Wave Alchemy – Bassynth
Wave Alchemy having previously released several drum libraries now turn their focus to Bass sounds in their aptly named new product, Bassynth, here we give you the Komplete lowdown!
The Wave Alchemists…
With several successful drum based products in their portfolio such as Evolution, Drumvolution and Revolution (the latter of which incidentally won Best Software Instrument of 2017 awarded by Music Tech Magazine), it seems like a natural progression for UK based sample library developers Wave Alchemy to move their attention to Bass, the next important key layer in building a strong foundation in the majority of modern music tracks.
Bassynth enlists a plethora of high quality well crafted bass samples from an expansive range of genres to combine and layer some seriously sub pumping tones that will give your monitors a punishing workout.
Bassynth will consume around 11Gb of space out of your hard disk, and requires either the full version of Kontakt 6 or the free Kontakt 6 player, and is also NKS ready for use within Komplete Kontrol.
There is one single master .NKI file, which when loaded provides the content engine for the 285 snapshots, which appear as the available presets within Komplete Kontrol.
The download came courtesy of 11 archive files, which once the first is extracted gtriggers a domino chain process on the remaining files, automating the unpacking procedure and creating a single Bassynth folder.
This can then be placed in your location of choice and the serial number added via Native Access for authorisation. Browsing to the folder path within Native Access finally installs it, and after a rescan of Komplete Kontrol it’s job done and the fun can truly begin.
NKS Browser & Plug-in Edit Control Assignments…
Let’s start with the browser and run through the choices,
Knob 1 & 2 – Vendor, Product Name
Knob 3 & 4 – Unallocated
Knob 5 – Type, Bass, Brass, Drums, Guitar, Mallet Instruments, Organ, Percussion, Sound FX, Soundscapes, Synth Misc,
Knob 6 – Sub Types (depending on previous selection), Fingered, Picked, Slapped, synth, Upright, Tom, Electric, Marimba, Timpani, Ambivalent, Classic, FX, Percussive, Sweeps & Swells, ,
Knob 7 – Character, Acoustic, Analog, Arpreggiated, Digital, Dirty, Distorted, Dry, Electric, FM, Lo-fi, Monophonic, Percussive, Processed, Sample Based, sub, Synthetic, Tempo Synced, Top, Vinyl, Wet,
NKS Plug-in Edit
Page One – Macros
Knob 1 to 8 – Assignments vary per preset
Page Two – X, Y Mod
Knob 1 to 8 – X, Y Mod (adjusts intensity between left X and right Y)
Page Three – Master
Knob 1 – X Intensity
Knob 2 – Y Intensity
Knob 3 – Motion
Knob 4 – Instance Volume
Knob 5 to 8 – Unallocated
As you can see from the NKS plug-in edit mappings, for blind users Bassynth offers only three pages of NKS parameters, probably the most useful controls of which are to be found on page one. Because the parameters have been pre-assigned to macros on a per preset basis it means that the consistancy in what we can edit and adjust is currently somewhat variable.
Some presets for example do have attack and release, whilst others do not, some enable control of reverb and delay and again others omit this.
Ideally I would have liked to have seen perhaps three pages assigned to some more standard controls such as ADSR, Sample Offset, Sample Layer mixing, Sound Sorce Selection and FX etc which would have allowed for a level of more reliable access and the ability to tweak any preset to our specific needs.
With these limitations in mind, as things stand at the moment, we in some ways perhaps need to look at Bassynth as a 285 preset Bass Rompler with a variable level of tweakability.
Having said this, in it’s defence, it’s worth noting that while things are not ideal, and despite this being a Kontakt based instrument, the mapping and macro style system employed here do seem quite similar to what we now have in the recently released Massive X from Native Instruments.
Back to Basics…
The sounds found within Bassynth cover a wide spectrum of genres, from dark brooding drones and filtered pads, to more punchy and attack type tones that would work well for drum & bass, dubstep, house, ambient, EDM and even retro Chicago House styles which are all fairly represented.
