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Prominy SR5 Rock Bass 2

Virtual Bass Guitar Instrument
By Nick Magnus

The main Fretboard screen displays string activity, current articulation, stroke direction and effects status, with the option to lower the range of the instrument by up to four semitones.The main Fretboard screen displays string activity, current articulation, stroke direction and effects status, with the option to lower the range of the instrument by up to four semitones.

Prominy's bass instrument comes of age with a major version 2 overhaul.

The original version of SR5 appeared in 2010 [see SOS December 2010 review] amid a market already well served by virtual bass instruments from the likes of Scarbee, Spectrasonics, Chris Hein and Vir2. Aimed squarely at the rocky end of the spectrum, SR5 featured the sound of a five-string Musicman Stingray played with a plectrum, sampled in great detail to include additional noises, fingering techniques and artifacts typically associated with an 'energetic' style of bass playing. There's a tangible sense of physicality to the SR5 sound — raw, lively, and full of attitude — yet equally adept at gentler musical styles despite its butch intentions.

The Story So Far

The architecture of the original version was somewhat unusual; the 'full Monty' with access to all features was an nkm Multi called the Super Performance Multi. This comprised 14 separate Kontakt instruments all assigned to a common MIDI channel, each hosting its own string or 'add-on' articulation, accessed via keyswitches. Whilst ostensibly cumbersome, this approach had its advantages. Since each articulation or 'add-on' was a separate Kontakt instrument, they could have their own volume or EQ, for example, and bearing in mind that memory was more of an issue in 2010 than it is now, individual elements could be simply deleted from the Multi if not required, reducing RAM usage and subsequent project loading times. In those days of mechanical hard drives the full Multi took a lunchtime to load, so Prominy also provided a single-patch Lite version containing the main fingered articulations (legato slide, non-legato, hammer-on/off, repetition, mute and pick) and the all-important release noise details, with 'intelligent' string selection but no option to force-select strings. Despite these economies, the Lite version was more than capable of producing extremely lifelike and elaborate bass parts.

Nine Years On

SR5 2 not only consolidates the full set of features into one streamlined NKS-compatible Kontakt instrument, but adds chord voicings, strumming, arpeggio picking, built-in stompbox effects and amp sims to its arsenal. Now with a total of 21,700 samples (26GB uncompressed 44.1kHz 24-bit, 14.2GB on disk), there are 7700 additions to the sample pool, including a vastly expanded array of effects (noises, scrapes and...

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Published October 2019