11 Best Bass VST Plugins For Metal 2024

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Bass is often considered one of the toughest sounds to “nail” in a mix.

When it comes to metal, heavy, thumping, impactful sounds are par for the course. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, dialing in these sounds may prove difficult if not impossible.

But this is where having the right tools makes a big difference. In this guide, we look at the best bass VST plugins for metal.

Cerberus Bass Amplifikation by Kuassa – Best Overall

Cerberus Bass Amplifikation by Kuassa – Best Overall

Kuassa’s Cerberus Bass Amplifikation is a virtual amp with three amp types – Valve, FET, and Drive.

This three-channel amp has a streamlined one-screen interface. You can get virtually any tone you want with it – the warmth and mellowness of a tube amp, the punch and clarity of a solid-state amp, and the all-out destruction of the Drive amp.

Kuassa lets you tweak to your heart’s content, as the controls include parametric and graphic EQ, compressor, contour control, as well as D.I. wetness.

Cerberus also features three matching cabs, six microphones, direct mix, dual-mic configurations with mono / stereo, noise gate, output limiter, CV input controls, and IR loader.

With Cerberus, you will be able to achieve heavy, mix-ready bass tones with far greater ease.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

QuickBass by United Plugins – Best Premium Option

QuickBass by United Plugins – Best Premium Option

So, you want to dial in your bass sound quickly and easily. But you probably know just how much of a pipedream that is. That is, unless you have United Plugins’ QuickBass.

With QuickBass, you can add the final bit of polish that makes all the difference – with saturation, compression, EQ, and a doubler.

The EQ has been set to deliver the best possible tone no matter the articulation or playing style. From slap to finger style, it adapts very smoothly to anything you feed it.

The compressor includes several popular types you can choose from – FET, Opto, and Vari-mu. You can also blend these.

The doubler was designed to give your bass the fatness and richness it needs.

The saturation has been designed to offer everything from a touch of analog warmth all the way over to heavy distortion.

Finally, there are plenty of presets to choose from, smart bypass, and intelligent sleep on silence.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

EFEKTOR BASS DRIVER by Kuassa – Best Budget Option

EFEKTOR BASS DRIVER by Kuassa – Best Budget Option

The stomp box style EFEKTOR BASS DRIVER is a tone sculpting preamp for bass, inspired by Sansamp DIs.

Its five-knob layout is familiar and simple – gain, low, high, presence, and level. There is more than meets the eye, though, because this bass driver can deliver everything from mellow to intense sounds.

In addition to a resizable window, EFEKTOR BASS DRIVER also comes with up to 8x oversampling, as well as a dry / wet knob.

If after listening to it (check out the video below) you feel it’s not heavy enough for you, fair enough. There are plenty of other options to choose from.

EFEKTOR BASS DRIVER is quite affordable, though, and you could always add additional processing to your signal chain to perfect your tone. For what it is, this bass driver is quite superb.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ToneSpot Bass Pro by Audified

ToneSpot Bass Pro by Audified

So, you’ve recorded your bass track. You did your best to capture the tone you wanted, and although you recorded a great performance, you still feel like the tone is lacking. What’s one to do?

This is where a tool like Audified’s ToneSpot Bass Pro can come to the rescue.

ToneSpot Bass Pro is a viable tool for all genres, from the heaviest to the “lightest.” And regardless of what instruments, amps, rackmount units, and/or stomp boxes you’ve already used, this plugin can be used to further enhance your tone.

Getting the perfect bass sound is hard and it usually requires that you process the signal to the nth degree. ToneSpot Bass Pro helps you achieve that very difficult balance of cutting, tight, rumbling, punchy, distorted, and clear.

ToneSpot Bass Pro comes with musically labeled controls, intelligent gain staging, and settings based on the best records out there. In the interface, there are sections for character, SBG, saturation, shaping, punch, surgery, smash, effects (octaver, auto-wah, modulation), and a finalizer.

