Review: Rob Papen SubBoomBass

Rob Papen is back with another virtual synthesizer plug-in: SubBoomBass.

Rob Papen SubBoomBass

SubBoomBass is filled with excessive amounts of low end ammunition to detonate your tracks!

With presets designed by the legendary Rob Papen and other guest artists, this dedicated bass synth will supply you with huge cone-rattling sounds that will devastate any music track.

This software instrument is great for Hip Hop and RnB but can also be used for Dubstep, video game music, film scores and more…

SubBoomBass key features

  • 2 oscillator synth engine (based on Predator) with additional sampled percussion, drum, fantasy and bass sounds.
  • Oscillators also feature PWM, sub-oscillator, FM/Ring modulation and oscillator sync.
  • Pre-filter distortion.
  • Analog modelled filter: 6dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB, 18dB and 24dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB and 24dB BandPass, 12dB and 24dB Notch, Comb and Vocal Filter.
  • Additional filter 2 with cutoff control – 6dB, 12dB and 24dB LowPass or HighPass setting.
  • Filter routing with ‘serial’, ‘parallel’ and ‘split’ modes.
  • Step sequencer with 16 steps, swing function and slide function.
  • 2 FX sections with modulation matrix (can be modulated using MIDI from any of the synthesizer parts) and 24 effect types.
  • Easy Edit page and Quick Browser.

Bass, Percussion & Grooves

Although a bit more funky looking than I would prefer, the interface is quite clear: a presets section, oscillator 1 & 2, filter and amp panels in the top, and a play mode/pitch lfo section, a sequencer/modulation panel, and an FX panel in the bottom of the screen. The sequencer and modulation panel can be switched (or hidden altogether, just like the FX panel).

Some interesting things about SubBoomBass:

  • Besides some standard analog modeled waveforms (i.e. sine, saw, triangle, etc.), SubBoomBass also includes a number of sampled percussion and bass waveforms for its oscillators.
  • In sequencer mode you can get your groove on with bassline and percussion sequences.
  • If you don’t want to mess with all these advanced controls, there’s an easy mode which only includes some basic osc, filter, volume and effects parameters.

Let’s take a look at some of the presets to get an idea of what SubBoomBass sounds like.

I know the video is a tad long (almost 10 minutes) but besides trying the demo for yourself this is probably the quickest way to get a good feel for what SubBoomBass does.

So what do I think?

SubBoomBass has surprised me in a positive way. Since the sound engine is based on the one in Predator (which I already have) I wasn’t sure this new synth would have that much more to offer. But as a dedicated bass instrument, SubBoomBass includes a number of features that go beyond Predator.

With a strong focus on low end bass sounds, it features an improved sub-bass generator and sub-bass boost effects. The included presets showcase some amazing deep and phat bass sounds (the video doesn’t do them justice really), great for Hip Hop, R&B, Drum & Bass, or any electronic music genre.

The tuned percussion brings some versatility to the sound palette. The sampled waveforms sound lovely and when using them with the sequencer it’s easy to construct some sweet grooves. The option to use custom user samples is planned for a future update.

In short, SubBoomBass is a more specialized instrument than some of Rob’s other synths (Albino, Blue, Predator) and as such it probably appeals to a smaller audience. That said, as a bass and percussion synth it does a splendid job in providing sounds that pack a huge punch.

SubBoomBass is available as a digital download from Rob Papen, or as a boxed product from distributors like Time+Space, where I got my copy. The list price is €99 EUR / $119 USD / £89 GBP (inc. VAT).

More information: Rob Papen / SubBoomBass

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