‘The New Basstard‘ by 8Dio is a collection of messed up, twisted double bass samples and effects. A follow up to ‘The Basstard’, the sequel boasts new sounds, a new interface, and a range of multi-sampled articulations (FYI: the full version of Kontakt (5.6 or later) is required).
I really like sample libraries that take an instrument and mess with it in new ways. It’s very important to me to always have fresh sounds, and to find different ways of playing ostinatos, pulses, things we are used to hearing on the same types of instruments/patches, and that’s what this is great for – it’s something different. Not only that, but 8Dio seems to have a focus on encouraging you to really push the sounds into new directions with their built-in FX tools.
So What’s In it?
The New Basstard has Six main patches/categories:
– Tonal (staccato/pulse patches)
– FX Tonal (Broody Sus patches)
– FX (non-tonal FX)
– Metamorphosis (Strange mangled short FX samples)
– Percussion (light/strange percussion and noises)
– Grooves (short loops at various BPMs)
Within each instrument is a collection of patches that can easily be accessed by clicking through the articulations/sounds, or using keyswitches.
I would definitely grab this if you are looking for pulses and string/bass sounds that are a bit different, a bit darker and a bit stranger
Most of the sounds involve a Bass being played in unconventional ways – plucked, strummed, hit using sticks, forks, bows, and apparently even power tools! The result is an interesting, percussive set of sounds that are very useful for scoring pulse chase scenes, dramatic tension, or even horror type cues, especially with the long FX patches and strange percussive hits.
If you see these patches as a starting point for more sound design, you will get a lot of out of this library. You can load up a sound and instantly find yourself inspired to write something you might not have thought of – it’s a good starting point and springboard, useful for composers writing to a snappy deadline or those who need a sonic starting point or boost in a new direction.
The sounds layer very nicely with more organic instrument patches from other libraries, especially strings and percussion, and can be a great way to add some life into your compositions even if you aren’t necessarily going for a hybrid/sound design type of thing – for example they can be used to just add some extra bite or percussive-ness to a spiccato or staccato line, as a subtle effect. But for more driving, action-based cues, you can really dig in and make some cool, unique sounds. Especially if you use them as a base and mess with your own FX – or the built-in ones.
I like the ability to Keyswitch between the patches – I prefer the fact that it is split into six patches, instead of a whole list of different instrument patches that you have to dig through on Kontakt.
There are two ways of controlling the sound, through the main panel, where they have introduced a new front-facing FX system to alter a range of effects (pitch, delay, cutoff etc) as well as the Chaos FX system 8Dio users will be very familiar with. There’s an A/B setting to switch between two mix styles and effects. This isn’t really explained properly in the manual or the 8Dio walkthrough and it’s a bit fiddly to get it to work. That said, there are plenty of options here to mangle up the sounds to create something unique.
The walkthrough does showcase the patches nicely, however!
There’s also a built-in EQ which can be handy for people who like to alter their sounds within Kontakt. My preference is generally to alter the FX externally, but I do find some of the chaos FX to be quite useful, the delay and degrader in particular, and I had a lot of fun mangling the sounds to the point where they were unrecognizable. This library is good for that. You can run it through guitar amps, distortion, saturation, fuzz, octave/pitch plugins to get all kinds of crazy results.
How does it Compare?
The New Basstard is sort of a unique beast of its own. There are several alternative percussion and FX based libraries out there but the Basstard offers a fairly organic, intimate sound, with its focus on the Double Bass. That being said, I did try out Motion Cinematic Grooves last month, a new library by Paris Sampling which is something worth comparing it to as it features similar bass sounds. ”Motion’ is a loop based library, so The Basstard does have that flexibility over Motion.
Ultimately, I think the flexibility of sounds and the ability to make your own loops with The Basstard will be very attractive to score composers and sound designers looking for a fresh addition to their palette.
I would have loved a slightly more aggressive short bass patch in the library, with a bit more dynamic range for really dynamic and expressive fast choppy lines. I think where this library shines is with the lighter, stick/mallet based patches. There are also some cool harmonics and brush sounds.
Overall, this is a really cool library. I have already used it on a few cues and trailer tracks, like I mentioned earlier, it layers quite nicely – I doubled some of the stick and mallet sounds with Metropolis Ark’s bass/celli spiccato section and it sounds quite cool. I’ve also used it alongside plucky synths to add some life and an organic touch.
I would definitely grab this if you are looking for pulses and string/bass sounds that are a bit different, a bit darker and a bit stranger. I think it really works best as a layering tool, but the Basstard 2.0 delivers!
Written by Chris Hurn
Chris Hurn is a composer from New Zealand. He writes for several trailer and production music libraries, and is currently working on a couple of video game scores. His website is http://www.chrishurn.com.