8 Best Upright Bass VST Plugins 2024


Best Upright Bass VST Plugins

An upright bass (or double bass) is a favorite in traditional, classical, jazz, and sometimes even modern genres.

The upright bass is the largest, and lowest pitched of all stringed instruments in an orchestral situation, and just as its name would imply, it’s perfect for holding down the deep low end in a mix.

Its sound can be powerful no matter the context. In this guide, we look at the best upright bass VST plugins.

MELLOW 2 by ujam – Best Overall

MELLOW 2 by ujam – Best Overall

ujam’s Mellow 2 is ideally suited as a jazzy upright bass instrument for jazz, singer-songwriter, hip-hop, and R&B (not so much for traditional musical genres). That said, what it does, it does very well.

The user interface is very nicely designed and simple. Your main parameters are position (neck, bridge), character (soft, deep, natural, hard, tight), mic (hollow, full, round, present), room (from 0 to 100), drop D, octaver, finisher, equalizer, and compressor.

Mellow 2 features 60 styles with 1,380 phrases. Version two comes with 20 new styles, 30 new presets, 15 Finisher effects, MIDI drag and drop, and conveniently, backwards compatibility.

For your orchestral and scoring needs, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. But for most other genres, Mellow 2 is more widely applicable. That makes it is our best overall pick.

Mellow 2 is a standalone module and doesn’t require Kontakt to work.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Nordisk Kontrabass by Have Audio – Best Premium Option

Nordisk Kontrabass by Have Audio – Best Premium Option

Have Audio’s Nordisk Kontrabass is a versatile composer and music producer tool with two gears – a realistic sounding upright bass sound as well as a textural, sound design scoring tool.

The collection comes with a mix of techniques and textures you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. There’s even a built-in arpeggiator for creating rhythmic patterns and grooves, customization tools for fine-tuning, and an ICE knob for soundscapes and atmospheres.

Nordisk Kontrabass comes with over 14,000 samples, mic setting (stereo mic and DI), arpeggiator, reverb, delay, reverse, warp, and legato speed.

There are also 12 melodic articulations / presets, and 10 textural articulations / presets.

Nordisk Kontrabass requires the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

English Bass by Ben Osterhouse – Best Budget Option

English Bass by Ben Osterhouse – Best Budget Option

Ben Osterhouse’ English Bass samples an upright bass aged over 150 years, creating five distinct bass instruments for use on your projects.

The five modes include Longs, for long articulations and swells, Cloudes for pizzicato and col legno techniques (layering possible), Rhythms for rhythmic ostinatos, Percussion for pizzicato, col legno, and percussive sounds using the body of the bass, and Effects for sound designed textures.

Over 2,000 samples were captured for this project, and there are MIDI files for all but the Clouds mode.

English Bass requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher.

This is an excellent tool for scoring all types of media.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

NOVO Modern Strings by Heavyocity

NOVO Modern Strings by Heavyocity

This monster string collection is considered one of the best available. Heavyocity’s NOVO Modern Strings is just that – a virtual instrument with a modern sound that makes it the perfect choice for modern compositions and scoring.

Not a mere upright bass plugin, NOVO features nearly 40 GB of sampled content (21,254 samples) captured in a professional environment, with professional players, by a professional, using professional gear.

The customization offered is also deep – CYCLE (for creating swells, pulses, stutters, glitch effects, granular pads, ambient drones, textures, and more), Macros (for consolidating all the sound sculpting controls into one), and a LOOP DESIGNER (with over 400 loops).

With NOVO, you also get 308 snapshot presets, eight NKIs, 57 NKAs, a sample browser, and six sections – violin, viola, cello, bass, high ensemble, and low ensemble.

Not for the faint of heart, NOVO is for the serious composer and creator. But there is no denying that it sounds great, and it’s beyond versatile.

NOVO requires Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS by ujam

Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS by ujam

If you’ve ever envied German composer Hans Zimmer’s remarkable strings sounds, then you’ll be happy to know you can access them for yourself in ujam’s Kontakt free virtual instrument, Symphonic Elements STRIIIINGS.

This module makes playing strings so easy on you that you basically don’t even know how to write or compose.

As with most if not all ujam entries, STRIIIINGS is very simple to control. The main parameters on its beautiful, glowing user interface are character FX, motion FX, focus EQ, and decay (for low strings and high strings), as well as the central highlighter, finisher, ambiance, and crossfade controls.

