Price - Free
Format - Vst & AU unit
Platform - XP, Vista, Mac osx, universal binary
Manufacturer - Togu audio line
Type - Bass synthesizer (Roland SH101)
What is Tal bassline?
Tal bassline is a software synth specifically made for bass sounds. It models it’s self on anaolg algorithms and characteristics. If you ask me it resembles the awesome Roland SH-101 bass synth in looks. The good news is the similarities don’t stop there, Tal bassline sounds like a SH-101 too.
The synth boasts saw, pulse, sub and white noise oscillates, a self oscillating -18 dB low pass filter, an LFO with 5 waveforms, a fast non-linear ADSR envelope, portomento, arpeggiator and a VCA with gate. Best of all this synth is free.
Tal bassline has one VCO capable of generating three waveforms, saw, pulse, a sub square and white noise. The oscillator has controls for range (16, 8, 4, 2), modulation (form LFO) and pulse width. Very simple but powerful. The pulse width source can be set to either manual, LFO or envelope, giving a range of pulse width modulation.
The Oscillators sound good and have a nice analog tone, although there not the best digital reproduction of analog waveforms there very close. For deep bass sounds the sub square wave is a great when combined with the 16 range setting.
The filter on the Tal bassline is a -18 dB low pass filter modeled on voltage controlled analog filters with a resonance parameter. This filter is particularly sensitive and even the smallest movement can change the sound. The same goes for the resonance which natural and has a smooth curve. The filter sounds good, warm and responsive, just like the Roland SH-101. Squelchy bass sounds are what this filter does best.
The filter can be modulated from three sources, the envelope, the LFO and the keyboard velocity. If you’ve ever used a synth you should know what this means! Wobbly bassline’s here we come.
Tal bassline’s envelope is the standard ADSR with a twist. It has a non linear response which means it is capable of fast attack, decay, sustain and release times. This is handy when working with bass as I often find myself wanting to add a little bit of attack to remove the harshness of a bass sound but don’t want to remove too much. With normal envelopes this is a tricky procedure but with the Tal bassline it’s easy. Tal bassline has a VCA that can be set to gate or envelope, thus freeing up the envelope for modulating the filter and not the sound.
The LFO on Tal bassline is defiantly one it’s strong points. The LFO has six waveforms, sine, saw, triangle, rectangle, sample and hold and white noise. The variety of the waveforms gives the LFO lots of flexibility when modulating signals.
One thing I really like is the speed range of the LFO, it can go from 0.1 to 30 Hz. The slow 0.1 setting gives some very cool modulation over time effects especially on the filter and oscillator. The LFO can also sync to tempo very easily and supports triplets but only goes up to 1/16.
There are more features packed into this little synth.
The portomento is very good and really adds to the analog sound of this synth. There are two options auto and on, on is for manual control and auto works on the distance between notes played.
The arpeggiator is simple yet fun. It has four modes up, down, random and normal and six speeds up to 1/16.
The warm filter feedback control does what it says, increases the chances of filter feedback.
There are sliders/bend wheels for control of the modulation and filter which are hard mapped to pitch bend CC#s. I used my nanopad’s XY pad to control the filter cutoff by just pressing the ml button. Nice.
On a core 2 duo, 1.8 GHz laptop with 1.5 gig of ram running windows and cubase the Tal bassline hardly even made a difference in cpu usage, peaking at 2%. Most if not all modern laptops should be able to run Tal bassline without any problems and even if you did there’s a panic button if your CPU spikes.
The Tal bassline’s stability is very good. It’s never crashed on me, locked up the computer, caused any drop outs or spikes in CPU usage. Rarely and i mean very rarely a note gets stuck, but it’s easily fixed. This makes it a good candidate for live use if you want phat bassline’s, don’t we all?
In conclusion there’s not much i can say about this synth other than download it! It’s a great little synth and has a really “analog” sound similar to the Roland SH-101, plus it looks like one too. If you want phat squelchy bass sounds, smooth portomento slides, a slow LFO, acidy bass and a stable plugin for live use, then this is for you.