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The bass guitar VST happens to be one of my favorite plugins. In fact, I would argue that a lot of bass guitars you hear in pop music today, have some sort of bass guitar VST blended in the mix.
I am excited to bring you this list & and I have weeks of experience with all of the options below.
There are many plugins nowadays that sound incredibly realistic and I’ve had the pleasure of using these to perform live with my keytar.
My Favorite Bass Guitar VST Plugins
|Heavyocity Scoring Bass
|IK Multimedia MODO Bass
Are you a producer who loves organs? Check out these organ VSTs that I highly recommend.
Best Bass Guitar VSTs
Below are my favorite picks. Each option offers something a little bit different and it’s going to come down to your personal preference and needs.
1) IK Multimedia MODO Bass
The MODO bass guitar plugin 2 gives producers a plethora of options when it comes to tweaking sounds and choosing different basses. This is a great tool for serious producers.
The IK Multimedia MODO Bass 2 is the first plug-in that is modeled after completely realistic bass guitars. The difference here is that the sounds aren’t just samples. The MODO Bass uses modal synthesis the create its sounds.
What’s great is that this plugin is an easy download and it sounds like real bass guitars.
I would say this is easily one of the most realistic sounding VSTs currently available. The modal synthesis puts it over the top as it’s not just sampled sounds.
The punk bass preset featured above is my go-to when I’m working on new bass licks for Vinyl Theatre songs.
Note: I use a keytar to play with this plugin and I can’t get enough of it.
The problem sometimes with samples is that there’s the lack of human touch to it. With this technique, you capture almost all of the human elements.
The MODO is currently the best bass guitar VST available. The modal synthesis is incredible and the way it sounds is simply top-notch. Another plus is the price, compared to others.
2) Scoring Bass By Heavyocity – Best For Film Scoring
I personally have had the pleasure of using this plugin and I have to say, I was blown away. Heavyocity makes some incredibly fat and gritty bass guitar tones and Scoring Bass is every film scorer’s dream VST.
This made me think of Hanz Zimmer upon surfing through the presets. Scoring Bass comes with a ton of sampled bass guitars and loops along with 3 playable bass guitar VSTS.
The one negative thing I have with this plugin is that the UI isn’t the easiest on the eyes at times.
If you’re looking for some gritty bass guitars and film score capability, I highly recommend checking this plugin out.
Heavyocity knocked it out of the park with Scoring Bass and I think this will be mentioned by a ton of producers who are killing the film sync game right now.
3) Ample Bass Guitar JP
The Ample Bass Guitar JP is a VST that I have become really close to in the last few weeks. From the customization to the interface, to the overall sound, you are getting an incredible product.
Some of these sounds actually resemble some gritty electric guitar VSTs. With a little tweaking inside of the interface, you can get some great guitar tones.
I wrote 3-4 new song ideas while testing this plugin out, and it’s now become part of my arsenal when looking to dive into new songs/sounds.
Ample Sounds gives you a bass guitar VST that sounds incredibly realistic. If you’re using a MIDI keyboard when playing through the presets and creating your own patches, you are in for a real treat.
There’s an abundance of great presets & I would say that some of my favorites were the distorted basses.
The interface & sound quality with the Ample Bass Guitar VST is what I really love. It’s easy to browse through sounds & it’s also easy to hear the amount of work that went into bringing you such great sounds.
4) Spectrasonics Trillian Bass Module
Trillian is one of the more popular bass guitar VSTs that we will be looking at. This is a great product that sounds incredibly authentic.
The song, “Attention” by Charlie Puth was actually written with this software. The bass lick in the chorus is Trillian and it sounds super realistic.
The sound is bright, fat and crisp with each pre-set. This is the main selling point in my opinion. The dynamics are totally on point and you can find some crazy pre-sets to base songs around.
Trillian is easily one of my favorite options that I go to frequently. The sound is great and the dynamics are great. The interface is also extremely user friendly
5) Native Instruments Scarbee Rickenbacker
The Native Instruments Rickenbacker is very well known in the production industry. While the Rickenbacker sound isn’t for every bassist, this plug-in has been approved by Rickenbacker themselves.
You get a really crisp amp tone with this plug-in that sounds pretty realistic in all honesty.
The bass was recorded through a DI box to give maximum flexibility in the sound for the producer.
When recording, Native Instruments sampled the sounds in order so they could reproduce the sounds in different timbres.
I’ve personally used this one quite a bit and it is a go-to for a lot of bands in their production if you don’t own a Rickenbacker bass guitar.
The selling point in the sound is the ability to pick different amps, EQ’s, and compressions. You can really dial in something special here.
My overall thoughts on the Native Instruments Rickenbacker are that the plug-in is exceptional. If you’re not a fan of the sound of Rickenbackers, you probably won’t dig it as much as a bassist who loves them.
For the price, I think is a very reasonable selection for producers looking for some solid basses.
The only downside here is that Kontakt is very CPU intensive. If you don’t have a solid device for music production, you may want to hold off.
Check out my favorite tablets for production in this guide where I tested out a bunch of different popular options.
6) Ample Bass II Lite – Best Free Bass Plugin
I’m honestly surprised that this plugin is free. This is the free version of a really great plugin that I recently had the pleasure of using.
From the interface layout to the sound, it’s hard to believe that it is free.
The thing to note is that this plugin only goes do to drop D. With this being said, you will be able to get a great sounding bass for free, so this is a big win in my book.
Before purchasing a bass guitar plugin, I feel like this is a great option to check out in terms of sound.
More Free Bass Guitar VSTs
What Is A Bass Guitar VST & Why Would You Use Them
In simple terms: they are virtual instruments that you download that sound like bass guitars. Different VSTs will have different things that they’re better at.
The reason that you would want to try them out as a producer is if you’re not a great bassist or if you’re experimenting. Sometimes it’s nice to write a part in on your DAW without having to set up and record. You can try out a bunch of different parts and sounds real easily this way.
You can be a great bassist and still find a use for these VSTs as there are so many different ways you can use them.
These have come a long way, so if you haven’t tried them out in a while, I recommend testing them out now.
What To Look For In A Bass Guitar VST
Dynamics: You want to find something that has proper dynamics in the sound. A real bass player can get certain tones that some VSTs just can’t pick up.
Try to find a VST that is velocity-sensitive and can detect how hard you’re hitting the notes. The plug-in should be able to have different sounds when struck harder or softer.
Tone: The tone should be realistic. You know right away when you try something out if it’s going to get the job done.
There should be a lot of different effects and basses that you can pick from within the plug-in so you can mix it up.
How CPU Intense Is It?: VSTs can be very CPU intense, so if your computer isn’t very powerful, stick to something less intensive.
Difference Between Bass Guitar VST And Bass VST
The difference here is simple; a bass guitar VST is a bass VST. Bass refers to all different low-end sounds, whereas, a bass guitar simply emulates bass guitars only.
There are a lot of synth basses that cover the low end as well.
There’s a lot to take in when it comes to bass guitar VSTs. I hope this guide helped you with some new options.
Do you use these VSTs at all? Which is currently your favorite? Let me know below!