Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 Pro

Dedicated bass simulation: GR4 includes one bass amp, Bass Pro.

A bass patch that takes advantage of Guitar Rig 4’s crossover module to create separate paths for high and low frequencies.


Dedicated bass simulation: GR4 includes one bass amp, Bass Pro. The inspiration comes from Ampeg— separate hi/lo boost switches, midrange tone control (with sweepable mid), and 9-band graphic EQ. Loading the amp also loads a matched cabinet with two mics and a dry/air slider for ambience, but you can tweak further by loading the Cabinets & Mics component instead of the default cabinet. This includes a D.I. Option (great for bass), three SWR-based cabinets (8 x 10", 4 x 10", and 1 x 15"), and three Ampeg-based cabs (again 8 x 10", 4 x 10", and 1 x 15").

Miking options: For the bass cabs, GR4 offers a dynamic 421, dynamic 606, dynamic 20, condenser 47, and dynamic 7. (I’m sure you can decipher what they’re emulating.) This is a somewhat different roster compared to the guitar cab mics, although the miking position options (on-axis, off-axis, far, and edge) remain the same, as does the ability to invert phase. For room sounds, GR4 includes a sophisticated control room option with multiple mics, stereo imaging, and choice of cabinets.

Parallel paths: Not only can you split the signal via a splitter module, but even “split the splits” for more than two parallel paths. A crossover can split different frequencies into different amp setups, so you can work with the low and high frequencies separately—very useful for bass.

Dedicated bass effects: GR4 doesn’t include dedicated bass effects. This usually doesn’t matter—for example, the compressor doesn’t care about the input frequency, and effects like EQ cover the bass range— and being able to put effects in parallel with the straight bass signal lets you preserve the low end, even with an effect like wah. Simply adding a module or two can also do the job—for example, if using a distortion stomp box instead of the bass amp’s natural distortion, try adding EQ afterward to roll off some highs.

Bottom line on the bottom end: The tone from the default Bass Pro setup is satisfying; it’s tight, gives good growl, and sounds real. Still, those willing to venture into other cabinets and parallel setups will be richly rewarded—these are sounds that would be impractical to obtain in the real world (well, how many 8 x 10" cabs do you want to carry to the gig?), yet have a convincing air of realism. Guitar Rig 4 is the go-to sim for many guitar players, but don’t overlook what it can do with bass.

Price: Download $199

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