The best bass virtual instrument can set our songs apart by a mile, and we know from experience how it can feel to finally be covered in the bass arena of our music making repertoire. We’ve been collecting VST for quite some time now, and feel that we’re pretty competent considering for years we’ve scrounged the internet whenever we can for either free or paid virtual instruments (sometimes we think we’ve flooded ourselves with too many choices and have a hard to actually settling down with what to use). As we saw in our guitar VST guide, there are a great deal of choices in sounds and FX as we near a new decade with technology growing (which we’re not mad about). Regardless of what’s best for us, it works in your favor as we’ve been able to compile a great list for the best bass virtual instruments today to help your search.
The best bass VST
To kick off our guide here, Trillian’s VST’s are among the highest ranked out there, and their primary attribute here with this virtual instrument is it’s comprehensive design that features a balanced combination of various kinds of basses brought together into a state of the art VST bundle. It’s 34 GB library is home to a versatile collection of basses designed to offer users masterful real-time performances for both electric and acoustic basses. What’s more, this bass VST comes fully equipped with their next generation stream engine making it the first bass instrument to be integrated with the premier Omnispehere synth for enhanced splits and sound design.
As the successor to Spectrasonics highly rated Trilogy bass instrument, it features re-mastered and amplified versions of the flagship model’s library. On top of that, there are multi-samples from some of the most iconic Bass players including John Patitucci, Marcus Miller, and Laboriel Abraham. On the flipside, the interface requires one to get a bit used to. Nonetheless, it features a plethora of interesting controls for sound modification, all of which are custom controls. If you wanted a large selection of bass sounds that will keep you busy for a super long amount of time and essentially have you covered in every area of bass, it is easy to see why Spectrasonics Trillian is ranked among the best bass VSTs of this age. It may be a bit expensive for some your tastes so we’ll continue with some lesser jam-packed bass VST below.
We’re not going to lie here — we essentially use some shape or form of this bass with every single song we’ve been making for the past few years. It just sounds that real. “Capturing a legend”-That is the slogan behind Native Instruments’ Scarbee Rickenbacker bass synth and judging by its solid features, this is a reputation that the plugin lives up to! Rightfully so, the ‘legend’ referred to is the 1980 Rickenbacker 4003 known for its balanced tonal response and thunderous bass.
The Scarbee Rickenbacker immortalizes this feature through its crisp basses that are accompanied by the Kontakt chain effects for added tweaking. Being one of the best bass VST, the Rickenbacker also features a tape saturator, a ‘solid mix series’ compressor, and Guitar Rig’s Jump Amp. What’s more, it’s library includes 2 NKIs-palm-muted and open articulations, all of which were played using a pick for a realistic sounding feel. However, it is limited to the most recent Konakt platform version.
IK Modo Bass
What makes the IK Modo Bass one of the best bass virtual instruments in today’s market? The answer lies in it’s the fact that it is the first ever electric bass to be modeled physically making it a leading pioneer in the analog modeling music technology industry. Its precision is unmatched which was all one could expected from a synth that took (8 years) to be developed.
Deservedly so, the new version features some exciting updates including 2 additional bass models namely metal and Imperial-bringing the total to 14, 6 string enablement such that all the available models can be played in 6 string bass mode, ‘Drop A’ which enables users to automatically turn to the A note and dropping the B string, and added tweakability in the interface. More importantly, the IK Modo Bass VST uses a fully optimized sound engine and modal synthesis technology that structures the strings to work as nonlinear resonators for real time synthesis. Just another one of our favorite bass guitar VST in the world right now.
Novation Bass Station
Novation’s Bass Station is the software plug-in for the 1993 Bass Station that featured a warm analog path and DCO oscillators with solid flexibility. The bass VST plugin features a wide collection of bass sounds ranging from screaming leads to class fat basses that give it a warm resonance that is quite rare in modern bass plug-ins. Among its features is a classic ladder filter that models sounds at 12/24 dB for that low bass.
Also added to the frame are LFOs that are relatively easy to route. As such, using this kind of modulation routing, one is in a position to take full control of the production’s harmonic sounds using either the filter cut-off or the pulse width modulation. Other notable features that make this one of the best bass VSTs include ADSR envelopes, oscillator sync which allows for highly expressive complicated timbres, over 100 presets, and extensive plugin support.
Output’s Substance makes it to the list largely on account of its powerful bass engine. In as far as the best bass virtual instruments for new-age bass production is concerned, Substance is somewhere at the top! It features a combination of complete live brass sets, large poly-synths, uniquely processed acoustic basses, enhanced sound design, and amplified electric bases.
