Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
I reviewed the first two titles in Heavyocity’s Mosaic Series — Mosaic Keys and Mosaic Voices — in the November 2019 and February 2020 issues of SOS respectively. I was suitably impressed with both instruments. In each case, the sum of the parts is a very creative and inspiring instrument that could easily find a home amongst both media composer and songwriter/producer toolkits. Of course, having enjoyed the first two titles, I was keen to see what the latest offering — Mosaic Bass — might bring.
As expected, the Kontakt 6 front end and sound engine is identical, but the focus within the underlying samples is synth bass sounds. The 3GB of sample content is divided amongst nearly 50 different bass and sub‑bass sounds and these are complemented by a further 50+ drones, noise layers and ‘attack’ sounds. These can obviously be blended in a huge variety of ways within the three sound slots supported by the front end. Heavyocity include almost 200 different Snapshot presets which are organised into two main categories labelled ‘mellow’ and ‘aggressive’, with each containing sub‑categories of playables, rhythms and pads.
The presets do a great job of demonstrating what Mosaic Bass can do. The ‘playables’ are more conventional bass instruments, albeit exploiting the range of sound‑design possibilities provided by combining the different types of sound sources and the multitude of processing and modulation options provided by the sound engine. There are some very cool sounds here and, while Mosaic Bass is perhaps not going to be a go‑to for playable EDM bass sounds, there is plenty here for other musical genres or media composers. The same can perhaps also be said of the pad categories. These make good use of the envelope modulation feature and, while great as low‑end pads, many are useable over a wide pitch range for all‑round pad duties.
For me, however, even better were the ‘rhythms’ categories. These contain a combination of sounds that either provide a nice rhythmical ‘pulse’, or melodic arpeggiation, depending upon the settings for the individual arpeggiator modules for each of the three sound sources within a particular preset. Providing you don’t voice too many closed chords at the lower end of the MIDI note range (at which point, all that bass might get a bit muddy), these are super‑inspiring and make great use of the modulation options. Media composers could easily build the core of a complete cue from a single Mosaic Bass preset and, providing you are prepared to dig into the engine yourself (rather than just surf the presets), there is a massive scope for your own sound design.
Like the other titles in the Mosaic series, Heavyocity have managed to create something really interesting here. Mosaic Bass sounds great and, what’s more, is pitched at a very sensible price. That’s three hits in three titles... and I’m already looking forward to whatever might arrive in the fourth instalment of the series. Excellent stuff.