Bass Setup Controls (plus wheels to the bottom left)
This area is where you tweak the overall sound character and dynamic response of the bass guitar.
The Character control is a switch that selects one of four basic characteristics. These define the overall sound character as well as the dynamic response. Under the hood …
- the sound character is achieved by a bass channel featuring various audio processors to control the low, mid and high end.
- The dynamic response attenuation limits the “spectral” range of the bass guitar so that the same velocity levels sent to Virtual Bassist MELLOW produce different sound characters without affecting the overall volume response too much.
Drop D switch (in the “off” position)
This switch, when activated, tunes the E string down by a whole note, dropping the pitch to D (hence the name). This extends the note range to D, but also makes the note range played by the E string sound different.
Virtual Bassist MELLOW has been recorded with three high-end vintage and modern microphones and one vintage DI-box, placed in various distances and positions. This switch selects between four mixes that feature a wide range of variation between harmonic and noise content and other feats created by the interaction between those mics/DI characteristics and positions.
The acoustic double bass featured in Virtual Bassist MELLOW was recorded in a beautiful recording room with perfect acoustics and ambience for this type of instruments. This knob allows you to blend the room ambience with the dry signal from the MICS selector.
With the ROOM knob somewhere between 7 and 11 o`clock, you can add live and dimension without muddying the sound of Virtual Bassist MELLOW. Use more Room at your own.
The Room signal was recorded with a distinct set of microphones that are not affected by the MICS control. Therefore, the more ROOM you use, the less effect you’ll hear when switching MICS presets.
Bass Channel Setup
Virtual Bassist MELLOW features a bass channel with three audio processors dedicated for exactly this type of bass sound – a Compressor, an Equalizer and an Octaver.
As you will notice on first glance, we’ve designed them to be super-easy to work with – even without knowing how a compressor or equalizer are perfectly set up for a bass.
This is possible because – while a generic compressor or EQ has to offer a rather large set of parameters – here we already “know” the signal, so many parameters (such as ratio or attack time in the compressor, or frequency ranges and Q factors in the Equalizer) are optimally pre-conditioned under the hood. Thanks to this, you can control each processor very easily using one macro knob.
If you use external gear or plugins to shape your bass sound, make sure to set the bass channel components to neutral values.
As you turn up the Compressor control in Virtual Bassist MELLOW, you will notice that the overall volume goes slightly up, that notes in the lower dynamic range sound louder, and – towards the maximum – the bass becomes more attack-y, i.e. the transients are shaped accordingly.
Using the compressor means you can lower the overall volume of Virtual Bassist MELLOW without it losing presence in the mix, and the overall dynamic range is evened out, which you want in louder mixes, particularly with prominent drums and guitars.
The Equalizer complements the CHARACTER control really nicely in that combinating the two creates a large variety of bass sounds.
This Equalizer is four-band parametric. As you turn the knob from Vintage over Neutral to Modern, you move multiple parameters under the hood – gains, frequency bands and Q factors. In any setting, the Equalizer produces a useful curve. A rough guideline for what the Equalizer does is the following table:
The Octaver is less of a typical mixer channel component, but a bass-typical effect: It adds a duplicate of the bass signal one octave above the original. The knob controls the volume of the effect signal.
When used very subtly, the Octaver adds harmonic content in the high mids and highs, leading to a more pronounced bass sound, and adding throttle to any subsequent distortion or overdrive effects.
Higher knob positions change the overall sound of the bass towards a more melodic character and work particularly well for licks or fills in the higher note range.
Use the Octaver carefully – less when in doubt! Also note that the Octaver is calculated from the entire bass signal – not just the harmonic content – so may sound wobbly or rough. Use these artifacts to your benefit.
The Volume knob adjusts the master output volume of Virtual Bassist MELLOW. It is a highly dynamic instrument, and there is a lot of functionality – from Force to Compressor to Amps – affecting the overall volume, so use this control to adjust the gain of Virtual Bassist MELLOW before sending it into subsequent audio processors or effect devices.