Making bass lines with the Bass Master is super easy. This plugin offers an great design that insists on both flexibility and simplicity. The plugin comes with a fine dose of options to polish your sound, all the essentials are there.
Also, the thing we like very much about this virtual instrument is that it is extremely CPU friendly and doesn’t require much memory at all. If you add to this a quite attractive price, it’s not hard to make the conclusion that the Bass Master is designed for wide masses and that it can be used by both beginners and professionals.
The Bass Master is a virtual instrument that comes in the form of a plugin and the first thing you’ll notice is a quite simple layout. The control board looks attractive but doesn’t feature too many options. Not only that such design allows super easy and convenient use, but this plugin won’t trouble your computer either. It requires only 225MB on your hard disc and doesn’t bother the CPU meter at all.
One look at the plugin’s design and you can clearly see that all essential functions are onboard. The board is divided into several sections and all controls are perfectly transparent. There are Filter and FX, as well as Master FX, Mixer, and Global Control sections. All of them are super easy to use, so tweaking seems like a breeze.
Two Layers Sound Perfect
This plugin is designed primarily for dance and electronic music and such genres are mostly about kick drum and bass. These two things are essentials for a good track and making them is pretty much all about layering. Producers usually use several layers to create a great-sounding line. With drums, that looks quite simple, considering that various plugins have been around for years.
When it comes to bass lines, many producers still prefer making these layers manually. This plugin makes things a little bit easier. It comes with two layers. One of them is dedicated to solid sub-bass tones, while the other one is reserved for higher registers, where you can also apply various kinds of effects. The two layers are also separated on the mixer, so you can adjust the gain for each one separately.
Each layer comes with different settings available. For example, the top layer allows you to offset the sample start point, as well as tons of ADSR gain envelope to adjust. On the other side, the sub-layer allows you to change octave and adjust attack and release. As I’ve already mentioned, each layer has an independent gain knob on the mixer, while the top layer also features Direct Out switch, which in practice means a lot of bypass possibilities.
Shaping the Bass Sound
Before you start to add effects, you can shape your bass sound through the filter section, which is a typical multi-mode filter. You can choose between 13 different modes and pretty much all essentials have been covered, including low-pass, band-pass, hi-pass, comb and other types. The filter envelope and LFO are included as well, so we can definitely say that this plugin offers a lot of possibilities to shape the bass sound.
Also, there is a key tracking feature, which allows the cutoff frequency to follow the incoming note pitch. A pre-filter overdrive is included as well. The whole filter modulation compartment relies on the LFO and an ADSR envelope. Both of them feature bipolar Amount controls, for positive or negative movement. Seems a little bit rudimental, but works pretty well.
Three Essential Effects
Another great thing about the Bass Master is the effect section. There aren’t many of them but essentials are included. Practically, there are three types of effect you can use simultaneously: Distortion, Chorus, and Reverb.
When it comes to Distortion, you can choose five different types. Besides choosing different algorithms, you can also adjust the sound with two knobs: Drive and Color. Chorus has always been one of my favorite effects and this one comes with two typical knobs, Amount and Rate, which allow you to go in a pretty wide range from super thick to complete stereo widening. Four algorithms are available. When it comes to Reverb three types are available: Bright, Mid and Dark, as well as two typical controls – Level and Size.
The Master FX section features a couple of interesting tools, such as frequency booster and three-band EQ, so you can make final tweaks to your sound.
Great Sound Bank
A good plugin usually offers a variety of different presets and sound examples. The Bass Master is no exception. It comes with 217 waveforms for two layers, which give you almost 50.000 possible combinations in total. These sounds are mostly taken from classic hardware, but there is also a fine amount of new sounds, based on the latest synth technologies. Typically for Loopmasters products, the sound quality is amazing.
An interesting thing about these sounds is that they aren’t designated specifically for Sub or Top layer. All of them are available for both layers, though the company has classified them into several groups. There are six categories: High, Mid, Low, Percussive, Simple and Sub.
Also, there are 350 presets that are mix-ready. With just a couple of tweaks, you can get your ultimate bass tone.
Lack of Inspiration – No Problem
The Bass Master may be a pretty straightforward plugin but still comes with some simple and very useful features. One of them can be of great help when you are stuck with the bass line. Moments, when we lack inspiration, are less or more frequent but this plugin also features buttons to randomize the samples, which can be of huge help when you’re making a bass line from scratch. Unfortunately, you can randomize the samples only, not the parameters. However, you can link parameters to MIDI controller, which brings so many possibilities, including the ability to adjust multiple parameters simultaneously.
The Bass Master definitely won’t slow down your computer, as it doesn’t have high system requirements at all. You need about 225MB on the hard disc and 64-bit OS. The manufacturer claims this plugin works with any 64-bit DAW software. Both Mac and Windows versions are available, though the version for Windows comes in VST format only. On the other side, Mac OS versions are available in both VST and AU formats. A great thing is that the company allows you to download a demo version, so you can check if the plugin works on your system before you purchase it.
The overall value of Bass Master is impressive. If you are looking for something that quickly allows you to create an amazing bass track, this is a plugin you should definitely try. Simple design and impressive intuitiveness are the strongest points.
Bass Master is a great plugin, something that definitely deserves to be found on the list of your standard audio plugins.