Review: MODO BASS from IK Multimedia

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Fire your Bassist

They’re done for.

Okay, that’s a bit unfair. Bassists are people too.

But we don’t need them now. Because we have MODO BASS. (So good they caps locked the name).

We may be a little late to the party. MODO BASS came out about a year ago… and we’ve been coveting it, have no doubt. We finally got around to getting it (thank you, early Black Friday sales!). And… well… dear god it’s amazing!

It’s okay really, Bassists

Ultimately, everyone who’s working on producing real ‘band’ music with real instruments being played by real people should know… you can never replace the character and vibe you get from a genuine performance by a talented musician. A bit of software is never going to replace [insert favourite popular bass player here]. So they are safe.

However, not all of us have access to talented bassists. And many of us have turned to software to add basslines to our recordings, often with disappointing results. The main problem being that real bass has imperfections that add personality and most VSTi basses are just too perfect.

MODO BASS is the first bass guitar emulation plugin we’ve come across that actually does a great job of recreating these imperfections and articulations that make real bass interesting to listen to.

Ace of Bass

We’re holding back a bit because we really love this plugin and don’t want to come across too OTT. But look/listen. For a start, this sounds great. Whatever genius programming IK have done, it works, and in a mix you will not find any listener who will immediately tell you this isn’t a real bass. That’s the most important thing.

Beyond this, there are an incredible array of options for fine tuning (or drastically changing) the sound. There are twelve different iconic bass guitar models to choose from. You can customise your selection with a range of different pickups, pickup positions, and strings, then blast them through a variety of pedals and amps.

Once your guitar is set up you have extreme control over the playing style and articulation. You can choose to finger, slap or pick (as well as exactly where the virtual bassist plays the strings) and specify articulations on a note-by-note basis using MIDI notes in lower octaves. All the aspects of a real performance can be built into your programmed performance and the results are mind-blowing.

We’ve been playing with this all day and we’re totally in love. From clean but real sounding basslines, through tight and punchy funky slap bass, all the way to really gritty, distorted punky bass… this thing sounds freaking AWESOME and will continue to inspire you time and time again.

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