Nowadays all of us guitarists get to have a laptop or desktop computer with an interface and make tracks, demos, lessons and other production or educational work using a DAW. Most of us unfortunately aren’t in a position to record a real amplifier in our bedrooms or crank it up as much as needed aiming for the right guitar tone or be able to have a budget in order to have different microphones and try to mix them down and get the most out of our rig. That’s where the hardware and software comes in. This article introduces you the 10 high-end profiled guitar amp simulation plug-ins that you should know about.
IK Multimedia is one of the leading companies in guitar emulation software since 2002 with the release of Amplitube. One of the most famous guitar software around in the market. Amplitube started as small guitar emulation software and through the years developed to being one of the most prestigious and accomplished emulation software. Versions include Amplitube 2, Ampitube 2 live, Amplitube Jimi Hendrix, Amplitube Metal, Amplitube Fender and the recent release Amplitube 3. Including a vast amount of amps, cabinets, microphones, stompboxes and racks it is easy to use and comes very handy as you can import libraries from any other version of it with the X-Gear plug-in.
Learn more: www.ikmultimedia.com
One of the most competitive companies in VST instruments and plug-in business is Native Instruments. Founded in 1996 in Berlin, the German company invaded the guitar world by releasing Guitar Rig in mid 2004. The software was very competent and was the first ever software that introduced the Kontrol – rig, which was a pedal board controlling the software for real time preset changing as a real pedal board / MIDI controller. In 2009 they released their latest Guitar Rig version 4, which is undeniably one of the most used plug-ins.
For more information visit: http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/guitar/guitar-rig-4-pro
Digidesign is mostly known because of its industry standard recording software Pro Tools and its powerful hardware interfaces and DSP cards. In Pro Tools 7 we were introduced to their step into the guitar amplifier emulating world with the Plug-in “Eleven”. It featured high quality amp and stompboxing emulation and making it easy to work in Pro Tools as an RTAS plugin. After a bit they released its rack version as a studio or live performing hardware.
For more info go to: http://www.avid.com/us/products/eleven
Famously plug-in renowned company “Waves” got in to the guitar world with the release of GTR plug-in in collaboration with PRS Guitars. The latest version of GTR 3 features great sounding, feel and response guitar amp emulation and stompboxes sounds that they can be used in studio and live situations with the addition of the external hardware.
For more information visit: http://www.wavesgtr.com/html/product_gtr3.html
Line6 is exclusively committed to guitar sound since 1996. The leading industry company has in their list Ampifiers, guitars, portable effect and modeling units and pedalboards. After their successful Rack units they released the “Platinum & Golden pugins and Pod Farm” All plugins are working in every DAW and are delivering the “nominated” Line6 sound to your recording studio.
For more info go to: http://uk.line6.com/podfarm/index.html
Italian based company “Overloud Audio Tools” released TH1 in 2008. It has 10 amps modeled but you have 18 different microphones that you can place in a 3D environment in order to approach a live studio positioning which makes it flexible and great for experimenting with mixing your guitars on the DAW. The sound is great quality and can meet your expectations.
For more information go to: http://www.overloud.com/th1.php?idarg=51
Studio Devil is founded by Marc Gallo who is been dealing with audio signals since 1989. Today the release of Studio Devil Amp Modeler gives him the dedication to guitar FX sound and guitar amp emulation. Newly featured software comes at an affordable and money for value price.
For more information check: http://www.studiodevil.com/products
Leading and massive corporation, Apple, has its own way getting around the guitar world. After the successful release of their DAW “Logic” we have some guitar amp emulations in Logic 8 and Garage Band. In the latest version of Logic 9 we have the competitive Amp Designer which comes free with the DAW as an AU plugin.Let down is that it doesn’t work as standalone but after working with APOGEE they got some supporting hardware in order to be used live as part of MainStage 2.
For more info see: http://www.apple.com/uk/logicstudio/logicpro
Steinberg is a company that is been around for some time now in the music industry. Creating DAW’s and post – pre production software, they are one of the most acclaimed companies around in the business. In their latest release of Cubase 5 we got the Amp Simulator, which is a VST Plug-in that allows you to record your guitar in the DAW with effects and distortion even if you don’t have any 3rd-party plugin. The plug-in is very convenient as it comes with channel presets ready to go based on different styles of music.
For more info read here: http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cubase/cubase5_vst.html
Peavey electronics is one of the oldest companies in the industry supplying musicians with the necessary tools in order to play and perform music. Famous from back in the early Van Halen days wih the creation of the mighty 5150 and later on with Triple XXX, JSX Series, Valveking and many more, Peavey goes digital as well. Revalver MKIII is the only guitar emulation software that between modeling other amps features all of Peavey amplifiers. A great sounding plugin in a value for money price.
For more info check: http://www.peavey.com/products/revalver/index.cfm
Hopefully this article will help you find which of the sound modeling plugins suits you the most and will help you get one of them.