The amount of control you have over your bass sound could be potentially overwhelming at first. But if you learn how to work with it, you can create a myriad of effective bass tones for heavy genres.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Marshall Murder One Lemmy Signature by Softube

Marshall Murder One Lemmy Signature by Softube

Softube’s Marshall Murder One Lemmy Signature probably doesn’t need much of an explanation. We all know Lemmy for his massive heavy metal tones, and this plugin offers that. In a box. Well, not in a box but in a virtual amp.

Altogether, the precisely modeled Marshall Super Bass 100W virtual amp comes with two channels, a three-band EQ, three 12AX7 preamp tubes, dual cabs (MF280L 4×12 and 1979L 4×15), multiple mics, as well as guitar and bass presets.

This plugin will help you duplicate Lemmy’s tight tone to a tee.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Peridot Pro by Audified

Peridot Pro by Audified

If you’re looking for heavy, distorted bass guitar tones, you should check out Audified’s Peridot Pro.

Bearing the image of an advanced Sci-Fi age stomp box, this plugin comes with six features that let you do it all from one central location.

Peridot Pro comes with five amp models, five cab impulses, ToneSpot EQ, blend control (for mixing in the drive section), boost, and gate-expander.

Peridot Pro sets an array of tones at your fingertips. Yes, it does heavy. But if you want milder tones, you can dial those in too.

For the price, this is an excellent product.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

MBasssador by MeldaProduction

MBasssador by MeldaProduction

As with some of the other plugins seen in this guide, MeldaProduction’s MBassador was designed to enhance the sound of your bass track.

This post-processor will add higher harmonics, stabilize your sound, and tighten up your tone so that your bass track can be heard, even on a cheap pair of speakers. MBassador can also enhance sub-bass frequencies, which can be difficult if not impossible to capture with microphones.

MBassador comes with a resizable, stylable, and GPU accelerated user interface, visualization engine with classic meters and time graphs, four modulators, four multiparameters, automatic gain compensation (AGC), safety limiter, 1x to 16x up-sampling, MIDI learn, 64-bit processing, and more.

If you need to add some rumble to your bass tones, MBassador is well worth a look.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Knorr by Klevgrand

Knorr by Klevgrand

Klevgrand calls their Knorr a “bass vitalizer.” This plugin will take any low-frequency monophonic sound and excite it with the intensity it deserves.

Knorr utilizes a mix of amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, and filtering. This means you can achieve overtones you might not be able to with other filtering or distortion plugins alone.

As you can see, Knorr is a very streamlined plugin. You can tweak the sound simply by dragging and dropping the control along the X/Y pad. The visualization shows you what you’re doing to the signal as you’re adjusting. You can choose from Soft, Medium, or Hard settings depending on the desired level of intensity.

If that last bit of polish is what you require to get your bass tone just right, then Knorr might be just what you need.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

EFEKTOR BASS CRUNCHER by Kuassa

EFEKTOR BASS CRUNCHER by Kuassa

Kuassa’s EFEKTOR BASS CRUNCHER was designed as a crunchy, tube-driven bass booster.

As with other EFEKTOR plugins, this one features a simple five-knob design, with controls for gain, low, mid, high, and level.

In the video below, you’ll hear how the effect interacts with slapping, and you should be able to hear how the booster can add punchiness and growl to the bass that would make it quite usable for metal and other heavy genres too.

EFEKTOR BASS CRUNCHER also features up to 8x oversampling, dry/wet knob, and a resizable window for your convenience.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

EFEKTOR BASS SMASHER by Kuassa

EFEKTOR BASS SMASHER by Kuassa

Kuassa’s EFEKTOR BASS SMASHER was created as a simple bass distortion for adding meatiness to your tone.

You can control it using the five onboard knobs – gain, low, mid, high, and level.

Distortion is a good thing to have at your disposal. You may not use it on every song, but there are times when an overcooked bass sound can add to a track.

EFEKTOR BASS SMASHER also comes with the standard Kuassa features – resizable window, dry / wet knob, and 8x oversampling.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Bass Master by Loopmasters Plugins

Bass Master by Loopmasters Plugins

Loopmasters Plugins’ Bass Master is a sub bass powerhouse. It comes with a ton of vintage and modern sound sources, two layers, 217 waveforms, and 350+ mix ready presets.