There are even some real world finger bass, slap and upright type presets within the library, but really the emphasis with Bassynth I feel is not to accurately recreate real world acoustic and electric bass guitars, as there are no detailed articulations or keyswitching controls in place, but they do offer enough low end clout to provide a pleasing and strong bottom end to tracks.
There could perhaps even have been an additional dedicated genre category within the browser section to assist with more rapid filtering and sorting of the presets, I appreciate no-one really likes to pidgeonhole sounds too precisely, but it can be a little tricky to find the exact sound you need at times among the many offered, but of course using the favourite button within Komplete Kontrol will quickly become your friend here.
The Bassynth Engine…
It’s quite evident that there is a whole host of finely tailored bass source content lurking within the expansive Bassynth fuel tank , gritty analog, acoustic sorces, foley, tape processed, wave table, classic analogs and even timpani drums are all present and lovingly crafted into the large stock of presets.
Some of the more noteworthy instrument contributions came from classic and rare synths such as the MiniMoog Model D, Juno 106, EMS VCS3 (aka ‘The Putney’), ARP 2600 Modular, System 100, TR-808 and even a very unusual bespoke real electric fretless bass called a ‘Bass Veena’.
Each preset is constructed of up to four layers of sounds, which draw from the over 800 sample sources contained within the engine, which then combine to make up each given preset.
Many of the standout presets have been created using an eclectic mix of sample building blocks, live brass, analog synths, TR-808 booming subs, upright bass and Acoustic Pizzicato plucks all merge together in various presets and make it evident that the layering of sounds in unusual combinations is indeed a timelessly proven and powerful sound design weapon.
Bassynth In Use…
There are not too many dedicated Bass Synth libraries on the market, so Wave Alchemy have here released a product that could appeal to a good cross section of the music community. The content certainly has some very powerful sub tones going on, so plenty of material here for dub step, hip hop and the myriad of associated styles.
The cinematic and trailer creators should not feel left out either, as there are plenty of huge sounding dark waves and brass tones that could work very well in hybrid scoring genres.
Thoughts & Conclusions…
I cannot deny there were occasions when working with Bassynth that I yearned to tweak the odd parameter here and there only to find that they were not among those assigned to the macros, but as I mentioned previously this is no different to working with something like Massive X, or even quite a few other Kontakt based sample libraries.
I would love to see additional preset packs released in the form of ‘snapshots’ that would expand the content even further, and ideally an ‘accessibility template preset ‘ without any number of page limitations, and plenty of pre-mapped parameters, there may be a technical limitation here however when it comes to loading samples from the available sample pool, but it’s certainly a potential solution.
Wave Alchemy have told me that they are going to look into these specific accessibility points, so all being well we could see them addressed in a future update.
At the end of the studio day, the important thing is whether the product can deliver the kind of Bass Sounds you are drawn to use in your tracks. There are after all 285 to choose from, and generally when played and applied to their more specific music style they performed admirably, the tightness, punch, outstanding sub and fine quality of the samples ensured a consistent level of mix readiness that proved reliable when putting together a track, and it’s always a bonus wehn you can think to yourself ‘I need a bass’ and then know where to go to find something usable that fits the bill.
Finally it’s definitely worth mentioning that Wave Alchemy are one of the few developers to offer a demo version of a Kontakt based library, and you can download and check it out for yourself by choosing this option from the product page (link listed in review footer).
Bassynth by Wave Alchemy is available for purchase and download from the Wave Alchemy website at an introductory price of £119.96 (Normally £149.95), there are also further discounts for existing customers which will be notified by email.
Wave Alchemy Bassynth Product Page:
Bassynth – Meet the Creators:
Bassynth – Preset Examples:
Bassynth User Manual:
(c) Chris Ankin
August 15th, 2019
The author accepts no responsibility for subsequent purchase decisions made as a result of this article,or Any inaccuracies found within this review. All opinions or product functions stated are based soly on information perceived as a blind user whilst using the product or gathered from official factual sources on the web or product manual.
About the Author
Chris Ankin has worked previously as a freelance review contributor with articles published in Sound On Sound, Home & Studio Recording and ST Format Magazines.