In this day and age, you don’t have to worry about startling your neighbors while recording your sick guitar tone. This is thanks to the release of guitar plug-ins and audio interfaces letting you directly plug in your guitar to your computer.
Here are some guitar plugins you can try for yourself to stay ahead of the game.
Table of Contents
The Top Plugins to Consider
- Works as both an app and a plugin
- Creative and top-class amp modeling
- Not enough pedal variety with Custom Shop
- Majority of the gear cost
IK Multimedia’s Amplitube is what instantly comes to mind for many guitar players when it comes to digital plugins.
One thing that this guitar plugin does is recreate many facets of recording in a studio with an amp. The design goes out of its way to make it look like you are in a studio. If that’s something you are looking for, then you will appreciate this.
But fear not, this is not just in aesthetics. From different amps that closely resemble live amps, and the choice to mix and match cabinets, it’s got something for everyone.
Other things that players will definitely appreciate are mic choice and placements. Yep, that’s right, you can edit the microphones used. Not just that, but you can also change the placements of where the microphones will pick up the sound.
Amplitube comes with a free version called Custom Shop that will help you get started with the plugin. The effects, cabs, and amps will suffice for many newbies. The plugin allows you to expand your collection, that is if you are willing to pay.
On a side note, the plugin is officially licensed by notable companies like Fender, Orange, and Marshall. So that’s added points for credibility and quality.
Overall, this is a great plugin that many players will enjoy and can make the most out of.
Bias FX 2
- Clean UI
- Guitar Match Technology
- No free version
- The premium version has a hefty price tag
The next notable guitar plugin is Bias FX. This is another staple in the guitar recording world with a reputation just as well known as the previous entry.
Like Amplitube, it functions as both a standalone app and a plugin. Bias FX comes with an array of amps and effects for you to mix and match to your heart’s content. It also comes with a dual path splitter for you to choose between two amps.
The standout that Bias FX comes with is guitar match technology. Different pickups make different sounds. You may feel that you may prefer a certain sound over another but not have the guitar that can create that sound at the moment.
The guitar match lets you hear what your recording would sound like with different pickups without having to switch over to another guitar. This is a way to decide on the sound while saving time.
Now there is no free version of Bias FX. The base program, or the standard version, goes for $99. The most premium version sits at $299, which is a lot of money.
You can stick with the $99 and get mileage. If you wish to upgrade, you will luckily be getting your money’s worth.
Neural DSP Archetype
- High quality
- Artist centered
- High price point
- Not worth it if you don’t listen to the signature artists
The newest kid on the block when it comes to brand popularity is Neural DSP.
If you are a fan of Plini, Cory Wong, or Polyphia, you’ve most likely heard of Neural DSP. While they also created the multi-effects pedal Quadcore, they also dabbled with plugins with the archetype series.
It wouldn’t really be fair since there are different iterations of it since many artists worked on it, but I’ll review it as a whole.
In this regard, this guitar plugin is definitely a new type of experience many guitar players will enjoy. If you are curious about what your favorite artist sounds like, you will get the chance to experience it yourself with this plugin.
While it’s worth noting that specific guitar plugins are tailored to individual artists, allowing less flexibility for ground-up customization compared to other plugins, it’s important to highlight that there is still room for creativity and customization. While they may have artist-specific characteristics, these plugins can still be utilized and modified to suit your preferences and unique style.
I would recommend this for players who want to try out their favorite artists’ sound and incorporate it on their own.
- More than just a reverb plugin
- Substantial system resource requirements
Moving away from amp sims is the Valhalla Supermassive. This is an interesting choice since it’s not necessarily a guitar plugin. Or simply put, it’s not just for guitars. But you can definitely put this in your effects rack, and should too.
Valhalla Supermassive is a one-of-a-kind reverb effect that you can use for vocals, keys, synths, and guitar. You can get your regular reverb that will make your guitar sound right in the mix. But that’s not the only thing it can do.
You can go crazy and create some really interesting sounds. If you want to be a little experimental with your guitar, then this little plugin will be of great help.
I couldn’t leave this out for the sole purpose of this being free. That’s right, this is free. For the sounds you can get, this makes it one of the best plugins to get for free.
One potential drawback of Valhalla Supermassive is its substantial system resource requirements. Due to its complex algorithms and high-quality sound processing capabilities, it may demand a significant amount of CPU power and memory, potentially straining older or less powerful computer systems. It’s important to ensure that your computer meets the necessary specifications to run Valhalla Supermassive smoothly without any performance issues.
The reverb selection can be a little complicated if you are not familiar with reverb. But even so, for the price, I still would recommend checking it out.
- No phasing issue
- Can be limiting for more experienced players who want more controls
Another plugin that is not limited to guitars but will be of great use nonetheless.
This is a stereo widener and can help provide a stereo feel to a mono recording. Stereo recordings can be risky as they can cause phasing issues. Polyverse helps widen a track to make it sound stereo.
This is great for guitar players who want to compare whether mono or stereo works well for a recording session.
Final Thoughts: The Power of Plugins
In conclusion, the world of guitar plugins offers a wide array of options to enhance and optimize your guitar’s performance. While the list of recommendations provided highlights some noteworthy choices, it’s important to remember that there are countless other plugins available in the market, catering to various preferences and budgets.
Whether you’re seeking a free option or are willing to invest in high-quality guitar shredding, the diversity of choices ensures that there’s something for everyone. So go ahead, explore, experiment, and unleash the full potential of your guitar with the power of these exceptional plugins.