On the other hand being its prime feature, the intense engine operates by bringing together up to 3 sound source layers and merging them with a range of tweaks such as FX, modulation, flux control, an amped arpeggiator and filters for a thumping, solid quality bass. Together, these features enable the VST to generate a new breed of bass that is all the more thunderous. What’s more, Output Substance features a unique blend of presets such as the ‘Fuzz Pedal’, ‘Simple Acoustic’, ‘Super-Fast Bass Arp’, ‘Snowy Road’, ‘Smooth Upright’, and the Sub Tsunami, to name just but a few. One of the best bass virtual instruments to check out if you wanted more new-age, technological sounds and capabilities.
Waves Bass Slapper
The Bass Slapper boats of a realistic sounding slapping bass sound that accurately emulates the articulations and nuances of a high end bass instrument. Essentially, as far as Slap Bass is concerned, this is one of the best bass virtual instruments around. It has been designed to allow users to develop realistic sounds while maintaining absolute control over each articulation as well as note. This is made possible by its extensive library which includes pull-offs, dead notes, popping, thumbs, legato sounds, and open strings.
This model also comes fully equipped with all 5 string articulations, reliable amp simulation, low boost, 4-band equalizer, real time MIDI controls, adjustable key switch editor, and a sub octave. On the flipside, Waves Bass Slapper has rather high technical requirements for both Windows and Mac users.These include hard disk space of at least 8 GB, minimum resolution on 1280×1024, Intel Core i5, or AMD Quad-Core processor.
U-he Tryell N6
The u-he TyrellN6 is a product of well-researched modeling based on ideas which is a strong point of this VST creator. Rightfully so, this synth is compact and quite sporty. It includes a deep analogue sound and a skinnable user interface for enhanced flexibility. Other notable features include 2 oscillators (ring and noise), 2 LFOs (all of which have 8 waveforms that can be synced with the host), a twin filter by musical powerhouse Diva, and a whopping 570 presets.
The ADSR envelopes used are analogue, and are either triggered by the LFOs or can alternatively be looped. As one of the best bass VSTs, the Tyrell N6 by U-he also features an audio source mixer that comes fully equipped with a filter feedback and realistic overdrive. On the whole, this virtual instrument is takes on a classic, analogue architecture which includes a number of extras.
Ample Sound-Ample Bass P Lite
The Ample Bass P Lite is structured to incorporate a Fender Precision Bass into your sound articulations. Compared to the Ample Bass P, the P Lite VST features a number of upgrades that make this a more compact choice for bass lovers. These include reduced size for easier installation from 3.6 GB to 450 mb, a D1-F4 range as opposed to ABP’s B0-F4, and a reduced number of articulations — hammer on, accent, pull off, and sustain. Nonetheless, its nifty architecture qualifies this as one of the best bass virtual instruments of today to make it at the end of our list. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but definitely worth checking out as it’s been mentioned in a lot of message boards we researched for this guide.
TAL-Elek7ro is an analog virtual bass synth virtual instrument that includes a good number of highly rated features. These include frequency modulation, faster envelopes, and the oscillator hard sync. What’s more, the LFO has an expanded range of 400 Hz-0.1 Hz. Attack and delay tweaks are also made available by means of the free routable envelope that is included in the synth’s architecture. More importantly, TAL-Elek7ro virtual instrument is home to up to 80 presets that are pretty solid, allowing music enthusiasts to develop a wide variety of sounds from deep flat basses to percussion sound to expand their bass palate.
Scarbee Pre Bass is a timeless, electric VST used in the production of classic bass articulations and a wide variety of notes. Just as the name suggests, this VST was created by Thomas Hansen Skarbye, one of the most accomplished music producers and bassists of this generation. This goes a long way in explaining why it is ranked as one of the best bass virtual instruments of today. It features more than 4,000 samples including velocity layers and every four string bass setup available. Through advanced scripting, this VST promises to deliver authentic and overly intuitive bass sound ending our list with strength.
Finding the best bass VST virtual instruments
As you’d imagine, keeping it down to ten for this list has been a major challenge especially given the vast variety of synth plugins for bass available in the current market. Nonetheless, be rest assured that this ultimate selection comprises purely of the crème of the crop. It features some of the best bass virtual instruments for a wide audience-from those looking for a rich analogue fat sound to Dub-Step attack enthusiasts and the more soulful music lovers with a knack for the expressive, harmonic treble of an actual string bass instrument. Generally, these VSTs are at the very top of the list with regards to usability, character, and sound quality. We hope our guide here helped your search today, but definitely let us know in the comments if we’ve left anything out!