Bass guitar VST plugins can be a versatile addition to your digital music production toolbox. By using free plugins, you can explore innovative sound possibilities without breaking the bank.
VST actually stands for Virtual Studio Technology (VST), and it’s only one of many plug-in formats. I know virtual instrument plugins often are in general referred to as VSTs, so I’ll stick to that custom in this article.
Some of the other popular formats are AU for Logic Pro and AAX for Pro Tools. Most VSTs are also available in those formats.
With many options available, finding the perfect VST to match your creative needs is easy.
The virtual instruments’ market is growing fast with the latest developments in technology and AI. This has brought out a whole set of new plugins that make your bass sound better than ever.
I aim to provide an overview of some of the best free bass guitar VST plugins on the market today.
Note: Don’t think that free means not good: There are many incredible free bass guitar VST plugins that will blow your mind why they are free!
Incorporating these plugins into your music production process can greatly enhance your tracks, as they replicate the authentic sound of a real bass and offer various customization options.
Whether you’re producing tracks in rock, jazz, or electronic genres, these VSTs can help you craft the ideal bass tones to match your vision.
Best Free Bass Guitar VST Plugins
Ample Bass P Lite II by Ample Sound is one of the best free bass VST plugins. This plugin offers a rich fingering noise and tab player, making it an excellent option for an authentic bass guitar experience.
The accessory and tone systems allow you to create unique sounds while the legato articulation provides smooth transitions between notes.
Spitfire Labs Bass Guitar is another excellent option for a free bass VST plugin. This plugin’s authentic sound and expressive playing make it an industry standard.
Create everything from electric to acoustic bass sounds using your MIDI controller, and experiment with different bass tones, such as slow slides and palm mutes.
3. 4Front Bass
This electric bass VST provides an authentic sound that easily rivals paid alternatives such as IK Multimedia MODO Bass.
The 4Front Bass plugin offers essential articulations for a convincing bass performance. While the demo version may lack some advanced features, it’s still an excellent choice for creating professional-sounding basslines with a free plugin.
Audiolatry FunkBass is a great option for creating groove-based basslines. This plugin offers a variety of articulations, allowing you to easily create catchy and funky bass parts. The authentic sound of FunkBass is perfect for genres like funk, R&B, and pop.
The bigcat Instruments Project16 Fingered Bass has a warm, natural tone, making it an excellent choice for realistic bass performances. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for both beginners and experienced musicians to create professional basslines.
Another option from bigcat Instruments, the Project16 Picked Bass has a bright, punchy sound that complements various musical genres. While it may not have as many features as paid alternatives, this free plugin is still a solid choice for your bass guitar needs.
FabBass is a simple and effective bass guitar VST that works well for various genres. Its range of articulations and convincing sound make it an excellent choice for those looking to add bass to their productions without breaking the bank.
EVM Synths Bassline II is a straightforward and effective plugin for creating electronic basslines. Its easy-to-use interface and range of articulations make it a useful tool for various musical styles.
9. DSK BassZ
DSK BassZ offers a wide range of bass sounds, making it suitable for various genres. The simple interface lets you quickly create great-sounding basslines, making it a valuable addition to your VST plugin arsenal.
10. SuperRiff Bass
SuperRiff Bass is another excellent option for creating bass guitar parts in your productions. With a range of articulations and a user-friendly interface, this plugin makes it easy to create professional-sounding basslines.
The Samsara Cycle Audio OMB2 is a versatile and easy-to-use bass VST plugin that can help you create convincing basslines for your productions. Its range of articulations and authentic sound make it a great option for creating professional bass parts without breaking the bank.
Features and Functionality
Fender Precision Bass Emulation
When looking for a free Bass Guitar VST, one of the key features you should pay attention to of course is the sound quality.
Many plugins, like the Ample Bass P Lite II aim to replicate the iconic Fender Precision Bass, and they do a surprisingly good job at it considering the plugin is free.
This VST is meticulously sampled from a Fender Precision bass guitar, providing you with the instrument’s natural tone. It helps you create authentic bass lines with ease.
MIDI Keyboard Compatibility
Another essential feature of a good free bass VST is its compatibility with MIDI keyboards. These plugins should allow you to use your MIDI keyboard to play bass lines using different techniques like plucking, slapping, and tapping.
This feature significantly improves the ease of use and allows creative instrument exploration.
Native Instruments Integration
Native Instruments can expand the capabilities of your bass VST plugin. Integrating your bass VST with software like Kontakt or Reaktor can open up a new world of possibilities with their built-in effects and allow for more efficient use in your projects.
Ensure your chosen plugin is compatible with the Native Instruments ecosystem to get the most out of your VST.
Virtual Studio Technology Support
Lastly, ensure that your free bass guitar VST plugin offers seamless integration with your DAW of choice. A plugin that supports the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) format will ensure you can easily incorporate it into your production workflow.
It should work smoothly with other VST instruments, effects, and mixer channels without compatibility issues.
