The 10 Best Bass Amp Plugins (2021)
Are you confused about which amp simulator plugin to use for your bass guitar tones? Look no further. This is the complete package you need to make your choice.
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 lots of different physical amplifiers and cabinets. Investing lots of money in expensive physical gear may not be an option for many musicians and producers, so these can be a very decent alternative
I have compiled a list of the top 10 bass amp simulator plugins. Keep reading to find out the best one for you.
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 in the basic option going all the way to over 400 models in the top option. The latter of which 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 of the songwriters do not have budget to get a professional recording when making demos, this is a very good option because they can record acoustic guitar tones, electric guitar tones as well as bass guitar tones all from just one plugin.
In the new version, various features are added to the plugin. 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 was also added 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 in the market of amps and cabinets. This plugin is an outstanding simulation of these amp and cabinet sounds which 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 to mix and match to get the sound you are looking for.
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 by lowering or increasing the tempo according to your need. The application can also be easily controlled by a MIDI controller. You can take it on a live show and just plug in and play straight from the standalone software. The new version 2 brings along with it the possibility to select different microphones with different cabinets to mix and match and get even more creative with your bass sounds.
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 in the topmost version. It comes equipped with all the required customization like pedals, parametric EQ, amps, cabinets, mics, custom design options, etc.
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 reference to get an even more accurate sound profile. It also analyses and gives information to better customize your tones. It also comes with amp designer and, modeler function.
This lets you design your custom amp and get your original sounds and have them saved for later use in your tracks. The expansion pack comes with more possibilities with more amps and options to mix and match from to get the desired tones effectively and easily and get creative with your sounds.
It also comes with custom IR functionality to add your own customs IRs to make use of them easily in your songs.
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 just one of those which works instantly. You don’t have to think much about the tone and controls, just plug your bass guitar in and load up the plugin and there you have an amazing bass guitar tone. It is just great.
The software is very easy to use. You can get great tones quickly and on the go without investing much time to think and tune your bass guitar tones. 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 below and download it for free and give it a try. Don’t forget to donate and support the software if you like it.
5. Blackice Beta Gamma Bass Amplifier (Paid)
Blackice beta-gamma bass amplifier is a plugin based on the well-known darkglass alpha omega 900 amplifiers. It is modified by adding a virtual recording chain which is very useful in a studio session of just faster and 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 equalizer.
The latest version of the Blackice beta-gamma bass amplifier plugin comes with 4 enhanced bass cabinets and 4 microphone emulations to choose from. 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 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 and 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 comes with customization options to get a good old fat bass sound. 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 channels with compression and distortion for individual control and more customization. It also comes with 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. It also comes with 4 cabinet options and an adjustable presence boost to have fun with string noises and be creative.
And the best part of all this is it is free to use. Just head over to the link below and download it for free and give it a try. Don’t forget to donate and support the software if you like it.
7. Mark Studio 2 (Paid)
Mark Studio 2 is software primarily focused on getting emulation of the best Markbass amplifiers and cabinets. It comes packed with 6 industry standard Markbass amp models, 9 Markbass cabinets, and 6 microphone choices. This means you have a lot of scopes to get a wide variety of tones for your compositions. It will also be quick enough 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 also included in the board.
The new version includes with it an ultra-flexible signal chain which is super easy to use and get great tones on the go. It also comes with other features like ultra-bass frequency control, full MIDI support, both standalone and plugin versions, and 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 quickly and easily and efficiently because it emulates one of the most decorated bass amps.
It comes with 2 distinct preamp circuits which can be used to get different era tones to give your tones and composition a more authentic touch. It also includes Baxandall Bass and Treble pre-channel to carve your sounds according to your taste. It also comes packed with an FX rack that comes with all kinds of effects to make your tones more unique and interesting and have fun in your compositions.
9. Ignite Amps SHB-1 (Free)
Ignite Amps SHB-1 is an emulation of a real 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 the developers have done a good job in that area.
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 and your compositions. It does not come in a standalone format and is only available in a plugin format so you will need a host capable of VST or AU plugin support.
This is also free to use the plugin. Just head over to the link below and download it for free and give it a try. Don’t forget to donate and support the software if you like it.
10. Bass Grinder Free (Free)
Now, this is one of those plugins that is a staple among freeware metal musicians because it’s the ultimate metal bass guitar tone machine. It comes with two amps and three cabinet options so you have some freedom to choose and get interesting tones. But the performance of this plugin for metal tones is very impressive so you should use it for metal tones preferably.
The user interface is not bad and you get the basic controls of gain, depth, crunch, and a 3 band equalizer. Overall it’s a great choice for metal musicians but for a wide variety of tones, you may have to work and get to know the plugin before finding the one you will like.
Head over to this link and download it for free to give it a try. Don’t forget to donate and support the software if you like it.
There is a lot of good choices to pick from for your bass guitar tones using a plugin. I’m sure some people will agree with this list but some will not agree and think some other plugin does a better job. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal taste and your budget.
If you are a beginner guitarist or producer and cannot invest money in plugins then I would recommend you to try the freeware plugins. Try them and find the one that works for you to learn more.
If you have some funds to invest in a plugin I would recommend you to invest and get a plugin with more varieties and options to choose from. This way you will have more things to experiment with and get to know what kind of tones you like.
On the other hand, if you are a professional or a minimalist kind of a person who gets overwhelmed easily go for specific amp-based plugins. If you just want a quick and efficient workflow I would recommend giving a try to specific amp-based emulator plugins and picking one according to our taste.