Bass of the Week: Pino Saracini’s Keyboard Bass by Huma Guitars

Huma Guitars Keybass - body

Pino Saracini is professional bassist in Italy. He’s also creative guy.

While out on tour, he typically has to play synth bass in addition to his 4-string with little time for changing between instruments. To fix the issue, he came up with the Keyboard Bass, a bass with a Korg Nonokey2 USB controller built in. After designing every detail of the bass, he had it built by Huma Guitars.

The bass itself sports a korina body, a maple neck, and a rosewood fingerboard. The pickups are custom made by Lindy Fralin, and overall Saracini describes the bass as being a mix of a Fender Jazz and a Gibson Thunderbird.

The Nanokey2 can control lots of programs and synthesizers through USB: Logic Mainstage, the Moog Slim Phatty, and the Moog Minitaur, to name a few. Beyond that, an adapter allows him to plug into his Apple iPad to use a plethora of mobile music apps.

Saracini says the dual-functioning instrument allows for some pretty interesting sounds, including doubling notes by tapping the strings with his left hand and playing the keyboard with his right hand. Of course, creativity comes from experimentation!

Huma Guitars Keyboard Bass Photo Gallery:

Huma Guitars Keyboard Bass Specs:

  • Body: Korina
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Rosewood
  • Scale: 34?
  • Frets: 20
  • Pickups: Lindy Fralin Custom
  • Keyboard: Korg Nanokey2 USB Controller

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Share your thoughts

  1. Jeebus that is Cool. I’m missing the ‘to order send X amount of Lira HERE’ part!

  2. Problem therefore solution, very clever and neatly done.

  3. …” tapping the strings with his left hand and playing the keyboard with his right hand”.. I do this on a regular basis with a Yamaha Motif Keyboard and a Jazz.. works great for synth, organ, and horn parts!

  4. I’d love to see some video of this bad boy in action.

  5. I had exactly the same idea a few months ago, when I joined a E-Rock band! But couldn’t put it in practice coz I don’t have a nanokey yet. And in fact, my idea wasn’t about “embedding” a nanokey in a bass, but mounting it with some kind of velcro, or double-sided tape.

  6. I’d like to point this out. I’ve talked with this guy and I he’s been developing the Keybass for quite some time. not saying Pino is stealing, it’s obviously an idea that’s been floating around for some time, but maybe this guy deserves some credit too?

  7. Geddy Lee plays bass and keys and didn’t have to have something this…. retarded… made. If this bass were a book character it would be Lenny from of mice and men.

  8. I started doing this a few months ago. However, I used velcro to attach a Nanopad (not a nanokey) to my bass. I have it programmed for chord stabs and triggering samples. Have at the top of the bass though, this allows me to play chords with the right thumb while finger picking the bass. I think this is a better idea than mine, because mine is kinda limited, but I can always get a nanokey later to try it out. To all the guys that are dissing it, try it first before you piss on it, you might find a new way to express yourself musically, and that’s always good.

  9. I work in a music shop and am constantly asked about bass synth effects. I patiently explain that they exist but none of them work well at all. The customers then either demo them or buy them and are underwhelmed. Finally someone has solved the problem of how to make a a bass sound like a keyboard, by putting a keyboard ON a bass. Good work….

  10. volevo farlo anche io e mi sono preso una nano key solo che volevo attaccarla con il velcro.

  11. Also.this is a spin-off of axeboard.

  12. Yes Min Danny Smith.but there are others even more obvious. If you Google my name it will lead you to my patents .it’s open to the public now. But don’t front.