Documentation for the demoversion by Sven Bornemark
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and does
not represent a commitment on the part of Bornemark Music Software.
The software described in this document is subject to a License Agreement and
may not be copied to other media. No part of this publication may be copied,
reproduced or otherwise transmitted or recorded, for any purpose, without prior
written permission by Bornemark Music Software.
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are trademarks of their respective owners.
© Bornemark Music Software, 2004.
All rights reserved.
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
I wish to thank you for your interest in this
demoversion of our software. I’m Sven
Bornemark, musician and creator of
BROOMSTICKBASS. I dreamt up this virtual
instrument and my gifted colleagues helped
me realise it. We all hope you’ll find it useful.
Please take your time and check out the
possibilities. Don’t expect to fully understand
every aspect of our instrument after only two
minutes – it may take three.
If you run into problems – either computer
related or if you’re having problems getting the
most out of our product – don’t hesitate to call
for assistance at one of these two places:
Welcome to my world of musical tools!
BROOMSTICKBASS is a virtual instrument that’s split
into three sections:
• The Auto player, where you can use any of the
over 100 musical styles included. Play chords
that suit your song and BROOMSTICKBASS will
deliver bass lines.
• The Instrument vault, where you can choose
from a vast amount of sampled bass instruments
in four categories: acoustic, electric, keyboard
and pedal.
• The DSP section, with fine effects specially
tuned for bass, that let you enhance your bass
sounds and even go a bit over the top.
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
What to expect from BROOMSTICKBASS?
Certain musicians, like a guitarist or a percussionist, play repeated phrases throughout a song.
In many ways, bass playing is similar to that.
Repeating patterns – in this case bass lines –
lend themselves well to computerisation. Given
enough variations and controllability, a piece of
software like BROOMSTICKBASS can function like a
live bassist. You’ll have to learn how to steer this
virtual instrument in the direction you want, and
that isn’t too complicated.
Don’t expect BROOMSTICKBASS to compose your
songs for you or even arrange them. It takes the
skill and ingenuity of a live musician to do that.
But if it’s inspiration and functionality you’re
after, you’ve come to the right place.
This demoversion of BROOMSTICKBASS has only a
handful of styles (the retail version has over one
hundred of them) and two basses (the full
version has over twenty with more available as
free downloads in the future). You may start by
looking in the styles list (with the link button lit)
for a suitable pattern. By playing chords (even
simple one-finger chords) you can lay down a
bass track in minutes.
Once that’s been done, you may want to tweak
the sound or even change the instrument. Or dig
deeper into the newly created MIDI part and edit
certain notes. None of this is very difficult. We
have tried to make the whole process as easy and
intuitive as possible.
So – expect to be entertained and even a bit
surprised. Expect a new way of laying down a
cool bass line. Expect a short learning curve and
an instrument to grow with, both in terms of
musical understanding and expandability.
And expect a bit of fun!
First test
After installation, it is a good idea to make sure
that BROOMSTICKBASS is properly set up and ready
to play:
1. Load BROOMSTICKBASS as a VST Instrument.
Make sure BROOMSTICKBASS is chosen as an output
from a MIDI track and that the MIDI channel is
set to channel 1. If required, make sure your
external MIDI keyboard is routed to this track.
2. Open the BROOMSTICKBASS window. Make sure
the Auto button is pressed and that the Link
button is active (the small, green triangular light
should be on). Now, click in the Style window to
load a Style.
3. Adjust the tempo of your sequencer so that it
falls into the BPM range given in the Range
window. (You don’t have to do this, but it probably
helps you appreciate the styles if you do).
4. Click on one of the lower keys (anywhere in the
range C1–C3) in the on-screen virtual keyboard.
You should now hear a cool bass line pumping
out of your speakers. Press the metronome
button (the one with the drum kit) to hear this
bass in a musical context.
5. Make sure your external MIDI keyboard is
properly connected by playing a key.
