Optimized for bass, VBA Pro includes amps, cabs, and effects, as well as a parallel-path architecture.
Dedicated bass simulation: This package is dedicated solely to bass, but rather than model various amps, VBA Pro has two relatively flexible preamp/power amp stages where you can vary each amp’s compression, drive, EQ, and clipping. (Note that the original VBA is also available, with two cabs, preamp, power amp, and graphic EQ.)
Miking options: VBA Pro doesn’t virtualize miking or mic placement; if desired, you’ll need to emulate these effects with subsequent equalization, along with ambience to create room sound or “air.”
Parallel paths: The dual-channel architecture is the big feature here. Two channels, A and B, each have a compressor, preamp, tone controls, power amp, and limiter. These are then mixed, and the mixed sound feeds various processors. You can treat the two channels as independent amps, or use a front-end crossover to split your signal between the two channels—for example, crunched low frequencies through one channel, and clean high frequencies through the other. This gives far more sonic options than you might expect from a “single” amp model.
Dedicated bass effects: VBA Pro includes a 12- band graphic EQ, Bright and Deep tone controls, cabinet (8 x 10", 4 x 10", 1 x 15", and DI), chorus, and reverb. By definition, these are all optimized for bass.
Bottom line on the bottom end: As a specialized bass amp, VBA Pro definitely delivers the goods, and it’s particularly well-suited to deep, growling sounds.
Price (download only): VPA Pro $99, VBA $69
More from this Roundup: