Following a mercifully short teaser campaign, IK Multimedia has revealed MODO BASS and it's safe to say that its physically modelled bass instrument won't leave you short of low-end options.
MODO is available for pre-order at a reduced price of $150/€179/£179 now. We'll dive into some analysis of what's on offer soon, but to get you up to speed without further ado, here's the official lowdown...
- The first physically modeled electric bass virtual instrument
- Groundbreaking real-time modal synthesis technology — no samples used to create sound
- Recreate virtually every electric bass sound imaginable
- 12 iconic bass models that span the history of recorded electric bass
- Models the entire act of playing an electric bass – player, instrument, FX & amp
- Ultra-small memory footprint
- Choose playing style — pluck, slap and pick
- Freely move the playing hand for realistic performance
- Customize string force, fingers used, pick thickness & technique
- Customize string number, scale, tuning, gauge, construction, action, age
- 20 faithfully recreated, interchangeable iconic bass pickups with volume
- Choose active or passive electronics with parametric EQ
- Under-bridge piezo pickup with blend
- 7 bass stomp box effects configurable in 4-slot chain
- 2 iconic bass amps – Solid State and Tube derived from AmpliTube
- FX and amp global bypass for routing
- Optimized resizable interface
- Works as a 64-bit plug-in or standalone instrument for Mac/PC
- Full MIDI control with MIDI learn, keyswitches
- Full DAW automation control support
PRESS RELEASE: MODO BASS is the first physically modeled bass virtual instrument that gives you an unprecedented realistic performance for your bass tracks.
As a producer, you want the best possible bass sound you can get… you want realism, credibility and authenticity that delivers the most accurate and inspiring performance. Sometimes you just can't hire the right bass player, and some virtual instruments out there can leave you flat and uninspired.
Enter MODO BASS — the industry's first true physically modeled instrument from the leader in analog modeling technology. 8 years in the making and developed in collaboration with one of Europe's oldest universities, MODO BASS is a completely new breed of instrument that delivers the best of both worlds: the realism and sound of an instrument being played by a master musician and the convenience of a plug-in virtual instrument.
But MODO BASS isn't a virtual instrument by definition, it's a completely new technology that redefines realism from a computer based instrument. MODO BASS is the first technology of its kind that models the entire process of playing bass. Every component that contributes to the unique tonal properties of a bass player playing an instrument has been modeled, and the effects of each component on the other ones — the interactions between each tone variable — has been recreated to give you a dynamic, living breathing and ever-changing performance. You see, traditional virtual instruments are sample-based, meaning that sound is produced by triggering recorded samples of instruments. MODO BASS isn't a sample-based instrument, but rather a completely new technology where sound is generated by recreating the physical properties of a real instrument — everything that makes an instrument create sound is physically modeled and sound is synthesized in real time.
Real Time Sound Synthesis
Unlike traditional sample-based virtual instruments, MODO BASS utilizes a breakthrough technology to breathe life into bass tracks. Unlike traditional sample-based virtual instruments, MODO BASS utilizes modal synthesis technology and an ultra-optimized sound engine to model each string as a nonlinear resonator.
Each string's acoustic behavior is determined by its physical parameters, as well modeling the action of the player as a nonlinear physical interaction with certain areas on the string surface and the interaction of the string with fretboard, body and pick-ups of the instrument. Then using IK's cutting edge analog modeling expertise, the amp and effects rig of the electric bass is added to the sound chain.
All of this gives MODO BASS the ability to create sound in real time based on the construction and components of the bass combined with the player technique, finesse and the ever-changing dynamic interactions between the two. In short, MODO BASS brings — for the first time — ever-changing, hyper-realistic, living-breathing bass sound and performance to the world of virtual instruments. And since it doesn't use samples, MODO BASS has an extremely small memory footprint.
MODO BASS is a complete synthesis of bass playing and as such it lets you adjust and select virtually every aspect of bass playing. This means that MODO BASS can give you a limitless variety of bass sounds because, just like a real bass player, it gives you a different performance every time. With MODO BASS, you take unprecedented control of every aspect and control of a performance.
MODO BASS gives you 12 iconic basses that span the history of music — 12 basses that define virtually every style and every genre of music recorded with an electric bass.
Each bass model was chosen for its particular timbre and wood tone, and every detail of the instrument's performance has been meticulously modeled and recreated.
- 60's P-Bass - based on Fender Precision Bass, Alder body
- 70's P-Bass - based on Fender Precision Bass, Ash body
- 70's J-Bass - based on Fender Jazz Bass, Alder body
- Modern J-Bass - based on Fender Jazz Bass, Ash body
- 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 Hofner Violin
- Thunder Bass - based on Gibson Thunderbird
- Japan Bass - based on Ibanez Soundgear
- Flame Bass - based on Warwick Streamer
Customize your Bass
Since MODO BASS synthesizes sound in real time, you can modify your instrument and playing approach to get completely unique sounds. In fact, there are so many customization options available that there's really no bass sound that you can't get — the configuration and tone possibilities are virtually limitless. Once you've selected the bass you want to use, it's time to get to work customizing your instrument to fit your music.
