Usually when one thinks of keyboard bass, EDM and dubstep immediately come to mind. Thick, blocky sounds with no real nuance or phrasing that sounds remotely like a real bass. Or, depending on your age, the intro to “Seinfeld” pops into your head. However, with the launch of Modo Bass from IK Multimedia, that’s all about to change. Now, the rich history of the bass guitar and all of its facets are available to be used.
All its Facets?
Modo Bass takes every little nuance into account. You have 12 iconic basses to choose from. Your string type, pickup placement, finger/pick placement, etc.. are all mapped out into the interface. This gives you unprecedented control of every aspect and control of a performance.
I hooked up my iRig Keys Pro keyboard, and jumped right in. Making a P Bass with worn in flatwounds and a palm mute attack gave me that signature Motown thump. Moving to a jazz bass with steel strings and slap style achieved much more authenticity than that aforementioned intro ever did.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that… 🙂
Once I got into it a little more, it became a lab where you get to finally mod that Jazz Bass to your hearts content to find out what would really happen to the tone. A P Bass with two sets of pickups? Done. Want to slam both jazz pickups to the bridge? Why not. The ability to tweak things like this allows you to also emulate those historical basses attributed to players you admire.
And thankfully, if you’re done playing around, there is always the “reset” to get everything back to spec.
It’s Still a Keyboard Bass
Well, yes and no. With Modo Bass, you have MIDI control of critical parameters that you can adjust in real time. You can adjust vibrato, the playing style, using a mute technique and the amount of slide while playing. These are the things that, while they took me a little time to get comfortable with, for a seasoned keyboardist, it’ll really open up the possibilities of the software.
And that’s what was missing previously; those nuances of the human element. It sounds fairly authentic, because IK Multimedia put in the time to get this right.
Modo Bass from IK Multimedia is the next generation of keyboard bass. Taking all of the stylistic nuances from real bass players and mapping it out into a MIDI program has made this one of the most intuitive programs out there. And besides, it’s just a lot of fun to hone your keyboard bass chops with as well.