Review: Spectrasonics Trilian – putting the “Total” in Total Bass Module
Positives:Covers the full spectrum of Bass – Acoustic, Electric, and Synth with superb quality and playability
Quick access to important parameters on main page, which change depending on the instrument / patch
Like Omnisphere, exceptional browser / organization features
All Trilian Sounds can also be played in Omnisphere
Negatives:Could be considered a resource hog on older machines, but any modern machine should be fine.
Unless you need a "full bass solution" might be overkill for your needs
Trilian truly is a total bass module and can cover the full gamut of acoustic, electric and synth bass sounds. The factory library is a whooping 34GB in size and consists of the best acoustic bass I’ve ever heard complete with four separate mic/pickup channels, six electric basses (including Music Man five-string, Fender Precision, Fender Jazz and Chapman Stick) and numerous synth sources from such heavy hitters as the Yamaha CS-80, Moog Taurus Pedals (which are AWESOME), Dave Smith Tetra and ARP 2600, and MANY more. You also get everything from the original Trilogy (some of which I’ve actually found very useful) and, as a bonus, an enhanced version of the Bass Legends library, which again I have used on projects.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the GUI is simply gorgeous. It borrows heavily from Omnisphere, but where it differs is on the main instrument page, which consists of a dynamically changing “simple” mode, giving you access to the most important tweakable elements all from the first page. What makes this incredibly awesome is that it dynamically updates depending on the patch! So for example the acoustic bass patch gives you the finger noise amount knob right up front, where as a moog taurus pedal patch gives you FM depth instead. This is a VERY cool idea, and one I really hope someday makes it to Omnisphere, as it makes tweaking patches incredibly quick and easy, and of course like everything Spectrasonics, is customizable.
Trilian’s layout is very similarly to Omnisphere. Each patch, like omni, consists of two sound sources which can be set to either a sample or synthesis or a combination. This is very cool, as I’ve gotten some interesting results layering sine waves on top of my synth basses to give them even more depth. Trilian also has the same great editing capabilities of Omnisphere, as well as the FX and apreggiator options for further sound and performance shaping.
But how does it sound? Simply put, AMAZING. To me, Trilian has hands down the best acoustic upright bass I have ever heard! These guys went to great lengths to capture not only the sound of the bass as both DI and miced (which can be easily blended via controls on the main page) but also legato transitions, true staccato, 12 separate velocity layers, 16 round robin alternatives, as well as a variety of slides, squeaks and other player noises and techniques. I’ve used this bass on MANY film scores, and I’ve gotten comments from listeners and musicians asking who I hired to play bass – its THAT good!
The electric basses are also very good. Using them mainly for Progressive rock style electric bass, I tend to use the “Rock P-Bass Pick” most often. Though I would have preferred a picked Rickenbacker bass (how they neglected to sample a Picked Rick I’ll never know!) the Rock P-bass gets the job done in a very convincing manner every time (which is more than I could say with my previous sample bass libraries). What I love is the ability to blend the DI and the AMPEG amp recording to make a very convincing bass in the mix! I personally find their amp sim a little lacking and like to run it through Ampltube AMPEG. I know this is taboo, but sometimes I’ll even add Amplitube on top of Trilians amp sim, which in a recent song I’m working on gave it just the right sound. Worth trying at least. To me, this again has the most realistic electric bass sounds in my library and even though I have quite a few other electric basses, some that were even release after Trilian, I still reach for Trilian every time with fantastic results.
Last but not least are the synth basses, which like everything else sound fantastic. Before I got Trilian I was always using Omnisphere for my bass sounds, which it did a serviceable job, but there are synth basses in here that will just blow your pants off! I really cannot believe the amount of variety of all the different presets, be it for pulse basses, aggressive basses, sweepers, swelling basses, etc. Also, a lot of these patches do not have to be limited to bass, and can also serve very well as interesting leads, great arp material, etc. Perhaps this is in part why Spectrasonics programed it so Trilian sounds can be loaded in Omnisphere as well, which allows for some really cool layering options.
Bottom line: Trilian truly is a total bass solution. All the different sound sources have awesome playability and simply sound fantastic. You will have to do some mixing / tweaking to get some of these massive bass sounds to fit in you mix, but the realism that can be had with this VI simply can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a full bass solution and willing to drop the cash, you will NOT be disappointed with Trilian. The shear amount and variety of content you get makes this library a STEAL!