Spectrasonics Trilian Washington DC

Every recording needs bass. Well, maybe not flute duets, but everything else. So every virtual studio needs a soft synth that delivers strong bass. Spectrasonics Trilogy, released in 2002, provided great sampled acoustic and electric bass, and became the go-to virtual bass in many studios. Trilian takes the Trilogy concept into the stratosphere.


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Spectrasonics Trilian

Every recording needs bass. Well, maybe not flute duets, but everything else. So every virtual studio needs a soft synth that delivers strong bass. Spectrasonics Trilogy, released in 2002, provided great sampled acoustic and electric bass, and became the go-to virtual bass in many studios. Trilian takes the Trilogy concept into the stratosphere.

You’ll need a hefty computer. The library weighs in at a whopping 34GB, and some presets require more than 2GB of RAM. That’s more than just a separate sample for each key — each key has a number of articulations, and each articulation has several “round robin” samples, so that repeated notes don’t have that identical, machinegun sound. Above all, Trilian is playable.

I installed Trilian in my new Windows 7 PC, and soon discovered that I’m on the bleeding edge of technology. With Image-Line FL Studio 9 as the host, Trilian occasionally freaked out the audio buffer, resulting in loud noise bursts. I’ve reported the problem, and with any luck it’ll be ironed out before you read this. In Steinberg Cubase 5, Trilian was well-behaved.

0310 Spectrasonics Trilian MAIN

 

HANDS-ON [Click image at left for large version.]

  1. 1. You get eight multitimbral parts, plus a multimode mixer.
  2. 2. Each patch has main, edit, effects, and arpeggiator panels.
  3. 3. The two layers can be mixed, muted, and transposed with these controls.
  4. 4. Six LFOs can be synced to song position for reliable sweeps.
  5. 5. These quick controls affect both filters in a layer.
  6. 6. The envelopes are multi-segment, so the familiar ADSR sliders are just for quick adjustments.
  7. 7. To program your own sound, load a waveform from the library here.
  8. 8. The magnifying-glass buttons open more pages of editing controls.

 

 

SOUNDS

Acoustic, electric, and synth basses are ready to go in Trilian. There are four acoustic basses: one from Trilogy, one from Bass Legends, and two new ones. The new ones are actually four-channel recordings of the same acoustic bass, split into two pairs of miked and direct combinations. A Martin acoustic bass guitar, which has a round tone, is also included. With the acoustic and electric basses, you can mix miked samples with direct pickup samples — phase-locked, of course.

The electric bass category is bigger. Sounds you didn’t get in the original Trilogy set (which Trilian includes) include a Bissonette Studio Bass, Chapman Stick, Clean Fender, Hardcore Rock, Retro ’60s, and Rock PBass. Each of these has a number of presets for articulations: staccato, slides, muted, harmonics, and so on. Bass slaps and pulls are part of the deal, and are playable from the keyboard. Even legato trills are supported. Up to eight articulations can be loaded at once in Live Mode (see below). Within the basic preset, velocities of 127 trigger short, sampled slides up to the note, adding to the playability.

Release noise doesn’t require a separate layer of the patch, which is good, and you can adjust its loudness with a slider. You can mix...

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