Best Guitar VST Plugins for 2017 [GUIDE]


]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:de]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:ru]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:fr]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:nl]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:sv]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:it]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:es]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:ar]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:pt]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:pl]29 Realistically-Sounding Guitar VSTs for Your Rhythm Section

Best Guitar VST PluginsYou’ve just accomplished an orchestral score and you’re mighty convinced that it’ll blow the minds of your listeners.

It’s for a short film that you and the producer believe the soundtrack has captured the essence of the film.

So, you gave it more than a few more listens until it hit you that there was something missing.

You needed something string but not a harp type of plucking sound in between your notes.

An acoustic guitar, you might say. The chunky sound of the steel strings dancing together individually towards the rhythm is missing.

But piano skills that you might have don’t translate the acoustic guitar articulations you need quickly.

Good thing though; new technology gives you the digital era of Guitar VSTs.

And of course; if they can do it for your orchestra, they can definitely do it for your guitar!


Vir2 Acoustics

VIR2 Acoustics

Acoustic guitars are probably the most difficult instruments to emulate. They have lots of articulations, that “stringy” slide-y sound that you might actually get.

The Vir2 Acoustics definitely sound wonderful. But let me warn you; if you’re playing it solo, as you would think of an acoustic guitar when recorded, you won’t be having some great mileage.

With added polyphonics, you might be playing an instrument with more than four fingers plucking. This might make it appear unnatural.

Fortunately, the Vir2 has a library of chord samples, which allow you to program them into your keyboard. Unfortunately, you won’t get that rasgeudo strum sound out of a synthesized acoustic guitar. But I realize that in the context of a mix, this library definitely sounds great.

But honestly, it wouldn’t work on its own. If you’re expecting an acoustic guitar performance similar to the sound of Eagles or any acoustic band you know, this isn’t the VST for you. They can and will sound heavily synthesized regardless.


Vir2 Apollo: Cinematic Guitars

Apollo Cinematic Guitars by VIR2Hey, we need the perfect cinematic guitar for that almost-perfect music score. Quite possibly so. If you won’t use the Apollo for solo acoustic guitar performances, they actually work for entire compositions, especially orchestrated ones.

A big jump from Vir2 Acoustics, you have an equalizer for the entire instrument. Unfortunately, these still won’t capture that twang and swing a realistic acoustic guitar has.

But it works for a cinematic approach. You get lots of effects including a rotator, a chorus, a stereo spread plug-in. If you need some strange effects, you could even add the Skreamer – which I think is an emulation of the infamous guitar pedal. A compressor is present along with delay, reverb and flangers.

While the swells give you an organ, you could also get a violin if you slow the attack. It’s an awesome type of effect that I believe you could use efficiently on a cinematic score.

But for an acoustic solo performance? I don’t think so.


Vir2 Electri6ity

Vir2 Electri6ity

Maybe it’s not an acoustic guitar you need, but a rad-sounding electric guitar. Maybe not a plucky one either; maybe something powerful and big.

Meet the Vir2 Electri6ity. Released in 2010, still the best guitar VST for solo guitar.

While it can play some great plucky sounds, you also get some great pre-amplifier and cabinet effects ranging from emulations of Marshall, Boogie and Krank amplifications. Of course, signature pedals from Boss, Marshall and MXR are even there, named differently for copyright purposes.

The sound is quite realistic given that acoustic guitars have more articulations than electric guitars. Rock producers can make use of the Electri6ity’s capabilities. I think it was even purposely designed for rock pianists that need a powerful solo sound to their songs. I hear the muting properly, I hear the artificial harmonics effectively.

I mean, you could even get a dark tuning. So if you’re tired of that keyboard wub-wub synth, try taking on the sound of “djent” in your cinematic style. Believe me, you’ll love it.


VIR 2 Acoustic Legends

Vir2 Acoustic LegendsBack with the acoustic guitars again, the Acoustic Legends from Vir2 isn’t a giant step away from Vir2 Acoustics. But if you’ve an ear for wine-ish sounding acoustic guitars, you’re getting what you want.

If you’ve ever heard a McPherson, Taylor, Gibson or Martin guitar, you already know the powerful nuance of their sound. They’re quite warm and rich to the ear; something you’d bring along in a concert venue of some sort.

