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The Ample Bass guitar plugin has been on my radar for a while now and I just recently got to play around with it for a couple of weeks. I have to say, this product does so many things right and so little wrong.
There are very few current bass plugins that truly get the job done and this is definitely one of them.
So what about Ample Sounds do I like? Well, I’ve tried out a few different products from them so far, and literally, every single one has become an instant favorite of mine.
Ample Bass Overview
Ample Sounds was created in 2011 by Kane Kang, Shaoduo Xie, and Jie Chen and its goal was to produce the closest virtual sounds to real instruments.
They have done just that. The Ample Bass guitar VST is incredibly realistic & I was pleasantly surprised while playing it.
For my setup, I used the Novation 37 key MK3 MIDI controller & Ableton Live. The setup was pretty easy & once everything was installed properly I was able to get to work.
One of the lightbulb moments that I had with the Ample Bass plugin is that it doesn’t sound thin like most other bass guitar VSTs I’ve used. Other plugins have come close to emulating a bass guitar, but they usually sound disturbingly thin at times.
When I loaded up this plugin, I immediately started writing new songs. Each preset gives you something a little bit different and we will get into this later into the review.
As you see above, the preset selection is a simple drop down tab that allows you to quickly browse different sounds.
Out of all of the different bass guitar plugin interfaces, I like the AmpleSounds interface the most. When you load it up, a beautiful bass guitar is pulled up on your screen.
From there, everything is straight forward and you able to adjust parameters on the bass guitar as if it were real.
When you play a note, you can see the bass string move. This is one of those things that just makes you feel more at home.
You can also adjust the tuning heads to your liking if you’re looking to change things up.
How I Recommend Using This Plugin
I highly recommend using a MIDI controller for this plugin. Ample Sounds created this plugin to be extremely realistic and while just drawing in the notes or playing the notes on your computer keyboard will work, it’s not taking advantage of what you’re offered.
I used my trust 37 key MIDI controller and it was more than enough keys and it also allowed me to play with some fun options.
The controller that I used also has a feature called scale mode, which allows you to play in different modes. If you’re someone who’s not super skilled yet in music theory, this can greatly aid in your overall capability.
The Ample Bass guitar plugin allows you to rip some of your favorite modes and riffs with complete ease while also allowing you to adjust any parameters quickly in the interface.
One thing that I also found extremely fun was that I could heavily utilize my left hand. If you’re someone who is developing their keyboard skills, using only your left hand and writing some sick riffs could really help.
Are you an aspiring bassist looking for a good resource for online lessons? Check out this guide here to some great online bass lesson courses.
The Ample Bass JF plugin does not fall short when it comes to the necessary effects. In fact, I think they’re absolutely nailed. Overall, my favorite effect is probably the palm mute. It is extremely effective for certain parts of songs and it sounds realistic.
The hammer-on is also a great feature of this plugin. Aside from these two effects, here’s a full list of the parameters that you can play with:
- DI box volume
- Stereo masters (L,R)
- Palm Mute
- Sustain pedal
- Sound mode (choose between mono or stereo)
- Auto buzz
- Capo (choose which string you want to place capo on)
- Fret attack gain
- Fret release gain
- Harmonic mode
- Legato slide
- Hammer on
- Pitch bend
- Vibrato wheel
While there are amazing effects with this plugin, what they can do is even more impressive. Ever effect has a purpose with this plugin. I’ve used a bunch of different other plugins over the years in which I rarely mess with the onboard effects, that’s not the case with Ample Sounds.
One more thing that I truly love is the pedal option. I was taking advantage of this when I didn’t have my sustain pedal plugged into my keyboard. You simply click the effect on and you begin experimenting with different chords/notes.
As part of the effects, you can also access your different amp for your plugin. This makes the interface even better in my opinion. It’s one more thing that you can get your hands dirty with.
When you click on the amp icon on the top left, you are brought to the screen that you can see above. This allows you to pick between a massive 71 amps.
My personal favorite amp that I have played with is the Billie Jean amp. There’s a lot of different customization you can do with this amp and I love how crisp it sounds.
Overall, this is easily the most impressive-sounding bass plugin that I have used. From the articulations & the sound of the fretboard, Ample Sounds have this plugin completely dialed in.
If you have knowledge of the bass guitar, you can make this sound even more realistic just by knowing simple mechanics.
The Ample Bass JF absolutely crushes with its distortion presets. I immediately began playing some fat riffs in e minor upon hitting the low e string.
Not only is it gritty, it’s precise and wide sounding. The sound reminds me of something you would hear from Muse or Silversun Pickups.
Aside from the distortion basses, I also really like the echo bass preset. It is an incredibly warm sounding verbed out bass that sounds amazing when you play chords.
Let’s take a look my favorite of the 47 presets below:
- Distortion 1
- Slap Bass 1
- Echo Bass
- Ambiance Bass
- Vintage Funk
- So What
Ease Of Use/ Requirements
Overall, downloading this plugin is quite simple once you purchase. With this being said, make sure that you have all of your DAW software up to date.
Once you purchase the software, you then login to your account and follow these steps:
- Download the library & the installer for your system whether it be MAC or PC
- Follow installation steps
- Set path
The following are the requirements:
- Mac: 10.9 or higher
- Windows: Windows 7/8/10, 64-bit only (32-bit not supported)
- I5 or higher
If you’re on the fence about this plugin or if you’re simply looking for a great bass guitar, I can’t recommend a better option than this one.
Ample Sounds continues to put out incredible software year after year & I am excited to see what’s next.