Free guitar pluginsBack to top
Plugins are software extensions and in this case we are talking about audio plugins for music production software (DAW, Digital Audio Workstation). They are dynamic link library (.dll) files and all it takes to use them is to tell your DAW software where to find them. Default location is C:\Program Files\VstPlugins and it's not a bad idea to keep your plugins right there.
Here's a quick how to scan new plugs in three popular DAWs:
Reaper: Options > Preferences > Plug-ins > VST > VST plug-in paths > Add > select plugins location > Re-scan or reset Reaper.
Cubase: Devices > Plug-in Information > VST PlugIns > VST 2.x Plug-in Paths > Add > select plugins location > OK > Update Plug-in Information
Sonar: Utilities > Cakewalk Plug-in Manager > VST Configuration > Options > Add... > select plugins location > OK > Scan VST Plug-insBack to top
There are plenty free amp sims to choose from, they all sound different and have unique quality. Some are simple, other offer different channels and additional switches for more tonal versatility. Since cab simulation has become a more complex matter, most amp sims don't have this functionality and if they do it can be turned off so that you can experiment in this field.
GUI versions are usually made with SynthEdit (www.synthedit.com), if you have some issues with them then try out original versions.TSE Plugins X30 high-gain guitar amp Nick Crow 8505 Lead Nick Crow 7170 Lead Nick Crow Wagner MKII Sharp GUI Nick Crow Wagner Sharp 0.6 Nick Crow Simple Guitar Combo GUI Ignite Amps NRR1 Ignite Amps The Anvil BTE Audio Juicy77 BTE Audio Juicy77 GUI Poulin LeXTAC Poulin Legion Poulin Le456 Poulin HyBrit Poulin LeCto Poulin SoloC Simulanalog Marshall JCM900 GUI Simulanalog Fender Twin GUI Smart Electronix Saro GUI IK Multimedia Amplitube 3 Kuassa Amplification Lite Destructavator ScorchCrafter C120 Aradaz Amp 2 Green Aradaz Amp 2 White Aradaz Crunch MOKAFIX NoAmp MOKAFIX Metal Clone Audiffex AmpLion Ronald Passion RevolutionZ Ronald Passion ReChrome Ronald Passion ReGolD Ronald Passion Bass Preamp AcmeBarGig Preampus Metal C-15 AcmeBarGig Preampus Metal Razor AcmeBarGig Metal Series 60 AcmeBarGig MeatHead AcmeBarGig DickHead AcmeBarGig TamlaHead AcmeBarGig PeckerHead AcmeBarGig KnuckleHead AcmeBarGig TaterHead AcmeBarGig GimmeHead AcmeBarGig Brain 2 AcmeBarGig SHRED 1.0
Here starts a series of Auraplug's free distortion units with cabs. They look like stomboxes, but offer full functionality. They are very CPU friendly.
|Auraplug EddieVsHeaven||Auraplug California Sun|
|Auraplug Whamdrive||Auraplug RedSkull Distortion|
|Auraplug FuzzStone||Auraplug FuzzStone Germanium|
Following plugins are virtual versions of real gear - Heptode Crunch and Heavy Tone analog preamps which reacreate the sounds of 80's tube preamps (based on Soldano SLO-100). Both plugins offer optional cab simulation.
|Heptode Heavy Tone||Heptode Deep Crunch|
|Fretted Synth FreeAmp 3||Cortex Stack GUI|
There's much more than just an amp that can be used to achieve an interesting guitar tone, however there aren't many free effect simulations other than distortions, overdrives and boosters that I've come across.
In reality most hi-gain tube amps have definite roundness in sounds that they produce, this is no different in digital world. Semiconductor overdrive/booster adds clarity and sharpness to tube tone. It's very popular within heavy players.
Ibanez Tube Screamer is a well known amp booster. It boosts middle frequencies, pushes the amp harder and gives some cutting edge. Not everyone likes to have it for rhytms because it tends to make them sound razor sharp, however it helps your lead parts to cut beatifully through the mix.Back to top
Cabinets & Impulse Response Processors
Nowadays it's very popular to use impulse responses to recreate guitar cabinet and microphone setup sounds. Impulse responses are audio files that you load to adequate plugins. There are lots of free impulses to choose, the topic is covered in another article - check out an article on free impulse responses.
|Poulin LeCab2||Plektron IRcab|
|Voxengo Boogex||Vladimir Titov Mercuriall 2|
|Aradaz Our Cabinet Simulator||Two Notes TORPEDO PI-FREE|
Sometimes it's very convenient to tune your instrument within your DAW. Here are some VST tuners suited for the job.
|GVST G-Tune||Aglae Software Tune It!||C-Tuner|