What is guitar/bass players always seek? …is tone! am I right? a killer tone. And the good thing of digital recording stuff is you can wear headphone while mixing, jam or record your guitar playing on PC/Mac at the middle of the night without worry will disturbing your parents and neighbor.
And you can have all that plenty gear like Stomp pedal, Guitar amp, Speaker Cabinet, Mic etc just inside your computers, and get the exact same sound like real hardware does. You can say everything just ‘In the box.’
Today, I’ve made a list of 10 Guitar and Bass Amp Simulator softwares for home (hobbies) or for professional studios. And I hope with the list I’ve made below, you will found your guitar/bass tone that you always wanted.
Some of these softwares can be use as standalone application some are just plug-in; VST, Audio Unit, AAX native, RTAS, it means you need a host application (Digital Audio Workstation) to use it.
1. BIAS AMP
Bias Amp by Positive Grid available for Mac, Windows and iPad. Its advanced amp-modeling engine that can captures the warmth and feel of real tube amps in every aspect, component by component.Have an awesome GUI and insane customization.
The cool thing is, BIAS have Amp Match Technology utilities, so you can accurately capture the sound of your favorite tube amps.
Don’t have yet your dream tube amps to capture with? no problem BIAS Amp have Tone-cloud feature, you can download tone-creation by many professional musician from ToneCloud. Cool eh?
Here is a video demo how BIAS Amp can accurately capture the sound of tube amps by FLUFF.
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Go to positivegrid.com to dig more info about this awesome app.
2. EZMix 2
EZMix is developed by Toontrack. Actually its a multi-effect mix-tool but I put on my list because it also have a great amp simulation built in. EZMix 2 can be use as standalone application. Different with the previous version that only available for DAW plugins (VST, Audio Unit, RTAS, AAX).
It have ton of high quality effects along with included signal chain presets. EZMix available for Windows and Mac.
Please watch the video by Ola Engglund below how He mixing track with EZMix 2
For more specific information and compatibility chart etc please visit toontrack.com.
TH3 by Overloud is Standalone and VST, RTAS, AAX, AU Plugin application for Windows and Mac.
Is have 203 models, the largest collection into a single software, including: Randall, DVmark, Brunetti, and THD authorized and approved by original manufactures. 65 guitar and bass amplifiers, 35 guitar cabs and 2 bass cabs, 75 pedal and rack effects, 18 microphone models, More than 1000 presets, One entire preset bank dedicate to bass, 4th, Intelligent MIDI controls, Full compatibility with previous version (TH2) preset, and much more.
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Wanna try? visit overloud.com for more info.
4. Amplitube 4
Amplitube 4 is software developed IK Multimedia, is a guitar and bass tone studio for Mac/PC that works as a standalone application and as a plug-in for your favorite DAW.
Different with previous version amplitude 4 have dramatically change especially on the user interface, new realistic cab-room with Dual 3D mic placement and Individual Speaker Selection.
If you love British sound AmpliTube 4 welcomes 5 classic amplifier models to the mix representing some of the best British tones from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
You can also use it as 8-track recorder/DAW and as a learning tool, you can import any audio tracks into the DAW section.
The software work on Windows and Mac and only support 64bit system. Amplitube 4 is pretty popular apps so I won’t look to much copy-paste for writing review about it LOL.
Please visit ikmultimedia.com for more info 🙂
5. Guitar Rig 5
Guitar Rig is an amp and effects modeling software package developed by Native Instruments. Primarily designed for electric guitar and bass, just like amplitube this software also pretty popular, so.. here is the feature and specification:
- 17 SUPREME AMPS AND 27 CABINETS
- 54 ULTIMATE EFFECTS RACK
- CONTROL ROOM
- CONTROL ROOM PRO
Specifications Mac OS X 10.10, 10.11 or 10.12 (latest update), Intel Core 2 Duo Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (latest Service Pack, 32/64-bit), Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 4 GB RAM Suported Interface Stand-alone, VST, Audio Units, ASIO, Core Audio, WASAPI, AAX Native (Pro Tools 10 or higher).
