Samples of the week time! We report on 6 virtual basses from the collection of multi-instrumentalist Dan Dean, a sample-based replica of a Fender Stratocaster, and a highly interesting Kontakt instrument for experimental sounds. Fans of free downloads should check out the new LABS instrument, Tape Piano. Read more below…
Tracktion Dan Dean Essential Bass – Samples
This Tracktion plug-in delivers six sampled bass guitars from the collection of musician, producer, and developer Dan Dean. His credits include BB King, Peggy Lee, Dionne Warwick, and drummer Alex Acuna – I wouldn’t doubt his ability to spin a groove!
For the instrument itself, an intuitively designed user interface lets you access important parameters such as Attack, Release, Glide, and Release noise. An amp simulator, an effects section, and over a hundred presets are available for further sound processing. A variety of slides and harmonics can be controlled from the modwheel and key switches in an attempt to achieve realistic articulations.
The plug-in works in 64-bit VST2, VST3, and AU formats under macOS 10.11+ and Windows 10+. PDF instructions and a 90-day free trial are available from the developer’s website. The reduced introductory price of USD 70 applies through July 15. The regular price is USD 99.
Native Instruments Session Guitarist – Electric Mint
Electric Mint gets you the sound of a world-famous electric guitar – a plain ol’ Fender Stratocaster. Native Instruments and Drumasonic sampled a USA-made model from the 1960s. The lush description of “silky licks and soulful grooves, rousing solos, or banging funk riffs” sounds about right. The Strat sound is timeless and it’s nice to have it in keyboard-friendly format for producers who like it. To that, the Kontakt instrument ships with enough patterns and MIDI chord progressions to start a song in nearly every style.
Native Instruments also thought of sound shaping possibilities. You can adjust the sound from the virtual pickups, tweak a dynamic vintage mic, and apply various amp and cabinet emulations. There’s probably a bit of Guitar Rig 6 living in here, which I’d be totally fine with. You can choose from finger or plectrum-picked articulations while the sound engine takes care of appropriate-sounding hammer-ons, pull-offs, fret noise, legato, and other phrasing details. You can manually determine the character of muted notes and the accents between downbeats and offbeats, as well as the swing and humanize parameters. You can also add bends with the virtual vibrato lever and finger vibrato.
The instrument includes 71 presets ranging from clean and direct to crunchy and distorted sounds. Electric Mint works in the free Kontakt Player and the full version of Kontakt 6.7+. It includes 222 patterns and 53 ready-made songs inside a 14.6 GB download. The library costs EUR 99.
Sound Dust Plankton
Plankton is a Kontakt instrument which looks like a lot of fun. It strives to emulate an organic music system that’s somewhat inspired by the music game Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS. If you like that game or loops, polyrhythms, generative music, and surprise accidents, you are going to like this!
Plankton accommodates a sequencer and an algorithmic playback engine along with a suite of different effects. It features 83 specially recorded impulse responses to create both natural and “impossible” spaces for every articulation. The samples themselves come from a Novation Summit, a Hohner Pianet T, a Cramer grand piano, a Celesta and Dulcitone, and a Hammond BR. So a fair bit of variety right there!
The instrument includes 1500 samples and 50 snapshots in a 1.1GB download. The full version of Kontakt 5.8+ is required. The regular price is EUR 48, but you will pay only EUR 33.60 until July 18, 2022.
Free: Spitfire Audio LABS Tape Piano Samples
A piano recorded on an old tape recorder? Sure, bring it! Spitfire Audio presents an irresistible combination with the latest entry in its popular LABS series. Tape loops, echoes and a magnetic card reader were used during the recording. The resulting sounds are nice and “wobbly”. The instrument works in the free LABS Player, which is available as a plug-in for macOS and Windows. You can find all further information at Spitfire Audio.