Bass amp sims are a convenient way to record bass guitars. It gives you different options and great tones. It’s easy and you have total control of your sound.
There are many awesome VST plugins that are dedicated to bass amps. And in this post, we discuss the best free and premium bass guitar amplifier plugins.
Bass amp VST plugins are great for home recording studios. If you have a small or untreated recording room, then bass VST plugins are a great choice.
What’s The Best Bass Amp Sim?
Premium and free bass amp plugins like guitar amp sims offer superb and realistic tones. Some plugins are based on classic and popular amps and these bass amp VSTs include various cabinets, speakers, mics, and other options.
1. Ampeg B15N
Ampeg B15N is a plugin that sounds amazing and realistic. Based on the classic bass amplifier, this VST plugin offers a pure classic bass tone. This amp plugin can output from clean to dirty tones. But it’s not a simple amp.
It offers great options to dial in a vast amount of bass tones thanks to its features. The interface is very modern and intuitive. Also, the price is quite reasonable.
The B15N amp plugin has two channels with two different preamp sections. You can control volume, bass, and treble but it has other tone options. Has a noise gate, and compressor module, and you can choose different cabinets and recording chan. If you love SVT-style tones, then this is the perfect plugin for you.
Ampeg B-15N Features:
- 2 Preamp Circuits
- FX Rack
- 42 Recording Chains
2. Blackice Beta Gamma
Blackice Beta Gamma is a beautiful, simple, yet powerful bass VST plugin. The tones you can create with this amp sim are superb. It gives you the ability to change almost anything in your bass tone.
Works well with a modern digital audio workstation and is a great solution for home recording. If you don’t have a real bass amp, you can get this and record awesome bass riffs. This VST bass amp sounds amazing.
First, the plugin has a simple amp head section where you can tweak gain, volume, comp, and even 6-band graphic EQ. But the power comes from impulses and cabinets.
After you import your favorite bass impulses, you can control almost everything. Choose a cabinet, add your favorite mic, and choose position and distance. Then you can control noise gates, phasing, filters, and more. Beta Gamma bass amp VST allows you to fully control your bass tone.
Blackice Betta Gamma Features:
- Graphic EQ
- Noise Gate
3. GK Amplification Pro
GK Amplification Pro is a tool made for bass recording and mixing. It makes it so easy to dial in realistic and juicy bass tones. The interface, features, sound options, and quality are superb.
Gallien-Krueger amps simulation is one of the most realistic bass plugins I have ever used. You can choose different cabinets, mics, positions, and much more. It simulates three amps and 5+ cabinets and microphones.
It’s a two-channel bass amp sim with preamp and voicing sections. It allows controlling boost, tweeter, and woofer too. Then you can choose a cabinet of your liking, mic, and place it as you want.
This bass amp plugin has a dual channel and you can use two different cabinets with different mic positions. It also comes with sound presets that are a great way to start dialing in great bass tones.
GK Amplification Pro Features:
- Superb Sound Quality
- Mic Positions
4. Cerberus Bass Amplifikation
Cerberus Bass Amplifikation by Kuassa offers a simple but powerful solution for bass recording. This simple-to-use bass amp plugin has everything to produce realistic bass tones. Offers three different channels, an impulse loader, mic positions, and more.
Different amp channels, built-in compressor, EQ, and the ability to use different mics, are what make the Cerberus plugin a go-to tool for bass recording. Also, it’s an affordable plugin and you can try the demo before buying.
The amp head section is straightforward. From here you can choose the type of amp, tweak the compressor, and standard EQ. Additionally, it has a 7-band graphic EQ for more control.
Below you have a cabinet section where you choose the cabinet and mics. You can have a dual cabinet setup and control the mix of two microphones. This bass plugin works as a VST and standalone plugin.
Cerberus Bass Amplifikation Features:
- 3 Amps
- Built-in Compressor and Limiter
- 7-Band EQ
5. Bass Deluxe
Bass Deluxe could be a premium plugin but it’s free and awesome. The sound that comes out from this bass amp plugin is superb and it’s great for clean and dirty tones. One of my favorite bass amp sims that exist.
Not only that, but it has so many great features that allow you to tweak your sound and dial in amazing bass tones.
