Last Updated on July 23, 2023.
So, you decide to go looking for a high-quality VST plugin, only to find that there are way too many to choose from…
How do you decide which one to get?
Do they really sound good?
Are they worth the price tag?
Since this is a very common issue I see, especially with beginners, I decided to create this extensive list of Bass VST Plugins that definitely sound great and that should make a nice addition to your collection.
Let’s get started right away!
- Loopmasters Bass Master ($69)
- NI Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass ($99)
- Rob Papen SubBoomBass 2 ($99)
- Arturia Minimoog V ($149)
- Ample Basses (Free up to $119)
- NI Massive ($149)
- IK Multimedia MODO BASS ($299)
- Orange Tree Samples Basses ($58 up to $459)
- Output Substance ($199)
- Spectrasonics Trilian ($299)
- Impact Sound Shreddage Basses ($59 to $99)
- Mixing the Low-End
Loopmasters Bass Master ($69)
Bass Master is a strictly bass-oriented virtual instrument that was created by Loopmasters.
Like most modern VST plugins, it is compatible with all VST and AU plugin hosts out there.
Creating great basslines that sit well in a mix can be a bit complicated, and this is usually achieved by layering different synths and samples manually.
Luckily, Bass Masters helps with this tremendously since it blends two layers, the Top- and Sub-Layers, together.
It is a very simple plugin to use and getting a good sound out of it doesn’t take too much time nor skill.
Bass Master is a sample-based instrument that features a total of 217 actual bass sample “waveforms” that serve as the sound source for both layers.
Now, Bass Master comes with over 350 mix-ready presets, which means that dialing in a tone is pretty damn easy.
The onboard filter offers 13 filter types: including a range of low-pass, band-pass and high-pass models, ladder filters and a comb filter.
Three effects are also included; Distortion, Stereo Chorus and Reverb.
As far as customization goes, Bass Master probably offers more than you could even ask for, plus it sounds absolutely fantastic.
- Unique three-band Frequency Booster for added crispness, body and bass
- Distortion, Chorus and Reverb effects
- Assign any three parameters to the mod wheel
- Direct Out control for the Sub
Find out more about Bass Master here.
NI Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass ($99)
If you’re looking for an awesome sounding organic bass, then fret not! (Sorry for that one…)
The Scarbee Rickenbacker bass is a sampled version of the Rickenbacker 4003, which is a bass that basically shaped rock and pop history, and it delivers the same character as the original instrument but at a fraction of the price.
Additionally, it features some extra sonic variations that the original doesn’t have.
Lastly, it comes with the Jump Amp from GUITAR RIG for extreme tweakability, and tape saturator, equalizer and compressor from the SOLID MIX SERIES for pro studio effects.
- Crisp, detailed midrange for perfect mix placement
- Versatile open picked and palm-muted articulations
- Features true amp tone for unrivaled power
Find out more about Scarbee Rickenbacker here.
Related: Are you in need of drum VSTs? Read this whole post I wrote on the subject.
Rob Papen SubBoomBass 2 ($99)
If you know anything about bass synths, then you probably heard of Rob Papen, who has created other famous synths such as the Punch and the Predator.
SubBoomBass 2 is the successor of the SubBoomBass I and has received an Interface makeover for more comfortable use and control of all the features, which are quite a lot.
It still has its analog modeled waveforms on board, which were obtained directly from pitched-down samples of instruments, and the sound color has been expanded with new spectrum waveforms.
With this synth you will have access to a high number of high-quality presets that should get you going in no time, allowing you to create a deeper and richer low-end in a matter of minutes.
Additionally, an “Easy Edit” mode is also featured in this synth;
What this allows you to do is reduce the overwhelming number of controls in order to make the workflow easier and faster.
Lastly, it features a distortion stage, amp section, two filters, a step sequencer, a modulation section, and an effects unit.
SubBoomBass 2 gives you access to great sounding deep basses that immediately sit well in the mix, and it’s a plugin you should consider if you’re a serious dance, hip-hop, or any other kind of electronic music producer.
Find out more about SubBoomBass 2 here.
Arturia Minimoog V ($149)
Based on the original MiniMG that was created by Bob Moog, which was responsible for some of the most famous hits of the ‘70s and ‘90s, Arturia recreated the sound of this legendary synth by paying special attention on keeping all of its original characteristics while also adding some extra features.
An advanced modulator was added, as well as a Vocal filter and a modulation matrix, and all of this simply improves on the original design and removes some of its previous limitations.