Unfortunately, Vir2’s Acoustic Legends couldn’t give you much in terms of articulation. What it has short of, it compensates with enough guitar effects for you to play with. But indeed, you get great-sounding steel-string guitars, nylon strings, twelve strings, acoustic bass and even mandolins, ukuleles and banjos.

But again, if you’re playing like a piano, you’re going to need to change up if you want an acoustic guitar to sound as convincing as it can be.


Vir2 Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar

Vir2 Fractured Prepared Acoustic GuitarAs we know how far acoustic emulations go for acoustic guitar VSTs, you’re going to need some painstaking articulation and sequencing to make them sound the way you want them to be. So instead, it would be best to experiment with their sounds or at least take them as a new-sounding instrument – which honestly defeats the purpose.

So with Vir2 Fractured: Acoustic Guitars, you’re presented with a library of scraped, harmonic-plucked and strummed guitars. The materials they used included cardboard scrapes, mallets, detuning and even fingernail and metal bit scraping.

It sounds all painful to the ear and something that you won’t do to your guitar, but you do get some effective synthesizer effects that could amp-up your electronic production. While you might not use them for your guitar score – or maybe not- it can’t still be that solo acoustic guitar you’re dreaming of.

Impact Soundworks Shreddage II

Impact Soundworks Shreddage IIIf anything, Shreddage II is a great successor to Shreddage I. While there’s no big jump regarding the quality of samples as they were already of high quality, Shreddage I had limited articulations and dynamics. Honestly, the guitars in Shreddage I worked best with rock and metal alone. It also sounded quite static with soloing.

Of course, I say that from a viewpoint of someone who had used Shreddage II. Official publication describes Shreddage II to have covered the entire range of lead and rhythm playing. They even sampled fret noises and strings and added lots of articulations.

Interface is as friendly as it describes. In addition to just muting and sustain, Shreddage II now has pronounced and obviously multi-layered sampling of staccato, tremolo, pinch, harmonic, hammer/pull and portamento.

The best about it is the ability to get a pitched or unpitched noise sound. This is when you let go of the guitar and you hear a little noise from the strings. Wow.

PS: more guitar effects!

Impact Soundworks Archtop

Impact Soundworks ArchtopOut with the rock and solo guitar playing and now into the world of jazz and mid-sounding guitars.

So why did I love the Archtop from Impact Soundworks? Despite sacrificing everything because it runs on Kontakt and it has no automatic chord scripting. I know that sounds like a big problem, but in my mind when I purchased this was to make jazz solos.

The Archtop is a hitlist of 10,000 samples that captured a Sadowsky Jim Hall Archtop hollowbody electric guitar. Upon hitting the first ivory it felt natural to hear the strings clang as they would effectively.

Just like their Shreddage series, Impact Soundworks created a few neck and pick effects. Other articulations included were regular sustain, sustain octaves and even palm mutes. You also get both natural and artificial harmonics and portamento

It’s completely expandable and you could re-assign keyswitch assignments making it similar to Shreddage in every way.

Except those samples really sound expressively amazing.

Ilya Efimov Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Acoustic GuitarsIlya Efimov’s iteration of acoustic guitars might not be what you expect it to be, but compared to other iterations, this one has enough nuances to make fingerpicking guitar solos sound quite convincing.

But still not as close as it is to real acoustic guitars.

The sample library is rich as it entirely gives the true ambience of acoustic guitar recording and solos. However, it’s not something I’d say could substitute a well-played and recorded acoustic guitar. The nuances of proper strumming is missing despite the articulation. But it does live up to the standard.

The Acoustic Complete, an acoustic guitar bundle by Ilya Efimov, includes the Guitar, specializing in fingerpicking, and the Acoustic Strum, which focuses on its eponymy.

The strumming is quite convincing if done right. And when I say done right it would be proper sequencing, similar to the Vir2 acoustic guitar emulation.

Ilya Efimov Electric Guitar Bundle

Ilya Efimov Electric GuitarsIlya Efimov and his gang of Russian producers have actually captured the sound of electric guitars better than acoustic guitars.

