Slightly OT: Arco bass

(Sciurius) #1

I’m developing a piece of MIDI arco bass for a song. I’ve tried a number of soundfonts, but all of them have the same behaviour: the bass sounds for the duration of the note, and then stops. What I want is the note not to stop, but to decay just like a real bass when you stop playing without muting the string.
Are there any sound fonts that do this? Or is this beyond the possibilities of MIDI?

(Robin Gareus) #2

The bass-sounds in general-midi synth (comes with Ardour binaries) all decay. MIDI programs 32-37, first bank:

  • Acoustic Bass
  • Finger Bass
  • Pick Bass
  • Fretless Bass
  • Slap Bass 1/2

The decay is perhaps a bit on the long side (and there’s also a release period), but not unrealistic.

The synth-bass sounds (progam 38,39) continue as drones though, no decay.

(Sciurius) #3

Maybe I misformulated my question. The bass sounds you mention are ‘plucked’ sounds, I am looking for arco (bowed) sounds.

(Robin Gareus) #4

When using a bow, I’d expect the MIDI note so sound (“bow moving”) until the note-off and only decay after that.

(Sciurius) #5

That’s exactly what I’d expect too. But the fonts I’ve seen so far sound for the duration of the note, and then stop.
When you think about it, this would require the note to sound beyond the MIDI note_off event, maybe that is something that MIDI does not allow…

(Robin Gareus) #6

MIDI plays no part in this, it depends on the synth and sounfont. But it’s normal that notes do sound after the note-off. The release phase of the ADSR curve happens after the note-off.

I guess the soundfonts you check out stop the bow on the string and thus it decays almost instantly.

Maybe try using the “sustain pedal” CC64, even though a bass doesn’t have one, perhaps that alters the synth’s behavior (depends on soundfont).

(Sciurius) #7

Interesting suggestion. Unfortunately the sound fonts I tried so far just prolongate the sound of the note (i.e., they do what sustain is supposed to do).