This is a two-channel bass amp plugin with simple controls for each channel. You can control compression, drive, and clean sound. But each channel has 9-band graphic EQ which allows you to control your sound even further.
Bass Deluxe has four different types of cabinets with more sound options. And finally, it has a pedalboard section with six high-quality effects pedals. This is a diverse bass amp sim for recording.
Bass Deluxe Features:
- Graphic EQ
- Four Bass Cabinets
6. Ignite Amps SHB-1
Ignite Amps SHB-1 is another amazing and simple-to-use bass amp simulation plugin. It’s a simulation of a bass amp head and you will need some kind of IR loader.
It works with a free IR loader by Lancaster Audio. But you can use what you like. The plugin itself is very simple and produces great tones. You can control input and output volumes and has an oversampling option.
This bass amp VST has switches for deep, bright, and shape that allow you to add characteristics to your bass tone. The preamp section is simple with gain, volume, balance, bass, mid, and treble knobs.
The balance knob works like presence and adds brightness. And another great feature is the stereo option. If you want to have a stereo signal chain with the SHB-1 bass amp sim, you can. A great recording VST plugin for bass guitar.
Ignite Amps SHB-1 Features:
- Stereo Signal
- Deep, Bright, and Shape Switches
7. TSE BOD
TSE BOD is based on the famous bass processing unit Tech 21 SansAmp. This is not a bass pedal but a bass amp itself. However, it can be used with any IR loader. But most times you don’t need it because it sounds amazing.
Also, it’s great to record bass DI sound. The plugin is very simple to use with a couple of knobs. But it’s powerful and has superb sound quality.
Once you plug your bass into TSE BOD you have several options. You can control level, drive, presence, and low and high frequencies. But a great feature is the blend knob. It works if you have drive engaged.
So, you can blend your clean and drive signals to add clarity to your dirty tones. Of course, you have the option to use only clean or distorted sound. The plugin offers stereo signal chain and oversampling options.
TSE BOD Features:
- Amazing Sound
- Blend Clean and Dirty Tones
- Great for DI Recording
8. Doctor Bass
Doctor Bass by DamyFX is a simple bass amp sim that offers good sound but lacks options. However, it’s great to quickly capture your ideas and record your bass riffs.
The plugin is good for simple bass recording but it sounds good. At least it’s a free plugin. So, if you need a simple plugin without advanced sound options, it’s for you.
Doctor Bass plugin has one bass amp head and four bass cabinets. The amp head allows you to control gain, volume, and EQ. Then you can choose from four different cabinets and that’s it. It’s a simple but great-sounding amp plugin.
Sometimes the fewer options you have is better to create great bass tones. Great bass amplifier plugin to create quick tracks or demo recordings. Doesn’t require too much CPU or RAM power.
Doctor Bass Features:
- Four Bass Cabinets
- Good Sound Quality
- Simple To Use
9. Bass Grinder
Bass Grinder is an old and popular free bass amp sim. Made by Audio Assault that makes other great free plugins. Although the plugin interface looks dated and not so eye-catching, the sound is great.
Like the Doctor Bass plugin, it’s simple to use and great for demo recordings. Also, you are limited to options but that doesn’t make this plugin bad. It has its purpose.
You have a few options. You can choose from two bass amps and three cabinets. From this combination, you can dial in your tone easily. You can control drive, volume, EQ, and depth.
Also, the plugin allows you to control input gain and it has a gate feature. Really good and simple bass plugin for home recording.
Bass Grinder Features:
- Two Bass Amps
- Three Cabinets
- Depth Control
Bass amp sims are a great option to record music at your home studio. These plugins are convenient and offer an amazing feature where you can dial your desired bass tones. Some plugins offer more features than others. Premium bass plugins have better quality but free plugins are as good as they can be. Free plugins are great to learn how they work and also for those who don’t want to spend money on bass plugins.
Amp simulators offer realistic tones, more convenience, less cost, and more options for guitar tones due to amp emulation software. On the other hand, recording a real amp provides the true experience but costs more for analog gear while being less convenient and flexible.How do you make amp Sims sound more realistic? ›
- 1 Use an IR (Impulse Response) ...
- 2 Use specialist digital audio drivers. ...
- 3 Use a noise gate with high gain sounds. ...
