This is a nice little gem which seems to find its way into just about all of my recordings (except when a Rhodes ir synth bass fit better, or when I record a live bass, of course). It has a nice, simple, basic sound which fits well into a mix and can be processed in many ways; I recommend the C3 multiband compressor. It works best as a supporting player, holding down the bottom end while other parts shine. Its expressivity is limited, but that can be offset by sensitive use of envelope followers, distortion, and the like. It also works reasonably well in the midrange as a rhythmic keyboard sort of sound.
Don't get me wrong; you won't want to fire your bass player. But you will probably find yourself using this in demos, home recordings, and maybe even the occasional professional piece. It sounds good, it's totally reliable, it uses very few resources, and it's free -- what's not to like?
Notes on my ratings --
User Interface: None to speak of, but none needed.
Sound: Great in a mix, so-so solo. Warm and a touch edgy.
Features: Works as a weird synth on top, if processed. But it's a one-trick pony.
Documentation: None needed!
Presets: None possible (which is kind of the whole problem...)
Customer Support: None needed!
Value for Money: Totally worth the download.
I first acquired this when I was starting out, having bought Cubasis and suddenly realised that I needed a whole load of extra instruments to make tracks with. I downloaded this because it was free, and I'm really glad I did.
* The GUI is immaterial, as there are no knobs and buttons. As it is, its simple and elegant.
** 4Front bass is a mixture of sampled and modelled sounds, and the notes effectively play pretty much evenly across the whole of your keyboard. They're a just a bit thin at the 'top of the neck', but even expensive samples are too, I've found. Overall the sound is good and fat, with a warm, slightly rubbery quality. There is some string excitation (also curiously rubbery), that sounds like someone administering a Chinese burn with washing-up gloves on.
I used it a lot for a while, then went to actual samples played through Kontakt, but I keep coming back to this from time to time, as it has a lot of qualities to it that make it both practical and enjoyable.
*** It sounds alot like a bass guitar!
**** You'd only need docs for this if you'd never recorded music on a computer before.
***** Just the one preset.
****** Customer support is, by all accounts, pretty good, though you won't need it on this.
******* Given that its free, it can't fail to be value for money, but even if it wasn't it would still be worth paying for.
******** Very low cpu load and absolutely no stability problems for me in two years of use!
User Interface: Nice, slick, and simple. Easy on the eyes. It manages to beautifully represent the "barebones" approach of the vsti while still keeping a stylish look about it.
Sound: Personally, I love the sound of this bass. It's definitely got it's own character. While it only claims to be a simple bass guitar to throw into your tracks, it's got a very heavy, solid sound on the low end that fits perfectly into my occasional jazz piece. At the same time, It's perfect for Rock pieces as it faithfully reproduces the sound of an electric bass guitar being picked heavily. The only problem I really have with it's sound in general is that the sonic qualities of the higher notes aren't as attractive as the lower end when sustained, but for a quick pop up the neck and back down again they sound pretty good.
Customer Support: George at 4front has got to be one of the most friendly and approachable dev's out there today. He always responds to my emails promptly and writes more than a quick yes or no. Very down to earth kind of guy while maintaining a strike of genius. He even lent me 100 MB's of FTP space for a while until I got my own site up and running!
Value For Money: Considering all this vsti cost me was a couple seconds of broadband downloading, It's fantastic! Does exactly what it claims to do and I've found it showing up in my tracks over and over again.
Stability: 150% stable on my system. Like I said, I use it all the time, whether in recording or just drafting a bassline and it's NEVER given me a problem. Low CPU and no crashes.
Overall, I love this product. It's fast, simple, and free. It has a permanent spot on my harddrive.
4Front Bass Module is a useful VSTi plug-in for musicians who are in need of a lightweight, low-CPU rock bass guitar sound.