The built-in filter offers 13 filter types (various ladder filters, low-bass, band pass, and high pass filters, as well as a comb filter), and there are also ADSR and LFO controls for additional tone sculpting.

Bass Master comes with three effects, including distortion (with five algorithms), stereo chorus (with four algorithms), and reverb send (with three algorithms).

The frequency booster can be used to boost the signal (top, middle, bottom) for extra sizzle.

Bass Master also comes with legato and portamento with glide time.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself Bass Master is just for those who are making electronic beats. But that’s simply not the case.

For one, this handy tool can be used to enhance your recorded bass sounds. “Record your bass direct and you never have to touch it again,” said no modern metal producer ever. Adding some extra rumble with Bass Master isn’t cheating – it’s augmenting.

For another, if you don’t have access to a bass player who can pull off the performance you require, you could use a tool like Bass Master to fill in for them.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Bass VST Plugin For Metal?

Not quite settled on which plugin to buy yet? No problem!

Here are the main criteria to consider:

  • Plugin type
  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Let’s talk about each.

Plugin Type

If I were to break it down, we’ve basically got a mix of virtual bass amps, bass effects, enhancers / exciters / finishers, and virtual instruments in this guide.

If you plan to record bass guitar (or other bass instruments) in your studio, it would be wise to pick up plugins like Cerberus Bass Amplifikation, Marshall Murder One Lemmy Signature, Period Pro, and the EFEKTOR series of plugins.

This is not to suggest you will necessarily need all. Explore each and determine what combination makes the most sense for you.

If you want to be able to augment your bass with sub-bass frequencies, the Bass Master virtual instrument is certainly worth considering, and MBassador can take your existing parts and add sub-bass to them.

For enhancing, exciting, and final tweaking, you’ll want to look at tools like ToneSpot Bass Pro, Knorr, and QuickBass.

If you have none of the above, you may require a combination of plugins to get the job done.

If you have some of the above, but not all, then identify the gaps in your VST toolbox and shop for those.

Sound Quality

No matter the plugin type, you will want to explore what each plugin you’re considering can do for you.

If it’s a virtual amp, then its sound quality is paramount to just about all else. You can add additional effects to the signal chain, but changing the bass’ fundamental tone after the fact is either painful or pointless.

Virtual instruments are also very sound reliant. You don’t want to buy a virtual instrument you don’t want, but the only one here is Bass Master, and it’s very versatile. If you don’t need a tool like it, that’s fine, but what it does, it does very well.

Of course, you will want to listen to multi-effects, exciters, and finishers as well. These are meant to enhance the audio material you’ve already captured, not transform it. Knowing how these tools can help you achieve better sounding bass tracks can make a big difference, so explore thoroughly.

There are both videos and audio samples you can listen to for every plugin, which can also help with the buying process. We don’t recommend buying “blind,” so listen to everything you can get your hands on, especially if you’re having trouble deciding.

Features

There isn’t much basis for comparison when we have a wide array of plugins as we do in this guide. Nevertheless, you should explore the features available with any plugin you’re considering.

What does it come with? What does it not come with? Is there anything else you need? How will you be using the plugin?

Being clear on your own needs ensures that you end up satisfied with your purchase.

More isn’t always better, but it’s usually true that plugins that cost more also come with more. Which brings us to…

Budget

You should expect to pay between $20 and $110 for each bass VST plugin for metal. It’s always nice to know that your VST bill, at least on this occasion, probably won’t be a huge one.

We still recommend consulting your budget beforehand, though, because you may end up needing to buy more than one plugin.

If money’s not an object, you’re welcome to purchase whatever you need. Otherwise, we admonish against going into debt for any purchase. Please spend responsibly.

Top Bass VST Plugins For Metal, Final Thoughts

Heavier, metal-oriented bass tones are now well within reach. There are many ways to achieve these tones, not just one. Understanding the different paths available will make you a better producer overall and give you more options too.

For better or for worse, getting the perfect bass tone isn’t usually a matter of one plugin, but you should be able to do a competent job with two or three. We wish you all the best on your producing journey.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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