Bass Master User Guide

Introduction


Bass Master is a great sounding and simple to use plugin dedicated to giving you the best bass for your music. You'll be able to get awesome bass that fits your track in no time at all. 



Loading the plugin in your DAW


The Bass Master plugin is found in the Loopmasters folder in your plugin list. Here it is in Ableton Live, but if you are using a different DAW, then load the plugin in the same way as you do others. 

Authorising Bass Master


Bass Master will work in demo mode for 14 days before you need to enter your Authorisation code.
Your code can be found on your Plugin Boutique account page. [HYPERLINK]

To enter your auth code click on either the 'Bass Master' or 'Powered by Loopmasters' logo to view the about page, where you can copy and paste your code.


Paste the whole code from ---START--- to ---END---

Selecting Presets


Click on the arrows to scroll through the presets, or click on the preset name to bring up the list of presets.



Presets are organised into folders which describe the sound as SIMPLE, LOW, SUB, HARSH, etc



Spend some time previewing the presets to get an understanding of the range of sounds and programming techniques that Bass Master has to offer. Play with the modulation wheel on your keyboard, as all patches are setup to use this to modify the sound of the patch.

Choose the '---INIT---' patch (found in either the INTRODUCTION or SIMPLE category) to set Bass Master to default.

Controlling Bass Master


Bass Master, like any other instrument plugin, can be played with your MIDI keyboard and all parameters controled by clicking and dragging with your mouse.

There are some keyboard + mouse click inputs that will give you more control of the plugin.

Fine control of parameters


Press CTRL + Mouse click and drag for fine control of any fader or knob.

Reset Parameter


Press ALT + Mouse click to reset any parameter to default value.

MIDI Learn Parameters


All knobs and faders can be mapped to your MIDI keyboard / controller.

Rightclick on the control to bring up the MIDI learn window



The move a control on your MIDI keyboard / controller

To remove or edit the learned MIDI, right click on the same parameter, where you can re-assign or remove the MIDI



Layer Section


This is where you can select your sound sources. It's divided into TOP LAYER and SUB LAYER. In most cases you want to have an 'interesting' sound with more frequency content in the TOP LAYER, and a 'simple', or 'subby' sound in the SUB LAYER, but you can load any sample into each layer for more creative sound design.


Waveform selection


To select a wave, click on the wave name and pick from the dropdown list.



Press the arrows to move forward and backwards or the random icon to be given any random one of the 217 waveforms. 


There is a wide variety of samples to choose from. Some are simple saw or sine waves, others are built from additive synthesis. Lots are sampled from vintage and modern hardware synthesisers. There is a lot of character in these waveforms - some are very clean, others are dirty and noisy. Some are completely mono, and others are more stereo. 

Note that some waves have 'Loop' at the end of the name, and others do not. 'Loop' denotes that the wave will continue to play indefinitely when you hold down a key. Waves without 'Loop' are one-shots, so are of finite length.

As Bass Master users a single sample mapped across all notes, as you play higher, one-shot sounds will sound shorter as you go up. This is like the days of old samplers, and adds a certain 'resampled' sound to Bass Master.

Layer Envelopes


The Top Layer has a full ADSR envelope, to set the Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release of the layer, whereas the Sub Layer has just Attack and Release.



When you play a note using both layers, the sub layers note length is always defined by how long you hold down a key, whereas you have more control with the top.

Top Layer Sample Start




The Top Layer has SAMPLE START control. This can be used in lots of creative ways to alter the sound of the wave. Some of the one-shots have lots of sound variety through the waveform, or you may want to remove the attack part of a percussive sound. 

Note that some of the looped sounds are quite unchanging throughout the loop, so you may not always hear much difference, but remember that changing the start point adjusts the phase of the wave. So listen out to the bottom end of the sound when layering two sounds and playing with SAMPLE START. 

Note that SAMPLE START adjusts where in the sample playback starts when you press a key down so it will have no effect if you adjust is while the key is already held down.

Sub Layer Octave




Use the OCT control to change the Sub layer octave from 0 to +/- 1 octave. This can be used to change the octave relationship between Top and Sub Layers.

Note that some patches use this to different effect, so will sound higher or lower than other patches. You will need to play your MIDI notes up or down one octave on the keyboard to compensate. 

