EZBass for brass riffs: a µ-tutorial

Hi Pals

In the past I used EZBass to create brass riffs, but I think I just scratched the surface, so here is a deeper test with a Soundpaint brass

I was also able to find multiple suitable bass-lines to create a long Latin brass-line, then I D&D the chords to each Toontrack Bandmate to create a complete Latin song

Have fun

P.S: the suitable bass riffs aren’t always matched; it means that you may find blues riffs perfectly usable for funky brass and vieversa

P.S. 2 this is also good for @timboalogo


I keep being tempted by EZbass… and the new version of EZkeys. (I only have EZdrummer 2.2.3 and EZkeys 1.3.4.) In a way, I’m “waiting” for some kind of bundle including an upgraded version of EZbass with some of the same added features as in EZkeys 2. (Hopefully, my financial situation will have improved enough by that time.)

In the meantime, I use MODO Bass 2 SE, which was free with hardware I bought. (MODO Bass 2 CS is free.) Thought about getting the full MODO Bass 2… the only difference is in the number of models and the four included in SE are flexible enough that I don’t need more.
Like EZbass, MODO Bass has an embedded bassline database. The main thing I miss (which I’m expecting in EZbass 2 and which would make a “Jazz Trio” bundle really compelling) is the Bandmate feature you mention. Dropping the chords from one plugin to another is easy enough. What I understand, though, is that the integration could get deeper and allow for more flexibility.

What I miss from all of these plugins is based on the fact that they’re plugins. I keep dreaming about first-party support for chord tracks in DAWs, communicating with plugins. Yes, some DAWs do support chord tracks (Waveform, for instance). My favourite DAW, Bitwig Studio, doesn’t. Even with chord tracks, though, there isn’t any communication with plugins. AFAICT, plugin formats don’t allow for such information to be shared. In fact, I’m pretty sure there isn’t a standardized way to describe chords.
The only implementation I know which gets close is Cardinal (a fork of VCV Rack). Aria Salvatrice’s modules use what she calls “Poly External Scale”. Still quite a few things missing to make that work with chords, of course.

I even have some ideas to use chord progressions in diverse tuning systems through MTS-ESP. The ideal model there would be to tune every chord in Just Intonation, a bit like Hermode Tuning.

Anyway, I realize these are far off what you describe… and I’m convinced that you personally don’t mind.

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Ahem, it’s too much complex for me, so sorry if I don’t follow your workflow
:cold_face: :grin: :upside_down_face: :rofl:

I’m the one who’s sorry.

Basic idea: it’d be great if plugins could send chord and scale information to one another and to the DAW. So, Scaler tells EZkeys “hey, we’re in G7!” and EZkeys tells EZbass “let’s play G Lydian Dominant!”.

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Yes, notably if plugins are in the same ecosystem

For example, one boring drawback of Toontrack plugins is that if you create a song with its parts, intro, 1st verse, chours, bridge etc. in EZkeys, you cannot have them automatically translated in EZBass and EZDrummer (and vice versa), so you have to waste a lot of time to re-create information that are actually in the first plugin used YUK

I asked their support, and they replied that my query was passed to devs, but no news so far

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Sure! One would expect that. Communication between plugins is a major thing for “music theory plugins”. Captain Chords can send information to Captain Deep and Captain Melody. Same with Orb Chords and Orb Bass. Or between instances of Scaler 2.
Too bad Toontrack has yet to set things up seamlessly. My guess is that it’ll happen in a future version and the bundle will become all the more useful.

What would be even better is if there were a way for such communication to happen between plugins made by different teams and/or between plugins and the DAW or host. There’s some data sent (BPM, for instance). It could get much deeper.

At any rate, thanks for your µ-tutorial!

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And thanks you for your insight

Also… Do you know iBassist, on iPadOS? It’s now available as a plugin.

Cool thing there is that you can send it chords through MIDI input and it follows the progression… though some chords are interpreted differently.

Cubase has a master chord track. I’ve not used it myself.

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Did notice some references to it… Didn’t use it either. (Only got the LE version and Cubasis, the iPadOS one.)

I think PreSonus also has a chord track.
Logic Pro used to have a chord track (probably before Apple bought it).

The one in Waveform (and Tracktion before it) is rather clunky (at least by my standards). It does give access to a variety of chord types, listed without any structure.

IIRC, there’s a module which serves as a chord palette. And the chords can serve in “painting” contours.
I don’t think the chord information can come from a plugin and I’m pretty sure plugins can’t get this information.

I don’t have Apple devices, but I still use Broomstick Bass that does the same on a PC, plus a cool automatic drummer

Unfortunately, the formula was abandoned and even if one of the devs (Bornemark) is in the UJAM group (BTW, it seems that their instruments communicate with each others), a real automatic bass & drums with a decent sound doesn’t exist anymore

Unfortunate indeed!
Of course, some musickers bemoan the very idea of generating bass or drum tracks. I can sympathize with that sentiment. Thing is, though, it can be so much fun to engage with (semi-)generated tracks. That’s one of my favourite approaches to improvisation.
Then again, interacting with live musicians is way better… if everyone is on the same page, musically and personally. (Something I like about jamming with such tracks is that the software doesn’t feel like it’s judging my playing.)