Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins 2021 (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

We will present the 9 best bass guitar plugins that could satisfy all your needs.

The variety of bass guitar software for music production these days is incredible.  Let’s put all the jokes about bass players aside for a moment and talk about it seriously. The bass guitar is the lowest-sounding instrument in the whole family of guitars. It’s relatively new, and it almost replaced contrabasses in pop music in the mid-50s.

Now it’s hard for us to imagine any composition without this instrument. The bass guitar is one of the most important ones without which your mix won’t sound right. It’s the foundation that gives us that low-end-frequency range that fills songs with a kind of fullness.

What if you want to record a song but don’t have a bass player? Or maybe you’re a producer, and you’re tasked with creating a client song with a full bass line? Or perhaps you need to process a ready-made bass DI and get it into a mix-ready state? Fortunately, there are now more than enough plugins to help you do this. In this article, we’ll help you avoid getting confused and choose the most suitable ones for you.

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Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins 2021

1. Ujam Virtual Guitarist ROWDY Review

More Info & Price (Tral Available)

If you need a growling bass that breaks through drums and a wall of overdriven guitars in the mix – our first plugin on the list is just what you need. It is UJAM’s Virtual Bassist ROWDY.

UJAM probably needs no introduction, as it is founders are famous producer and rapper Pharrell Williams and composer Hans Zimmer. The company has already managed to win an army of fans. And all that thanks to its software, that definitely could surprise with incredible quality and ease of use. Their product line includes every virtual instrument imaginable.

The Virtual Bassist ROWDY bass plugin is among them, which promises to give you energetic picked and bold electric bass. So it won’t have any trouble making its way into the mix with other dominant instruments.

Ujam Virtual Guitarist ROWDY Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Player Mode
    This mode lets you use your MIDI controller to quickly select one of 60 playing styles and over 1300 phrases. It will follow any key or chord intelligently.
  • Instrument Mode
    Thanks to the Instrument Mode, you can play with dead notes, slides, or full stops, just like a traditional sampler. You’ll see the entire fretboard of the plugin in front of you. This mode is most suitable for keyboard masters.
  • Tone-Sculpting Controls
    You can choose between a DI signal and three separate bass heads. There are also separate overdrive and fuzz controls. On top of that, perfect your tone with the octaver, EQ, and dynamics section.
  • Frustration-Free Design
    The Rowdy plugin won’t take you long to master the settings. There’s an easy-to-use interface and controls. So you’ll get great-sounding bass lines no matter how much experience you have in music production.
  • Versatility
    Overall, the plugin is quite versatile. It can fit from hard rock to modern metal. It’s all thanks to the playing characters and the different bass heads that you can mix. 
Walkthrough | Virtual Bassist ROWDY

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.11 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU2, and AAX formats.

Summary:

UJAM’s Virtual Guitarist ROWDY is a good-sounding virtual bass and an excellent choice for rock music. There are tons of tone controls here that will give you a different sound for what you’re looking for. In addition, the straightforward design won’t force you into a long and tedious figuring out of the plugin.

2. Toontrack EZbass Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

With this plugin, you get two bass guitars, incredible ease of use, and realistic sound. It’s number two on our list – the Toontrack EZbass.

The products of the Swedish company Toontrack have already become something of an industry standard when it comes to home music production. Although, they are also used on a more professional level. The company has firmly established itself on the market with its drum plugins EZdrummer and Superior Drummer. In 2020, they introduced the EZbass, which also surprises with its usability and sound quality.

EZbass is a virtual bass guitar instrument that can provide a lot of functionality and variations to the song. In total, there are two bass instruments – the vintage and the modern one. On top of that, EZbass has a feature to create a chord progression so that the bass sounds could become even more natural.

