GTR splits the amp and pedalboard into different plug-ins, making it easy to come up with complex setups and routings.
Dedicated bass simulation: GTR has seven dedicated bass amps, with emulations of the Sadowsky bass preamp, Hartke 3500 solid-state amp, Ampeg B-15 and SVT, David Eden World Tour 800, Mesa/Boogie 400+, and a Countryman DI into a V72 preamp. The six cabinets include Ampeg’s SVT810, SVT610, and B-15; other models include a Fender Bassman, David Eden 4 x 10" cabinet, and Mesa/Boogie 1516. It seems Waves has tried to come up with something where every bass player can find at least one sound they’ll love—this would make a great toolkit for session musicians who are never quite sure what kind of tone they’ll be asked to produce.
Miking options: Six different mics (dynamic 20, ribbon 122, dynamic 57, condenser 87, condenser GR, and coil 88) each offer two positions that sound like onaxis and off-axis. As expected, this is a different roster than mics used for the guitar amp models.
Parallel paths: Waves takes a unique approach by organizing effects and amps as separate plug-ins, and offering several variations on amp/cabinets—mono, stereo, mono in/stereo out, and two parallel mono cabs. While the software is flexible, creating viable parallel paths requires copying tracks: For example, one track might have a chain with particular effects and an amp/cab combination, with another track having only effects, or for that matter, another chain.
Dedicated bass effects: Waves adds a pitch shifter designed exclusively for bass, as pitch shifting is difficult enough to perform, even over a restricted frequency range. Otherwise, you use the same effects as for guitar.
Bottom line on the bottom end: GTR has a “detailed” sound quality—I particularly like the clean sounds, which are sweet and well-defined. I’ve always felt GTR hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, possibly because Waves has such a strong reputation in pro audio that people don’t associate the company with guitarists. Yet GTR has the same attention to detail as Waves’ other plug-ins; in fact, the effects are based on the same bigbucks algorithms found in the pro products. That level of clarity is extremely well-suited for bass—particularly when you want a tight, smooth low end.
Price: Native version $100 MSRP, $85 street; TDM $300 MSRP, $225 street
More from this Roundup: