Top 5 Friday | Best VST Plugin Instruments/Synths for Bass

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1. SubBoomBass 2 by Rob Papen |
2. Bass Master by Loopmasters |
3. Serum by Xfer Recrods |
4. Phoscyon by D16 Group |
5. Diva by U-He |

5. Diva by U-He

So many classic bass synth sounds come from monophonic analogue synths, and with today’s basslines being big, broad, and in-your-face, you need some serious customization. Diva ticks both bass boxes with its circuit-modeled modules, which let you pick and mix between
different old-school synth components.

You might want a Minimoog-style filter sound paired with the oscillators from a Roland JP-8000, and the envelopes from a Juno-60 – Diva lets you customize the best of all synthesis worlds, but it also gives you an excellent pedigree of sound, coming as it does from certified
synth geniuses and possible extraterrestrial intelligence at U-he.

4. Phoscyon by D16 Group

Where would the world of bass synths be without Roland’s TB-303? This classic box is the subject of this D16 recreation. Aside from mimicking the original hardware’s analogue sound, the Polish company have also added a bunch of new features into this plugin version, adding
in built-in distortion, arpeggiation and randomization.

But don’t fret if you just want the bubbling gerth of the original acid unit – Phoscyon has it in spades with the on-board keyboard-cum-sequencer, wave blending between square and saw types, envelope tweaking and accent definitions, besides much else.

Naturally, this being a Roland-style groovebox, there’s plenty of pattern storage on-board, and since it’s a plugin version, there’s a lot more memory – and presets – to play with.

3. Serum by Xfer Records

You know it, you love it, it’s the synth everyone’s talking about and that no one will shut up about – it’s Serum.

It’s not a dedicated bass synth, of course, but with its extra-high-quality interpolation of wavetables, and its many warp modes to mess with the waveform, Serum has been responsible for some of the dirtiest sounds since Bernard Manning’s 1975 album My
Kind of Music.

it simple with two main oscillators, but rammed full of modulation sources, noise samples and a dedicated sub oscillator, it’s a great solution for high-energy, brash tones that still retain a firm undercarriage. But the chances are, you probably already knew

2. Bass Master by Loopmasters

We might be a little bit biased on this one, but Bass Master is one of the few virtual instruments out there that’s totally designed for making bass sounds, making very few concessions to anything else.

With over 200 sounds to mix and match across its two source layers, there’s always an inspirational combination to stumble across. Add to it 13 types of filter, LFO and envelope, you’ve got an easy way to make some unique patches that’ll worry even the most resolute
of subwoofers.

Elsewhere, bass master’s stocked with distortion, chorus and reverb modules, helping the higher end of your bass sound kick through the mix. There’s also three macro controls to hook parameters up to single controls.

1. SubBoomBass by Rob Papen

This classic has garnered fans the world over, and it’s now at version 2, which makes the synth even bassier. You get two oscillators, big wup, but the key thing here is that each of them is slaved to a sub oscillator.

There’s a huge stock of oscillator types including analogue-style, sampled, spectral and string-emulating modes, and a choice of 22 filters. Rob Papen’s signature X/Y controller is also here, giving you an easy way to mess up your sounds in a full two – yes two – dimensions
at once.

SubBoomBass 2 has an Easy Mode for making the synth a bit more beginner-friendly, or for when you just want to cook something up in a flash; while the normal mode gives hardcore bass heads plenty of tools to play with, and begs the question, How low can you go?

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