Toontrack EZbass Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Available playing styles
    EZbass contains a lot of articulations that provide a full range of sounds with different pitches and tones. You can use pick, thump, slap, and finger playing styles, which delivers the sounds like authentic Jazz and Pop performance.
  • Performance
    The Toontrack has added various features recorded at different levels and provides substantial differences in each one. They include legato, slides, grooves, MIDI conversion, tuning out, arranging, composing, matching bassline using drum or keyboard MIDI.
  • Ready-made settings
    In the EZbass, just a mouse slap converts your tone of music into a great one. EZbass has a broad range of presets from the varying tools of pick to finger. It also includes sub-bass and tuning presets too.
  • Samples
    The sampling library of EZbass is quite fascinating. The file download size varying from 1.71 GB to 1.94 GB from windows to mac, two different sample libraries of Modern and Vintage Bass, up to 150 presets of each, makes it perfect in songwriting. The compression of multiple samples into a whole instrument is extra sufficient.
  • No synthetics
    It contains no synthetic sound and is based on actual bass guitar samples
    . The result is the most organic-sounding bass you can imagine.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.10 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

EZbass is a bass guitar virtual instrument plugin designed to produce a more realistic sound of a bass. It has a groove that adds a basic rhythm and all of its matching variations. You can choose between the Modern and Vintage Bass and an entire Bassline to see which one fits the best. It is pretty expensive but worth the price for being unique.

3. IK Multimedia Modo Bass Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

With this plugin, you get a whole arsenal of virtual bass guitars and a vast number of adjustments to your tone. It is MODO Bass from IK Multimedia.

IK Multimedia is a well-known Italian company that produces both software and physical equipment. You may have heard of them, thanks to products like iRig. They also have a great plugin AmpliTube with many virtual guitar heads, cabinets, and pedals, and no less famous MODO Drums.

The company introduced the MODO Bass plugin in 2017. Although it is a virtual instrument, it uses modal synthesis technology and an ultra-optimized sound engine. It means that no recorded samples are used here. The plugin itself simulates the play of the bass guitar. Moreover, it considers minor components of the settings, so the creators assure that the sound is dynamic and natural.

IK Multimedia Modo Bass Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Bass Models
    You’ll get your hands on 14 models of different bass guitars, from classic to rock and metal instruments. MODO Bass has their names for them, but you can tell from the shape that they are based on Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Earnie Ball, and many others. Each model has its distinctive sound.
  • Play Styles
    You will be able to choose between playing styles such as a finger, pick, and slap. You can also adjust muting, stroke, and scratch. Other settings include let ring, fingering, and open string levels.
  • Choose your Strings
    In this plugin section, you can choose how many strings your virtual instrument will have – 4, 5, or 6. You can also specify whether it will be drop tuning or standard. In addition, select the age of the strings (broken in, old or new), type (round wound or flat wound), and gauge (light, medium, or heavy).
  • Swap Up the Electronics
    Amazingly, but in MODO Bass, you can also choose the type of pickups of your instrument and adjust their position. You will have a choice between all the different types. You can even select a vintage instrument and assign it to modern electronics.
  • Amps, Cabs, and Stompboxes
    You will have a choice between two sets of amplifiers and cabinets – Solid State and Tube. There’s also the ability to adjust the tone thanks to the Gain, Bass, Mid, Mid Freq, and Treble knobs. In addition, the Solid State set will have a graphical equalizer. On top of that – you can assign four separate pedals as well. Choose between Distortion, Chorus, Delay, Compressor, Envelope Filter, and many more.
MODO Bass - Best Bass Plugin?

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

IK Multimedia’s MODO Bass is an incredible plugin that gives you the ability to use as many as 14 different bass guitar models. In addition, you can even go further and change almost any setting of your virtual instrument – from pickups and strings to adding pedals and a head and cabinet set. This software is right for you if you want a lot of possibilities in the form of a single plugin.

4. UJAM – Virtual Bassist 2 ROYAL Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Here is another excellent plugin from UJAM, which is smooth and noble and can come in handy in your music production. It is Virtual Bassist 2 ROYAL.

We already talked in this article on Rowdy, which is a more aggressive-sounding plugin and ideal for rock music. Now it’s time to take a look at the equally great virtual instrument Royal. This software will be an excellent solution for those who want quality bass lines for pop, soul, indie, and rock music.

