Bass guitar sound is considered to be the foundation element in modern music. If we are talking about Rock, Jazz, Country, Metal or any other genre, the bass guitar represents the backbone of the groove. Until recently, we were forced to record bass guitar and other live instruments. However, as time progressed, high-quality bass guitars as virtual instruments became a reality. In the next tutorial, we will guide you through an excellent instrument called Scarbee MM-Bass by Native Instruments, which requires a Kontakt player developed by the same company. Since this instrument offers so many options, I will divide this tutorial into two parts.
Scarbee MM-Bass by Native Instruments
Scarbee MM-Bass was recorded with flatwound strings to get that warm, creamy sound of 1970s disco and funk bass lines. The bass was recorded through a DI box to give maximum flexibility in the sound production. Furthermore, the full strings of the bass were sampled in order to reproduce the timbre changes that occur when you move between low and high frets – giving you rich, natural sound with all the overtones.
Scarbee MM-Bass is much more than just a collection of samples. It features an extensive set of playing techniques including sustains, mutes, harmonics, hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides and more. Thanks to some sophisticated scripting, Scarbee MM-Bass comes vividly to life with features such as a dynamic fretboard display, chord recognition, random alternation between varying release samples, random insertion of pickup hits and realistic vibrato – all to put the swagger into your groove.
After the initial introduction, let’s move to the functions and practical examples of the Scarbee MM-Bass. As usual, I will make a new MIDI channel within Soundbridge and first place Kontakt player on it, then I will select Scarbee MM-Bass from my collection of banks in the Kontakt Player.
As we can see, the interface is made in the form of a bass guitar. Therefore, we can see the strings, frets, neck, and all other parts of the bass guitar. In the lower part of the picture, we can see the piano roll as well. I am showing you this because you need to understand the full potential of the instrument.
As you can see, some keys are marked in red and others in blue. Red keys from the left are reserved for the key switches, which are used to switch between different articulation. For example, if you want to switch between playing with the index to middle finger or playing in mute or sustain mode. This can be easily done just by pressing the selected key on the keyboard. A useful option is to enter the submenu by clicking on the “Perform” tab and going into “Help” menu. This will show you the full list of articulations and their placing on the different keys of the keyboard.
The keys marked in blue represent the octaves over bass can be played. On the other hand, the red keys on the far right part of the keyboard control the playing position key switches. Additionally, they control squeaks, slides and other inharmonic sounds of the live bass guitar.
This was the first part of the tutorial where I wanted to give you a brief look into this fine instrument. So, I will finish with a couple of sound examples and save the in-depth explanation of more advanced options for the next tutorial.
~Scarbee MM-Bass 1
~Scarbee MM-Bass 2
Download the project here.