Bass Sample Libraries
The Best Bass Sample Libraries Reviewed
There are a lot of bass sample libraries on the market today. It can be tough to pick the right one. Listening to demos often doesn't give you a clear picture of how they actually sound. I know this because I've bought many libraries and I always listen to the demos. You see I collect sample libraries. In fact I may be addicted. (When you dream about programing Kontakt scripts your probably addicted).
I'm primarily a keyboardist but I also play bass. So when I use a bass sample library it's normally because I'm lazy or the part is beyond my abilities. You see a good bass sample library can imitate players that are far better than you. Will the sound as good as Jaco or Vic Wooten? No but they can get you pretty close (if programed correctly). I've bought a lot of bass samples and use them often so let me give you a list of my favorites.
About The List
This List will present the best bass sample libraries on the market (in my opinion and experience). I will update it as I get knew libraries. If there is a library that I do not list but you want to know about leave a comment and I will review it as soon as possible.
Spectrasonic makes great sample libraries and Trillian is no exception. Trillian is the most complete bass sample library. It includes acoustic, electric, and synth basses. All of these basses sound great the second you start playing them. The authenticity is amazing. Trillian features up to 16x Round Robin samples and multiple velocity layers. The fretless and acoustic basses feature a humanize function that introduce some mild intonation differences that make them far more realistic than ant other library currently available. Trillian also has a feature called True Staccato that further eliminates the machine gun effect that can be introduced by playing quick staccato passages.
If you are only buying one bass sample library get Trillian. There are other libraries that are a bit more realistic, but out of the box nothing beats Trillian. With hundreds of great basses and an instant record ready sound you really can't beat it. The other libraries all require processing to sit properly in the track Trillian normally gets it right from the start. You can't go wrong with Trillian.
Native Instrument's Scarbee Bass Collection
Thomas Skarbye makes some of the best sample libraries out there. Recently he teamed up with Native Instruments and now offers sample libraries powered by their Kontakt sampler. The Scarbee basses are amazing. They come in three varieties: the Jay-bass, the MM bass (also amped), and the Pre-bass (also amped). The Jay-bass is a model of the Fender Jazz bass. The MM bass models the Music Man StingRay. The Pre-bass samples a Fender P Bass. All of these basses where recorded direct and are not processed allowing you to modify the tone the way you a real bass guitar. This means you may need to have a good amp modeling software (I recommend Amplitube 3).
Each library takes advantage of the powerful scripting capabilities of Kontakt. When you play a note the script figures out were a bass player would play the note adding a realism that is simply amazing. All of these libraries also feature 8x Round Robin.
If you want the most realistic bass samples possible at this time get one of the Scarbee bass libraries. You will have to process them to get them record ready. However, once you learn how to process them you will find they give you a level of flexibility that no other library offers.
Programing A Good Bassline
Programing a good bassline is an important part of getting the most out of your bass sample library. If you don't play bass then you may have difficulties getting a bassline to sound natural. If this is a problem you find yourself having you need to learn to think like a bass player. The best way I've found to help non bass players write good basslines is the . This book will teach you how bass players think and some of the techniques they use. And who knows if you read this you might actually decide to take up playing the bass. Bass Guitar for Dummies