In the mid-90's, electronic music manufacturer Akai Professional took a detour from their typical product offerings of samplers & workstations and released a series of dedicated effect pedals for Guitar & Bass.
Among these pedals was a ruby-colored gem called the SB-1 Deep Impact – designed for use with Bass Guitar, the Deep Impact contained a variety of fat, funky Synth-Bass sound presets that were user-tweakable and - more importantly – infinitely usable in a variety of musical settings.
While the Deep Impact failed to make an immediate impression, the aftershock continued to rumble long after the pedal was discontinued. Many high-profile Pros swore by the D.I. as their "go-to" box for creating fat, analog-esque Synth sounds with their Bass Guitars. Notable Deep Impact users include Mike Gordon of Phish, Paul Taylor of Jamiroquai, and Chris Wolstenholme of Muse.
The rarity and functionality of the Deep Impact coupled with these posthumous celebrity endorsements soon pushed prices on the vintage market well up near the $1000 mark.
Fortunately, Panda MIDI has resurrected the sounds and spirit of the Deep Impact in an all-new pedal that is more powerful, more feature-laden and yet costs less – introducing the Future Impact Mk. I!
The Future Impact circuit combines large effect processing blocks (see the algorithm block diagrams at the bottom of this page), with an extensive set of synthesizer blocks (oscillators, filters, and envelope generators) to create classic Moog-type monophonic synthesizer sounds with their characteristic fat low-end. The effect processing and synthesizing architectures complement each other in very flexible ways.
Although voiced the same, the hardware and the software of the Future Impact bears no relationship to the hardware and software of the Deep Impact. While the Deep Impact was based on 20th century technology, the Future Impact incorporates state-of-the-art processing that can perform operations more than one hundred times faster than its predecessor. This truly marks it as a Bass pedal for the 21st century.
In spite of the huge processing power the device only draws 70mA from a standard 9V stabilized supply (PA-9 Power-All recommended).
While the Deep Impact only had 9 non-programmable preset sounds (just the major parameters could be edited on stage), the Future Impact I. has 99 program slots that are fully programmable with the desktop PC editor. As a bonus, all major parameters are still user-editable in real time, just like the original!
MPN: Future Impact
- Differences between Future Impact and Deep Impact:
- The Deep Impact uses 4 sawtooth oscillators, running at 32 kHz (very distorted, greasy sound in higher pitch range); the FI I. uses 4 multi-waveform oscillators running at 512 kHz, thus generating extremely clean signal. The oscillators have saw, triangle, and square wave signals that can be mixed specifically for each oscillator individually. The square wave signal has adjustable pulse width with a separate LFO for each oscillator to modulate the pulsewidth, generating a warm, lively sound. The each of the saw oscillators have a decay envelope so each oscillator can produce an individually changing dynamic waveform. On top of that, a unique feature of FI I. is foldover distortion that can be applied on each oscillator separately, which can produce sounds with incredibly rich overtones.
- The filter can be 12 dB/oct or 24 dB/oct and emulates the classic Mini-type filter.
- An effect section is included with time modulation effects.
- While the distortion effect on the Deep Impact runs at a 32 kHz sampling rate, the FI I. runs at 128 kHz, giving a much cleaner distortion, free of any digital artifacts.
- Unlike the Deep Impact, the Future Impact is now equipped with MIDI IN and MIDI OUT!
More goodies to notice:
- Any of the 90 user programs can be edited on the desktop computer editor (Windows and Mac OS X versions are available). Programs can be saved, loaded and archived on your computer through the MIDI connectors. Free library software will be downloadable from our web page, as well as a sound program sharing service for the user community.
- Any software updates can be uploaded into the FI through the MIDI IN. While the FI contains all the basic features listed here at the time of the product launch, software updates will be not only bugfixes, but new features will be implemented, partly on requests and ideas of users. These updates will be free of charge for all registered FI owners.
- Since FI includes a full featured analog modeling synthesizer, it is possible to use it as a monophonic synthesizer module, driving it from a keyboard controller or a computer through the MIDI IN.
"The best Bass Synthesizer pedal hands up or down. The Future Impact, Built to Blast! Now, where'd u get yr Funk from? Bootsy baby!!!"
- Bootsy Collins, legendary bass player who pumped the funk side by side with James Brown, Snoop Dogg, Fatboy Slim has received his unit and he is delighted a bit. As you can see.
"The pedal is just as good as the original, which is what as I was hoping for. The new presets and bank space are a bonus too."
- Chris Wolstenholme, bass player of Muse is one of the first artists to use the Future Impact.
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