

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    What is the difference between a synth bass and an electric bass ?

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    Hi !

    I'm a beginner in sound design and I'd like to know the differene between a synth bass and an electric bass. (I do EDM).
    If I could hear it, it would be better

    Thanks.

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    A synth bass is a synthetic bass. It's an entirely digital instrument.

    An electric bass is a stringed instrument. It's analog.

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    This is a weird question... It's so broad. Let me start from the other direction.

    An electric bass is a stringed instrument. It has metal strings (usually 4) suspended above one or more magnetic pickups. The magnets in the pickups are surrounded by wire. Vibrations in the string alter the magnetic field, which induces a current in the wire. This current is an analog signal, which is your notes. It's not data in any way; it's actual sound, which is usually amplified.

    A synth bass is any synthetic or synthesized instrument that plays in the same range as a bass guitar. It can be a device (usually a keyboard) that generates midi data. Software then converts that data into audio. It can also use samples instead of midi. In that case, usually you will have recorded an electric bass or other analog instrument, and playing the notes on your synth bass instrument will trigger those samples. You can also use a synthesizer (e.g. a Moog) as a synth bass.

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    Thanks for answering ^^^^

    I saw the question and was flummoxed, because I didn't know if I understood it correctly, or whether the OP meant something different. It seemed so obvious that I was sure he had something else in mind.

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    In addition to the explanations already provided another key factor related to synth base vs. bass guitar involves tone. Often, synth bass lines have a tonal range and texture which can be very different from the string attack of a base guitar - and often, that difference is wanted/needed, for the genres of music that normally choose synth bass (rap, hip hop, EDM, etc.)

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