In essence, this plugin will allow you to work with a professional virtual studio bass guitarist because it features rounded electric fingerstyle tones. According to the developers, the software is versatile, but it is best suited for acoustic and electronic songs.

UJAM - Virtual Bassist 2 ROYAL Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • 30 New Presets
    If you want a ready-made bass line, you can choose between a vast number of presets. For example, the latest version of Royal has an additional 30 new presets. All of them are divided into genre folders such as Ballad, Hip Hop & RnB, Funk & Soul, Indie, Latin, and Rock. Just choose a genre and select the line you want.
  • Perform as You Want
    Overall, the plugin has 60 different styles of play that you can choose to perform. For example, you have decided on the sound and tonality. The style allows you to customize exactly how your tune is played – whether it’s Funky Disco at 116 bpm, 16th Pop Groove at 120 bpm, or Vintage Soul Shuffle at 124 bpm.
  • Character & Pickup
    You can influence the character of the game through the different positions of this switch. For example, there are Soft, Warm, Neutral, and Hard modes. In addition, there is the Pickup knob, which allows you to adjust the balance between the Neck and Bridge pickups.
  • Amp & Drive
    The Royal plugin will allow you to choose between 3 types of bass amplifiers and one Direct signal. Here you will find heads that will be perfect for Rock, Soul, and Pop genres. There is also a Drive knob to the side of this switch, which gives you the ability to adjust the overdrive level of your bass guitar in the preamp stage.
  • Ready-made Effects
    It contains 15 mods with ready-made effects. This section includes four built-in effects: Octaver, Equalizer, and Compressor. In addition to these, there is also a Finisher knob. Just twist it if you want to make the impact expressive or diminish it.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.12 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU2, and AAX formats.

Summary:

Over 60 different styles, the ability to change the character of your playing and switch between bass heads is what makes this plugin a great option. It would be an excellent choice to use it as a virtual bass player for Pop, Soul, RnB, and Indie music. Besides, it has a quality fingering sound and enough effects to hone your sound.

5. Ample Sound Ample Bass J Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

If you like the sound of the legendary Fender Jazz Bass, the following plugin will appeal to you. It is Ample Bass J from Ample Sound.

The Chinese company Ample Sound has long established itself in the market of virtual instruments. They are known for the high quality of sampling and, as a result, their software’s excellent sound. They have created a lot of plugins, including bass guitars, electric guitars, folk instruments, and much more.

The Ample Bass J plugin is a virtual instrument based on the Fender Jazz Bass, specifically the John English Masterbuilt. With it, you can create basslines with the keyboard or your MIDI controller or generate them.

Ample Sound Ample Bass J Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Play Fingers or Pick
    You get to switch between playing with fingers and picking. The plugin creators have worked to make the sound as realistic as possible, so there is a rich fingering noise. In general, there are such articulations as Sustain, Palm Mute, Hammer On & Pull Off, Slide in & out, Legato at random length & pitch & poly, Natural Harmonic, Legato Slide, and others.
  • A Bunch of Technologies
    Ample Bass J uses Customized Parameters Control. It means that the MIDI controller can affect any button or knob. It also features Poly Legato and Slide Smoother technology. In addition, certain types of performances lend themselves to automatic fingering logic thanks to Multiple Capo Logics.
  • Fantastic AMP System
    The creators of the plugin have added a section of amplifiers and cabinets here. The heads include the available Vintage-15, Bass-500, and Bass-Pro models. As for the cabinets, you can choose between 1x15, 2x10, 4x10, and 8x10. In addition, you’ll have the option to use different microphones like the SM57, U87, MD421, and C414.
  • Spice Up Your Tone With Effects
    Ample Sound has made sure that you can hone your tone as best you can. That’s why features like 8-band EQ, IR Reverb, 6-Tap Echo, and 2-Line Compressor are present. They all have a lot of settings as well.
  • Easy Use of Tablatures
    Most Ample Sound plugins are endowed with a Tab Player. Use it to load bass tablature. Moreover, you can even export individual files from it.
Ample Sound Bass3 MAJOR UPDATE! Review & Demo

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

Ample Bass J from Ample Sound is another great plugin from the Chinese company that will give you quality bass sound for your home or commercial studio. The creators have worked hard to capture the richness of the Fender Jazz Bass John English Masterbuilt sound as accurately as possible. The software has enough possibilities to sculpt your unique bass tone.

