March 24, 2022
Did Jamstik finally make a MIDI Bass controller? Unfortunately, no. While the Jamstik has a traditional 6 string guitar format, it can still be a useful MIDI controller for bass players who want to get their music into a MIDI format using a stringed instrument setup. Check out some of our team's favorite electric bass plugins to use with the Jamstik.
Bass Fingers by Waves
We’ll start off with the best bargain plugin on the list (you can usually find it for about $30), but don’t let the reasonable price deter you. Bass Fingers is an incredibly versatile and nuanced electric bass plugin. With 8 velocity layers and round-robin sampling, this thing sounds like the real deal. Perfect for modern indie, pop, rock, and even metal. With a big list of presets, great customization options, and an inspiring built-in pedalboard, Bass Fingers is a no-brainer. Here's a quick demo:
MODO BASS by IK Multimedia
MODO BASS takes a bit of a different approach to getting that “real” bass player sound. Instead of using samples, MODO employs what’s called physical modeling. In simpler terms, this means instead of sampling a bass player, MODO uses algorithms to capture how a real bass player would articulate the strings. The result is something that rides the line of human and machine. This makes it great for pop music, R&B, and even hip hop. It’s also incredibly customizable, (down to the string gauge and action) and since there are no samples involved, it doesn’t take up all that much CPU. For less than $100, you really can’t go wrong.
Trilian by Spectrasonics
No “best bass” list is complete without including Trilian. This behemoth of an instrument does it all—from fretless bass, slap bass, synth bass, and everything in between. Similar to Bass Fingers, Trilian employs high-quality, round-robin sampling; and frankly, it just sounds fantastic. Coming in just under $300, it’s no small investment, but with Trilian’s versatility and sound quality you might find yourself using it in every session.
GroveBass by Submission Audio
GroveBass is the signature virtual instrument for prog powerhouse Simon Grove. We all know, sometimes signature series plugins just don’t quite hit the mark, but GroveBass nails it and then some. In addition to injecting Grove’s sound into your productions, it’s also just a phenomenal sounding and versatile electric bass plugin at a reasonable price ($139). The note for note multi-sampling and comprehensive articulation options practically guarantee an authentic live feel, but GroveBass takes it even further with some clever customization options like force string, DOOM mode (limits samples to the punchiest and maxes out velocity), and humanize features. Whether you’re making prog, pop, or anything really, GroveBass is a killer option.
Ample Bass P by Ample Sound
You’ve probably heard the sound of a Fender P Bass. Its punchy, tight, and warm tone has led it to be of the most recorded bass guitars of all time. Ample Bass P set out to model that same classic tone and did a fantastic job. Boasting beautiful samples, an array of articulation options, and a comprehensive amp modeler, ABP really sounds like the real deal for about an eighth of the price ($119). And if that weren’t enough, the random riff generator and built-in mixing effects are sure to provide ample inspiration when you need it. Here's the "Lite" (aka free) version!
Have any favorite bass plugins not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!
Since the Jamstik MIDI guitars & controllers are entirely digital, you can make them sound like any instrument you want, including bass. Plus, the Jamstik apps and software have bass tuning settings and instrument patches available, just keep in mind that the Jamstik will be tuned to 6-string bass rather than a traditional 4 string.
We do not currently have a project in our development pipelines, but a MIDI Bass guitar controller is a very popular request, so our team is definitely considering building a dedicated bass version as a future project. If you'd like to give us your input and sign up for notifications related to a bass MIDI guitar, please feel free to participate in our Future Projects Survey here.
Check out these awesome riffs you can learn and play on the Jamstik! They were tabbed out using online music notation software from flat.io — which is a great resource for guitar students, teachers, and experienced players alike!
1. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
2. Another One Bites the Dust — by Queen
3. Feel Good Inc. — by Gorillaz
4. Killing in the Name of Love — by Rage Against the Machine
5. Longview — by Green Day
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