Orange Tree Samples Releases Iconic Bass: Jaco

By • June 25, 2009

Less than one year old, Greg Schlaepfer’s Orange Tree Samples of Sonoma, California, has already released four major libraries in Kontakt format, and on Monday, June 23, released its fifth, Iconic Bass: Jaco named in honor of the late Jaco Pastorius. This sampled bass represents a big step forward in in terms of the realism achievable from a sampled bass and playability. Jaco is Orange Tree’s most extensively sampled instrument to date with individually sampled strings, natural and artificial harmonics, retrigger samples, legato articulations, and effects such as mutes and string slaps. It’s been tested and operates in both Kontakt 2 and three formats.

Extensively modeling the fretless bass guitar. it fits well with jazz, rock, metal, drum and bass, pop, etc. Other developers of guitar and bass libraries are praising it at KVR.

Orange Tree Samples went to extraordinary measures to recreate Pastorius’ Boom of Death bass sound starting with using a recreation of Jaco’s bass made by the same company as the original model. Greg meticulously recreated the fine details like using the identical roundwound .045 gauge strings that Jaco preferred, and sampling the bass directly from the output of the electric bass (the way Pastorius typically recorded in the studio). To achieve his dynamic tone, Iconic Bass: Jaco features samples taken from several different plucking positions, such as playing close to the bridge in order to obtain the growly, biting tone commonly called the “Jaco growl”. The library also includes samples with a deeper, mellower tone where the plucking hand is much closer to the neck of the bass, thus enabling it to fit well in many pop and rock productions.

Using Kontakt’s powerful scripting engine enabled Schlaepfer to program the library with subtle nuances for realistic sounding performances. A big giveaway of a sampled bass is the unrealistic silences at the end of notes and between notes. To avoid this using Kontakt scripting, Schlaepfer dedicated half of the samples in Iconic Bass: Jaco to release samples, note transition samples, and fret noises.

Iconic Bass: Jaco features include:

– Nearly 4,000 24-bit 48 kHz samples for optimal quality, with a total file size of more than 2.5 GB.

– A pristine signal that was captured directly from the output of the bass, providing complete freedom to apply effects, EQ, or amp sims as desired.

– Individually sampled strings with a scripting engine that automatically determines which frets and strings are used, increasing the realism of both the tone of the bass and the performance, because each string is monophonic.

– Different release samples depending on the duration of each note. In live performances, staccato notes generally have a noisier release sound than long, sustained notes. This is factored into the programming of Iconic Bass: Jaco.

– Three plucking positions, each with three velocity layers, and 2x intelligent round-robin sample cycling.

– Legato articulations such as hammer-ons and pull-offs.

– Natural and artificial harmonics, which produce a ringing, bell-like tone, that was a part of Jaco’s signature style.

– Retrigger samples are used so that different samples are used when the same note is repeated, resulting in a more authentic sounding performance.

– Pre-pluck samples. The sound that the bassist’s finger makes as it moves across the string before plucking it. This subtle addition provides an important audio cue to convince listeners that the bass is live, not sampled.

– Effects such as muted notes, rakes, string slaps, and much more.

– The ability to slide from one note to any other with incredible realism.

– Low D samples. While uncharacteristic of Jaco’s style, this feature enables Iconic Bass: Jaco to fit perfectly in rock, metal, and other styles of music.

– Includes amp/cab impulses modeled after specific signature Jaco tones. These can be accessed directly from the interface, or applied using a convolution plugin.

Audio Demo 1
Audio Demo 2
Audio Demo 3

Iconic Bass: Jaco is available as a digital download.

Leave a Comment