BROOMSTICKBASS should play the same way it did
when you played it from the on-screen keyboard.
Now you are free to learn more about our virtual
instrument by turning every knob and pushing
every switch. Happy hunting!
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
A few words about the main page
Auto mode
Style selector and Link button
When in Auto mode, you may want to start by
selecting a style. Clicking on a style name
displays a pop-up list of genres, and each genre
contains a number of individual styles.
Please note! There are over 100 styles in the full
With the Link button activated (indicated by the
little triangular green light), BROOMSTICKBASS will
load a bass instrument that suits the style. This is
practical when browsing the archive for suitable
bass lines and sounds. After loading a style with
an instrument, you can load any other instrument
(only two basses available in this demoversion)
by clicking on the instrument selector. By turning
the Link button off, loading new styles will leave
the choice of instrument unchanged.
A few words about the main page
The Reference chart in Auto mode
You can do several things with the control octave
in Auto mode. Perhaps the most obvious task
here is to choose variations with (control octave)
keys C–G. G# restarts any 2 or 4 bar pattern
from bar 1 and A stops BROOMSTICKBASS from
Please also note, that you can move the control
octave into other positions with the switches in
the Settings section on the Edit page.
Chord display
In Auto mode, you can enter chords for your song
by playing either the on-screen keyboard or using
an external MIDI keyboard. The keyboard layout
for musical entry and control octave are always
identical for the on-screen keyboard and your
external keyboard.
You may enter “one-finger chords” or “fully
fingered chords”. Here’s a quick guide. One finger
chords (in the example key of C):
C key only = major chord
C + any white key to the left = 7th chord
C + any black key to the left = minor chord
This scheme is identical to that of many home
The Metronome button
Adding a simple drum pattern to the Auto bass
lines helps clarifying the musical usefulness of
the styles and variations. Use the Metronome to
get into the right mood while arranging and
composing, but please use another drum module
for the drum sounds of your song; the metronome drums are for rhythmical guidance only.
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
A few words about the main page
The Modulation Wheel modes
There are two really cool functions in Auto mode,
both of which are related to the modulation
wheel. The first is a “connecting” mode, accessed
by pushing the modulation wheel up to the
position between 10 and 90% of full travel. This
plays a special variation, suitable for moving
between chords.
Example: You may want to go from C to F in a
song. On many occasions, a live bass player
would play a small connecting passage like C-DD#-E-F (or similar) instead of just “jumping“
abruptly from C to F. In Connecting mode the
bass still pumps out its rhythm but (usually) only
the root note, so you are supposed to play the
actual passage. You return to normal Auto mode
by moving the mod wheel back again.
The second function is accessed by pushing the
modulation wheel up all the way. This invokes
“temporary manual mode”, where you take over
the playing. To return to “normal” Auto mode
from either of these special modes, simply return
the modulation wheel to its initial position.
A few words about the main page
Manual mode
The Reference chart in Manual mode
You select Manual mode by pressing the Manual
button in the middle of the screen. From now on,
the keyboard is yours!
Use the Instrument selector in the top right
corner to choose your bass. This demoversion
only contains two instruments while the retail
version of BROOMSTICKBASS offers a selection of
over twenty basses.
You can access the various articulations via keys
C to G in the control octave. With no control key
pressed, you play the “normal” notes, meaning
the two or three layers of velocity for each
instrument. Holding down (control octave) C
produces Staccato mode, where four discrete
short notes are played randomly – perfect for
those rock style “pumping eights” style passages.
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
A few words about the main page
For the acoustic and electric basses, control keys
C# and D# produce slide down and up. D creates
realistic Hammer-ons and Pull-offs (you need to
play overlapping notes to hear this effect) and E
activates Legato mode (again, you need to play
overlapping notes to hear this effect) or Single
Trigger mode for the synthesisers.
The last three keys produce bass-specific noises.
