To produce this library, the bass was sampled through a close-miced stereo pair of Shure SM81's, an AKG D112, a Neumann Tlm 102 and a "di" bridge pickup. During mixing, it was decided that the SM81's blended with the D112 gave the best overall tone. The bass was sampled over the course of a few 10 hour sessions, where the bass player played plucked notes, slap bass, and slides. Boy, did his fingers burn after those slides!
Do to the nature of the recording environment, the samples contained a lot of noise, and had to be denoised, although a lot of the noise was left in so as not to affect the tonal qualities of the upright bass too much. As an instrument that is more-or-less destined to sit in a mix, we don't feel that the slight noise is much of an issue, and do to the percussive nature of an upright bass, tends to fade-away quickly, but well let the audio demos speak for themselves.
The goal of this library was to strike a balance between a realistic upright bass sound and a useable vst, therefore, the articulations are "pre-recorded" as opposed to engineered/programmed. Although software simulation allows for more control over playing, nothing sounds quite like live articulations.
The Kontakt version of Adam Monroe's Upright Bass is cross-platform, and is maintained by Native Instruments, all the programming and effects being done through them. Some simple scripting is done by us. The VST version is another story, and the programming falls entirely on AdamMonroeMusic. The goal in any sample library that is also a VST (virtual instrument) is to attempt to match the performance of the Kontakt Player. We feel the performance of this VST is comparable.
The VST version includes high-performance algorithms that have been improving with each new virtual instrument released by Adam Monroe Music. For example, the buffering algorithm is double-buffered and multithreaded, which means that buffering performance is fast, even on slower computers, and even in lower latencies. Voices are held and iterated over in a pure, C-Style array. Memory use is lower in the VST version than in the Kontakt version (70-130MB). Because of the solid VST code base and, and compilation of the code to not need external .dll's/objects/libs, you can feel confident that the VST version should work just as well as the Kontakt version.
When it comes to upright bass, there are several considerations in regards to articulations. What do you include and how are they triggered back? Unlike some other upright bass sample libraries, we decided it would be best to separate the slap sounds, and the softer, natural pizzicato sounds, and allow the user to control them with the sustain pedal. We decided to limit slides to major and minor 3rds which can be controlled by the pitch wheel; holding the pitch wheel slightly up before pressing a note will trigger a minor 3rd, holding it more aggressively up will trigger a major third, and the reverse is true for slide-downs. You then have to move the pitch wheel back to the "neutral" position to trigger another slide. We feel this prevents the user from triggering unwanted slides. Slides don't work for notes that don't make sense (like up from and down to E1). Hammer-ons and pull-offs were also recorded, but in the end it was decided they did not add much value to the library and would be difficult to control outside of automation.
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