- All the parameters of the original Mini V
- Modulation matrix with up to 8 connections (15 sources and 35 destinations)
- Vocal Filter: a fully automatable, formant-based effect with its own LFO
- Up to 32 voices of polyphony
- Unison mode option
- And more!
Find out more about the Mini V here.
Ample Basses (Free up to $119)
AmpleSounds has come up with some of the best free as well as premium instrument samples I’ve ever heard.
The guitar samples they offer are off the charts, but they also have seven bass VSTs that sound absolutely terrific, one of which is free!
Here is a quick overview of some of them:
Upright III Bass
This is a sampled upright bass that features a fretless system, multiple stereo and mono modes, and multiple built-in effects such as Reverb, Compression, EQ, and more.
Bass J III
This is a sampled Fender Jazz Bass that offers Sustain controls, Palm Mute, Natural Harmonic, Hammer On & Pull Off, Legato Slide, Slide in & out, Slap, and more.
Bass P III
This is a Sampled Fender Precision Bass that sounds absolutely amazing, and it also includes EQ, Compression, Delay, Reverb, and other similar effects.
Now, all of those are premium and will set you back about $119 each.
If you want to try out their free Bass P Lite II, then you can do so as well.
Find out more about the Ample Basses here.
NI Massive ($149)
MASSIVE contains over 1300 sounds, all crafted by artists and sound designers, as well as hundreds of customizable presets that can easily be accessed through the built-in search engine.
It comes with loads of built-in controls that should help you create unlimited sounds without ever running out of ideas.
A vast array of wavetable oscillators, modulation options, filters, effects, sequencing, and more, offer you even more control over the sound.
- Virtual-analog architecture for colossal sound
- Equally flexible in the studio or on stage
- Comprehensive library with 1,300 huge presets
Find out more about NI Massive here.
IK Multimedia MODO BASS ($299)
Now, despite being one of the most expensive Bass plugins on this list, if you’re looking for realism and great-sounding bass tracks, then you should take MODO BASS into consideration.
MODO BASS is the first technology of its kind that models the entire process of playing the bass, and it comes with 12 modelled basses.
Every component that contributes to the unique tonal properties of a bass player playing an instrument has been modeled, and the effects of each component on the other ones — the interactions between each tone variable — has been recreated to give you a dynamic and well-rounded performance.
MODO BASS isn’t a sample-based instrument like most other Bass VSTs, but rather a completely new technology where sound is generated by recreating the physical properties of a real instrument.
Everything that makes an instrument create sound is physically modeled and sound is synthesized in real time.
- Real-time modal synthesis without samples
- Simulates almost every bass guitar
- Low memory requirements
- Contains 12 bass models
Despite its high price tag, MODO BASS is probably one of the best, or even THEE best plugin you could get.
Find out more about MODO BASS here.
Orange Tree Samples Basses ($58 up to $459)
All the samples that this website has are some of the best I’ve ever heard; Not only do they offer bass samples, but also guitar, keyboard, mandolin, chimes, and more, and they all sound extremely realistic.
Here is a breve description of some of the basses;
Note: All libraries include many factory presets for ready-to-use classic and modern bass tones that fit right into the mix, as well as built-in effects.
Evolution Roundwound Bass ($179)
The Evolution Roundwound Bass features a vintage J-style electric bass equipped with roundwound strings for a bright, defined tone that cuts through the mix.
Evolution Flatwound Bass ($179)
Evolution Flatwound Bass features a vintage P-style electric bass equipped with flatwound strings for a deep, rich tone.
Iconic Bass Jaco ($99)
Iconic Bass Jaco provides incredible realism and playability. If you like the iconic style of Jaco Pastorius, then this one is definitely for you.
Big Bottom Bundle ($459): This is a huge bundle that includes all 6 of Orange Tree Sample’s basses at a high discount.
If you’re looking for realism and overall sound quality, you certainly can’t go wrong with Orange tree Samples… not just for bass.
Find out more about Orange Tree Samples Basses here.
Output Substance ($199)
Substance is a deeply produced bass engine for Kontakt, combining heavily processed electric and acoustic basses, real brass sections, analog synths, and more, into single patches.
The idea behind it is to create new and unique sounds, and it accomplishes this quite well.
Additionally, it comes with 300 presets that should get you going in no time, but if you don’t want to use the presets you can also create sounds from scratch!
Lastly, it also features Monophonic and Legato modes per layer and a Rhythm page that syncs to tempo.
Find out more about Substance here.
With Trilian you get over sixty different 4, 5, 6 and 8 string Electric basses that are presented in fingered, picked, fretless, slapped, tapped, and muted technique variations – providing a huge variety of sounds for any musical genre.