“Smack” is the sound made when quickly placing
the picking hand across the strings. “Ghost note”
is a note that is so damped it’s lost its tonal
content (jazz and blues bass players use ghost
notes a lot!). “Fret noise”? Yes, that’s right! It’s
the noise a bass player’s hand makes as it travels
across the frets of the neck of the instrument.
Of all the articulations mentioned above, only
Staccato and Legato apply for the synthesiser
and pedal basses.
Many of the original instruments included in
BROOMSTICKBASS can be played polyphonically, i.e.
they can be made to play several notes
simultaneously. It’s not totally uncommon for
acoustic and electric bass players to play octaves
or ten note intervals, at least occasionally. Just
listen to Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and
you’ll know what I mean. Herbie Flowers sure
made one mean performance on that one!
However, in the seventies most synthesisers were
monophonic. Emulating them in an instrument
like BROOMSTICKBASS usually works better when
this switch is set to Mono mode. That way you
never run the risk of revealing the fact that you’re
using a measly computer instrument in your song!
The “single trigger” effect works in both mono
and poly modes – although for a realistic simu-
A few words about the main page
lation of a monophonic 70’s synthesiser, mono
mode is better.
The release time is set to a sensible default value
for all instruments, e.g. the double bass and the
church organ pedals have a slower release than
the snappy synthesisers.
However, you may want to change this value,
especially for the synthesiser basses. You’ll
notice how their tonal character changes with
increased release time. Feel free to experiment,
but try to avoid overly long values – they’ll only
make your bass lines sound muddy.
Release Noise
For good realism, we’ve implemented release
noises in the electric and acoustic bass
instruments. A good bass player can manage to
keep those noises to a minimum, but release
noises really are part of any stringed bass sound.
So, if you’ve had it with realism, simply turn this
knob counter-clockwise to reduce or remove the
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
A few words about the edit page
The Edit page is split into two sections – DSP and
There are five effects in the DSP section.
The EQ has three bands with a sweepable mid
control. The Pitch Shifter can alter the pitch up
to +/– one octave (that’s +/– 12 semitones) and
there’s a mix knob to adjust the strength of the
effect. The Compressor evens out the output level
of BROOMSTICKBASS – this is often useful when
mixing a song. Chorus brings extra width to the
sound, and with the Feedback control turned up
you get a Flanger effect. The Overdrive adds a
speaker emulation when the knob is at its
minimum position and extra dirt to the sound
when turned up.
The on/off switches next to each effect allow you
to quickly compare the original and processed
sound. Remember to turn the effects of your
choice on in order to hear the changes.
A few words about the edit page
Please note, that all final audio mastering in
BROOMSTICKBASS is done via presets in the DSP
section. Uffe Börjesson’s final tweaks are loaded
with the basses. You can choose to use these
settings as they are or to tweak the sound
further. By turning off all the DSP effects, you’ll
hear the original sounds as they were recorded
(usually flat with no EQ or compression).
On the Settings page, you can choose whether or
not BROOMSTICKBASS will allow you to add accents
and syncopes by hitting a key hard (velocity >
100). This behaviour is only for Auto mode and
similar to the way Virtual Guitarist works.
Change pattern
Here you control if variation changes will occur
immediately or at the start of the next bar when
in Auto mode.
MIDI output
When working in a Steinberg host program like
Cubase or Nuendo, you can make BROOMSTICKBASS
write a MIDI track while playing in Auto mode.
This is perfect if you want to use the built in
styles and variations but need to fix a few notes
in a MIDI editor afterwards.
However, this feature may not work in non-VST or
non-Steinberg hosts. We take no responsibility for
functionality in programs other than Cubase and
We recommend you to turn quantising off while
BROOMSTICKBASS creates a MIDI track. An incorrect
value (or any value, in fact) may trash the finer
details of the hand made patterns included in
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
A few words about the edit page
Velocity offset
Adjust this knob to suit the feel and velocity
curve of your MIDI keyboard. All MIDI keyboards
behave and feel differently and you may want to
adjust here, so that normal notes (in the velocity
range of 60–99) are heard during normal play
and the loud notes are triggered when playing the
keys hard.