Many of the best bass VST plugins also offer other formats, like au plugins. Check what format your DAW requires.
Keep these features in mind when selecting a free bass guitar VST plugin.
Check The Plugin Supports Your OS and DAW
Some free plugins are not updated as often for the latest OS and DAW updates, so ensure that the latest version works with your system. The Steinberg Model E plugin is a great example; Steinberg no longer offers it for download on their site, and apparently, no newer version will be released.
In music production, having a wide variety of bass sounds is essential for achieving a professional and polished mix. Various types of bass guitar VSTs suit different needs and styles, ranging from electric bass sounds to upright bass tones.
In addition to bass guitar VSTs, other options like bass synths and bass synthesizers can provide unique and versatile low-end sounds to help your productions stand out.
Considering the realism and quality of the bass VST in your selection process is crucial. Many free plugins can successfully emulate a real bass guitar, providing a sound that is difficult to differentiate from a live performance.
For better results, certain plugins offer articulations, fret noises, and dynamic controls to enhance the authenticity of the virtual bass performance.
When mixing a bass track using a free bass guitar VST plugin, take the same approach as with real bass takes. You can use EQ and compression to make the bass guitar sit naturally in the mix.
Another mixing technique sometimes applied to the bass is to use a gate plugin triggered by the kick drum; the bass will only play with the kick drum, resulting in a tight rhythm section.
Don’t forget to explore the possibilities of bass synths and synthesizers. These alternative options can extend your creative palette and bring a distinct character to your music, especially in electronic genres.
Acoustic guitar-focused plugins might include some bass guitar options as part of their package. However, it is essential to ensure that these plugins cater to the specific bass sounds you are looking for, as their primary focus might be on the acoustic guitar range.
As you evaluate various bass VSTs, consider your system requirements and the plugin’s compatibility with your chosen DAW. Additionally, verify if there’s a full version available for purchase with enhanced features and a wider sound library.
This option can be useful if you want to test the free version first and upgrade later according to your needs.
Lastly, attention to detail in shaping your low-end sounds is key. Employ tools such as low pass filters to remove unwanted high-frequency content and experiment with EQ settings to fine-tune the bass’s tonal characteristics.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some top free bass guitar VSTs?
Several high-quality free bass guitar VST plugins are available to enhance your productions.
Some popular options include Ample Bass P Lite II, which captures the natural tone of a Fender Precision bass guitar, and Bass Deluxe, a fat bass amp sim tone modeled after a famous tube bass amp.
Which free bass guitar VST is suitable for metal?
Consider a powerful and versatile VST like Ample Bass P Lite II for creating metal basslines. Its rich and aggressive tones make it suitable for metal productions.
Additionally, you can look for bass guitar VSTs featuring amp simulations focusing on high-gain settings to achieve a more intense sound.
What are popular free bass synth VSTs?
Free bass synth VSTs are also available to create synthesized basslines in your tracks. TAL-BassLine, TAL-NoiseMaker, and Dexed are popular choices that can provide a wide range of bass tones, from classic analog to modern digital sounds.
How can I download Ample Bass VST for free?
To download Ample Bass P Lite II for free, visit the Ample Sound website and navigate to their free products section. Select the Ample Bass P Lite II plugin and follow the instructions to download and install the plugin on your system.
What plugins are recommended for bass enhancement?
If you’re looking to enhance your bass tracks further, you can try plugins like Waves MaxxBass, which uses psychoacoustic processing to make the bass appear louder without increasing the actual bass signal, or SubLab, which helps you craft and fine-tune your sub-bass sounds.
Other options include saturation and compression plugins optimized for bass processing.
How does Trillian compare to other bass VSTs?
Trilian is a premium bass VST plugin that offers a wide range of sampled and synthesized bass sounds, including acoustic, electric, and synth bass options.
The plugin is highly versatile and is often considered one of the best in the market, making it a popular choice among professional music producers. While the price might be higher than free options, Trillian’s quality, features, and versatility can be worth the investment.
Choosing the best free bass guitar VSTs is a great way to elevate your music production to the next level without having to find any budget for it.
Whether you’re a real bass player or a producer seeking different styles of bass sounds, these plugins offer a range of software instruments that can mimic the feel of physical instruments.
If you produce music for a living, I recommend you look into some paid bass guitar plugins. Great examples are the Heavyocity Scoring Bass and Spectrasonics Trilian.
The user interface of these plugins is designed to be intuitive, making it easy for beginners and professionals to use. With additional features like a low pass filter for controlling low-frequency sounds, these plugins are suitable for amateur and professional use.
Free VST plugins like the Scarbee basses and Ample Guitar offer high-end VST instruments that can compete with paid versions. Even free bass amp simulators can provide a realistic low-end bass sound that can rival the real thing.
The best bass guitar VSTs offer a wide range of sounds, an easy-to-use interface, and additional features that enhance the music production experience.