6. AcousticSamples J Bass Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

Here is another option for Jazz Bass fans, which will surprise you with its high sound quality. It is the J Bass plugin from AcousticSamples.

The French company AcousticSamples has many virtual instruments with pretty good sound quality in its catalog. You can buy software with orchestral instruments, guitars, keyboards, basses, and drums from these guys. That is, you’ll find just about everything you need for your music production.

Among them is the J Bass, which is based on the Fender Custom shop Jazz bass. This plugin has all sorts of playing styles, an FX section, and even a cabinet emulation. Let’s take a closer look at it.

AcousticSamples J Bass Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Legendary sound
    What makes it unique is that creators sampled it with
    flatwound strings. So you will immediately hear this characteristic, three-dimensional sound, which is difficult to confuse with anything else.
  • Choose Your Play Mode
    You will have a special switch with four modes: Pick, Finger, Muted, and Pick Muted. Just choose which one you want, and you’ll immediately hear the characteristic sound when you play the keyboard or MIDI controller.
  • Legato Mode
    In addition to Play Mode, there is a separate Legato Mode switch. You will see here also four positions that will affect your playing. These are Hammer, Off, Slide, and Legato. In addition, there is a legato distance setting that will determine the legato interval.
  • Available Effects
    You will have the opportunity to apply multiband compression to your sound. But only in an “on/off” way. There are no additional settings here. Also, you will see parametric EQ, with which you can adjust Bass and Treble.
  • Cabinet Simulation
    The plugin also includes a simulation of the cabinet. Turn it on, and you get a more voluminous and pronounced bass guitar sound as if it were playing from the speakers.

Compatibility:

You will need the UVI Workstation 3 player which is available for Windows 8 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

The J Bass from AcousticSamples gives you the authentic sound of a Fender Custom Shop Jazz Bass. This plugin comes with a separate UVI Workstation 3 player and has all the necessary playing styles. In addition, you can take advantage of the cab emulation and several additional effects.

7. Spectrasonics Trilian Review

More Info & Price

The Trilian Bass plugin from Spectrasonics will essentially be a godsend for those who want multiple basses at once. Here you get three types of such instruments.

Spectrasonics is a Californian company that was founded in the first half of the 1990s. They produce world-class sample libraries. It’s probably all thanks to founder Eric Persing, who worked as a sound designer for Roland in the ’80s. The company’s catalog includes such sensational products as Atmosphere, Keyscape, Omnisphere, and Stylus RMX. Among them is Trilian, which is a real find for connoisseurs of the quality bass sound.

You will be surprised by the high quality of sampling and the capabilities of this software. The plugin provides everything from beautiful jazz tunes to ambient pads that add uniqueness to your songs.

Spectrasonics Trilian Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Round Robin Sampling
    Spectrasonics used Round Robin sampling to create the plugin. It made it possible to give naturalness and expression to the bass lines, even in the case of repeating notes.
  • Three Different Types of Basses
    Thanks to the Trilian plugin, you can use the rich sound of acoustic, electric basses, and synths. In this case, you won’t need to use any other software – all the basses you need will be at your fingertips.
  • Patch Browser
    In the upper left corner, you will see the Patch Browser. That’s where all your patches will be located in separate folders, that is, ready-made bass tones that you can play with your MIDI controller or your keyboard. In general, the plugin library consists of 200 patches.
  • Custom Controls
    If you’re not happy with the sound of the finished patch, that’s no problem. You can always go even further and hone your sound with custom controls. There’s an intuitive interface, so you don’t have to dig too far into the settings. Just control parameters such as Noise, Cutoff, Resonance, Velocity, Release, Pickup, Compression, and more.
  • FX Units
    In addition to the user controls, you get to use FX Units. There are a total of 33 of them here. The list includes vintage and modern compressors, EQs, filters, distortions, reverbs, delays, and more.
Introducing Trilian 1.5 - feat. Greg Phillinganes + The Pocket Queen

