The days where musicians having to learn every instrument are over. VST’s have made it so you can basically learn to play the piano and then program the instrument you want with MIDI. You can now do this with electric guitar VST’s that actually sound like real guitars.
I still remember the first keyboard that I purchased had electric guitar sounds on it. They were pretty terrible compared to the VST’s that are out today.
It is my opinion that the best electric guitar VST’s actually sound incredibly realistic. You can get a wide variety of sounds and change from a wide variety of amps with some VST’s.
Note: I recently stumbled upon one of my favorite electric guitar plugins to date after publishing this article. I believe that Electri6ity is hands down my favorite electric guitar VST available. View it now at pluginboutique for pricing and user reviews.
*These VST’s are not in ranking order as some of them are just different styles and it will come to personal preference.
I recently did a review on my favorite electric piano plug-ins that you can check out here. These have some nice grit and are being used all over the industry today.
What’s The Use Of Electric Guitar VST’s?
These VST’s are so realistic that producers are using these sounds in the final versions of their songs. They have a huge range of purpose as you can use them to write with, but also use them as your main guitars.
Is this a little discouraging to guitar players? No, I don’t think so. People will always desire real instruments, but there will always be a demand for VST’s as well. I feel like we’re living in a world where they both coexist. It will just depend on the producer or the band’s preference.
Are you a fan of VST’s? Check out my favorite organ sounds here.
How Do They Work?
Just like every other VST. You simply draw in the MIDI and then you can manipulate the sound with your VST. With a lot of the guitars, you can dive super deep into the customization.
What To Look For In Guitar VST’s?
You will immediately be able to tell the quality of the VST based off of how the pre-sets sound. If you are digging the pre-sets, you will definitely dig the final products. The sound is obviously the most important factor of the equation, so make sure you really love what you’re hearing.
Some VST’s come with more effects than others. These allow you to customize the sounds to your liking.
Guitar Amp Sims
Amp simulators do exactly what you’d expect; simulate amps. The more amps you can choose from in a VST, the better in my opinion. You will most likely find some go-to’s that you really enjoy.
I recently did a review on my favorite bass guitar VST’s, check them out here.
These can get expensive. Make sure you’ve done your research and feel confident with the purchase you choose. Some of the programs will allow you to try them out for a month or so with the money back guarantee. If cost is an issue, maybe go this route.
Depending on which VST you choose, you can sometimes change up the guitar that you’re using. This will result in a completely different sound that you could find yourself really digging for certain styles.
Best Electric Guitar VST’s
This plug-in is brought to you by Big Fish Audio and it is personally one of my favorites. Electri6ity is relatively easy to use and it comes with 8 different virtual guitars that are out of this world.
The sounds are simply great. I honestly think this sounds as close to a real guitar as you can get. When you use this in your mixes, you can’t really tell a difference and they actually sound rather good to me.
If you’re a producer, you know that recording a great guitar tone can be tricky. This virtual guitar sounds great immediately and it comes with a ton of effects and amps.
What I like
It loads up easily with Kontakt and it has a simple layout. From the sounds to the interface, this virtual guitar simply rocks.
Recorded variations per each sample
- Downstroke/upstroke / Picked/strummed / Seamless velocity layers
If you’re looking for an all-around electric guitar plugin that you will use for many years, this is a great choice. All of the sampled guitars are recorded clean and this allows you to filter them and change the effects to your liking.
Impact Sound Works are the creators of this plug-in and it is pretty awesome. Founded in 2008; it instantly became one of my go-tos for when I needed some serious metal guitars.
Shreddage 3 has been long awaited and for good reason; it seriously shreds. If you listen to the samples, you will find yourself actually thinking that your listening to some of your favorite classic metal bands.
For metal, this easily one of the currently available. It’s rather new and the technology and sounds it brings show that. I am a big fan of the clean tone on some the presets. I feel the human dynamics in it even though it’s a plug-in and that’s something that is very hard to capture.
What I Like
The layout is very simple and easy to navigate through. You can tell that Impact Sound Works spent some serious time here. VST’s can be confusing, so when something is laid out in an easy fashion, it really goes a long way.
They also have some great basses that sound pretty great.
Shreddage 3 delivers a powerful punch with endless possiblities. If you’re a fan of metal guitars, give this plug-in a try.
Orangetree samples have some of the most realistic sounds on the market. They do other VST’s as well. They have a bunch of different sample packs for guitars that you can choose from, Rock Evolution just happens to my personal favorite.
The reason why I have the Rock Evolution sample pack up here is because of the sound. This is one of the most realistic plug-ins for the electric guitar to date. OrangeTree samples make some outstanding VST’s and this another one of them.
The crunch that you get on the electrics are is jaw-dropping. When using this plug-in you’re going to think that you actually recorded a real guitar.
What I Like
You can easily do articulations like palm mutes, divebombs, string slaps, and natural harmonics. The sample sounds come with different abilities in the picking. You can change the direction of the picking easily.
There is a built-in effects engine that gives you some great blues tones that you can use right off the bat.
The mapping system is very in-depth and allows you to set how you want to change articulations.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Rock Evolution pack. The sounds are top-notch and the effects and customizability don’t fall short either.
AmpleSounds are known for their metal and heavy rock guitar tones. With this plug-in, they have sampled the Gibson Les Paul. If I’m ever working on harder rock songs, I find myself going to this plug-in often.
The Ample Guitar G II sounds very close to a Gibson Les Paul. If you’re a fan of this guitar, the chances are you will dig this plug-in. Some of the pre-sets take some tweaking to get them sounding more realistic, but after some practice, it will sound great.
What I Like
You Get a ton of different effects pedals that really change up the tones quite nicely. This plug-in is great for solos and also for chugging along with darker chord progressions.
The humanization settings are awesome. They really help make this plug-in feel real and in-depth.
AmpleSounds is revered in the VST community for having some great realistic samples. I think this is a great instrument pack to try out. If you’re not a fan of metal guitars, I would recommend checking out their Stratocaster sample pack.
Overall, this is a solid VST that is worth a try. It’s a deep program with lots of different effects you can dig into.
There are many different options when it comes to electric guitar VST’s. The most important thing you can do when deciding is to figure out what style you prefer. All of the plug-ins are going to be better at certain things.
If you’re looking for the real deal, choose the best electric guitars for you at the link.
Do you have any guitar VST’s that you go to frequently? If so, which ones? Let me know in the comments below!