Visit native-instruments.com for details.
6. Toneforge Guilty Pleasure
ToneForge is Guitar and bass amp modeling software developed by Joey Sturgis, when I write this post is series have four guitar/bass plugins they are: Guilty Pleasure, Manace, Jason Richardson and Ben bruce.
And my choice is put ToneForge Guilty Pleasure in my 10 list.
Please watch video below Jake Pitts of Black Veil Brides demonstrate ToneForge Guilty Pleasure
Toneforge Guilty Pleasure is a unique blend of pedals, amp & cabinets this plugin also the first in the Toneforge series to offer users multiple guitar cab options each with 4 mic settings, as well as an impulse response loader – allowing you to load your own IRs (Impulse Response) and offers 4 brand new effect pedals, including an overdrive, delay, reverb, and for the first time ever – a wah pedal.
This plugin format is VST, Audio Unit, AAX and RTAS and does NOT operate as a standalone application! Work on Windows and Mac with supported requirements. Check the product details at joeysturgistones.com.
7. Magix Vandal
For people who has use DAW that developed by MAGIX, they must be familiar with this plugin, Yeah! Magix Vandal.
Vandal comes in two versions: both are based on MAGIX’s renowned audio engine and optimized for all kinds of users. Vandal SE can’t be bought separately – but is integrated as a component in many software products.
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The full version of Vandal is available natively as a component of Samplitude Pro X2 Suite and individually as a VST plugin. Vandal comes with 24 stomp box, virtual effect racks, microphones and cabinet set, and free presets.
I have try this plug-ins and surprisingly the sound is really good! please check at magix.com to try before buy this software. Vandal only available for Windows only.
8. TSE X50 2.4.5 – Rock/Metal Suite
If you were play Rock/Metal this plugin definitely perfect for you. TSE X50 version 2.4.5 is a complete suite for a quick guitar tone setup for rock and metal.
It’s using one of the most advanced modeling algorithms presented in a commercial plugin to this date, offering a real-time simulation of the electrical network in the stompbox/amp with acceptable cpu usage for modern processors.
For specification about system requirements etc you can visit tseaudio.com. TSE Audio also have a free version plugins but only just the head amp, so.. you will need cabinet impulse response loader such NadIR.
9. ReValver 4
ReValver 4 — the latest version of Peavey’s award-winning ReValver modeling software — contains revolutionary amp modeling capabilities that capture the true characteristics of real tube amplifiers. Running Stand Alone or as an AAX/VST or AU plug-in on Mac or PC.
Peavey ReValver 4 have interesting feature such GIG mode, ACT (Audio Cloning Technology), Amp Store and yeah nice looking GUI. Go to Peavey ReValver product page for more details pricing, system requirements etc.
10. Kuassa Amplifikation
Kuassa Amplifikation is a software development company specializing in digital guitar amplification and audio processing. It’s only available in Plugins format.
Kuassa guitar amp simulator product are: Amplifikation One, Amplifikation Creme (if you play Metal you will love this plug), Amplifikation Vermilion and Cerberus Bass Amplifikation, visit Kuassa website to dig more about this awesome plugins. Please watch demo of Amplifikation One below by Dimitar Nalbantov
The list above is not based on price or who’s the best, no! this post is just for reference only. There is other good developer of Amp Simulator application like Recabinet-Kazrog, Studio Devil, Softube etc, beside these softwares above.
Oh ya! one more thing.. if you try these softwares in demo mode usually the sound muted every few minutes so.. if you want to use the software in long term of course you have to buy 🤑
Thanks for reading and take care! 🙂
All images and videos credit: FLUFF, Ola Englund, Jake Pitts, Dimitar Nalbantov, Peavey, IK Multimedia, TSE Audio, Positive Grid, Joe Sturgis, Toontrack, Magix, Native Instrument, Overloud, Kuassa.