User Interface: N/A
Sound: Sounds like a rock bass guitar. It has minimal variations for velocity response, and the higher velocities have a little bit of high-end static or amp noise. The velocity response is set a bit too high for my playing style, so it is hard to trigger them from my MIDI Controller without using a MIDI dynamics processor. The sustain and release sound a bit unusual if you hold a note too long.
Features: Obviously, this free version is only a representation of what the professional version would offer, but with no user controls and only one sound, it is difficult to predict what features such a version would have.
Customer Support: The 4Front website seems to be very customer-focused, and George (the lead developer) posts here often. I believe that he has set up a listserv for his users as well.
Value For Money: It is free and might be useful to users looking for a simple VSTi that does not consume much CPU. As an owner of Spectrasonics Trilogy, however, I would recommend investing in that product over this one based upon the free version of 4Front Bass Module, as Trilogy pretty much covers all of my virtual bass needs in a single plug-in.
Stability: Excellent, but with no controls, I would expect it to be fairly solid.
Overall, 4Front Bass Module is a nice addition to the free VSTi community that some might really appreciate.
this is an easy one ... its handy and it doesnt suck out yout cpu in any way.
unimportant, cause it doesnt do anything. real and pure plug and play.
it aimes to be a real electric bass, but to be honest, not the one that one might need to have an outstanding or at least neutral bass in the mix. i would call it a normal but carefully multisampled gm bass. not less but not more either.
its a little difficult to fit it in a very concrete punchy mix.the problem is that its only one bass, no way to choose between different basses.i own it a 2 months now, and i tried it allways, before i used another one. and i did allways choose another one.
the most negative thing is, that, at least in logic 5.1 it doesnt react on pitchbend or modwheel at all. this makes it allmost unusable, at least for me.
none. its a one trick, but useless pony for me at least.
dont need them at all. there is nothing that you can tweak.
not possible, because of the concept. note that i dont mean to judge, just state.
value for money :
exellent, if one find it useful. its free.
didnt crash once.
if the developer would give it at least an amp env and maybe more basses to chose it could become at least an easy workhorse for me.
A quick review to support the last one! - I really like this little VSTi, it has a smooth sound and is extremely CPU friendly. It isn't right for everything - forget about rock tunes, for example - but in the right context it works extemely well. The author has a very good demo tune on his website which shows it off nicely.
User interface - it certainly isn't confusing and it's incredibly easy to use - it doesn't do anything!
Sound - very good in the right tune.
Features - there aren't any. Don't worry about it.
Docs - I think it has a basic readme, but to be honest you don't need any docs.
Presets - there's only 1, but it's good.
Customer support - disagree with the first review here, as it seems a bit harsh to criticise the author for not adding features on a free plug. The author often frequents these pages so at least he's there if you need his help to use it (you won't).
VFM - it's free!
Stability - never crashed.
Bottom line - it's free, it's very easy to use and in certain contexts it sounds great. What more can you ask?
4Front Bass is a nice, good looking, good sounding little Bass module which uses next to nothing CPU resources and is absolutely free.
The basic sound of the bass samples is somewhat jazzy, with more of a live feel than very produced and surely a thing of taste - i like it really.
There aren't any presets or much documenation, it doesn´t need one or the other, support seems quite good and of course VFM is high - it´s free, after all.
Thanks to 4Front for a nice little plugin !
Just one sound. No parameters to tweak. Not even a tone control. No pitchbend. No MOD wheel. No patch bank. Nothing.... Simple...!
Well, for what it is, it's quite a good bass guitar sound, and as long as you want the same bass sound on everything, it could be for you. After all, the Beatles had the same bass sound on all their stuff and it didn't do them any harm.
But it doesn't sound like a Hofner Violin Bass, more like a cross between a Squire Jazz and a Rickenbacker, plugged into a cheap practice amp.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes that's just the sound I'm looking for so I will probably keep this in me VST folder (for a while at least).
[Update] Had a reply to an e-mail I sent to George Yohng, the creator of this synth, regarding the lack of controls. He just said, "it's free so no controls."
Latest 8 reviews from a total of 8