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The innovative Italian bass amp manufacturer Markbass, after shaking up the industry with their popular Little Mark II amplifier and a varied product line of high-quality and lightweight amps, cabinets and combos, are reconfirming their reputation for lateral thinking and cutting edge technology by introducing a dynamic recording plugin called the Mark Studio 1.

The plugin, one of very few on the market that accurately model bass amps and speaker cabinets, was based on three Markbass amp heads and six Markbass cabinets, and incorporates six different microphone choices, plus control over compression, mic position, tweeter level, room ambience, and more. The amps featured are the all-tube Classic 300, the tube-preamp R 500, and the solid state (with tube compressor) TA 501. The cabinets modeled in the plugin are the Standard 151HR (rear-ported 1x15"), Standard 152HR (rear-ported 2x15"), Standard 104HR (rear-ported 4x10"), Standard 104HF (front-ported 4x10"), Standard 106HF (front-ported 6x10") and Classic 108 (sealed 8x10").

Users can combine and adjust any combination of heads, cabinets and microphones, and store their settings in one of 64 user presets. They can also browse through 64 factory presets, which have been designed by project engineers as well as top Markbass artists. The plugin can be applied to a bass track either during or after recording, and a "standalone" version, which operates on its own without recording software, is also included. Both Mac and PC versions are offered.

The plugin gives users a wide array of sound choices for bass, providing a convenient, high-quality alternative to recording with bass amps and cabinets, and accessing more exciting, realistic sounds than are generally achieved by simply recording "direct". The plugin is useful to not only bassists, but producers, engineers, songwriters, and anyone who uses hard disk recording software to create music.

The Mark Studio 1 plugin was designed in collaboration with Overloud Technologies and product manager Paolo Costa, a Markbass artist and one of the top session bassists in Italy. The DSP modeling was created at Studio Logic in Milan, Italy, using actual Markbass amps and cabinets in order to faithfully capture their sonic properties. The sessions were supervised by sound engineer Renato Cantele and sound designer Max Costa, both experts in computer science and sound. In order to create the most accurate and realistic emulations possible, they created the sound models by using non-linear convolution instead of standard DSP techniques, in order to more accurately "clone" the sound. Six of the most popular microphones were used, including dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics. These were carefully evaluated, both individually and in combinations, as were their positions relative to the speakers. This involved a lot of playing, listening and comparing: all in the cause of accurately capturing the true sound of Markbass amps and cabinets in a plugin.

Markbass was founded in 2001 by Marco De Virgiliis and in a short time has become a leading force in the international bass amplification market, manufacturing all of their high-quality products in Italy.

Links:
Mark Studio 1 page at Markbass: http://www.markbass.it/products.php?lingua=en&cat=5&vedi=93
Overloud homepage: http://www.overloud.com/
Overloud article on analog modeling: http://www.overloud.com/en/technology/index.php?itemid=28
Paolo Costa artist profile page: http://www.markbass.it/artists.php?lingua=en&id=20

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