Witech releases BassMatrix, a FREE and open-source bassline synth for Windows (also available as a browser-based instrument).
BassMatrix aims to provide the sound of the TB-303 bassline synth in a free and easy-to-use package.
It functions as a VST3 plugin and standalone application for Windows 10. According to the developer, a macOS version will be provided “when we get a Mac,” which I thought was pretty funny.
I don’t get a chance to test every plugin before writing a news article, and usually, no Mac version would rule it out completely. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find a web version of BassMatrix that I could try out.
A few minutes into the web version, I was thinking about drums and pads and forgetting I was there to work. To someone who doesn’t make music, I imagine the idea of programming anything step by step sounds quite tedious. But it’s actually lots of fun, and that’s the first compliment I can pay to BassMatrix.
The interface displays everything clearly, with large knobs for Tuning, Cut Off, Resonance, Env Mode, Decay, and Accent. You’ll also find a Waveform switch (Saw/Square) next to those controls.
Next up, you get pattern settings like Clear, Random, Loop Size, and octave options. Either side of these settings is Tempo and Volume controls.
Moving down the interface brings you to the grid, where you can add/edit steps. Each step has Gate, Slide, Accent, and Down/Up octave buttons that can give your pattern more character and groove.
The TB-303 (1981) was one of several initial flops from Roland that went on to become a much sought-after device. An original unit might cost a few thousand dollars these days, but there’s a much cheaper Boutique model and even cheaper Behringer tribute available.
Or, you can stick to software, and BassMatrix sounds pretty cool. There have been a few bass freebies this year, including FunkBass from Audiolatry and the more recent MODO Bass 2 CS from IK Multimedia.
Since I only tried the web version, it would be good to hear how anyone gets on with BassMatrix in their DAW.