It packs one of the largest sample libraries out there, with over 34GB of high-quality samples of basses such as; Music Man 5-string Studio Bass, Chapman Stick, Lakland Rock P-Bass, and more!
It features Trilian’s acoustic bass, which is the most detailed one in their collection since it has 21.000 samples.
Lastly, some of its editing features are; DI mix, round-robin variations, dynamic slides, automatic legato, and more.
Trilian is absolutely fantastic; it’s super realistic and sounds great…
The only downside may be the high price tag, but you are getting one of the best bass plugins out there.
You can get Trilian Here: Best Service.
Impact Sound Shreddage Basses ($59 to $99)
I already mentioned Impact Sound’s Shreddage Guitar plugins in another post, and I honestly believe that they are absolutely fantastic.
They also came up with a couple bass libraries that have a thorough set of articulations, round robins (RRs) and velocity layers, as well as open and muted notes, staccato notes, neck slides and true hammer-on and pull-off samples.
They offer three Bass Libraries which are; Shreddage 3 Abyss, Shreddage 3 Precision, and Shreddage Bass: Picked Edition.
Shreddage 3 Abyss!
Formerly known as Shreddage Bass 2, Shreddage 3 Abyss is a six-string Mackelroy bass library that has an upgraded engine which is capable of creating more realistic tones.
It features loads of built-in effects and other features for increased ease of use.
Shreddage Bass 3 Precision
This one features a library of a classic 5-string bass that’s been recorded to almost near perfection, and it also features fingered, picked, and slapped playing, plus a plethora of other core bass techniques.
Shreddage Bass: Picked Edition
This library offers high-quality DI recordings for more flexibility and customizability. It sounds incredibly realistic and the built-in effects make working with it a breeze.
All of Shreddage’s plugins are absolutely amazing and I highly recommend you check them out since they are also quite affordable!
Find out more about the Shreddage Basses here.
Mixing the Low-End
Once you’re done creating your new awesome bass track, you’ll need a tool to mix it properly and fast, and this is where LowEnhance comes in!
Specifically designed to process low-end quickly!
The THR LowEnhance compressor was designed specifically to process the low-end of your tracks and mixes with the idea of making the whole process as simple as possible, helping you work at a faster pace without having to fiddle around with dozens of plugin parameters.
Its automatic gain makeup functionality works extremely well and lets you to dial in the needed compression without having to worry about the output volume, and contrary to other compressors, it doesn’t only take into account the threshold and ratio in order to calculate the makup, but also attack and release times.
In order to keep things simple, only fast & slow attack and release times are built in (the attack button is called “Thump” in this case and in addition to changing the attack speed, it also changes the knee in order to add more character), which should cover most of your needs, but in addition to that, the LowEnhance features tempo-sync functionality, which sets the release time to 1/8th noters, 1/4 notes, etc., based on the project’s tempo.
THR LowEnhance also comes with a distortion module that lets you choose between two types of distortion (Overdrive and soft clipping), and the output volume also gets automatically compensated so that you don’t have to manually set it.
Some audio recording software, such as Audacity, don’t notify the plugin about the project’s tempo, which is why you can also set the tempo manually in the plugin to achieve the same results.
Lastly, THR LowEnhance allows you to select the exact frequency range you want it to process (from 40Hz and below, up to 250Hz) so that you can accurately affect the sound how you want to, and it also lets you solo that frequency range (or band) to have a more thorough listen.
User Interface: The LowEnhance was designed to look and feel simple. It offers simple controls that do what they are supposed to and all of this in an intuitive manner.
Character: While LowEnhance can sound quite mean and dirty when the saturation is cranked, I wouldn’t say it naturally adds character (unless you’re adding saturation, of course) since the compressor itself has a very clear sound that doesn’t add any coloration.
- Automatic gain makeup.
- Compression plus distortion modules.
- Tempo-synced release.
- Low filter band that lets you adjust the specific frequency range to process.
Uses: LowEnhance, as the name implies, was designed to make adding compression and saturation to the low-end as simple of a process as possible: It can be used to add thump and power to you kick drum, help your bass guitar sit better in the mix, or to add some grit and power to your synth lines.
Lastly, LowEnhance comes with a 10-day free trial, so make sure to give it a try!
Find out more about LowEnhance here.
All of the bass plugins on this list are completely amazing and I absolute recommend all of them.
If you’re a bass player and don’t want to spend too much, or anything for that matter, on VSTs then this post I wrote about the best Free Bass Amp sims might really interest you.
Otherwise feel free to try some of the ones I listed here and let me know what you think!
Have a wonderful day!