- 4 Set the audio interface input level higher. ...
- 5 Set the audio interface input level lower. ...
- 6 Set the optimum input level in the amp sim itself.
No, you don't necessarily need an amp to enjoy playing or recording bass, but there are plenty of situations where an amp makes sense.Is my bass amp loud enough for a gig? ›
A bass amp with 20-30 watts will be more than enough to fill the room with sound. However, if you're playing in a larger venue, such as a club or a bar, you'll need a bass amp with at least 50 watts of power.Why do my amp sims sound bad? ›
If the gain is too high, the amp sim will sound over-driven and distorted. If it's too low, the amp sim will sound weak and thin. Just as you would with a real amp, spend plenty of time getting the tone right with the EQ controls on the simulator. Don't resort to parametric equalizers and other EQ plugins in your DAW.What is the best sounding amp class? ›
Class A design is the least efficient but has the highest sound fidelity. Class B design is a little more efficient, but full of distortion. Class AB design offers power efficiency and good sound. Class D design has the highest efficiency and smallest footprint.How do I make my amp sound like Bohemian Rhapsody? ›
- Gain: 6.
- Treble: 8.
- Bass: 7.
- Mids: 9.
Amp sims produce guitar tones comparable to real guitar amps, especially at low volumes. Real tube amps give better-quality sounds at higher volumes. Amp sims provide many more sounds than real amps. Amp sims are ideal for recording, whereas on balance real amps are still better for live use.How do I get a good bass sound for recording? ›
- Make Sure Your Instrument Is in Good Shape. ...
- Take It Direct and Mic the Amp. ...
- Be Gentle with the Compressor.
Without a compressor, each bass note fades out quickly, causing a loss of bottom end and fullness in between each note. But with the right amount of compression, that fullness is always there. Plus, it makes volume balancing ten times easier, because each bass note is around the same volume.
We definitely recommend using a mic on your bass amp. This can help you to get a quality recording of your amplifier, and pick up the sound of your amp and pedals as well as your bass guitar. There are a lot of different aspects of the sound that don't come directly from the instrument.What is the best wattage for a bass amp? ›
A 100 – 150 watt bass amp is the bare minimum to use for rehearsals and small gigs; 300 watts is better since it allows the amp to push out the same or louder volume with less effort or strain. A louder amp doesn't have to work as hard, which means less chance of overheating, blowing a fuse or damaging a speaker.What is a good size bass amp? ›
200 to 300 watts is a good range for smaller venues; 300 to 500 watts can get you to cut through in midsized rooms; 500+ watts is plenty of power for loud bands and larger spaces. One other thing to keep in mind is that bass amps, unlike guitar amps, sound their best when they're not being pushed too hard.How powerful does a bass amp need to be? ›
A rough, general rule some players use is to make sure your bass can keep up with the guitar, you want your bass amp to put out anywhere from two to four times more wattage than the guitar amp.Do you need an audio interface for amp SIM? ›
To get started with amp simulators, you need an audio interface, a computer, and the appropriate software. You can connect your guitar to your audio interface, install the necessary software, and configure your audio interface.Are amp Sims good for beginners? ›
I'd recommend getting an amp first. When you play electric guitar, the sound of the amp can be as important as the sound of the instrument. Cheap amps are a great place to start.Can a weak amp damage speakers? ›
If you don't have a powerful enough amplifier to reach the volume levels you want, you can damage the speakers by feeding them too much high-frequency energy by driving the amplifier into clipping. It's the extra power in these harmonics that damages speakers.Which class amplifier is best for bass? ›
The best class of car subwoofer amplifiers is D because of its high efficiency and significant power output. Class A, B, and AB amplifiers are examples of analog amplifier classes, making Class D the only switched amplifier class commonly used in-car audio systems.What is the best bass amp frequency? ›
Bass Frequencies and Other Instruments
While the fundamental range of the bass extends up to around 400Hz, most bass playing occurs with fundamentals below that between 40Hz and 200Hz.
This means either turning it up as loud as it can go, or—if your amp has a master volume control—turning up your “gain” knob but leaving the volume fairly low. (On some amps, there are separate knobs for “volume” and “master.” To get overdrive, turn the “volume” knob way up, but leave the “master” knob fairly low.)
