5 Virtual Bass Plugins To Help You Make Better Music in 2024

We know you are on the hunt to make your metal music sound more brutal. Therefore, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best virtual bass plugins for metal music. 

We’ll discuss their features, sound quality, and ease of use. Each one of the virtual bass plugins that we look at today offer a wide range of features and articulations, so we’re confident  you’ll find the perfect bass VST for your music.

A Note About Virtual Bass Plugins for Beginners

If you’re new to this world of sampled bass libraries, you may be wondering how to choose a virtual bass plugin and what to watch out for in general. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • How does it sound?
    • The most important factor is the sound quality of the plugin. Make sure the plugin sounds good to your ears and has the sounds that best match the style of music you’re writing.
  • Is it easy to use?
    • The plugin should be easy to use, even if you’ve been using bass libraries for years. The interface should be clear, easy to navigate, and as simple as possible. If you look at the GUI of a plugin and it’s like looking into the cockpit of an airplane… it might be worth moving on.
  • Does it have the features you need for the music you make?
    • In particular, does the virtual bass plugin have the necessary articulations you’re looking for? It’s one thing to add a 3rd party amp simulator for grind and distortion, but quite another to try and program articulations that don’t exist in the instrument itself.
  • About those price tags…
    • Making a high quality virtual bass VST plugin is not easy and it takes a colossal amount of time to sample all the notes and articulations correctly. Therefore, prices can range from free to hundreds of dollars. There should be a bass VST that fits your budget however, so don’t worry. 

Finally, it’s also a good idea to read reviews of the libraries and watch YouTube videos with real-life mix examples before you make a purchase. This will help you get an idea of what other users think of the plugins and how they sound.

Alrighty, with all of that sorted, let’s have a look at some libraries!

Singularity by Spectre Digital [Brand New as of June 2023!]

Singularity is a brand-new virtual bass instrument that is designed for a wide range of musical styles, including metal, rock, pop, etc.

It features a custom Kiesel Precision 5-string bass guitar, with the ability to choose betweem both picked and fingered articulations. (As far as we know, this is the only Kiesel bass that has been sampled.)

Additionally, this is NOT a virtual bass kontakt library. Singularity is its own bass VST plugin and no extra software is required.

What to Love:

  • Two accurately modeled bass preamps that give you a variety of tonal options, from clean to distorted. The modern preamp was crafted meticulously by hand and the classic preamp took advantage of the recent advancements in machine learning to go beyond what traditional coding can do.
  • 5 high-quality cab simulations that allow you to get the sound you’re looking for, with aptly named IRs to help you craft the perfect sound for your mix.
  • Ability to load your own IRs–this is pretty much a “must-have” feature of virtual bass VST plugins in 2023, so we’re happy to see it here in Singularity.
  • Streamlined interface that makes it fast and easy to develop the bass tones you need for your mix. The controls are clearly labeled, and the flow of the GUI makes total sense.

What to Watch Out For:

  • Singularity doesn’t have a built-in MIDI library or any MIDI packs that you can buy to immediately start writing bass lines with. You’ll have to do it on your own.
  • There is no slide articulation.

Overall Recommendation

Singularity is a great virtual bass plugin for a wide range of musical styles, but definitely holds its own in the world of rock and metal. Additionally, this is probably one of the best virtual bass for beginners as it’s incredibly easy to dial in tones for mixing. The interface is easy to use, and you’ll be up and running with a bass tone within seconds.

If you’re new to the world or bass libraries or you just want something where you can load and go and have a mix-ready tone within minutes, Singularity is a great choice.

Shreddage 3 Abyss by Impact Soundworks

Shreddage 3 Abyss is a virtual bass plugin that is specifically designed for metal music. It is a custom six-string Muckelroy bass. It’s the upgraded Shreddage Bass 2, implemented into the S3 engine. 

It should be noted that this is a virtual bass Kontakt library, which means you will need to have the free Kontakt Player 6.7 or higher installed. 

What to Love:

  • All of the articulations you’d expect to find, such as fingered sustains, staccatos, pops, tapping, harmonics, FX, slides, hammer-on, and pull-off.
  • The MIDI Integration and performance tools are pretty good. You’ll be able to integrate your MIDI controller of choice and play the guitar parts right into your DAW.
  • There are over 30 FX included, such as various EQs, compressors, reverbs, pedals, custom cabinets, and amp simulators. Granted these are Kontakt stock effects, so they aren’t anything special, but they are there none-the-less.
  • Built for metal. 

What to Watch Out For:

  • You need Kontakt. Granted, it’s the free player, but you still have to install another piece of software in order to use Shreddage 3 Abyss, which is potentially and not exactly  user friendly..
  • Due to its extensive feature set and customization options, Shreddage 3 Abyss is not the best virtual bass for beginners. Prepare to have the manual handy and spend some time getting technically acquainted.  
  • The Shreddage libraries have a history of being resource intensive and Shreddage 3 Abyss follows suit. You’ll need a decent machine with a hefty amount of RAM to make the most out of this bass VST.

Overall Recommendation

Shreddage 3 Abyss is a good choice for metal musicians that want that extra bit of customization and control. Just remember that there is a learning curve, so you will need to get familiar with this plugin before you’ll be able to feel comfortable writing with it. 

