Acoustic Guitar VSTs are becoming extremely realistic as of the last few years. I would argue, to the point where you can actually make certain plugins sound better on a recording than an actual acoustic guitar.
This isn’t me mean saying that acoustic guitar VSTs are superior to actual guitars, it’s just pointing out how far they’ve come.
I’ve found that solid producers and or great keyboardists can really make acoustic guitar plugins sound fantastic.
Note: Some of the plugins require the full version of Kontakt Player, so be sure to check for this.
The purpose of this article is to highlight the best paid and the best free acoustic VST plugins that are all current and great for your productions.
If you’re someone who has a knack for writing great melodies on your MIDI keyboard, you are going to find these plugins extremely useful. You can even add incredibly real articulations with your playing as well.
- 1 What Makes A Good Acoustic Guitar Plugin?
- 2 Best Acoustic Guitar VST Plugins
- 3 Free Acoustic Guitar VST Plugins
- 4 Conclusion
What Makes A Good Acoustic Guitar Plugin?
Type Of Plugin: Some plugins can be played whereas others are strictly just samples. I believe that the best types of acoustic guitar plugins are actual virtual instruments, meaning you can play them with a keyboard.
Realism: Some plugins are able to capture the realism of a real acoustic guitar, where others just simply fall flat. Over the years, this has definitely approved and most of our selections sound very realistic.
Articulations: The articulations that the plugin can do prove to be very important in most songwriting sessions. The more strumming patterns and bends, the better when it comes to capturing the dynamics.
Library Size: If you’re spending money, you want to have a large library. You usually are able to find different presets to spark your interest when you have a large library. Some Libraries will also include electric guitar VSTs as well.
Compatibility: All of the following options are compatible with all of the major DAWs. This is important as you will be able to use these immediately upon downloading.
Best Acoustic Guitar VST Plugins
Below are some really great options that I think you will enjoy. I have broken down reasons for each plugin and I have also provided links to checking them out.
1) Vir 2 Acou6tics
Acou6tics legitimately sounds like a real guitar. You can play it just like one as well. This is easily one of the most well known options and it has really done a lot of for plugin game.
You can choose between different styles, picked, finger picked, and plucked. Each of them bring their own dynamics that work for different styles of music production.
You can run this with your favorite DAWs or even run it as a stand alone. One really nice thing to note is that there are dozens of realistic articulations with this plugin.
2) Applied Acoustics Systems Strum GS2
Applied Acoustics comes through often for me when it comes to plugins. Their Lounge Lizard electric piano VST is what initially got me hooked on their products.
This acoustic guitar plugin is no different in the fact that it has some great sounds. There are over 200 preset guitars to choose from and it comes with a 3 different play modes. You have keyboard mode, where you can play it like a keyboard, guitar mode, which is like a guitar, and loop mode.
The interface and layout in general are appealing and very easy to navigate, even for those new to production.
What sets this plugin apart from others is that it has amp sims and tons of effects along with its acoustic guitar selection.
3) Ample Guitar T3 By Ample Sounds – Best Taylor Sounds
Ample Guitar comes to by way of Ample Sounds. This company has been absolutely killing the game as of late and this is honestly one of the most realistic plugins that I have come across.
If you’re a fan of Taylor guitars, I seriously recommend taking a hard look into this plugin.
There are 5.83 GB of samples and the interface is extremely user friendly. When playing with this plugin, you can play it like a keyboard or choose to play it like a guitar.
If you play it like a guitar, it will choose certain frets and releases while you play it. This is meant to completely emulate a real acoustic guitar and it does this well.
4) Evolution Songwriter By Orange tree
Orange Tree samples create some state of the art plugins. I included the Evolution Songwriter plugin as this is great for those aspiring songwriters who are looking to go for the Iron & Wine type of guitar sound.
The sample set has been run through a multi-track tape recorder in order to give it that authentic and old school feel.
Note: You can use this plugin with the free version of the Kontakt player. This is actually really cool seeing how most plugins nowadays require the full version.
I’ve always loved the art of songwriting and I personally believe that if you’re using this strictly to write songs, this is your plugin.
5) Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Plugin
This plugin is argubaly one of the most realistic sounding currently on the market. It’s not incredibly popular, but those who use it completely swear by it as being the best.
This plugin requires the full Kontakt player in order to function properly. If you don’t have the Kontakt player, then I suggest going a different route, unless you plan on purchasing it.
It requires at least 3 GB of open space in order to download it to your desktop or Mac.
It includes 3,542 samples with NCW compression. I would say that when you put its features on paper with the other plugins, it really shines.
If you excel at ripping melodies on your keyboard, yet want a reliable guitar plugin, check out some videos on this one.
- 3,452 samples
- 44,KHZ 24 bit, stereo
- 14 velocity layers
- Manual string selection/Automatic
- 3 modes that help with chord position
- Repetition keys
- 14 Different articulations
- FX & Noises
- Reverb, Delay, EQ, Compression
- MIDI guitar mode
Free Acoustic Guitar VST Plugins
If you’re someone who came here for my list of free acoustic guitar plugins, check below. Since these are free options, I’ve just done this in a bullet format so that you can easily click them and check them out for yourself!
Note: Some of these free options are only compatible with Windows. Be sure before you download that it works with your platform.
- Ample Guitar M Lite II – Easily the best sounding free acoustic guitar plugin – Windows/Apple
- Akoustik Guitarz – Windows
- Digital Acoustic – Windows
- DSK Nylon Guitars – Windows
- Dynamic Guitars – Windows/Apple
- Guitar Lab – Windows
I hope that you found the acoustic guitar VST for your needs. This will be updated frequently and you will find that all of these products can be of use.
Let me know if there’s a certain acoustic guitar plugin that I have left out below!