Quick Guide AC/DC Amp Settings
Gain: 5-6. Bass: 4-5. Mids: 5-6. Treble: 6-7.
The majority of practice amps are solid state, and have around 20 watts. This is definitely enough to get good quality audio, at pretty high volumes. If you're looking at tube (valve) amps, then around 10 watts is usually enough.Should you mic up an amp? ›
Typically, a guitar amp is close mic'ed to capture the most direct sound. Placing the microphone roughly 4 inches from the grill and aiming it directly at the center of the speaker will produce the most “edge”. If you move the mic further away, it takes away some of the edge and mellows the sound more.Is the higher the amp the better? ›
Higher amps mean that electricity is flowing more quickly and delivering more power to your device.What amps did Black Sabbath use? ›
What amps did Black Sabbath use? Black Sabbath's guitarist Tony Iommi used a modified Laney LA100 BL amplifier for much of his career.How to make your amp sound like Arctic Monkeys? ›
To get the Arctic Monkeys guitar tone, you'll need a crunchy overdriven tone by either having the gain setting on your amp midway, or use an overdriven pedal through a clean amp. Have the gain, mids and treble higher for lead sections and then decrease the gain and mids lower for rhythm sections.What amp did Slash use? ›
Slash has always been associated with Marshall amps and has used various models over the years including two signature heads: the Marshall JCM 2555 Slash and the Marshall AFD100 which is supposed to capture the tone from the Appetite For Destruction era.How many bass tracks should you record? ›
If you have the preamps, mics, and tracks to do it, you might want to record as many as four bass tracks — a DI and three mics — and somewhere in the blend of those four individual tracks, you'll find the tone you need for each song.How loud should bass be recorded? ›
The bass should be loud enough that the low end is big and powerful, but not so loud that it overpowers the kick drum. Remember to check your reference mixes often to make sure you're staying on course.What makes bass sound better? ›
Filter and shape your sound
For deep bass, you're going to want to use a low-pass filter to cut out the higher frequencies of the bass notes, and then shape it with the filter and amplitude envelopes. Using the low-pass filter cutoff, we cut the higher frequencies out.
Foam earplugs (and some reusable earplugs) in combination with customized dark-brown noise. If the intruding bass is not too loud, dark-brown noise or ocean underwater sounds alone.Should I use soft or hard knee for bass? ›
Hard-knee compression slams the compressor on fully, as soon as the threshold is crossed (usually best for percussive sounds). Soft-knee compression kicks in gradually, as the threshold is crossed. Soft-knee is a smoother sound. It's probably the setting we'd choose on bass.Should I record bass or drums first? ›
During sessions, drums are traditionally recorded first as they're the backbone of any song (along with bass guitar). A strong drum beat will inevitably give you a solid foundation to build upon no matter what band, genre, or type of session you're participating in or hosting.How far should a bass amp be from a mic? ›
The microphone should be within 6-12 inches of the amp. This means that you are picking up all of the sound you need but also that you are avoiding getting too close and falling foul of the proximity effect and other issues around overloading the microphone.Should a bass amp be on the floor? ›
While it certainly may work for some people and in some locations, as having an amp coupled directly to the floor often makes your bass tone feel more powerful -- in the context of a live performance, decoupling your rig by getting it even a few inches off the floor provides many benefits.Will a guitar ruin a bass amp? ›
Playing an electric guitar through a bass amp will not cause any damage because the frequency response of a bass amp covers the mid and high-frequency guitar notes. What is this? The high tones of a guitar are not capable of damaging your bass amp.Do more watts mean better bass? ›
How's it measured? Bass, as with most things, demands a comparison of quality vs quantity. More bass does not necessarily mean better bass. The power is determined by the wattage of the subwoofer in question, where a higher wattage demonstrates a more powerful subwoofer.Does more watts mean louder bass? ›
Yes, it's true that the higher the power (watts), the louder and cleaner the speakers will play. Small differences in power, however, don't make much of an audible change. In order to perceptively hear a difference (a 3dB increase), the power would have to double.Is 500 watts loud enough for a bass amp? ›
However, 500 watts should be enough power for most bass applications. If you are looking for a compelling bass sound, consider an amplifier with more watts, but 500 watts should be sufficient for most people.How much should you spend on a bass amp? ›
If it's just for practicing in your bedroom, you can get a perfectly adequate little practice amp for under $200. If you'll be playing in a band or gigging out, yeah, you probably should expect to spend in the $500-700 range at least.