Indeed, it is more challenging to sample acoustic guitars and make them sound as realistic as possible. But electric guitars, Ilya Efimov is one of the best producers for such as it ranks similarly with Shreddage II by Impact Soundworks and even OrangeTree’s Strawberry Guitar.

The Electric Guitar bundle from Ilya Efimov contains an LP guitar, LP strum and a Telecaster Guitar and Telecaster Strum. The sound of these samples are greatly convincing especially when playing solos. However, these specialize more on the lighter side of blues, jazz and light-rock. I wouldn’t recommend its articulations for metal or heavier music.

But still, they’re great sets to play with because you get a different kind of attitude from your guitar player. For example, maybe Vir2’s Electri6ity guitarist was a bit aggressive (namely they used a metal feature on their guitars). Here with Ilya Efimov, a jazzy or bluesy player may introduce a different playing feel to a metal track. And vice-versa.

Orange Tree Evolution Electric Guitar Bundle

OrangeTree samples could probably have the prize for best, well-balanced guitar in my book nowadays. The Evolution Guitar Bundle features their Strawberry Guitar.

The Strawberry is a well-sampled guitar but it is neither as glassy as Ilya Efimov’s electric guitar bundle nor as aggressive as Prominy or Vir2. Instead, it achieves a certain level of dynamic that feels just right to one’s playing style regardless of genre.

You can feel the gliss of the guitar strings while also feeling the lovely muting and articulations in a metal track. In a glam/ grunge setting, the Evolution’s muting simulates some realistic picking action that I could only describe as powerful and useful.

It’s only here where you could use chords and other strumming effectively because of OrangeTree’s well-thought out interface. Good job guys! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking for versatility and a great guitar performance than others.

OrangeTree Samples SLIDE Bundle

You’ve probably heard lap steel guitar playing. It’s literally placing a guitar on your lap and using a bottleneck glass to play through the strings. It sounds a bit strange at first. The guitar is intended to have a high action for glass to slide through. If you see one, it looks like a keyboard.

Bottleneck or slide playing had been a staple in blues playing especially when players try to reach the higher notes without frets on an acoustic guitar.

So OrangeTree had included both types of slide playing with a lap steel and an acoustic guitar. You can customize slide articulations with the legato function on your keyboard. A custom LFO could create a vibrato that sounds cozy and natural. You could also hear sliding and release noises upon proper setting.

Also, as with almost any guitar sample package, you get a huge amount of effects and even amplifiers that could be useful for your score.

Prominy SR5 Rock BaSR5 Rock Bass

A rock or metal-type of bass guitar can be suitable to any arrangement if used properly. The bright roundwound string sound coupled with a hefty midrange is a great bass in all forms.

But I’m pretty sure if it’s a sampled Ernie Ball Musicman Stingray bass, you’re not going to say no.

I’ve played bass for quite a while in my life and I’ve gotta say having some deeper low end in rock and metal tracks definitely work.

With the newer progressive metal genres going on lower to lowest tunings such as Low E, pitching down your instrument isn’t an option; you need a bass that can handle those extreme low ends.

The SR5 Rock Bass has a fretboard monitor to make sure if you’re doing bass solos you’re on the right area of the guitar, a legato slide and a powerful Low B to D# samples, which can come in handy for downtuned songs.

Pretty handy even in an orchestral setting honestly.

Prominy Hummingbird Acoustic Guitar

Again with acoustic guitars? Well, to be honest, the Hummingbird guitar comes closer to the actual sound of fingerpicking until something else completely flushes it out of the water.

Just like its SR5 Rock Bass, Prominy’s Hummingbird acoustic guitar has a handy fretboard monitor to emulate real-life guitar playing. Realistic strumming and sampled chords make arranging acoustic parts as easy as the other acoustic emulations on this list.

Perhaps what sets it aside from other emulations is that it’s extremely huge at 40GB and that Prominy used a 1963 Hummingbird from Gibson.

That acoustic guitar has been a staple for so many acts during the Flower Power era. But don’t expect a vintage vibe to its sound. The double tracking option makes sure that that doesn’t happen.

And if you have plenty of ideas for guitar percussion, the palm thumping or tapping the guitar body, thisi s the right place to be. The Hummingbird has an undeniably lovely warm sound I’ve come to ultimately love.

