Back in 2014 MODWHEEL released The Lowdown, their unique take on a double bass virtual instrument sample library for Kontakt.
The Lowdown is a beautiful 100 year old Double Bass owned and played by Bass luminary David Donaldson for the past 35 years, which has been deeply sampled by MODWHEEL to create a Kontakt sample library made up of every conceivable sound you can generate using bows, mallets, chopsticks, brushes, and anything else that came to hand (or foot).
The original concept for the LOWDOWN was to detune the Bass to a low G, 8 semitones lower than its normal low E and record over a minute of low drones on each note over a range of 3 octaves. We then recorded bowed harmonics playing the same notes that can be layered on using a keyboard mod wheel. The result is a huge variety of rich organically moving drones and pads, that are all at least a minute long performance before looping, from very natural to very messed with. After achieving this aural triumph, we decided to extend the library to include traditional pizzicato and arco articulations and some more experimental rhythms and impacts. The rhythms are all BPM'd and will play at whatever tempo your session is at.
New material was recorded, the user interface improved, info tabs, new patches and more functionality.
The Lowdown V2 is 84 patches of pretty much any way you can generate sound from a double bass. Arco, pizz, harmonics, percussion, rhythms, played with chopsticks, mallets and detuned.
The library is divided into 2 main folders:
The Basics: where you find the more standard bass, pizz, arco and expressive playing.
The Extended Bass: contains 4 sub folders - Ambiences - Impacts - Rhythmic - Shapednoise:
- Ambiences: The bass was detuned 8 semitones lower than standard tuning to give the broadest possible material. Then by continually retuning the bass, bowed harmonics for each note were also recorded. Up to minute long bowed performances of both the low notes and harmonics allow the user to create distinctive, organic, shifting pads. The harmonics are added using the mod wheel. Of course this was only the starting point for the 25 patches that make up the Ambient folder.
- Impacts and Single Hits: 11 patches that feature the bass being played with mallets, chopsticks, brushes and all over the body.
- Rhythmic: 24 patches of all sorts of tempo sync'd rhythmic playing. Bowed harmonic playing across the strings, brushed and hit percussive feels, mallet and chopstick feels as well as "drum" programming within Kontakt.
- Shapednoise: For their last few libraries MODWHEEL has been working with Australian tech whizz and master beta tester Kirke Godfrey (www.shapednoise.com). Along with daily Facetime sessions, Kirke, as well as giving invaluable advice, came up with 20 extra patches of sonic oddities created from the Lowdown raw materials.
It requires a full version of Kontakt 5.5 or higher.