When on the Edit page, clicking Main will get you
back to the Main page again.
How to use Broomstick Bass in a song
There are several ways of using BROOMSTICKBASS
in a song. One method is to simply set the
instrument to Manual mode, play bass lines live
and use it as any other instrument, as a sound
However, where BROOMSTICKBASS really shines is
when you set it to Auto mode, and let all the
musicians that have worked on this instrument
play with you. That’s what this section of the
documentation is about.
Let’s assume you have done your groundwork for
a song, and you have a relatively good idea what
style of song it’s going to be, and in what tempo.
Set BROOMSTICKBASS to Auto mode and load a
suitable style. Each style has 8 variations,
accessible from the control octave’s first 8 keys
(C to G). Some of the variations will be relatively
similar, others will be very different. The general
idea is that the first variation presents the style,
and the other 7 make up complementing building
blocks with the same general feel for your song.
Set your sequencer to record and simply play
chords (or single notes) along with your song,
and BROOMSTICKBASS will automatically play a
bassline in the tempo of the host, using the
chords you play as harmonic guidance.
Another way of incorporating BROOMSTICKBASS into
your music is to use the MIDI output function.
While this feature has been part of the VST2
protocol for some time now, we know that some
hosts don’t support plugs outputting MIDI. We
only guarantee that it will work in Steinberg’s
Cubase and Nuendo.
You may have to read the following paragraphs
twice. If they appear a bit complicated, that’s
because they are, even to me (and I’m supposed
to be a pro at this)!
Create two MIDI tracks, named “My input” and
“BB output”. Set the “My input” track’s IN to
your MIDI controller, and its OUT to Broomstick
Bass. For the “BB output” track, set IN to
Broomstick Bass and OUT to “Not connected”.
Next set the “BB output” track’s MIDI channel to
Next, we select the “My input” track, and we arm
both tracks (normally, the currently selected
track is auto-armed by Cubase SX). Now we
simply press the Record button and make music.
When you’re finished recording, both tracks will
contain MIDI data.
Please note! If you used the plug’s virtual
keyboard, the “My input” track will actually be
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
The difference between the two MIDI tracks is
that the track “My input” contains whatever you
recorded onto it (the chord data, as you would
expect), but the “BB output” track contains the
patterns that BROOMSTICKBASS actually played.
If you take a look at what’s recorded on the “BB
output” track, you may find that while most of the
notes are on MIDI channel 1, some are actually on
other channels! For technical reasons, this is how
the plug handles articulations internally. This is
the reason why the “BB output” track has to have
its output set to “ANY”, by the way.
About the instruments in this demoversion
Fender Precision Bass
It’s totally impossible to exaggerate the
impact of the bass constructed by Leo
Fender in the early fifties. All of a sudden,
the bass player could be heard over a
noisy drummer and horn section. And
easily play in tune! In effect, this also
affected the way a bassist plays – quick
runs and intricate rhythms are much easier
to play on a bass guitar than on a double
bass. According to Quincy Jones, the
Fender Bass has played as important a
part in rock music as the electric guitar!
The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice
that the Fender Precision in BROOMSTICKBASS
looks a little odd. Here’s its story…
This instrument was originally a 1968 Telecaster
Bass when I first bought it in the mid-seventies.
About the instruments in this demoversion
Stupid young man grows tired of the old fashioned
body and throws it away. Stupid young man gets
fed up with the original single coil pickup and gets
rid of it. Stupid young man builds “cool” bodies to
improve upon a legendary design. Slightly less
stupid young man finally attaches old Tele neck to
a P-Bass body fitted with a Badass bridge and an
original Fender P-Bass pickup.
This instrument uses flatwound strings. That type
was commonplace in the sixties but is rather
exotic today. This P-Bass has been recorded with
manual damping of the strings, giving it a sound
similar to the dampers fitted on the original
Precision Bass.
