Announced in October, IK Multimedia has now released MODO BASS, which they describe as the new breakthrough physical modelling technology that brings a completely new level of realism and playability to the world of virtual bass instruments. Here's the story in their own words...
MODO BASS is a customisable physically modelled virtual bass instrument that recreates the sound of the electric bass and how it's played in real time - from all of the physical instrument components, the human technique of how the instrument is played, to the entire sound signal chain with effects and amplifiers.
Unlike traditional sample-based virtual instruments, MODO BASS utilises modal synthesis technology and an ultra-optimised sound engine to model each string as a nonlinear resonator - the string's acoustic behaviour is determined by its physical parameters as well as by the interaction of the string with fretboard, body and pick-ups of the instrument. The action of the player is then modelled as a nonlinear physical interaction with specific areas on the string surface. Then using IK's cutting edge analog modelling expertise, the amp and effects rig of the electric bass is added to the sound chain. This gives MODO BASS the ability to create hyper-realistic sound in real time.
Every electric bass sound imaginable
MODO BASS contains a collection of 12 physically modelled iconic electric basses that span the history of bass sound in recorded music - more bass models than available in most other virtual instruments. Models include "60s P-Bass" based on an Alder body 60s era Fender Precision Bass®, "70's P-Bass" based on an Ash body Fender Precision Bass®, "70's J-Bass" based on an Alder body Fender Jazz Bass®; "Modern J-Bass" based on an Ash body Fender Jazz Bass®, "Devil Bass" based on Gibson® EB-0; "Bass Man 5" based on Music Man® StingRay 5-string; "Rick n' Bass" based on Rickenbacker® 4003; "Studio Bass" based on Yamaha® RB5; "Violin Bass" based on a Hofner® Violin Bass, "Thunder Bass" based on a Gibson® Thunderbird, "Japan Bass" based on an Ibanez® Soundgear, and "Flame Bass" based on Warwick® Streamer.
Every detail of each bass has been meticulously analysed and modelled to capture their true sonic character; the shape and type, the wood used for the body and neck construction, the hardware components, the original onboard electronics and controls - every aspect and detail has been recreated to provide the highest degree of authenticity of the original instrument. But the sounds available with MODO BASS extend far beyond the 12 modelled basses - with the available customisation features, users can craft virtually every electric bass sound imaginable. MODO BASS is able to produce an unmatched and unlimited palette of bass sounds because everything can be customised.
Pluck, Slap or Pick - modelled playing styles
Once the bass has been selected, players can choose from 3 playing styles - pluck, slap or pick - and control parameters of each style and how they influence the sound. Adjustments can be made to the force applied to the strings, the position of the hand, the direction of the stroke, the fingers used to play the instrument and how the strings are approached, the impact of the thumb slap and the finger pull on the string and even the thickness of the pick and style of its attack. Every aspect of playing style has been modelled as a non-linear interaction with the strings to provide a dynamic, ever-changing sound output.
IK painstakingly studied and recreated all of the factors that affect string tone and performance. Players can choose the number of strings on the bass, the construction type and material of the strings (round or flat wound), the gauge and age, plus the physical action height of above the fretboard. Each of these options contributes its own character to the output of the bass and introduces realism never before heard in a virtual instrument.
Custom pickup configuration
There are 20 iconic bass pickups from which to choose that can be freely interchanged and added to the instrument - up to 2 pickups per bass. Users can change the type of pickups used, neck or bridge single coil or humbuckers, and their physical location under the strings can be moved freely for unlimited playing and tonal variations - a feature virtually impossible in the physical world. MODO BASS also gives players the ability to mix in the sound of an under-bridge piezo pickup for added resonance and top end. Switching from Passive to Active electronics option also enables a 3-band parametric EQ to fine-tune the pickup output tone.
Customise FX and Amp choices
With MODO BASS, players have full control over the post-instrument signal path as well and get 7 bass stomp boxes and two classic bass amplifiers derived from IK's AmpliTube flagship software. Stomp box effects include an Octaver, Distortion, Chorus, Compressor, Delay, Envelope Filter or Graphic EQ. Each stomp box gives players full control over the effect applied to the signal, parameter adjustment and overall output volume into the next effect. Also available is a classic all-tube amplifier and 1x15 cab, or a solid-state model with a 4x10 cab.
Expressive control in real time
MODO BASS provides MIDI control of critical parameters that can be automated in real time. With the MIDI Control section, players control and adjust the application of vibrato, the playing style, the application of Mute technique and the amount of slide technique applied while playing. The frequency of the vibrato, the amount of the bend, plus the amount of slide and detach noise while playing can all be controlled in real time on the fly.
Keyswitching in MODO BASS allows players to create amazingly real techniques like slides and percussive ghost notes. Users can switch on the fly between chord mode and note mode, the type of stroke used for playing, the fingers used and the method of playing, which provides the ability to completely customise the sound in real time.
Pricing and Availability:
Available now from the IK Multimedia online store for a special introductory price of $/€149.99* until December 4, 2016. After that date, MODO BASS will be $/€299.99* and a crossgrade will be available for $/€199.99 ** to qualified users.
*All prices excluding taxes.
**Any previous purchase of an IK Multimedia product with a value of $/€99.99 or more qualifies for crossgrade pricing.
Using Chains and automation to switch keyboard setups