Review: Substance Bass Engine by Output (Currently 35% OFF Plus FREE Exapansions)


With Substance, Output has delivered a versatile bass engine that will do wonders for modern producers working on everything from electronic music to trailer tracks.

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Review: Substance by Output


Substance it is a Kontakt Player instrument that downloads as about 5 GB of data and contains 300 presets. The instrument contains Output’s new 3-layer engine with Monophonic & Legato modes independent to each layer. The library comes with effects assignable to each layer as well as global FX, an arpeggiator, and a rhythm page that all sync to tempo.

Substance by Output sells for $199 from Plugin Boutique 

Owners of any other Output instrument can crossgrade for $179





To be honest I wasn’t all that excited about a dedicated bass instrument that sells for just under $200. My thinking was that it was the kind of instrument that only dance music producers and DJs might use – boy was I wrong! I needed to take my time and start using SUBSTANCE in a project to really start to wrap my head around all the benefits this bass “engine” was really capable of.

At first, I dug through the presets, pleasantly surprised as I clicked through each, discovering some wonderful deep tones that range from the kind of sub rumblers I expected to even more sculpted low end with edge and definition. The presets alone show the depth and capability of this instrument. You would be doing yourself a significant dis-service though if you didn’t dig in, take the time and learn how to sculpt and create your own bass tones. It is very flexible and powerful.


The basic way that Substance works is that it allows the user to load a sample into each of the 3 banks. You can mix and blend the 3 separate samples together. The samples contained in the instrument are divided into 9 categories: Simple Synths, Bass Guitars, Brass and Woodwinds, Processed Bass Guitars, Organic Hybrid, Subs, Synth Plucks, Complex Synths and One Shots & Impacts.


The instruments interface is fresh and fun, yet very intuitive. Clicking around the instrument I found it was easy to access and adjust the many parameters such as panning, eq, filter, arpeggiator and effects. I also found that the each of the 3 sound source banks clearly defined by color-coding. This made it so simple to get around and adjust the various controls for the particular bank I wanted to tweak out.


In addition to the FX, filters and arpeggiator Output has included what they call “Macros”  in the library. These Macros allow for some custom sculpting by providing 4 different sliders with customizable effects added to the playback of the instrument.




A huge PRO right out the gate is that these sample sets are so well thought out, categorized and organized.



After spending some time reviewing Substance, what I found is a very well thought out and fantastic sounding bass engine. As I mentioned, I was quick to dismiss this as a tool for only electronic music producers but quickly changed my view and now see this could be just the thing for composers working on everything from electronic music, to trailer cues. I also think composers writing epic orchestral hybrid tracks will get a lot of use out of Substance as well. It is difficult to get that massive low end in a hybrid track without layering mud onto your mix. Substance seems to do just the trick as I flipped through it’s many presets for a track I am working on for a trailer cue.

Substance by Output sells for $199 from Plugin Boutique 

Owners of any other Output instruments can crossgrade for $179

We got our copy from Plugin Boutique. They have a great loyalty program where you earn “Virtual Cash” with each purchase that become discounts toward your next purchase.



Demos of Substance by Output

Videos of Substance by Output