It's been ages since I've been on this forum, but I'm glad to have a reason to get to 'talk' to you all again.
Over the last few years, a colleague of mine has developed a bass guitar which is an extremely low latency, perfectly tracking midi controller. It goes into production (in conservative numbers) this year.
In order to demonstrate the unit to its best advantage, we need to couple it with something like Muse's Receptor and a selection of excellent sample sets and virtual instruments.
It's been a few years since I paid close attention to the sound side of the business, so this is where I could use forum members' experience to help whittle down our choices from what's available. And I know you guys are always really helpful
It's been our experience that whatever setup we use to demo the controller to bass players tends to be what they end up buying and using - so we want it to be right.
The criteria for choosing these sample sets/virtual instruments are probably slightly different to what they'd be for an experienced keyboardist, as most bass players aren't really 'across' synths and samplers.
We're looking for sample sets which are top of their class, but which are also 'accessible' - ie kind of plug n play. (Having a great sample set which requires a propellerhead degree to squeeze 90% of the goodness out of the gear isn't going to fly.)
What sounds are we looking for?
Well, to start off, we'd like to show bass players that a midi bass can turn a standard electric bass into a damned good ... upright jazz bass, guitarrón, or a more classical style double bass, cello, string section, synth bass (including drones), fretless (!) bass, tuba, trombone, brass section, Rhodes bass, clavinet, organs. Yeah the list is endless, and from bass spectrum sounds we then get to move on to every other sound on the planet. But I can work on those later.
We don't expect to get this out of one set of samples. Specialising is probably what will bring out the best sample set in any particular style of sound.
What I'm interested in is seeing if there's some consensus on the forum as to which library is favoured when it comes to a certain type of sound.
If you have an opinion, but would prefer not to be specific in public, please PM me.
You might want to check scarbee bass products, although I'm not sure if it will fit perfectly into what you have in mind since it is developed to be played on keyboards (IMO).
But as far as the sounds, programming, ease of use and possibilities, it is very very good.
How are you addressing the Keyswitching used to trigger variations of the emulated instrument or synth?
In theory, this controller is going to emulate an emulation of an instrument? Definately interesting.
Since it's effective range is very low to begin with (the real Bass that is) one could have the keyswitches above it's highest range of notes. That way you could use pedals w/ the keyswitched notes assigned to each pedal to get the most out of the emulation of the emulated instrument.
I am confused, but like the idea of a Bassist w/ many options. Maybe then since most of the Guitarists I work with are lazy, and make me cover their Acoustic Guitar parts, ( Creamware's Six-String DSP / PhysModelled ) there could hope for them as well. But then everyone would want to MIDI to my rig............Baah Hummbug,...they can get their own.
Having a single layer of a Bass sample could be very boring, no offense. I had to use one back in 1984 called the 360 Systems MIDI Bass. It triggered single shot samples w/ EProm chips. Oberheim, Moog, PBass, and the Jerry Seinfeld Slap Bass. Which was laughable, but think of how long that sound has been around !!
I like your idea, but please explain a little more of it's functionality. I use a niche product for keyswitching, so there's a possibility to consider.
This unit is a real, well crafted electric bass, but with some extremely clever electronics and software under the hood. The idea is that any bass player who picks one up would feel comfortable using it as his main axe - with or without midi. However, when you plug the bass's midi cable into a hardware synth, Muse's Receptor, or a PC, you get to play whatever's connected - with super low latency and 100% reliable trigger and pitch detection.
Whereas a keyboardist uses keys for keyswitching, the bass player will be able to use frets. I guess we shoul call it fretswitching.
The bass isn't really aimed at emulating any particular instrument any more than a KX-88 is aimed at emulating a piano or organ. Of course, the bass will be able to play a VSL piccolo, or an East West Storm drum, a Scarbee 73 Stage, or anything else that can be accessed by midi.
However, the reality is that we're putting this in the hands of bassists, and we think the initial sweet spot is going to be easy, live access to a range of really great sounds that expand the bass player's lexicon. How cool to be able to switch from electric bass (the actual real output of the bass itself) to upright bass to 303 bass to marcato cello section to Taurus pedals in the space of a few program changes?
I'm just seeking some opinions as to where we should look for knockout sounds to incorporate into our demo system. This system will be more important than most demo setups because, unlike keyboard players, most bassists haven't got much experience with samplers and synths, and they'll be looking closely at the demo system for guidance on what they should build into their own rig. Past experience suggests that about 95% of bass players who buy our bass will also buy something almost identical to our demo rig. So we want to make it the best it can be.
I'm asking here, because I know this forum is frequented by some very experienced players, composers and developers who have the answers we need.
Unattainable Harmonics would also be cool. Many Bassist's I know must release certain sustained notes to achieve the desired Bell tones. Such a Bass could place these natural sounds wherever they desire, while still retaining the Bass sounds of the axe itself.
Just a thought. I'm always looking to extend instruments through MIDI tricks on the Scope Platform, so I am somewhat infected.
Cool idea - a patch that's nothing but harmonics on every note. You could just use a pedal to a/b between the real bass and the harmonics patch. Pretty effortless, and you'd never have to worry about a misfire
Check out some Oteil Burbidge stuff. Having him do a demo of it would sell a few hundred.
I like your idea so please use this thread as a way for us to follow your quest for the DSP / VST Bass.
www.midisolutions.com ....The FP8 using 8 x Pedal Switches could assist w/ the Fretswitching. Each pedal could be used as a Fret repalcement just like I use them for Keyswitching live. I prefer using both hands, that open mouth / drooling one handed pitch bend / keyswitching solo stuff is so Bush League. The FP8 could be a combination of 4 expressions, and 4 switches, or turn them into toggles, reversed polarities. Sky's the limit w/ hardware IMO.
I use hardware and software as I believe that hybrid solutions are the way to go for live performers. Movie / Studio cats can do retakes over and over and sequencer edits to achieve their desired resullts, where as us live cats must use our knoggin' to figure out how to pull off these great software advancements live.
I have learned much from the film score guys here by lurking and reading some great tricks, but until the last couple of years I had difficulty implementing them.
Good Luck, and By All Means Keep Bouncing Ideas.
One out of 12 ideas are usually good, it's the bouncing and collaboration that finds the sweet spots IMO.