In the past, recording electric guitar was almost reserved for the professional recording studio. While it was still possible to record at home, the tone and quality could not match up. This was because to get a decent guitar recording you’d need to crank up your amp and possibly, crank your neighbours too. With the entry of software versions of these amplifiers, the gap between the two has narrowed down considerably.
Although, recording from your choice of a real amplifier would still be ideal – you can come close. This holds true if the guitar is not the main element of your song. Amateur listeners can barely tell the difference and that brings places the guitar amp sim as a useful production tool. So, without further ado, here’s a guide to the world of guitar amplifier simulators !
French developer LePou is an independent company which offers high end amp sims free of cost. These amp sims are based on 5 high end tube amplifiers, suited for metal and hard rock. Our take- one of the best guitar amp sim.
Check them out here: https://lepouplugins.blogspot.com/
Ignite Amps is another company offering a multitude of guitar amp sims. Their free products include not only amp sims but also, preamp, bass amp and stompbox simulations.
You can download their products here: http://www.kvraudio.com/developer/ignite-amps
BRAINWORX BX_ROCKRACK V3 PLAYER
The Bx_Rockrack V3 player is a good choice for guitarists looking for a variety of tones. You get 26 presets featuring 8 powerful guitar amp models in one plugin. These amp models are based on the legendary Marshall JCM 800 and the high end ENGL 550 series.
Check them out here: https://www.plugin-alliance.com/en/products/bx_rockrack_v3_player.html
KUASA AMPLIFIKATION LITE
Another free guitar amp sim by Kuasa. It features 96k sampling rate, 3 switchable channels between clean, rhythm and lead, and an eq section.
IK MULTIMEDIA AMPLITUBE 4 – 115 $
The latest version of the IK Multimedia’s Amplitube is all about features. Not only can you choose between recording rooms, you can also play with the position of the cabinet and microphone placement. The availability of different microphones to record and different speakers on the cabinets, makes it super tweakable.
When operated in standalone mode, this versatile guitar amp sim doubles as a multi track DAW. You get a 4 track looper and an 8 track DAW/ recorder, which can help you quickly lay down your ideas.
OVERLOUD TH3 – 249 $
Although towards the pricier end of the market, the Overloud TH3 is worth every penny. The makers claim it’s the largest collection of amp models, and with 203 models you can see how. A smooth and intuitive interface incorporates 69 guitar and 3 bass amplifiers, and 37 cabinets.
It might not have all the bells and whistles other manufacturers provide, but the TH3 does what it does best: Give you an array of amazing, world-class tones.
WAVES GTR 3 – 129 $
For those on a budget, the Waves GTR 3 could put forward the goods. Waves often puts their flagship guitar amp sim on sale, and can be found for retailing at 49$. It includes the entire range of GTR Amps, GTR Stomps, the GTR Toolrack and a tuner. It features simulations of amps by acclaimed brands such as Fender, Vox, Marshall and Mesa Boogie.
POSITIVE GRID BIAS AMP PRO – 159 $
The USP of The Bias Amp Pro lies in it’s signature Amp Match technology. Users can dial in the tone they want and let the software match it to a target tube amp. This is an exceptional feature, and you get access to Positive Grid’s Tonecloud server – which features a plethora artists’ and producers’ signature amp settings.
The Bias also features an impulse response loader which lets you mimic studio rooms to further bolster your tone. All in all, getting your hands on this amp sim is a no brainer.
As you can see, there are numerous options when it comes to guitar amp sim plugins. Some of these are more suited towards a particular and at the end of the day, it’s best to understand your requirements. As is the norm, What you pay for is what you get. Luckily, most of these emulations offer a free trial which usually lasts long enough for you to assess them. So try them all and see which works for you. Happy guitar playing !