Rootbass – A Dirty Take on Bass Sound Design From Pornofonic Instruments

Rootbass is a new sample library for Kontakt
Pornofonic Instruments is a relatively new sample library company with a knack for full of character, ‘dirty-sounding’ instruments (hence the name?). That’s right up your alley? Let’s find out more…

Started by Emlyn Addison, a composer and artist (clocolan) based in Providence, Rhode Island, PFI’s first instrument was the aptly named Klusterjunkk which offered an array of unusual percussion instruments for composers. Constructed from junk objects and recyclables, the focus was on dirt, noise, and the unpredictability of performance as a part of the percussive sound.

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This was followed by the Klusterkitt kit builder and drum designer series: Konstruktor, Fabrikator, and Rezonator. Each offered a different take on noisy synthetic-acoustic drum percussion colored and warped by custom convolution IRs. RootBass is the newest addition to PFI’s instrument lineup, bringing its distinctive dirt + noise sensibility to bass design.

The company has just launched a new instrument for Kontakt, which has been in development for several months. RootBass reimagines the sound of classic basses, bass keys & bass synths from the 60s and 70s—mechanical basses constructed from a multisampled vintage analog synthesizer, physical actuators, noise artifacts, and amp/cabinet impulses.

As with all Pornofonic instruments, noise and dirt are integral to the instrument’s character. RootBass has a distinctive sound that feels solid, real, and deliciously mechanical.

Independently selectable key-down and key-up articulations offer separate decay, filter, tuning, and velocity sensitivity controls, including fine control over their position relative to the bass’s attack and release. Similarly, control the noise type, volume, envelope, filtering, and velocity sensitivity. The instrument offers poly/mono modes and a simple, classic legato mode. Each element can be bypassed.

The unique character of tape echo pairs up beautifully with classic rotator, phaser, flanger, and chorus effects to color the bass
tones. Three output mix types shape the instrument’s essential style: overdrive + amp/cabinet impulse, classic guitar amp, and classic UK guitar amp. Finally, tape saturation and compression give warmth and body while classic mono and modern stereo reverb impulses put space around it.

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I gave it a quick look and Rootbass does exactly what it says on the tin. It oozes character and it can be a timesaver for those producers and beatmakers into ’70s influenced music, hip hop, ‘contaminated’ electronica and all that jazz – from Herbie Hancock to Floating Points, DFA productions, etc. just to mention a few names you might be familiar with.
Just dial in one of Rootbass’ well processed presets (snapshots – you’ll find keys, bass, lead and arps), and you’re ready to go. As said, you can further customize the sound according to your needs (editing envelopes, filters, fx, etc.) but the presets are a great starting point and add value to the product.

The sample library market is a tough one, flooded as it with a growing number of (not always inspiring) releases. Pornofonic Instruments and Rootbass definitely stand out from all the rest and deserve your attention. You won’t regret it.

Pricing and Availability

Rootbass regular price is $59. If you’re quick, you can get 25% off thanks to the intro sale. Visit the official website to learn more and order Rootbass.


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