Layer Mixer


Use the MIXER to balance the TOP and SUB Layers. 



Note that these level controls are applied to the signal before the Filter, Distortion and other FX, so the level will affect how the distortion sounds.

Sub Direct Out


Press DIRECT OUT button to bypass the Sub Layer from Filter and all Layer FX. The Sub layer always goes through the Master FX Frequency booster. 

Filter Section


The FILTER section is where you can start to shape your sound.
 

Filter Type


Click on the drop down list to select any one of the 13 filter types on offer. 
There are high pass (HP), band pass (BP) and low pass (LP) filters with 6, 12, 18 and 24dB per octave.



Filters marked LDR are based on the famous Ladder design, and the others are the proprietary Bass Master filters. These two filter designs sound quite different, especially when used with high resonance settings. Listen to the difference in resonant peak - the Bass Master filters offer a more clean sound, and the Ladder sounds wider and a bit dirtier. 

The Comb filter offers a wholly different sound. Rather than filtering out specific frequency band, it creates multiple bands depending on the cutoff and resonance settings. Note that it can get quite loud with high resonance, so be careful!!! 

Pre-Drive


Turn PRE-DRIVE up to fatten up your sound before it goes into the filter. It will add subtle harmonics, or quite a lot of dirt to the sound, but you can filter out the sound using the filter controls.

Cutoff and Resonance


These are perhaps the most important controls on any synth! Use them to remove and boost frequencies in the sound. CUTOFF controls the frequency at which the sound is filtered. RESONANCE will boost the signal at that cutoff point. As ever, experiment with different filter types and different CUTOFF and RESONANCE amounts to get used to how the filter affects the sound.

Keytrack


KEYTRACK is a switch that affects the way the filter CUTOFF frequency follows the keys that you are playing. 
When ON, the filter CUTOFF tracks the notes you play on the keyboard. This way higher notes automatically have a higher filter cutoff. When OFF, the filter CUTOFF frequency is the same no matter what note you play. Most of the time you want tracking ON, as this gives a more natural sound. Try this setting with a high RESONANCE to make the effect obvious.

Filter Envelope


The FILTER ENVELOPE is used to make the filter CUTOF move over time with a press and release of a keyboard note. First increase or decrease the amount control. It's bi-polar meaning you can make the filter move up or down. Now play with the ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release) - these control the way that the filter moves over time.

Filter LFO

The FILTER LFO is used to make the filter cutoff periodically move up and down.

Start with the AMOUNT control and move it up or down.

Now choose a LFO SHAPE. You'll find the usual suspects here, but also shapes like DRIFT and SAW EXP - These offer interesting sound sculpting variation.

The RATE control changes the speed of the LFO.

With the SYNC button on, you can choose any speed from 8 bars to 1/32 triplet of a beat. With the SYNC button off, you can choose between 0.01Hz to 50 Hz.

The PHASE Control defines where the waveform starts, with a range of 0 to 360 degrees. So if you have a sine wave selected, 0 degrees starts the wave from the bottom, and 90 degrees starts it from the top, where it then travels down.

Finally, the TRIGGER drop down can be set to ON or OFF. When it’s ON, the LFO always starts when you press the key down. When it's OFF, it moves freely irrespective of when you press a key.

Layer FX


Bass Master has 3 FX engines that you can use to process either the layers. For most bass sounds, you want a nice clean Sub layer (DIRECT OUT set to ON), so you don't add effect to that layer, but you can add as much or as little FX to the Top layer as you like.

Distortion

There are 5 distortion algorithms - each has a DRIVE control and a COLOUR control.

DRIVE sets how much effect there is and COLOUR adjusts the frequencies that come out of the distortion.

DESK, DRIVE and FUZZ are different distortion models offering a different sonic character.

CRUSH is a digital sample rate reduction model.

DUAL is two distortion units combined to give even more nastiness!

Take some time to listen to how each of these distortions add and remove harmonic content from the sound. Depending on the waveform chosen in either layer, and the filter settings, the different distortions will add to or take away from the sound, fattening things up, or thinning them out. Remember that if the distortions are removing bass, you can use the sub layer, set to DIRECT OUT to beef things up again, or play with the Frequency booster (see later in the guide)

Chorus

CHORUS FX can be used to thicken sounds, detune and to make them wider. The four Chorus algorithms can be used to do just that.

