A new paradigm in sampled electric basses
The BBassV Electric Bass comes after several years of R&D at our headquarters and we think it sets a new benchmark in terms of playability and sound.
This virtual instrument is derived from a Yamaha BB415 5-string electric bass, one of the few "non-classics" instruments which we find has tons of character.
This independent review by Tracks In The Box is just in, enjoy!
This is a selection of audio demos for the BBassV created by some of our testers and friends. For more info on the demos, please go to our Soundcloud page.
We take care of the hard work, you can just play
The concept behind the BBassV is to make playing a bass line via a MIDI keyboard simple again. Gone are the days when we needed to learn by heart tons of key-switches to craft a convincing track. With all of this left brain data we constantly run the risk of losing creativity and musicality in the process.
Three main articulations
The only three available key-switches allow you to switch on the fly between Fingered (C0 via MIDI), Mute (D0) and Harmonics (E0).
Three playing and programming styles
BBassV sports three main Playback behaviours: Poly, which gives you the chance to easily play polyphonic bass lines; Mono, where each note triggers full sustain samples with intellingent auto-fretting and Legato, which enables our advanced legato and slide engine.
Slip Slidin' Away
The Slide engine is the door to the life-like slide-to articulation: just play on the MIDI keyboard with two consecutive notes spread more than 3 semitones and making the second overlap the first and the magic happens. This articulation works at any BPM and you can even switch between two different BPM-synced durations via Velocity. Pressing the Sustain Pedal will make, by default, all overlapping notes play with a Slide technique, regardless of interval. This setting can be reversed and applied to the Legato technique if one wants to.
Don't Fret Over It
In 2006 we designed the first Kontakt script to allow the first-ever user-managed virtual-fretting and position change on a sampled bass. This was the Mock Bass (now discontinued). Now, 9 years later, we're upping the ante with our own Intelligent Auto-Fretting technology.
Fretting* is often overlooked, but it's one of the main reasons the same bass can sound very different when played by different players. And it goes a long way into making the BBassV even more life-like.
The Fret No. Knob when turned clockwise will enable one of 15 fretting algorithms we designed, derived from analyzing the fretting styles of different bass players.
Funk 1 - 2: most of the movement is across the neck (so, in position). Funk 2 moves a bit more along the neck.
Pop 1 - 2: the Pop players tend to move a bit more, especially when moving in close intervals to keep a consistent tone. Pop 2, again is more dynamic along the neck.
Jazz 1 - 2: the Jazz players are fond of the first position, but will easily move up on the neck when need to play larger intervals or to approach solo lines. Jazz 2 likes to move more.
Walking 1 - 2: Walking players will travel a lot along the neck when playing close intervals, and keep position when playing medium-distance intervals. Walking 2 is a mover.
Rock 1 - 2 - Lo: these players like to move a lot along the neck on lower strings to keep a fat and constant tone. Rock Lo tries to use the first 2/3 strings as much as it can.
8va 1 - 2 - Country - 5ths: these players are at home when you want those lines where you jump in octaves, fifths and fourths.
Some of this players can also sense the beginning of a new bar and reset their position accordingly or you can reset the position at anytime pressing C#0.
* the fretting technique is the way a bass player moves his hand along and across the bass neck and how he selects were to play notes which can be found in multiple places on the bass)
A Dynamic Quartet
The Dynamics Diagram and editor will allow to switch On and Off any of the 4 sampled Sustain Dynamics + Ghost notes and set the Velocity values switching between these.
No more losing control of an instrument a too-dynamic for the need of the moment or better emulate some playing styles where some dynamics are hardly ever touched (think heavy metal or jazz in regards to the piano or fortissimo dynamics)
Also tune the response of any MIDI keyboard using the Velocity Curve knob.
EFXs, Mics and Cabinets
The EFX section has been tailored to the needs of the electric bass and made simpler and more effective (pun intended) at the same time. This is for quick and dirty tone-mangling, like the one a bass player would do with his own amps and pedals. Simple and powerful.
Compressor and Distotion pedals are followed by an Amp Emulator (use it to get crunchy!), the custom IR Cabinet section (see below), a 3-Band EQ explicitly fine-tuned for bass-heavy signals, a modulation section with a choice of Chorus, Phaser or Flanger and a Delay section (and yes... we chose not to have BPM sync to keep it old-style!).
The Cab section shines with 172 custom cabinet + mic combination IRs we created on purpose for this instrument, using top of the shelf cabinets and mics placed in a pro studio with Neve, API and SSL mic preamps and EQs.
5 Cabinets, up to 8 microphones and up to 7 positions combined.
Ampeg 6 x 10"
Ashdown 1 x 15"
Ashdown 2 x 10"
Hartke 4 x 10"
Mesa Boogie 4 x 10"
MICROPHONES (and positions)
AKG D112: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Audix D6: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Electro-Voice RE-20: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Heil Sound PR48: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Neumann U87Ai: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away, far cardiod, far omni
Sennheiser MD421: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Shure Beta52A: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
Sontronics DM1-B condenser: on axis, off axis (2 versions on the 15" cab), 45 degrees, 12 inches away
We added an Help page to the BBassV Kontakt NKI so that everything you might need is readily available without the need to look for the manual (who reads manuals anyway?).
In the same section, you'll find a Preferences panel, useful to determine some default behaviors when changing preset and regarding playback modes.
- this Instrument requires the FULL RETAIL VERSION OF KONTAKT 5.5.2 or higher, the free Kontakt Player will run this Instrument in demo mode ONLY for a few minutes.
- this Instrument may be acquired only in downloadable format, download size is about 1 Gigabyte, so expect longer download times on slower connections
964 MB (lossless compressed) library size, 6517 samples
Samples are looped after roughly 6 seconds to save on RAM
4 sustaining dynamic layers, chromatically sampled
4 round robins for each note/dynamic
all 5 Strings sampled in their length
8 release trails layers for each note/string
Fingered, Fingered Mute and Harmonics main articulations
sampled with a Millennia DI preamps fed direct into Apogee converters
ease of use thanks to our custom advanced scripting
recorded at 24 bit / 96 KHz, released at 24 bit / 44.1 KHz
easy-to-use effects section for extreme sound-mangling
Kontakt engine features
custom User Interface
velocity curve management
intelligent auto-fretting algorithms developed in-house, emulate different bass players' way of playing
manual fretting for advanced users
advanced legato and slide-to technology allows for slides of any duration and interval, controllable with your playing
custom vibrato, modeled after real bassists' vibratos
effects section specially tuned for bass instruments
no need to learn tons fo key-switches thanks to well-tought-out user interface design choices
172 custom cabinet + mic combinations IRs for maximum tonal realism
26 factory presets
works as stand-alone, AAX, RTAS, AU and VST for Mac and PC
2 GB Ram (more if in need of loading more sample sets)
Core2Duo or equivalent Mac or PC
Kontakt Retail Version: v. 5.4.3 or newer