ARP Odyssey
During the seventies, this model was a direct
competitor to the famous MiniMoog synthesiser.
The Odyssey had inherited most of the cool
facilities of the mighty, modular ARP 2600, but it
sported a more portable shell and a more
comfortable price. In fact, there was a tendency
during the seventies among players to be either
Moog or ARP fanatics, and then there was a third
group who insisted on having both a Mini and an
I bought this particular synthesiser, a black and
gold 2800, from a Stockholm musician in 2003.
After nearly 30 years, the sliders (there are 43 of
them on this baby) are a bit quirky and not so
easy to fine-tune, but overall the build quality is
amazingly good.
During recording
(sampling), editor
Lars Westin and
myself came up with
a rather clever
scheme for most of
the synthesisers used
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
About the instruments in this demoversion
in BROOMSTICKBASS: We’d record three velocity
layers, where the mid sound (ranging from
velocities 60 to 99) would be regarded as the
normal sound. That way, you can either play our
keyboards as rather expressive instruments (with
this fake velocity feature) or as three different
sounds; just alter the velocity level to make the
sound softer or brighter.
The full version of BROOMSTICKBASS contains over
20 different instruments:
• Double bass (fingered and bowed), acoustic
bass guitar and the dreaded broomstick bass!
• Picked and fingered Fender Jazz Bass and
Precision Bass, Gibson Thunderbird,
Rickenbacker 4001, Hagström 8-string, slapped
Music Man Sabre, tapped Chapman Stick and
fingered Ashbory and Manne fretless basses!
• Various sounds from MiniMoog, ARP 2600,
Odyssey and Omni, Yamaha DX7 and even a
Fender Rhodes Bass Piano!
• Church organ, Hammond B3 organ and Moog
Taurus bass pedals!
Furthermore – we’ll offer free Gift Packs for
download, containing additional basses and
styles to registered users!
About the musicians
When it came to providing the musical styles
included in BROOMSTICKBASS, I knew I’d have to
rely on a small group of very creative and reliable
people. People whom I could instruct to think and
work in a special manner and rely on them
delivering the goods in time. And without too
many errors! This last remark may seem harsh
and heartless, but with an ocean of MIDI files to
go through, I simply couldn’t allow for too many
exceptions from the set rules.
At an early stage, I approached Nils Erikson. He’d
already assisted me during Groove Agent
production, so I was aware of his capabilities.
Johan Axelsson is a funky player and he was kind
enough to create styles for the instrument he had
helped recording. PoA Sörlin has been my close
friend for many years, and he produced sweet
sounding demo songs for Virtual Guitarist and
Groove Agent, among other things. He also
helped with the bass styles. Per Almered joined in
and delivered, if I understand him correctly,
styles he would have wanted to use in his own
songs. Not a bad idea!
Other cool cats
The person responsible for the programming of
BROOMSTICKBASS is Dave Brown, a guy that has
produced VST plug-ins longer than most other
programmers. All basses were edited, fine tuned
and tweaked by Lars Westin with Uffe Börjesson
doing the mastering job. Francesco Maisto did
the fine design work for the GUI (graphic user
interface) and the website. Product manager Per
Almered takes care of the things the rest of us
tend to forget – a huge task indeed! Graphic
designer babusjka is responsible for
photographing the instruments, creating the
packbox artwork, the layout of the manual, and
this very PDF!
BROOMSTICKBASS – Documentation for the demoversion
Concept and realisation: Sven Bornemark
Software: Dave Brown
Additional code: Paul Kellett
Audio editing: Lars Westin
Graphic design: Francesco Maisto
Musicians: Per Almered, Johan Axelsson, Sven
Bornemark, Nils Erikson, PoA Sörlin
Audio mastering: Uffe Börjesson
Photography, layout and cover design: babusjka
Product manager: Per Almered
Production: MI7 (
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