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.13 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST 2.4 or higher, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

Trilian from Spectrasonics will surprise you with the quantity and quality of all kinds of sounds. It is a product from a company that works very meticulously to give its users virtual instruments with the most realistic sound. You will have a massive selection of acoustic, electric basses, and synthesizers for almost every taste and genre. And the number of settings will give you even more control over your sound production.

8. Waves Bass Slapper Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

If you need a quality virtual instrument that gives you a slapping bass, the following plugin is definitely for you. It is Bass Slapper from Waves Audio.

Anyone who has anything to do with music production has heard of Waves Audio. This company, founded in Israel in the early ’90s, is one of the world’s leading creators of plugins and all sorts of tools for music. They were one of the first to translate analog equipment into digital form. As a result – now we have an incredible amount of excellent software from Waves.

In 2017, the company released a virtual instrument, Bass Slapper, which proved a fantastic sound quality. Even though there’s only a slap, you still get a lot of articulation settings, the ability to sculpt your tone, and the ability to engage high-quality effects. Let’s take a closer look at the features of this plugin.

Waves Bass Slapper Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Slap Whatever You Want
    You get complete control for every note and articulation. For example, hammer-ons and pull-offs, thumbing, popping, dead notes, open strings, and legato are available here. The plugin also has settings that allow you to determine where you want the melody to be played on the fretboard, which strings to thumb or pop.
  • Main Controls
    On the main panel of the plugin, you will see an image of a 5-string bass guitar with four knobs. These will be the settings for the balance between Vintage and Modern sound, Low Boost, Sub Octave, and Release. Experiment with them to get the desired sound character.
  • EQ & Levels
    In the center of the main window, you will see an equalizer section with the ability to adjust Bass, Lo Mid, Hi Mid, and Treble. There is also a Levels section, which will give you access to Direct Sound control, amp emulation, limiting, and output.
  • FX Stompboxes
    You will have access to studio-quality effects pedals. It has everything you could ever need to enhance your bass tone: compressor, overdrive, phaser, delay, reverb, and more.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14.6 or higher. It comes in VST/3, AU, AAX Native formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

The Bass Slapper from Waves Audio is a beautiful virtual instrument from a well-known manufacturer. You will get a quality bass-slapping sound with all possible articulations of this style of playing. You will also have the ability to achieve the tone you want, thanks to the rather extensive settings and the number of effects.

9. Solemn Tones The Loki Bass 2 Review

More Info & Price

Want the perfect bass sound for modern metal? Then the following plugin is for you. It is The Loki Bass 2 by Solemn Tones.

Now we are going to talk about a product from the Belgian company Solemn Tones. These guys are good at plugins, as far as heavier genres of music are concerned. You can find already known Kraken Hybrid Bass, Mjölnir Drums, Frostbite Saturator, Smash Compressor, and several other plugins on their website.

As for the virtual instrument, The Loki Bass 2 was based on the custom Adam Nolly’s bass guitar Dingwall NG2. So you can be sure that this plugin will be suitable for djent and other subgenres of modern metal.

It will give you both a massive mix-ready tone and a DI signal that you can mix however you want. There are also a few features that help you achieve the most realistic sound.