Overall, Shreddage 3 Abyss delivers on its promise of bringing the spirit of metal and rock to the digital realm.

Loki Bass 2 by Solemn Tones

Loki Bass 2 is designed for metal, djent, rock, and electronic music. And it sounds like it.

It features a Dingwall NG2 Bass and offers a wide range of articulations, including fingerstyle, slap, and pick. It also comes with a variety of presets that can get you started writing and mixing your djent opus quickly.

As with Singularity from Spectre Digital, this is not a virtual bass instrument for Kontakt, so you won’t need anything else except the plugin in order to use it.

What to Love:

  • Comes with 5 pre-processed tones for quick songwriting and mixing 
  • All of the expected articulations, such as down picking, up picking, alternative picking, finger picking, dead mute notes, harmonics, slaps, slides, bends, and more.
  • Enforce Mode replaces the sub-bass information of your track with a clean sine wave for extra consistent low-end.
  • The Human Error menu allows you to add extra realism to your bass parts.

What to Watch Out For:

  • The user interface can sometimes be confusing. While it’s not overly complicated, it’s periodically not easy to remember what menus are under the “Playing” and “Tone” buttons.
  • Some users have noted that The Loki Bass 2 is too mid-forward, which will require decent mixing skills to deal with properly if that’s not a sound you want to have.
  • Tends to sound very robotic, especially on faster material.

Overall Recommendation

Overall, Loki Bass 2 is a great choice for you if you need a virtual bass plugin specific for djent and modern metal. Bear in mind that you won’t find a giant variation of tones here as it’s all geared towards modern/djent sounds… so if you want a Rock tone, this probably isn’t the bass library for you.

EZBass by Toontrack

EZBass is a virtual bass plugin that is designed for beginners and experienced bassists alike. It features a custom-recorded 4-string bass guitar that is modeled after the Fender Jazz Bass. 

It’s worth noting that EZBass has a number of “EBX” expansion packs that feature different basses. You can choose a virtual bass for metal, rock, fretless, Americana, and even gospel! 

What to Love

  • Compatible with practically every DAW known to man
  • Not a virtual bass kontakt library, so Kontakt not required
  • Great songwriting tool as there are pre-written bass grooves in various genres and styles, to include MIDI packs that you can buy to expand your grooves further.
  • You can arrange your bass parts right inside the EZBass software.

What to Watch Out For:

  • There are lots of details to get familiar with and it could prove to be a steep learning curve, particularly for those who are new to virtual instruments or MIDI-based composition. 
  • You need to have the base software before you can buy any of the expansions. Do you want to try other MIDI packs? You have to buy those as well. You will quickly rack up hundreds of dollars investing in the EZBass platform. 
  • Its the most expensive one on this list, so there is the price to keep in mind.

Overall Recommendation

Overall, EZBass can be a great songwriting tool once you get over the learning curve. You’ll probably be satisfied with the sounds and articulations at your fingertips.

That said, one of the more pricey virtual bass instruments on the market. You need to have the base software before you can make use of any of the EBX expansions and MIDI bundles, which will already add up to nearly $300. There are other options that sound just as great for less money.

If that doesn’t bother you, EZBass could very well be the ultimate songwriting tool for your future music projects.

EuroBass III by Submission Audio

EuroBass III is a Spector Euro 5 LX, and is actually officially licensed by Spector. This bass VST has a range of articulations particularly suited for metal, including some interesting features that you may find indispensable for your writing process.

Before we go further, we must note that EuroBass III is a virtual bass kontakt library, which means you will need to load this plugin via the free Kontakt Player platform and download it via Native Access.

What to Love:

  • The new feature “Force String”, which allows you to program exactly which string each note is played on.
  • The ‘Position’ knob, which is a virtual capo. You can ensure that notes are played only above a selected fret. 
  • Tweak your tones further with the included Mixer tab.
  • Smash the “DOOM” button to use only the most punchy, clear samples, and maxes out the velocity. Great for djent and modern metal mixing.

What to Watch Out For:

  • The interface sometimes is annoying to deal with because it’s within the Kontakt platform. If you are on a laptop or have a small screen, you might find yourself scrolling more than you want.
  • Make sure you have a decent CPU with at least 16GB to 32GB of RAM in order to ensure EuroBass III will work alongside other instruments in a full mix context.
  • Like Loki Bass 2, this one tends to sound a bit robotic when the tempo starts getting high..

Overall Recommendation

EuroBass III is a great virtual bass plugin that will definitely get the job done if you’re looking for some great, modern metal tones. While it does have an impressive list of features and sounds great, it still requires Kontakt, which might be a dealbreaker for you.

Did We Mention Your Favorite Bass VST For Metal?

In this blog post, we’ve looked at five of the top virtual bass libraries for rock and metal in 2023. 

All of these plugins will be a great choice for songwriting and mixing in the world of rock and metal. If you’re still unsure of how to choose a virtual bass instrument, here is our advice:

  • Listen to how the bass VST sounds in a mix. Do you like it?
  • Research the articulations the bass library has–does it have everything you need?
  • Is the plugin easy to use and get started writing and mixing music with?
  • Ask people you trust for their opinion and their experience with the plugin you’re interested in.

We hope this post helped. If you have any questions or comments, let us know!

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