Saturday, June 2, 2012

Steinberg Virtual Bass - A real Veteran!

Today I want to feature a real veteran of the Bass VST Plugins. It is the Steinberg Virtual Bass. Until today I had the old version, which had, from my point of view, everything the new version has, and looked like that:
While searching a download link for you today, I came across this newer version, which is kindly provided as a 64-Bit version also:
I want to set clear one thing first: If you expect to get a realistic sound of a real Bass equipped with strings from this plugin, you will be disapointed. The whole thing really sounds too synthetic. But this plugin is the one, which comes closest to the sound of a real E-Bass of all, commercial plugins included, Bass VSTs I tested so far. If there's somebody reading this and thinks he knows a VST which does this job better, please tell me about it. I allways love to learn. But keep in mind: We are not talking about expensive sample players with gigabytes of sample libraries, but pure BassSYNTHESIZERS which do the job without using samples. To emulate the sound of a real stringbass is, as the sound of a real accoustic guitar, a hard job to accomplish for a synthesizer. And here the Steinberg Virtual Bass does a quite good job. The settings are kept quite simple. One can change the position and shape of the plectrum. Also one can smoothly change the position of the pickup. Dear bassplayers: Try this with your real hardware bass ;) There is also a control for the damping of the strings. But this damps the strings just to a certain degree. You will not get the PLOPP of a 100% damped string with this. Also there is a control for the release time of a string, but extreme values do not work here either. After all one can achieve quiet good results, especially when using automation of the controls.

Quality: One should expect from Steinberg, the inventors of the VST technology, that they did a great job at this plugin. And that expectation is not disapointed. The Steinberg Virtual Bass is a stable, rock solid and ressource friendly VST with a GUI which even not very smart people, who have a basic understanding about what an E-Bass is, should be able to grasp. Because this plugin is very old, it runs great on very old computers. I didn't test multiple instances in a DAW, because one very seldomly needs more than one bass unit in a single song. ;)

Conclusion: The Steinberg Virtual Bass is, from my personal view, the VST Plugin which best mimics the sound of a real E-Bass. It is ressource friendly and incredibly stable coded. I indeed think, that it should not be missing in any VST collection.


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