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Kuassa Cerberus

I’d never tried a Kuassa plugin before reviewing Cerberus. Kuassa seems to have a great line of products for some pretty low prices.

Rating: 4.0 / 5

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

(Version reviewed: 1.0.5)

INTRO:

I have been reading bass players whose opinions I trust, talk up this plugin for a couple years now on forums so the review gave me a reason to finally buy it. I bought the plugin for an insanely low price. I also bought the Krator Maximizer which ended up coming in pretty handy here and there for me.

Cerberus features three amps, three cabs, a gate, a compressor, EQ and a limiter all for a price that you probably won’t believe.

EXPERIENCE:

Cerberus is a very nice looking plugin, the guitar reviewers tell me this plugin is Kuassa’s nicest looking amp sim. A lot of thought and work went into the GUI. It’s a very easy plugin to figure out fairly quickly which is a credit to the developer. I suggest just putting Cerberus in HQ mode right from the start because it’s still really low on CPU.

Cerberus features three amps; Valve, FET and Drive. The amps differ a fair bit. I usually take a run through the amps with basic flat settings just to get a flavor for the different tone qualities across the board. From the notes I got on Kuassa products, their plugins are usually original creations based on multiple amps instead of being modeled truly from one amp. I have experience with several valve and FET bass amps but it’s hard to tell what amps inspired what sims here. I really couldn’t even begin to speculate on the inspirations but I can say that even at untouched settings all three amps sound great.

After hearing the difference between the amps with untouched settings I moved on to exploring the plugin’s capabilities. All three amps produce some great tones, just look at the channel names as channel names rather than expecting FET to sound like a FET amp and so on.

I found Cerberus had some good tones right from the start but they lacked body. Kuassa has included a ton of tone shaping and tone enhancing options on the plugin so it didn’t take long to bring things to life. This plugin can provide a lot of very solid quality punch if you put some time into perfecting your tones.

I moved around in the edge of break-up type tones. The half clean / half driven tones were really grabbing out at me. Thrash, death metal, punk and hard rock tones came easily without a lot of work or processing. With a pick or without, the response and attack really mixed well with the partially driven amps.

When I increased the drive and initiated some of Cerberus’ higher gain tones. I was pretty surprised how much drive there was available on the drive channel. The drive channel take some work to put into its place. When I got it to where it was semi-useful, it had thinned out some so I worked it out in the post-EQ. The driven channel can get you close to a Motorhead or Manowar tone with a nice mid bite. I added the AXP / Softamp Charbooster to all three amps and it really pushed things nicely.

The tone shaping options onboard Cerberus are quite extensive. You get controls for gain, compression (w/bypass), contour, low, low mid, high mid, high, low and high boosts (w/bp) and rounding it all off with a graphic EQ (w/bp). All of that on top of having the amps really ensures versatility. Be careful with the hi and lo boosts and I would watch how you use the onboard EQ if you are running post EQ.

Cerberus includes three impulses for the three amps as well as 6 mics, 3D mic placement and the ability to load user impulses. I gave the included impulses and loader a go and there’s nothing wrong with anything included but when I inserted my top 50 bass impulses and blends, there was a noticeable increase in quality. You be the judge but either way, the tones from Cerberus are worth more than what the plugin costs.

UPS / DOWNS:

I wasn’t expecting Cerberus to be this good. I spent a lot of time with the plugin and I really didn’t run into any dead spots or noisy trashy mid range spikes. Everything I used the plugin for turned up several workable tones.


In action – Computer Music Magazine demo of Cerberus

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