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IK Multimedia launches Modo Bass 2 plugin: the best way to get authentic electric and upright bass sounds in your DAW?

It might have sounded too good to be true, but IK Multimedia’s Modo Bass instrument plugin really did bring convincing electric bass sounds to your DAW using physical modelling rather than samples. Now, five years on from the release of the original, we have version 2.

The headlines are that Modo Bass 2 includes eight new bass models - including new fretless and upright options - a brand-new patterns section with thousands of grooves, and advanced performance controls. There’s also a free version to get you started.

You now have a total of 22 basses to work with, with the eight new models joining the 14 from version 1. The fretless models look particularly interesting; there’s one inspired by Jaco Pastorius’s customised jazz bass, and another that takes its lead from Pino Palladino’s StingRay.

You also have the option to turn any of the 18 supplied electric basses into a fretless model (and the fretless models into fretted ones, if you wish).

There are a couple of double basses here, too - Rockabilly is suitable for old-school slapping styles while Upright Studio promises a classic jazz sound. These are modelled in their own studio space with a selection of moveable mics and a piezo signal that can be blended in. You can run the result through Modo Bass’s stompbox and amp emulations, and there’s also a pair of stereo room mics so that you can mix in the ambient room sound.

The thousands of new patterns, meanwhile, can be filtered by genre, song section, length, time signature and more. These were all performed by top players, so should sound pretty authentic.

Over in the Playstyle section, you now have even more control over how your basses are played. We’re promised an ultra-realistic pluck technique and advanced algorithms for pick and slap articulations.

Compatible with PC and Mac and running in VST/AU/AAX formats, Modo Bass 2 will be released in April. The full version, which includes all 22 basses, will cost $300/€300, while the SE edition, which includes four basses, can be yours for $150/€150.

The free version, Modo Bass 2 CS, comes with just the ‘60s P-Bass, but like the SE version can be expanded with additional basses. These cost $70/€70 each.

If you already own Modo Bass 1 you can currently upgrade to version 2 for $150/€150, while anyone who purchases Modo Bass 2 between now and the release date will immediately get version 1 and then version 2 when it becomes available.

Find out more on the IK Multimedia (opens in new tab) website.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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