AMOUNT is how much chorus you are adding and RATE is the speed of the modulation – you will hear this as a the 'stereo-ness' or detuning of the sound moving slowly or more quickly.

For mort bass sounds you generally want the low end of the bass to be mono, then most of the time you want to use chorus on the top layer only.

Reverb Send

3 Reverb algorithms offer a reverb with different flavours. BRIGHT, MID and DARK refer to the frequency content, so adjust depending on your taste.

The LEVEL controls how much signal goes to the reverb. The SIZE control adjusts the largeness and decay of the reverberant sound.

Master FX Frequency Booster


This section can be used to add even more beef to your sound. Frequency booster is based around 3 bands of compression, Top, Middle, and Bottom (Hi, Mid and Low frequency).

 

First turn up the LEVEL control. This is a DRY WET control, so this mixes in the booster. At fully DRY, there is no effect, so the knobs will have no effect on the sound. 

Now, as you increase the TOP, MIDDLE, or BOTTOM controls, you will boost the sound for each frequency. These frequencies have been tuned to work well with Bass, so if you want more bottom end, then you know what to do! The MIDDLE control adds more body to the sound, and the TOP adds sparkle. But this is of course dependent on the sound you put in. 

For example... 

  • If you have just a sub sound with no high frequency, then the TOP control will either do very little, or add a 'click' to the start of the sound. Too much TOP may even give make the sound click too much, so be careful when adding it. The MIDDLE control on a sub sound will add some harmonics, making it richer and fuller. And the BOTTOM will add even more bass, maybe too much, so care is needed.
  • If you have a more distorted sound, or one with more high frequency, then the TOP will really accentuate those frequencies. If you have reverb too, then lots of TOP will make that reverb hold for longer.
  • If you have a sound with not enough bottom end, then just boost the BOTTOM to bring it back. 

Note that the TOP, MIDDLE and BOTTOM controls only go up, i.e. they only add to the sound. So, for example if your sound has too much mid range, boost the TOP and BOTTOM to effectively reduce the middle. 

The LEVEL Control on the right is the master level. This can be used to compensate for any level added by the frequency booster.

Modulation Section


Pitchbend and Glide Settings

The PITCH and GLIDE controls give you options on how to make your notes bend and slide. These are really useful for creating more wonky basslines.

Increase the GLIDE setting to change how long it takes for 2 differnt notes to slide between each note. This ranges from 0 - 10 seconds. There is a drop down menu to the right with PORTA and LEGATO settings.

PORTA (portamento) means that the notes will always glide, no matter what your playing style. LEGATO means that notes will only slide when 2 notes overlap, so you have to hold down a key at the same time as playing the second key. So LEGATO allows you to make some notes glide and others not, depending on whether the notes overlap.

The PITCH control shows you the status of the pitch wheel on your MIDI keyboard, but you can also click + drag the control with your mouse to create a pitch bend. The RANGE control can be set from 1-12 in semitones, giving you the option of 1 semitone to 1 octave of pitch bend.

Modulation Wheel settings

The modulation section contains settings for how your modulation wheel on your MIDI keyboard can control the sound of Bass Master. Every preset in Bass Master has the modulation wheel setup, with some subtly changing the sound, and others completely transforming it. There are 3 destinations, meaing that the mod wheel can control up to 3 things, each by a different amount.

The MOD control shows you the status of the modulation wheel on your MIDI keyboard, but you can also click + drag the control with your mouse to create a modulation. The 3 knobs to the right define how much modulation is applied. These are bi-polar meaning that you can increase the destination or reduce it.

Each knob has an associated DESTINATION. Every continuous control (knobs and sliders, but not switches and dropdown lists) can be set as a destination.

It's quite a long list! But this does mean that you can get creative with your programming.


Saving Presets

If you have made changes to a factory preset, or created your own, you're going to want to save it. 

There are two save buttons. 


Save

SAVE will overwrite the current preset .

Note that you cannot overwrite a factory preset. If you press SAVE on a factory preset, the SAVE AS box will open where you can create a new user preset. 

Save As

Save As will give you the option to create and name a new preset, opening a box to enter preset name and preset folder. 


Summary

Thanks for reading the Bass Master user guide. I hope that Bass Master becomes your go-to instrument for Bass sounds. If you have any other questions or requests please contact support


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