A 30-watt amplifier will produce an insane amount of sound. You can bury it with 150 watts or use 20 watts. It's not super loud, but it's definitely loud enough for most situations. Effects pedals can also have a significant impact, as some of them can severely deplete your signal chain.Is a 100w bass amp loud enough for gigs? ›
Your band's preferences determine whether you can gig with a 100-watt bass amp: If you can get PA support, you can rely solely on your cab to handle the volume for stage volume. If that's the case, 100 watts can be sufficient. The bare minimum power supply for rehearsals and small gig performances is 100 watts.Do I need a specific bass amp? ›
So, does a bass guitar need a special amp? Since bass guitars produce much lower frequency sounds than bass guitars, so you will need an amp that's built specifically for a bass guitar. Bass amps support a high power output and low frequencies without distorting the sound.Is a 250 watt bass amp Loud Enough? ›
250 watts may be more than enough, but a little combo isnt going to cut it. That same 250 watts on an 810 or super efficient 215, and now you are talking. Power is important, but the cab you are using is the real determining factor for how loud you will be.What is the difference between amp SIM and modeling amp? ›
A modeler and a guitar amp simulator are similar but ultimately different. An amp modeler is like an AXE FX III, a Kemper, or a Revv D20. It's a piece of hardware with digital technology that can imitate many amps and sounds. A guitar amp simulator is more like a plugin that's downloaded on a computer.Are expensive amps really better? ›
Depends on what speakers you're driving. An expensive pair of speakers will sound great with a cheap Chinese amp. It will sound better when you upgrade the amp. A cheap pair of speakers will sound underwhelming with a cheap or expensive amp.Do tube amps really sound better? ›
The reason why tube amplifiers sound better is that they introduce even-order harmonics into the signal. These harmonics are closer in frequency to the original signal, so they sound more natural. The higher you crank them, the better the sound gets – and that's not something that every bit of equipment can boast!Can you record with a practice amp? ›
Any guitar amp can be used for recording. Whether it's a vintage classic or a minuscule practice amp, you can place a microphone in front and capture the tone.How do I record with my amp SIM? ›
- 1 Create a new track in your DAW. ...
- 2 Insert amp sim on the new track in your DAW. ...
- 3 Add separate IR loader and IR if needed. ...
- 4 Connect your guitar to your audio interface. ...
- 5 Set the input level on your audio interface. ...
- 6 Set the input level in your DAW and amp sim.
Max power is the highest amount of power that can be safely sustained. RMS is continuous power handling at sustained listening level. The RMS power rating will be the closest to the amplifier or speaker's actual capabilities.
Bass amps can be expensive if they are tube amps. Tube amps use vacuum power tubes to amplify the signal, which is costly on their own. Secondly, tube amps have more components and generally larger in size, requiring more materials to house all the components.What is A good price for an amp? ›
If you are a complete beginner, spending around $100-150 on a guitar amp will get you a good model to practice with. If you are looking to use your amp for gigging or recording, you will likely need to spend between $300-600 for a better amplifier.Do amps get better with age? ›
YES! A tube amp always sounds better over time. However, one must assume a certain level of quality to begin with. A well constructed cabinet will flex and breath over time with the reverberation of sound adding to the warmth and depth much like an acoustic guitar does.What are the disadvantages of tube amp? ›
Tube amps are generally more expensive than solid state amps, and they require more maintenance. Tube amps also tend to be more delicate, and they can be damaged more easily if they're not used properly. Despite their drawbacks, tube amps are still widely used by many guitarists because of their unique sound.Why do people like tube amps so much? ›
So, why is it that many players still choose tube amps today? Tube amps are more responsive than solid-state amps, enabling you to play more dynamically and expressively. Due to their natural compression and harmonic distortion, they also tend to sound warmer and more musical.Why do audiophiles like vacuum tubes? ›
As such, tubes maintain signal integrity better than transistors. Linear devices like vacuum tubes produce a far more natural sound and provide a much deeper emotional connection to the music. Less-linear transistor devices tend to sound leaner and less natural.