How to Use the Bass Sample Packs with the Free TX816Wx Player
By Craig Anderton
The Bass Sample Packs for the 5-String Bass, Pop Bass, and Rock Bass instruments are what I’ve used on virtually all my recent music and audio-for-video projects. Each bass note for all three packs is sampled individually, with its pitch “flattened” during the decay (using Melodyne) to counteract the pitch changes that happen during a physical string’s decay. This prevents beat frequencies with other instruments, which otherwise would make the low end less solid and tight. The samples are not looped, but decay naturally.
One unique aspect is that these basses don’t use switched multisamples. Instead, to avoid the abrupt sound of sample-switching, filter and amplitude synth modules are velocity-sensitive. The end result is an organic, dynamic sound that responds like a synth bass, but has the rich, warm sound quality of an electric bass. What’s more, these samples are recorded without compression or EQ, to provide users with maximum flexibility for their own projects.
To avoid compatibility conflicts, potential problems with missing samples due to improper file paths, and licensing issues, these samples load as programs into the free TX16Wx sampler by CWITEC. It’s an excellent, full-function, and highly flexible sampler with a very low CPU footprint. It supports:
· Mac OSX 10.7 and above, 64-bit AU/VST2/VST3/AAX
· Windows 7 64-bit and above, VST2/VST3/AAX
There are no strings attached; the company doesn’t even ask for your email or registration. Of course, they’ll be happy if you purchase the Pro version eventually, but it’s unnecessary for these instruments.
Loading the Bass Instruments
1. Insert TX16Wx as a plug-in (note: there is no stand-alone mode, but it works in VST/AU host programs for live performance).
2. Click on the Load program button (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: The Load Program button is outlined in light blue. Click this to load a program.
3. Navigate to the folder with the desired bass sound, and open the folder.
4. Open the associated .txprog file.
Note: If a dialog box says “Item Already Loaded,” it means you already loaded that program. Simply click on Yes to All, or check the program selector (see below) to verify that the program is indeed loaded.
5. Start playing!
Click on the Regions button to see the key mapping, or Sounds to see the synth module parameters.
Because of the TX16Wx’s low CPU consumption, you can load an instance for each program you want to use, and load one program per instance. This isn’t necessary, but may simplify your workflow.
To switch back and forth among multiple programs for comparison, load each one, and use the drop-down menu or up/down arrows in the program selector window. For example, Fig. 2 shows six of the eight presets in the 5-String Bass sample pack.
Figure 2: Load multiple programs to choose among them—for example, to try out different sounds in context with a song.
About the Instruments
The range for the 5-String bass extends down to B1, the lowest possible note. The other basses transpose the low E down electronically to reach B1, in case you've used the notes between B1 and D#2 in your music, and want to try different bass sounds. The highest note transposes up beyond the bass range, to the highest pitch allowed in the MIDI spec.
The octave from C1 to A#1 has slides based on open strings, and an FX sample. The slides are very useful for creating more life-like and interesting bass sounds. Downward slides for four of the five bass strings are mapped to their respective notes (E, A, D, G). Up/down slides are mapped to a semitone above those notes. The low B string is handled differently, as shown below.
· C1 An unusual sonic FX sample
· C#1 Downward slide to B1
· D1 Downward slide to D
· D#1 Up/down slide that starts and ends on D
· E1 Downward slide to E
· F1 Up/down slide that starts and ends on E
· F#1 Up/down slide to B1
· G1 Downward slide to G
· G#1 Up/down slide that starts and ends on G
· A1 Downward slide to A
· A#1 Up/down slide that starts and ends on A
Fig. 3 shows the Regions mapping for the various bass instruments. They all use the same mapping.
Figure 3: Each key represents a Region, which maps one of the bass samples to the keyboard. To open the Regions window, click on the Regions button.
Customizing the Instruments
Editing in the Sounds panel is straightforward. There are four modulation sources in the Modulation section (Fig. 4), and multiple filter, FX, and envelope options to customize the sound further.
Figure 4: The Modulation section is outlined in light blue.
Vel increases filter Cutoff 1’s frequency with higher velocities. This emulates the effect of strings becoming brighter when you hit them harder.
Key(board position) reduces level with higher notes, because you usually don’t want a bass’s high notes ringing out. To make the higher notes louder, edit the -20 dB amount parameter to a more positive value.
Pitchbend affects pitch by ±2 semitones (200 cents). This is a fairly standard value, but change to higher values for slides that cover a wider range. Some players prefer a range of 1200 cents (one octave), which can allow sounds that are more like a fretless bass.
Mod Wheel controls a 6 dB lowpass filter to emulate the slope and effect of a bass’s tone control. Rotating the wheel forward reduces the highs.
I hope you enjoy using these bass sounds...now go make some great music!