The 10 Best Bass Amp Plugins (2023)
An amp simulator is a plugin that imitates the sound of a guitar amp under different simulated conditions of room treatment and mic placement. Bass amp plugins are a lot more cost-effective than buying amplifiers and cabinets.
Investing lots of money in expensive physical gear may not be an option for many musicians and producers. Amp simulator plugins are a very decent alternative. I have compiled a list of the 10 bass amp simulator plugins.
1. AmpliTube 5 (Paid)
AmpliTube 5 is one of the most famous amp plugins both for bass guitars and electric guitars. It comes with 41 models with the basic option going all the way to over 400 models with the MAX option. The latter includes everything from amps, cabinets, speakers, mics, pedals, rack effects, rooms, and artist signature models.
This is perhaps the most popular plugin available because it gives you access to both electric guitar and bass guitar tones all in one. With the new version, an acoustic simulator is also added so you can get acoustic tones out of this plugin as well.
Since most songwriters do not have the budget to get a professional recording, this is a very good option to consider. With many models to experiment with, there is also speaker swapping and impedance matching for tone perfection.
A great new feature is the custom IR loader, which lets you quickly use external preset tones without having to create them from scratch. A new signal chain was also introduced, which lets you easily drag and drop to make swap changes to the signal chain. A new mixer with built-in effects, along with a newly redesigned custom shop. The user interface was also updated among other upgrades.
2. GK Amplification 2 Pro (Paid)
Gallien-Krueger is a well-known name on the market of amps and cabinets. This plugin is an outstanding simulator that can be used in almost all genres of music for great bass guitar tones. It comes with 3 amazing amp choices combined with 8 cabinet choices and 8 microphone choices.
GK Amplification 2 Pro can be used as a plugin or standalone software to record and mix high-quality bass tones. The compose and practice feature allows you to record your progress and learn new songs. This is easily done by lowering or increasing the tempo according to your need.
With great cabs at your disposal, the microphone selection is particularly great! With models like Shure SM57, Rode NT1-A, Sennheiser MKH40, and AKG and Audix models, you can record various versions and choose the most suitable ones.
The application can also be easily controlled by a MIDI controller. You can use it for live shows with a simple plug-and-play. The new version 2 allows selecting different microphones with different cabinets.
3. Bias Amp 2 (Paid)
Just like AmpliTube, Bias Amp 2 is also a combined plugin for both electric guitars and Bass guitars. It comes with 36 default amp models in the basic version. This number increases with higher versions including Celestion cabs. It comes equipped with pedals, parametric EQ, amps, cabinets, mics, custom design options, and more.
The latest version of Bias Amp comes with amp match and track match features. This allows you to match the sounds you design to your preference to get an even more accurate sound profile. It also analyses and gives information to better customize your tones.
It features an amp designer and modeler function. This lets you design your custom amp and get your original sounds. The expansion pack comes with more possibilities, more amps, and options to get creative with your sounds.
Overall, the Bias AMP 2 is a great Bass Amp plugin. It offers excellent and versatile customizing, tube-swapping, and sound-shaping capabilities to provide pro-grade bass tones.
4. TSE BOD V3.0.0 (Free)
TSE BOD is a freeware emulation of the highly rated SansAmp Bass Driver pedal or more popularly known as little box pedals. This plugin is one of those which works instantly. You don’t have to think much about the tone and controls, plug in your bass guitar, load up the plugin and you get an amazing bass guitar tone.
The software is very easy to use. You can get great tones quickly and on the go without investing much time. The new version also includes features like stereo processing support, extra oversampling options, and remodeled circuit for better sound.
On top of all this, it is free to use. Just head over to the link and download it for free. It is certainly worth a try, especially since it’s free and takes the plug-and-play route. It is available for both Windows and Mac users.
5. Blackice Beta Gamma Bass Amplifier (Paid)
Blackice beta-gamma bass amplifier is a plugin based on the well-known Darkglass Alpha Omega 900 bass guitar head. It is modified by adding a virtual recording chain which is very useful in a studio session. It’s a faster and more efficient way to get the best possible tones. The plugin comes with modified distortion and overdrive tones with an addition of a high-end VCA compressor and a six-band graphic EQ.
The latest version of the Blackice beta-gamma bass amplifier plugin comes with 4 enhanced bass cabinets and 4 mic emulations. You can get the exact tone you are looking for by mixing and matching different combinations.
It also comes with an IR loader which means you can import it into your simulations. You can then mix and match your IR with the other simulations available in the plugin.
