Rating: ***** 5/5 Stars
SOS reviewed Heavocity's original Gravity release in the April 2016 issue, when Dave Stewart was suitably impressed by both the sounds and the UI. Since then, Heavyocity have developed a number of themed 'packs' built around the Gravity engine. The latest of these — Gravity Pack 06 — is Scoring Bass. The basses in question are of the electric rather than orchestral variety but, as well as three playable electric bass guitars, the library includes a whole range of useful bass-rich content. Built from nearly 6GB of samples, Scoring Bass uses the Gravity front-end. However, users do not have to own the original library and it will work with either the free or full version of Kontakt 6 or later.
A single Kontakt preset provides you with access to the three multi-sampled, playable, basses (a Warwick, a Ken Smith and a Sire) with Snapshots offering a set of suitable presets based either on individual basses, or blends of all three, with and without various processing options. The UI offers plenty of effects processing possibilities to tailor the sound to taste. Yes, you can buy more comprehensive dedicated electric bass instruments, but these sound impressive and are easy to use.
Perhaps the real fun starts with the further three categories of sounds: Pulse Grooves, Rhythmic Pedals and Pads. The Pulse Grooves are essentially a large collection of rhythmic bass riffs. Each preset includes multiple different riffs and a set of keyswitches to pitch-shift the riff to match the root notes of any chord sequence you might wish to build. The engine also automatically tempo-matches playback to your host. There is some cool playing here and it is super-easy to build a perfectly convincing complete bass part.
The Rhythmic Pedals are divided into a number of sub-categories. For example, the 'core' presets offer various single-pitch rhythmic bass performances that you can pitch-shift via keyswitches. However, you also get the 'blend' presents that combine note pedals over the lower range of MIDI keys and a pad sound in the upper key range. You can, therefore, create some styles of cues entirely from Scoring Bass. Finally — and perhaps not something you might usually associate with a bass-based library — the Pads section is excellent. Yes, the sounds are all derived from bass sound sources, but the sound–design work done here makes very good use of Gravity's sound–shaping capabilities; there are some very cool sounds to be explored here and plenty of opportunities to shape them further using the effects and modulation options offered by the engine.
Heavyocity are obviously keen for potential users to see Scoring Bass as a complementary library to the other Gravity Packs and, in particular, the two Scoring Guitars titles. Given the competitive pricing, these are titles that are easily accessible to the aspiring media composer. However, I suspect even those with a few Hollywood blockbusters under their belt would find plenty of interest here also. Scoring Bass — like the other Gravity Packs — is excellent stuff and represents good value for money.