Prominy V-METAL

While smaller than the other instruments with only about 10.4 GB of sampled sounds, Prominy’s V-Metal doesn’t need much nuance because you would be using it for rock or metal.

Most clean or unprocessed guitars for metal have active pickups, which kill dynamics and ensure consistent velocity. The ESP Alexi Blacky has a midrange sound that is both beautiful and powerful for rhythm and lead playing.

Now, a bit about electric guitar VSTs. Prominy’s VST would need some guitar amplifier and pedal emulations to work the way you intend it to be. There are billions and gazillions of free guitar amplifier and pedal emulations for free or paid over the Internet. All of these are studio grade equipment-sampled and it only depends on where you want to use it.

Also, you can hear some realistic feedback with V-Metal. Picking positions and articulations emulate the real feel of lead guitar playing. This is a realistic emulation that is quite useful for heavier tracks or if your orchestration needs some “chugging”.

Prominy SC Electric Guitar

Prominy SC Electric GuitarI’ve yet to see a VST emulate a Stratocaster’s bell without overdoing it. While OrangeTree’s single coil pickup sample delivers immensely for this occasion, it can’t be the only one that satisfyingly recreates it.

Prominy recreates it. Not satisfactorily but surpassing OrangeTree by a few meters.

Prominy concentrates on emulating a DI recorded Fender Stratocaster. As this guitar has its own dynamics and character, it would take lots of samples to truly recreate. So at about 35GB of samples you can use this versatile guitar on almost anything.

And again, I mean versatile. While you wouldn’t tune a real-life Stratocaster to a lower B or even Low D# tuning (around D1), this sampled guitar from Prominy has it. Now that is indeed a curious-sounding VST worth a try.

Just like the “play flawless” approach with Stratocasters, you would hear picking noises, finger scratches and you also get the five amazing pickup positions from a stock Fender Stratocaster.

Prominy LPC Electric Distortion and Clean Guitar

I remember having borrowed a Les Paul Custom when I was in the fifth-grade. I sucked at playing guitar. But during that time, I understood the instrument’s sensitivities particularly it’s deep sound useful for jazz playing and other clean tones.

Prominy issues two types of Les Paul Custom emulations. One is a clean-only version, which would be useful in plenty of occasions you want to use other kinds of plug-ins for your guitar. There is also a distortion-only version if you’re in a hurry. However, this can limit your creativity given that you could only hear the emulated sound from a Marshall Power Amp Model 9005.

As with all Prominy Models, a fretboard monitor helps you achieve the perfect fret position sound for the guitar emulation.

But instead of spending $600 for two guitars, just purchase a clean only DI version for $349. You can emulate better distortion than what is offered out of the box.

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LE

Prominy LPC Electric Clean Guitar LEOr maybe just purchase this one that is already-clean and adds more to playing realism than its earlier brother.

With the Les Paul Custom LE, you get more Legato, Hammers, Vibratos, Muting and Picking noise and other guitar articulations for guitar soloing.

I would say that this guitar is better suited for guitar solo playing rather than rhythm because you couldn’t use those articulations unless you’re an experimental or diverse player.

While the sound quality doesn’t change compared to the earlier LPC, solo playing articulation along with its friendly tone towards usual amp simulators make the LPC Electric Clean guitar a better bet than its predecessor.

Amplesound Metal Series

I’ll be honest with you, I’ll be a bit biased with Amplesound.

I’ve been using their Amplebass, which emulates a Fender Jazz bass, for most of my recordings and songs I’ll tell you that it’s swiftly convenient and is capable of delivering the goods, DI or through a cabinet.

Which brings me here to tell you all about the Amplesound Metal Series

Actually, the Metal Series is a single guitar. You’re probably familiar with the ESP Eclipse I, a souped-up Les Paul made to grit, not to jazz or just plain rock. The Eclipse I is emulated with different types of articulations including sustains, hammers, slides and artificial harmonics. Of course, there’s its all-powerful palm mute.

But the Eclipse is quite awesome with its default drop C tuning; typical for downtuned metal guitars. But unlike Prominy’s Fretboard monitor, Amplesound’s Metal Series works with Capo Logic, which automatically shifts the bar chord depending on where the last note ended.

