Want to know how to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar for free? If you were looking for an easy and effective way to make electric guitar sound like a bass guitar, you are at the right place.
Guitarists and beginner producers often spend a lot of time trying to know how to make guitar sound like bass without actually playing a bass guitar.
Sounds like a bit of a stretch, but there are ways to turn your guitar into a bass guitar without even playing it.
Whether it is an electric guitar or a bass guitar, we are going to share two ways to easily make your guitar sound like a bass without busting the bank.
Yes, you can play a bass guitar note by note keeping the actual intonation intact without even touching a bass guitar.
But, why would you want to turn your guitar into a bass? Isn’t an electric guitar different from a bass?
Correct, an electric and acoustic guitar are different from a bass guitar, but they can be made to sound exactly like a bass guitar would sound in the studio without missing any notes or inflection in them.
There are 2 ways to do it: Firstly, by using a bass amp simulator VST plugin and secondly by using your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).
You can either buy a premium VST/AU plugin to accomplish this purpose or do the same with free plugins inside your DAW.
Let’s learn how to make your guitar sound like a bass.
Table of Contents
How to make a guitar sound like a bass?
Use a Bass Amp Simulator
The best way to turn your guitar into a bass guitar is to use a bass amp sim VST plugin. Especially when you are recording music in your home studio, a premium bass amp simulator such as Bias Amp 2 will suffice.
If you don’t want to pay for a premium plugin (which comes with other benefits also, by the way), a free bass amp such as GK Amplification 2 LE, Amplitude 5 or Bass Deluxe will surely help.
In no time, you will find yourself dialing in realistic bass tube amp-esque tones that even a trained ear won’t be able to discern.
You can also save a ton of money by not having to buy an expensive bass tube amp, save space in your recording studio room, and never worry about adjusting room acoustics.
How to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar with bass amp sims?
Bass amp sims come with inbuilt pitch shifters and virtual octave pedals that can tweak the tone of your electric guitar and make it sound like a bass right within your DAW.
We will use AmpliTube 5 to make your guitar sound like a bass. Without further ado, let’s get started.
- Add/Load the amp sim to your recording track in your DAW.
- You can simply drag the bass amp sim over the guitar track you want to use it on.
- Now, add a pitch shifter effect or an octave effect inside AmpliTube 5.
- Remember to use a neck or middle pickup to get a bass guitar tone that is clean and smooth.
- You can use your guitar pick or your thumb to pluck the notes.
- If using a pick, don’t use extra force to hit the strings and try to pick the bass strings (low e, A, D and G) away from the bridge.
- Next, use a compressor to dial in optimal settings and thicken up your bass guitar tone.
- Tweak the EQ on AmpliTube 5 to dial in suitable bass heavy tone.
Try to fill in the gaps between beats and don’t compete with the electric guitar riff. Instead try to use the bass guitar to complement the lead and rhythm guitar parts.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Bass Preamp VST Plugins
How to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar with bass amp sims?
Why make an electric guitar sound like bass?
Playing a bass guitar requires a certain amount of skill level, the absence of which may become a hindrance for budding musicians or guitarists who want to record a bass guitar track that goes along with their audio project.
Also, sometimes, due to lack of accessibility and feasibility, it is not possible for every musician to own or have a bass guitar at the ready.
That’s where a guitar to bass VST plugin and the built-in features of your DAW come in handy.
While an electric guitar cannot 100% emulate the sound of a bass guitar, it can definitely produce a nearly identical sound.
However, we would advise you to learn the basics of playing a bass guitar as it will be helpful in your journey to become a better musician.
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Free Bass VST Plugins
How to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar in your DAW?
Users of DAW’s such as Logic Pro X, FL Studio, Reaper and Ableton Live can rely on a bass amp VST and AU plugins to dial in an authentic bass guitar tone.
For instance, Logic Pro X users can simply add some third-party AU plugins on Logic Pro X and convert electric guitar recording into a bass guitar.
Now you too can make your electric guitar sound like a real bass guitar on a boring DI guitar track. Here’s how you can make your guitar sound like a bass for free.
How to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar in your Logic Pro X?
1. Load up your audio project and select your channel track.
2. Next, hit R to record a sweet and clean bass line or riff.
3. Play the low e, A, D, and G notes on your electric/acoustic guitar to try to come as close as possible to dial in a realistic bass guitar tone.
4. Now, head over to Audio Units to load the AUNewPitch plugin, a pitch shifter plugin that can come in immensely handy.
5. Adding AUNewPitch plugin opens up the plugin window where you can change the pitch scale.
6. Remember, 100 cents equal 1 semitone. So, to make your electric guitar sound like a real bass guitar you would want to switch down an octave.
7. An Octave comprises 1200 cents, so to pitch down you will need to push the slider to -1200 cents. Next close the plugin window.
Note: In other DAWs, pitch shifter plugins may measure the notes in Semitones. In such a case, all you need to do is to pitch down -12 semitones.
8. Next, you can enrich this newly minted bass guitar tone with a free bass distortion and overdrive plugin such as TSE BOD v3. This works exceptionally well with bass guitar recordings for metal sub-genres and rock n roll.
9. Tweak the Level, Drive, Low, Blend, High and Presence knobs all you want to dial in a suitable bass guitar tone as per taste.
Alternatively, you can also use Logic Pro X’s standard Bass amp plugins to dial in a rich bass distortion tone.
10. To make your guitar sound like an even more realistic bass guitar, you can add a FET Compressor and a Channel EQ in the signal chain and sculpt a truly realistic bass guitar tone that even skilled ears won’t be able to tell apart.
That’s it folks, we hope your quest to know how to make a guitar sound like a bass guitar has been answered.
Here’s a video that will help you:
You can also apply a similar process on other DAW’s such as FL Studio, Ableton 9, and Reaper using the same external VST plugins and get similar results.