This area is where you tweak the overall sound character and dynamic response of the bass guitar.
Virtual Bassist ROWDY features a Fuzz distortion stage. It adds significant harmonic and character to the bass sound before it enters the pre-amp of the Amp setup. Use Fuzz subtly in combination with the amplifiers Drive control to add extra fatness and presence, or turn it up for a super-dirty fat bass sound.
Whereas the Drive control of the AMP section is out of order when you use the Direct output, FUZZ always works independent of AMP selection!
The Character control is a chicken head switch 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 ROWDY produce different sound characters without affecting the overall volume response too much.
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.
AMP Setup Controls
This switch sends the bass guitar signal through either one of three bass amp setups or selects a direct signal in case you want to use an external amp (plugin).
The Amp Models include top amp, cabinet and microphones and are perfected for a range of applications of Virtual Bassist ROWDY.
This control adjusts the overdrive level of the bass amp to create a slightly distorted sound. The effect is very different depending on the AMP setup you’ve chosen. As graphically indicated, the DRIVE control has no effect when you’ve chosen the Direct setting of the AMP control.
Bass Channel Setup
Virtual Bassist ROWDY 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 ROWDY, 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 ROWDY 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 ROWDY. 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 ROWDY before sending it into subsequent audio processors or effect devices.