It comes with a bass enhancer and noise gate as well to further carve the tones you are looking for. You can get a studio-quality sound right in your bedroom.
6. Lostin70s Bass Deluxe (Free)
Lostin70s Bass Deluxe is a freeware plugin that is an emulation of a good old fat-sounding tube bass amplifier. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it is not versatile. It can easily give you a thin funky sound as well. The plugin takes a modern signal chain but the preamps are flat and the other elements are tweaked to be suitable for a bass tone.
Lostin70s Bass Deluxe comes with a 9-band equalizer which means you can carve the sound you are looking for very easily. It also comes with two independent adjustable channels with compression and distortion.
It also features a pedalboard that has 6 pedal tones. This means you can mix and match the tones and pedals before processing or after processing to get interesting sounds. With 4 cabinet models, you can get very detailed and quality bass tones.
Among all these features, it comes with a beatbox and looper function for practicing. And the best part of all this is it is free to use. Just head over to the link and give it a try.
7. Mark Studio 2 (Paid)
Mark Studio 2 is software focused on emulating the best Markbass amps and cabinets. It comes packed with 6 industry-standard Markbass amp models, 9 Markbass cabinets, and 6 microphone choices.
The versatility that comes with this plugin is a wide variety of tones for your compositions. The ease of use is on par so as to not get lost in the huge amount of options available and get overwhelmed. It also comes with a full pedalboard with time-based effects. You have everything like a compressor, octaver, chorus, envelope filter, and distortion pedal.
The new version includes an ultra-flexible signal chain which is super easy to use and delivers great tones on the go.
The Mark Studio 2 also comes with other features. This includes ultra-bass frequency control, full MIDI support, and both standalone and plugin versions. And to top it off – low CPU usage.
8. Ampeg B-15N (Paid)
Ampeg B-15N is a plugin by Brainworx which emulates the circuitry and tones of Ampeg’s Heritage B-15N amp. It is a classic in-the-box amp plugin to get the classic bass guitar tones from one of the most decorated bass amps.
It comes with 2 distinct preamp circuits which can be used to get different tones for a more authentic touch. It also includes Baxandall bass and treble pre-channel to carve your sounds according to your taste.
The Ampeg B-15N also comes packed with an FX rack that comes with all kinds of effects. This includes noise gate, filters, and many others.
If you’re after that vintage bass tone then the Ampeg B-15N will not disappoint. Emulating one of the classics, it’s sure to deliver great quality sound.
9. Ignite Amps SHB-1 (Free)
Ignite Amps SHB-1 emulates the SHB-1 Extreme Bass Head. It features 6 triode stages with a 1300W Class D power amplifier in its circuit. This plugin is very CPU efficient and offers quality above all else.
It comes equipped with dynamic coupled analog modeling with both mono and stereo support. The oversampling rate can be pushed up to 8x which means you can get great and crisper tones for your bass guitar. It does not come in a standalone format and is only available in a plugin format so you will need a DAW that supports VST or AU plugins.
The controls are what set this plugin apart from the rest, with global input/output controls, fully automatable. This is also a free plugin. Just head over to the link and give it a try.
10. Bass Grinder Free (Free)
The Bass Grinder is one of those plugins that is a staple among freeware metal musicians. It’s the ultimate metal bass guitar tone machine. It comes with 2 amps and 3 cabinet options so you have some freedom to choose and get interesting tones. But the performance of this plugin is on par with other high-quality plugins.
The user interface is decent and you get the basic controls of gain, depth, crush, and a 3-band EQ. Overall it’s a great choice for metal musicians. For a wide variety of tones, however, you may have to work and get to know the plugin before finding the one you will like.
This is a no-frills plugin that uses a simple plug-and-play system that is ready to use with a mix already set. You can download it for free to give it a try.
There are a lot of good choices for bass tones. It all boils down to personal preference and what tone you want to achieve. From vintage sounds to modern bass tones, this list has it all.
If you are a beginner guitarist or producer, I would recommend you try the freeware plugins. Try them out and find the one that works for you. If you have some funds to invest in a plugin, I would recommend you get a plugin with more options to choose from. This way you will have more things to experiment with and get to know what kind of tones you like.
One of the major advantages of using bass plugins and software instruments is that you don’t need physical gear to get the sounds you want. You can achieve professional-quality bass tones without having to invest in expensive hardware or worry about storage space. This also makes it easier to experiment with different sounds and styles, as you can quickly switch between different plugins and instruments until you find the perfect sound for your track.
But, if you are a professional or a minimalist kind of a person who gets overwhelmed easily, go for specific amp-based plugins.