Free Guitar / Amp Sims & Plug Ins

Started by Elantric-fgn, December 03, 2009, 07:37:33 AM

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. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .


. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .


. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .


More Free Amp sims /VSTs/ Impulse response tools here -

grab them before Harmony-Central changes their mind

The recording forum has their free VST & Plug In's thread so I though it would be good if High Tech Guitar had a similar post, but with only guitar related goodies. Im sure there are a ton of other guitar plug ins out there, so please add to the list and post your findings.

AcmeBarGig - Lots of amp heads

LePou Plugins - Amp sims & Cabinet sims

Voxengo Boogex - Pre-amp / Cab sim

SimulAnalog Guitar Suite - Amp & pedal models

MDA Combo - Amp & cab sim

Aradaz Amp Crunch and Amp2 - Amp Sim

Studio Devil British Valve Custom

Many of the plugins I'll reference here go beyond just guitar/bass usage, but they're an integral part of your virtual studio nonetheless. These are more tools that you will be able to use to achieve pro-quality results on a budget. We're lucky that there are so many GREAT programmers out there making software for free that matches or exceeds commercial products... It's really unbelievable, but true.

I'll start off with another guitar-specific plugin maker or two, then get to the broader stuff:

Nick Crow Lab 7170 and 8180 heads

as well as Nick Crow Wagner Sharp MkII and Nick Crow Simple Guitar Combo

- all of these feature skins by the well-loved community skinner Requietus, making them easy to use and nice to look at in addition to sounding amazing. Put the 7170 and 8180 heads up next to Peavey's ReValver MkIII 6505 and 6505+ heads, I think you'll begin to understand just how good freeware is these days

Auraplug Freetortion Series - Three dirt pedals, one great Digitech Whammy sim, and a knock-out Mesa high gain amp sim for free.

Togu Audio Line (TAL) Plugins
- Some synth VSTis here that kick ass but the thing for guitarists are the effects. Very high quality freeware effects plugins. The TAL reverb is one of the best freeware reverbs, commercial quality.

Bootsie's amazing freeware at VarietyOfSound -
Seriously, everything on this page could cost $99 a pop and it would be worth it. Of particular interest to instrumentalists should be EpicVerb,
a fully-featured, sophisticated algorithmic reverb that absolutely competes with commercial software for sound quality; Density MkII, a compressor which is right up there with IKMM/UAD/SSL software for quality and works equally well as a tracking comp, a mixing comp, or a master bus comp to make everything "gel"; and BootEQ MkII, a "console" style channel strip preamp and EQ which, again, should be considered alongside commercial "character" EQs for sound quality.

a suite of plug-ins that includes utility plugins like a real-time, no latency chromatic tuner; modulation plugins including my favorite chorus plugin; a great, easy to use ducking delay plugin; compression plugins that are great tracking comps that behave more like traditional guitar compressor pedals; and more besides. A must-have for a guitarist or bassist's virtual studio, in my opinion.

Antress Modern suite,
now in version 4.40; these plugins have a lot of mixing and mastering applications, but you will find them to be high quality and useful in whatever capacity you need them in. Between these and Bootsie's plugins, you might not even need anything else for mixing and mastering your own audio if you're on a tight budget (though I don't think we can master our own audio, frankly a big part of mastering is the other set of ears on the job, but let's call it "post-mix tinkering" - you can definitely do all the post-mix tinkering your heart desire's). His site's been getting hit hard the last few days since this is a recent update so keep trying if you can't get it to load. Well worth the wait!'s Plugin Pack 2.1
- Another set of high-quality tools, the real stand-out to my ears is the reverb which has an awesome, low-CPU Plate preset that with some slight tweaking sounds lovely for guitar. However in version 2.1 they are all great plugins. It never hurts to have the tools you need to get the job done - just like pedals are different in the physical world, different plugin makers do phasers, delay, etc. differently and you will find that you often prefer the character of this or that plugin over others for a specific task. Having a high-quality tool kit will let you get more professional sounding results, and this is another pro-quality pack that they're basically just giving away (donationware, so give them a few bucks via paypal if you like them and use them a lot, but they don't ever bug you to donate or anything - honor system).

And finally, TinBrookTales' Plugins,
I especially recommend those in the "new tbt plugins" folder. The Pocket Limiter was indispensable in my own mixing before I got T-Racks 3, and even with T-Racks 3's great Brickwall Master Limiter, I still reach for the TBT limiter sometimes for its unique and pleasant sound.

These tools should get you very far! Now all you need are ideas and the will to commit them to disk

I have to credit Will Chen (FrugalGuitarist) for compiling a lot of these links in his recording forum post. Thanks Frugal!

Speaker Cabinet Impulses

. . . the future ain't what it used to be . . .


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