Solemn Tones The Loki Bass 2 Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Deep Sampling
    The creators used deep sampling, so there are all the necessary articulations. For example, you can use down and up picking, fingerpicking, slaps, slides, open and dead plucks, dead mute notes, left-handed mutes, and slides from and to specific notes.
  • Mix-Ready Tones
    Five ready-made bass tones are available in the plugin. They were created using Parallax and Darkglass B7K software. So you can choose the correct preset if it fits your material. 
  • DI option
    In addition, there is an option to use a clean DI signal. You will have the sound of the Dingwall NG2 as it was recorded through the audio interface. So you can create your custom tones thanks to that.
  • Enforce Mode
    This mode comes in handy if you want to get extra consistent low-end. It will be possible because clean sine waves will replace the sub frequencies.
  • Human Error
    A separate setting is implied here, which will give even more realism to your sound. Play around with this option if you hear your bass sounding robotic.
ALL OF THE LOW END! Solemn Tones Loki Bass 2!

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, and AAX formats.

Summary:

The Loki Bass 2 by Solemn Tones has the advantage because you will get a cool-sounding, powerful bass that fits in perfectly with metal. The developers have prepared for you five quality presets and the ability to sculpt your bass tone. So this plugin will not disappoint you.

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Top 11 Metal Plugins 2021 (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)

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Guitars – History, Invention And Interesting Facts

The 2 Best Free Bass Guitar Plugins 2021

1. Ample Bass P Lite II Review

More Info & Download

Don’t worry if you don’t have a budget. We’ve got some free plugins for you. The first is Ample Bass P Lite II from Ample Sound.

The Chinese company Ample Sound, from time to time, pleases its users with free products. For example, you can get a virtual instrument based on the Martin D-41 acoustic guitar. Ample Bass P Lite II is also on the list of free plugins.

This software is based on the Fender Precision Bass. More often than not, free plugins can’t surprise you with excellent sound quality. But let’s be honest with you – this one is perfect. At least you can safely try it before you buy similar virtual instruments.

Ample Bass P Lite II Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Over 400 Bass Samples
    In total, the plugin uses over four hundred bass guitar samples. It is pretty enough to provide many articulations. Namely, Hammer-Ons & Pull-Offs, Accent, and Sustain. Also, you will hear a rich fingering noise.
  • Implemented technologies
    The creators have introduced the Auto Buzz system, Capo Logic, Customized Parameters Control, Poly Legato, and Slide Smoother technologies. You can also combine several articulations by pressing a few key switches at the same time.
  • Use Your Tabs
    With the Tab Player, you can load and play guitar and bass tablature in the plugin. In addition, you can export the file from the Tab Player. This mode supports all necessary articulations as well.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.9 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST2/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

Ample Sound has given you a fantastic opportunity to try a virtual bass guitar for free. It has enough articulation and pretty good sound quality. Therefore, we do not exclude that you can use this plugin for your music production.

2. Steinberg Virtual Bassist Review

More Info & Download

Virtual Bassist from the creators of Cubase, the Steinberg company, is another option for fans of free software. This plugin has a lot of features.

Steinberg seems to have been around since the dawn of time. It’s a great German company with a very long history since it was founded back in 1984. These days we know it as the creators of one of the most popular DAWs called Cubase. In addition, the company produces controllers, MIDI hardware interfaces, and much more.

The Virtual Bassist plugin is quite old, as it was created back in the mid-2000s. Nevertheless, it has enough advantages. For example, here, you’ll find 25 styles of bass guitar playing that are based on performances by real musicians. In addition, you’ll get the opportunity to use different effect pedals, amplifiers, cabs, and mics.

Steinberg Virtual Bassist Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Find Your Style
    You will find every possible style of play that covers a considerable number of musical genres. For example, the plugin’s sound can suit hip-hop and reggae to metal, rock, and many others. You can select individual phrases as well as play the tunes yourself with the MIDI controller.
  • GrooveMatch Technology
    The plugin is equipped with special technology that will help you synchronize your rhythm section. Specify this option in the GrooveMatch feature, and the plugin will accentuate the parts depending on your drum track.
  • Effects Processing
    This software will give you the ability to use seven high-quality effects pedals, including Compressor, Tremolo, Chorus, Flanger, and Wah-Wah. In addition, you’ll be able to experiment with the sound of different bass amps, cabinets, and mics.