Just as its name would suggest, STRIIIINGS was created with huge, fat, strings sound for all types of dramatic applications.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

ANALOG STRINGS by Output

ANALOG STRINGS by Output

What if there was a collection of the best analog synth string sounds? What if someone had deeply sampled a 60-piece string orchestra? What if the two worlds merged, and you were able to freely mix the synthetic with the organic to create stunning musical textures?

Well, in case you didn’t already know, that’s exactly what Output’s ANALOG STRINGS is. Topping the list of many strings VST plugin guides, this baby is perfectly suited to scoring and songwriting alike. Output has even thrown in a few creative sources like tape noise, screeching guitars, plucked pianos, and sampled feedback, among others.

Altogether, you’ll find 500 presets, layer FX, global FX, four macro sliders for each preset, dual arpeggiators, and a help menu. This baby syncs to tempo too.

ANALOG STRINGS requires the full version of Kontakt.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Augmented Strings by Arturia

Augmented Strings by Arturia

Arturia’s Augmented Strings is comprised of 22 musicians performing violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Over 60 articulations were captured using the best available gear, people, and production equipment.

From authentic to abstract, Augmented Strings was designed to offer a wider array of usable sounds for a variety of project types.

This hybrid instrument comes with a ton of features for deep customization. Each preset has two layers and two customizable sound sources.

There’s a built-in synth engine with virtual analog TAE technology, granular engine, harmonic engine, and even a wavetable engine.

The Morph control is central to the interface, and it allows you to shift between layers A and B.

There are also seven more macros, two LFOs, four keyboard modulation sources, two function generators, two random generators, a dedicated vibrato and tremolo function, two FX slots per layer, 14 FX, delay and reverb sends with five algorithms, 16-step arpeggiator, 250 presets, MPE compatibility, and much more.

As a more comprehensive string / synth solution, Augmented Strings is certainly comparable to ANALOG STRINGS.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side by Big Fish Audio

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side by Big Fish Audio

Not merely an upright bass tool, Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side is better suited to scoring horror, thriller, drama, Halloween, dungeons in video games, and anything requiring an unsettling, atmospheric, dark mood.

There are four basic categories of patches, including tonal, melodic, rhythmic, and experimental. The tonal category specifically features two upright bass patches – Upright Bass Effects and Upright Bass Effect Loops.

This one probably won’t be of much interest to those seeking standalone upright bass instruments, but for composers it could become a fast favorite.

Ambient Minimalism 2: The Dark Side requires Kontakt Player.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In An Upright Bass VST Plugin?

Upright bass VST plugins are in relative scarce supply. There aren’t too many options to choose from, though the ones available are good.

This guide, in case there was any doubt, only features three dedicated upright bass VST plugins. All the others are string libraries or compositional tools. That said, it is possible to isolate the double bass section with some of them.

So, there are a few basic things to think about when it comes to shopping for upright bass VST plugins. Let’s look at – sound quality, features, and budget.

Sound Quality

If you’re going to spend a pretty penny on an upright bass VST plugin, it stands to reason you’re probably after an organic, realistic sound.

In this case, you can rest easy knowing that our top three picks – MELLOW 2, Nordisk Kontrabass, and English Bass, all have a great sound. If in doubt, though, go and check the audio samples as well as video demos and reviews for yourself.

But one thing to think about here is whether you need the traditional, bowed articulations (Nordisk Konbrabass), plucked jazz articulations (MELLOW 2), or more sound design, textural oriented sounds (English Bass). This will be a major determining factor here.

Features

The way it works here is that the more you pay, the more features you get. Simple, right?

But more features aren’t always better, and it honestly depends on what you need for your projects.

If you’re comparison shopping, this is a key consideration, but otherwise, you may still want to prioritize sound and cost over fancy parameters. At the end of the day, it depends on what you need.

Budget

An upright bass VST plugin or strings VST plugin is going to run you anywhere from about $95 to $550. Our only note of caution here is to spend responsibly. Avoid going into debt for VST plugins, as there are always free alternatives you can use while you save up for better, premium options.

Bookmark this guide and return to it later if necessary!

Top Upright Bass VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

And now you should have everything you need to bring those compelling upright bass sounds to your projects. If you aren’t sure how to use your new plugin, be sure to get plenty of practice, and if you don’t know how to compose… well, there has never been a better time to learn!

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