Hardcore Bass XP

Hardcore Bass XP is a library of electric bass samples that you can use to create a firm ‘bottom end’ for almost any type of music. The original Hardcore Bass library was created by producers Nick Phoenix and Pierre Martin, and recorded using Musicman Stingray and Lakland 5594 five-string bass guitars using different pickup and amplifier settings.

These guys were thorough, providing picked, fingered, muted, open, scraped, and mutilated bass samples. The library includes six sets of bass sounds, played through an Ampeg SVT amplifier and speaker stack. Musicman Pick Vintage, Lakland Pick Warm and Lakland Finger Woody presets were recorded through an RCA 44 ribbon microphone with a Manley/UA microphone preamplifier combination. Musicman Pick Hi-Fi, Lakland Finger Deep and Lakland Pick Buzz presets were recorded through a Sennheiser 451 dynamic microphone with a Neve/ADL Custom microphone preamplifier combination.

Each set includes lots of useful playing articulations, such as up and down strokes, slides, effects, release noises and a keyswitch preset that includes all the articulations in one – selectable by playing a pre-defined key first. The patches named ‘hardcore’, for example, are designed for ‘jamming’ and have slides and other effects when you play at the higher velocities. The staccato patches are mapped at the top of the keyboard so you can use them at the same time as any other patch. Every patch has a six-pole filter assigned to the mod wheel that can be used to create instant, filtered bass effects.

Hardcore Bass XP adds a fingered 1961 Fender Jazz Fretless, a picked and fingered 1963 H"fner, a picked 1965 Gibson, a picked and fingered 1966 Silvertone, and a picked 1972 Rickenbacker. Hardcore Bass XP works differently from the original Hardcore Bass. All the samples are stereo. The right channel is the sound of a 50s Ampeg B15 rig, mic’d with an RCA 44 ribbon mic into a Manley tube signal path. The left channel is the sound of an 80s large Ampeg SVT rig mic’d with a Sennheiser 451 dynamic mic into a Neve solid state signal path. So you get a vintage bass sound as well as a more hi-fi vintage sound – and you can mix the two.


If you need bass samples, Hardcore Bass XP will do the trick for most classic rock, pop, R & B or jazz tracks. Unfortunately, with some of the samples, such as the Musicman Pick Vintage, you can clearly hear the bass string rattling against the frets. Spectrasonics Trilogy has almost as good a selection of bass guitars plus an amazing upright bass – and costs £20 less – but Hardcore’s electric basses sound better than Trilogy’s.

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