Play Style — Choose your approach
MODO BASS gives you the whole bass playing experience, starting with the way you play the instrument. The "Play Style" choice is your physically modeled playing hand. With the Play Style options, you can choose and modify the way you approach and play the instrument.
Finger — The Finger option selects the finger style of bass playing, one of the most common ways to bring out inspiring bass tones. With it, you can change which fingers you play with and how much force you use on the strings.
Slap — This mode recreates the act of "slapping" and "pulling" the bass strings with the thumb and fingers. Since there are no samples being triggered for each style, every stroke will sound slightly different, just like a real bass player.
Pick — Get major transient attack on the string with a pick. Here you can choose the physical thickness of the pick, plus the picking style, downstroke or alternating. Each strike of the plectrum produces a unique sound.
Mute — You can also apply "muting" techniques to any playing style, another premier in software instruments. The mute control lets you add just the right amount of damping of the strings producing the human-touch element of bass technique.
In addition to the style of playing, you can also adjust "where" you play on the strings. Playing closer to the bridge provides a more pronounced upper frequency tone, while playing closer to the neck accentuates more low and mid frequencies delivering a "rounder" tone. You can also select the type of sustain and ring of the individual notes.
Different strings provide different sounds and tonal qualities. In MODO BASS, you can customize your string choice and choose the type of setup used on the bass.
First, you can choose the actual number of strings (4 or 5) to determine the note scale range of the bass. You can also choose the gauge of the string set which affects timbre and sustain, the age of the strings which changes the relative "brightness" of the tone, plus the physical construction of the strings (round wound, flat wound, etc.) which changes the type of "slide noise" introduced when moving up and down the neck. In addition to the string-specific parameters, you can change the bass' physical scale length as well as the action, or physical distance between the strings and the fretboard. Changing the action changes the timbre and amount of the fret noise when playing — a lower action produces slightly more fret noise when played agressively, just like on a real bass.
The electronics section is where you customize the pickups and wiring of the bass. This section lets you experiment in real time with different types of bass pickups, the position of each one (each bass can have up to 2 pickups, even if the bass model originally comes with just one), and you can tweak the frequency response parameters of each. There's even a piezo pickup control that lets you blend an under-bridge mounted piezo signal with your pickup signal.
Start with the stock pickup or pickups for each bass model and set the volume balance independently for each. Want a different pickup in the neck position? No problem. There are 20 individual pickup models to choose from, each with its own tonal characteristics and personality. You can also freely move the pickups around in the pickup area providing you with virtually limitless options. Experiment with different pickups, different pickup positions and different playing positions all at the same time. With MODO BASS, you can create combinations that would be virtually impossible to accomplish without a lot of solder and wiring adjustments!
Adjust the overall pickup output with the tone control, just like the tone control on the physical bass. You can switch the electronics from Passive to Active, and doing so gives you access to an additional parametric EQ that lets you fine-tune your tone for the perfect balance.
Amp / FX
With MODO BASS, you have full control over the signal path and get 7 bass effect stomp box effects and two classic bass amplifiers. Choose from an Octaver, Distortion, Chorus, Compressor, Delay, Envelope Filter or Graphic EQ. Each stomp box has been derived from the world-class models in AmpliTube Custom Shop. Each stomp effect gives you full control over the effect applied to the signal, parameter adjustment and overall output volume into the next effect. Using IK's advanced non-linear modeling technology, the pedalboard not only provides ultra accurate modeling of the desired effect, but also models the interactions of the effects in the chain on each other effect in the chain and gives you real-world performance and a realism simply not found in other software instruments.
Choose from a classic all-tube amplifier and 1x15 cab, or you can choose a powerhouse solid-state model with a 4x10 cab. Each amp gives you full control over gain structure, EQ (with mid-frequency adjustment on the tube amp), and additional fine-tuning options with a graphic EQ. There is also a global bypass feature that allows you to route the bass signal from MODO BASS into another amp effects modeling suite like AmpliTube Custom Shop, where there's a whole new world of sonic options available for bass tone shaping and effects waiting for you.
So if you're looking to bring your bass tracks to life, to truly put a performance into your next production, put MODO BASS to work for you. You'll be amazed by the realism.
Control — The Bass Players' Script
MODO BASS also gives you MIDI control of critical parameters that you can automate in real time. With the MIDI Control section you control and adjust the application of vibrato, the playing style, the application of Mute technique and the amount of slide technique applied while playing. You can also control the frequency of the vibrato and the amount of the bend, plus the amount of slide and detach noise while playing.
Keyswitching in MODO BASS allows you to switch on the fly between chord mode and note mode, the type of stroke used playing, which fingers are used, and which method of playing is used giving you the ability to completely customize the sound in real time.
Plus, using your DAW's automation you can control other parameters like where you play on the instrument while you perform. Moving the playing position while performing gives you a complete ever-changing realistic performance that has never before been realized in a virtual instrument.