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IK Multimedia Modo Bass 2

Virtual Bass Software By Paul White
Published September 2022

IK Multimedia Modo Bass 2 main screen.

Modo Bass 2 builds on the success of the original, adding more and better basses.

While sampled bass guitars often sound more believable than sampled six‑string guitars, most of the nuances that make the real thing so expressive still get lost. Even multi‑sampled instruments fall short as you’re essentially switching between snapshots of playing intensity or playing style. IK changed all that in 2017 with their original Modo Bass. This employed physical modelling to recreate not only the sound of a whole library of classic bass guitars but also the tonal changes that occur with the pickup and control settings, the position along the string that it is picked, palm damping, picking style and so on. All of these parameters and more can be adjusted, but for added realism, it is also possible to control many aspects of the sound in real time via MIDI continuous controllers and keyswitches.

Modo Bass 2 is a significant evolution of the original and comes in three different versions: Modo Bass 2 CS, Modo Bass 2 SE and Modo Bass 2. Modo Bass 2 CS is free and includes a ’60s P‑Bass model with the option to purchase additional bass models individually as needed. It also offers a limited number of patterns, though the fretless fingerboard option is unavailable. Modo Bass 2 SE comes with four bass guitar models but in most other respects is the same as the full Modo Bass 2 version, including all of the patterns and the fretless option. Modo Bass 2 comes with 22 bass instrument models covering pretty much all the classic bass guitars, two fretless models and two upright acoustic basses, one dedicated to rockabilly sounds. Either of the lower‑tier versions can be upgraded to the full version. While you can run the original version of Modo Bass on the same machine as Modo Bass 2, it is also possible to copy any existing presets to Modo Bass 2.

IK like to stress that Modo Bass and Modo Bass 2 go beyond virtual instruments as they model the entire process of playing bass, from choosing and playing the instrument itself to the amp and studio setup used to record it. During the design process the techniques, positions, articulations and styles of playing of real bass players were studied right down to aspects of fingering and touch, which provides the user with an impressive depth of control. However, for those wanting an easy life, just choosing a bass and then setting a couple of options such as pickup choice and picking style still produces excellent results. As a regular user of the original Modo Bass, I have to say that the modelled sounds are extremely convincing and come over with a much more organic quality than sample‑based alternatives....

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