For example, if you went to the 7th fret E and make a D chord, it may use the nearest fret with the desired octave of D.

Users can always fix this in the configuations. But indeed, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen this feature anywhere.

Amplesound Acoustic Guitar Series

Amplesound also has a huge selection of sampled guitars, which again aren’t as convincing as you might want them to be.

But it’s nice to get great emulations of Taylors, Martins, a Guild Acoustic Bass and even a rare Alhambra Acoustic Guitar. If you’ve heard one of these instruments, you’ve probably understood how they can be used in plenty of mixes.

Unfortunately, sampling can always limit the actual articulations. We’ve succeeded in most drum samplers, but acoustic for piano is a little troublesome.

The emulations are accurate and the sampled chords and strums are by far clear and sound excellent. But that’s only when you use them in a mix. They can be inefficient as solo instruments. But they do get the crisp and warm sound of Martins and Taylors. The Alhambra classical guitar sounds excellent with its nylon snaps. Definitely keepers for cinematic scores or if when you really need a classical guitar setup.

Amplesound Electric Guitar Series

You’ve probably guessed I’m a big fan of Prominy and Amplesound and for good reason; their packages are small and their samples sound excellent out of the box. While there are sample libraries that have more articulations with bigger sample sets that bring them to two or even three digit gigabyte libraries, these two make an excellent compact instrument straight out of your laptop or computer.

Prominy has different types of electric guitars. As mentioned, I’ve used their Fender Jazz Bass library.Aside from the fender bass is their Fender Jazz John English and Telecaster John English versions, which give off a reminiscent Beatles vibe. Other instruments include their own emulation of a Musicman Stringray 5 Classic Bass and a Fender Precision Bass.

For guitars, you get a PRS Custom 24 guitar, a Stratocaster 50s Electric Guitar (complete with its twangy and lovable sound and the virtual Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

And I don’t have to say it but they all sound impressive.

Acousticsamples Sunbird

Acousticsamples SunbirdThe Gibson 1962 Hummingbird has been a staple for so many alternative musicians and has a warmth and brightness that is well-sought after by different musicians and producers. It has that old-timey acoustic guitar feel that doesn’t go overboard. It also has a deep tone perfect to accompany a voice.

Each of Acousticsamples’ iteration of the Hummingbird in their Sunbird VST is impressively deep. Coupled with the Neumann U87, it brings out that 60s deep and powerful sound every producer has come to love (depending on the genre and era of music intended of course).

Using the Sunbird is similar to almost every acoustic guitar VST you’ve tried, except Acousticsamples had emulated all staccatos, releases, downstrokes, upstrokes, hammer ons, pull offs, retriggers, percussions and even fretnoises, which makes the Hummingbird come to life digitally through Sunbird.

Sampled chords sound as excellent as Prominy’s own iteration.

Acousticsamples GD-6

GD-6 from AcousticsamplesGuild brand acoustic guitars are quite expensive. I’ve heard one live and I can say they’re a less-known brand that deserves to be known by soloists in need of a studio-grade acoustic guitar worthy of perpetuity.

The GD-6 is an amazing sample library. While it doesn’t really sound like an acoustic guitar, the GD-6 delivers the same perks as the Sunbird from Acousticsamples with all the articulations, keyswitches for additional control and other nuances.

Except the GD-6 sounds holy and magnificent especially when you’re fingerpicking or you’re soloing. Strums do very well, but if you need a Spanish solo or an intimate acoustic guitar solo, this is the acoustic guitar you definitely need

I mean seriously, producers must know and love the sound of this guitar because I’ve never loved a tremolo-picked guitar until I heard the GD-6 in real life and this VST.

8Dio Dobro Solo Guitar

8Dio Dobro Solo GuitarWhen it comes to plucking and being played in tandem, these solo guitars aren’t really made for soloing. But that’s just my opinion. In a score, the 8Dio Dobro Solo guitars are quite capable of leading the melody in a composition.

However, I still find it lacking in terms of playing a solo acoustic guitar. It still lacks a bit of the “grungy” sound I’m used to when it comes to playing guitar solo. But I have to say that the Dobro solo can do slide guitars efficiently when accompanied by other instruments.