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows XP or higher and macOS 10.3 or higher. It comes in VST, DXi, AU formats, and as a ReWire host application.

Summary:

Virtual Bassist is pretty old but powerful and free software from Steinberg. You’ll find 25 different playing styles to suit many genres. The sound quality is quite normal because the bass grooves are based on playing by real people.

Bonus 

Neural DSP Parallax Multiband Distortion Review

More Info & Price (Trial Available)

A great bonus on our list is the Parallax plugin from Neural DSP. This plugin will make your life easier and drop a mellow and punchy bass tone.

The Finnish company Neural DSP is one of the flagships in terms of amp sim software these days. They released many great guitar plugins collaborating with famous musicians and bands like Gojira, Adam Nolly Getgood, Tim Henson, Tosin Abasi, and others.

These guys have not ignored the bass players and created some fantastic pluginsDarkglass Ultra and Parallax. As for the last one, it is multiband bass distortion, which gives an outstanding sound quality. The point is that to get the best bass tone, and many engineers use parallel processing. That is, they divide the bass line into several tracks and process them separately. Now you can do all this with only one plugin. It is important to note that this software is not a MIDI instrument but a processing one.

Neural DSP Parallax Multiband Distortion Review - Top 9 Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies) | Integraudio.com

Key Features:

  • Distortion
    You will be able to handle high and low-frequency distortion separately. Just use the Mid Drive, Mid Level, High Drive, High Pass, and High Level knobs. It uses tube modeling technology to give you a rich harmonic sound.
  • Low Compression
    To build the foundation of your tone, you can separately influence the low frequencies. The Low Compression section is responsible for this. Here you will have three knobs for Compression, Low Pass and Low Level. Important to know that the Bus compressor algorithm is used here, providing you with quality signal processing.
  • EQ
    With this tool, you can achieve an even greater sharpening of your tone. You will have a graphic equalizer with a range of 200 to 1.5 kilohertz. After processing the mid and high frequencies, bringing the overall tone in line with your desire is handy.
  • Cabsim
    As with its other software, Neural DSP offers first-rate cab impulses. The Parallax plugin has a separate Cabsim section that will allow you to move two virtual mics around two speakers.
  • Presets
    If you don’t want to deal with the settings, you will have the opportunity to play with ready-made presets. There are over a hundred of them. These are custom settings from musicians like Nolly Getgood, Kane Churko, Forrester Savell, Tom Doyle, etc.
THE ONLY BASS PLUGIN YOU NEED | Neural DSP Parallax Multiband Distortion

Compatibility:

The plugin is available for Windows 7 or higher and macOS 10.14 or higher, both 64-bit only. It comes in VST/3, AU, AAX formats, and as a standalone host.

Summary:

Parallax Multiband Distortion is a premium plugin that will give you a great bass tone suitable for metal and other heavier genres. Its separate frequency processing provides a mix-ready sound as if a professional mixing engineer worked on it. You’ll also get to use the great cabinet impulses in this software.

Conclusion

As you can see, the digital realm allows you to get almost any bass guitar sound for your music production these days. There are enough, both virtual instruments and plugins, to process already existing tracks. But let us give you some tips to make your choice even more accessible.

Probably the first factor for you will be budget. The second is the genre of music you want. If you have the resources to buy a plugin, be sure to consider the products of the German company UJAM#1 Virtual Guitarist ROWDY and #4 Virtual Bassist 2 ROYAL. If you want to get a massive number of virtual bass guitar models#3 Modo Bass from IK Multimedia will be an excellent choice for you. And number 2 EZbass and 7 Trilian will surprise you with incredible sound quality.

We can name #8 Bass Slapper from Waves Audio or #1 of our free Ample Bass P Lite II plugin list among the more budget-friendly plugin options. To add, if you want to discover the perfect bass metal tone – we suggest you look at #9 The Loki Bass 2 and our bonus option – Parallax by Neural DSP.

Experiment, discover new possibilities for your creativity and succeed in the music industry. At the very least, you might have everything you need in your arsenal. Good Luck!

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