First Look / Review: The Lowdown V2 by Modwheel

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Modwheel follow-up their fan-favorite flagship library The Lowdown with V2, sampled from a 100-year-old Double Bass. With nearly 100 NKI presets, the library spans from traditional tones to experimental sound design to out right out-there, all with sonic clarity.

Jump to the Demos of  The Lowdown V2

Jump to the Videos of  The Lowdown V2

 

First Look: The Lowdown V2 by Modwheel

Modwheel follow-up their fan-favorite flagship library The Lowdown with The Lowdown V2, sampled from a 100-year-old Double Bass owned and played by Bass luminary David Donaldson. With nearly 100 NKI presets, the library spans from traditional tones to experimental sound design to out right out-there.

The Lowdown V2 sells for $79 from Modwheel
The library is available as a Free Upgrade for existing Lowdown (V1) owners.

Thoughts

I need to preface this by saying that I was eager with anticipation to check out what Modwheel have done with a sequel to their flagship library. I have had a chance to check out the developer’s Humdrum, TimphoniaAngklung and The Bends. In each review, I came to the same conclusion, that Modwheel has a formula for capturing all the right frequencies for their sample sets to give them a “live” playback in that you can almost feel the air moving.

The Lowdown V2 is divided into two main folders, “The BaSsics” and “The Extended BaSs”.

The BaSsics contains the kind of instruments you would expect from a Double Bass library with playable multi-sampled instruments comprised of traditional Sustains, Staccato, Semitone Slide, 5th Slides and “Expressive” samples as well as Arco, some Pizzicato and Harmonics.

“The BaSsics” multi sampled instruments come with up to 4 velocity layers and 3 round robins and include keyswitchs to change articulations. All housed in very straightforward GUIs and containing the kind of sonic quality that has made me a Modwheel fan since DAY 1!

To my ears, playback of these traditional instruments is immediate and full of life. There is something about the way that the Modwheel team capture and deliver their organic sample sets that makes them sound like the players are standing right in my project studio next to me with a clarity and fullness that tickles my ears.

The second folder contains “The Extended BaSs” instruments. This collection of over 90 NKI presets spans a wide range of timbres with a folder for Ambiences, Impacts, Rhythms and a Shapednoise folder..

As you saw in the first look video (above) I found a treasure around every corner in “The Extended BaSs” instruments.  The Ambience patches range from drones you might expect from the sample set to extremely designed textures. Many of these instruments come with different layers that can be morphed to add motion and flow to playback via the modwheel, and produce timbres of which you might not expect from a Double Bass library.

The 11 Impact instruments include “Drum Kits” designed from the Bass sample sets with single hits captured and manipulated from playing the Double Bass with mallets, brushes, slapping and chopsticks for some very unique percussive effects.

The 24 Rhythms NKIs contain rhythmic percussive performances you might expect after hearing the Impacts, but also contain live performances and some even utilizing an arpeggitaor/sequencer in Kontakt for a bit of programming possibility,.

Of note with many of the Rhythms NKIs is the clever use of color coding keys breaking up the keyboard into designating tempo sync’d performances/sequence triggers and individual instruments.

The 20 Shapednoise patches really take the Lowdown V2 to another level. This set of instruments contains sound design from the original sample set manipulated by Kirke Godfrey into unique and uncharted territory. Browsing through these sound designed instruments was one unexpectedly pleasant surprise after another.

The only thing that jumps out as missing in the library is legato capability. This would have put this instrument over the top in my opinion and really made it truly a “must have”.  Despite this, I am still loving everything about The Lowdown.

Overall, the interface and usability of all the instruments are simple and intuitive to use. As far as the naming conventions go, what at first might seem strange, using abbreviated prefixes for samples triggered or functionality included in the patch ( Hrm for Harmonic, Bow for Arco, Frz for sounds originates from a freeze effect, etc) are very straight forward and I think few users will need to consult the manual after listening and playing with a few of the libraries patches.

As with all of our reviews, please check out the audio and video demos to make sure that this is the right tool for you.

Facts

The Lowdown V2 downloads as 3.4 GB of losslessly compressed samples. The library originally weighed in at 6.2 GB of Double Bass samples from a 100-year-old Double Bass.

The Low Down V2 contains a wide breadth of styled samples including Arco, Pizz & Detuned, Harmonics, Ambiences, Rhythms & Various kits and percussion as well as performances with Mallets and Chopsticks.

The Lowdown V2 does require the  Full Version Kontakt 5.5 or higher.

The Lowdown V2  sells for $79 from Modwheel
The library is available as a Free Upgrade for existing Lowdown (V1) owners.

 

Demos of The Lowdown V2 by Modwheel

Videos of The Lowdown V2 by Modwheel