The VST also features a morph capability that would morph the acoustic sound with other instruments including a Grand Piano, a Mandolin, a steel-string guitar and others. You may also find the Dobro guitar can be mixed with synthesizers, which isn’t really bad at all!

The VST also contains natural fret and release noises, pretty good strums and even different articulations of strums. Now that’s surprising. But due to my high standard, is still unnatural in my honest opinion.

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic Guitar

8Dio Post-Apocalyptic GuitarSo why would you say this is post-apocalyptic? Did the guitar survive a nuclear war or a winter holocaust? Regardless, it would seem 8Dio’s idea of post-apocalyptic lies in its sound.

8Dio had gladly divided the VST’s patches into a Yin-Yang type of category. Post-apocalyptic guitar – or maybe we should say more as post-rock guitar – is a guitar sound that uses plenty of delay, nuances of distortion. Imagine an aural-sounding guitar. There you go. The Yin patches focus on being airy, lighter and stellar, as I would put how post-rock really sounds like.

The Yang is more darker, distorted and deliberately intended to sound glitched or dirty.

The sound of the guitars seemingly vary from modern Stratocaster models, some Fender and Ibanez models although these cannot be ascertained as 8Dio had not specified them.

Controls include pitch controls on lower keys, effects controls for distortion, flanger, phaser and others. All effects are tempo synched to your DAW, which may or may not work for everyone.

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar

8Dio Progressive Metal Guitar8Dio isn’t new to the ‘djent’ and modern progressive metal. Progressive metal is something some cinematic score composers might prefer in their compositions to spice things up.

The only trouble is, this wouldn’t work for producers who want to use an actual instrument sample library they could use to play with their keyboard.

As 8Dio describes in their website, these are deeply-sampled phrases, which means it isn’t really something as an instrument.

But you have to say these instruments sound great when you want to calibrate your gear or if you really need some aggressive guitar playing in one of your scores. Especially for composers who wish a session guitar but have no idea what riff they would need, the 8Dio Progressive Metal guitar is a keeper.

The guitar sampled are also very apt for the genre. Most of these are well-sought after Mayones guitars and preamplification sampled includes the always-used Fractal Audio AxeFx .

And yes, it djents at the 8th string.

8Dio Aura Guitars

Motion picture guitars is the best way to describe this library. Having a huge assortment of Dobros, Mandolins, Stratocasters and Martin 12 string acoustic guitars, cinema and motion picture scorers wouldn’t need much trouble with their guitar needs after they create their orchestrations.

The only limiting thing about this library is it is all sampled in the perfect fifth, meaning you won’t get the chords you always want, or something specific.

But then again, aural guitars are known for their aural, windy, airy sound that I can’t get enough off especially when used in an EDM setting.

One thing lovely about this is you could instantly create signature rhythms using velocity, pan, pitch and on off functions for every step of phrases.

I have to admit, these all works for cinematic scores, but again, these wouldn’t work for solo guitar instrumentals or vocal-accompanied songs. You could always sample a real guitar for that. For something that sounds immense, VST guitars are a great way to go.

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2

East West Quantum Leap Ministry of Rock 2To be honest, the only thing bad about the EWQL Ministry of Rock 2 is the effects included in the patch. With bad effects, you won’t be able to use the doubling and quad recording effects the VST has. But if you can use the sounds to your advantage then why not; there’s no really bad sound depending on taste and context.

Recorded by top players including Shane Gibson, Greg Suran, Doug Rappaport, Edgar Winter and Tal Bergman, you get a large assortment of Fender Jaguar, Fender Telecaster Thinline, Carvin 7 String Baritone, Gibsons and Schecters in the VST.

I have to say it has a 70’s-ish sound to it. But if you use the guitars individually, they’re very well-sampled. Using newer amplification VSTs would be better.

The drum kit fares quite well. But this only works if you want a single VST to make up your entire rock music production. EWQL’s function must be to minimize processing workload with the Ministry of Rock 2. But I would recommend still using separate VSTs.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist

Sugar Bytes GuitaristOne thing notable about Sugar Bytes’ Guitarist is you could see the actual transparent fingers play the chords in the fingerboard. Chords are sampled and it sounds nearer to Prominy’s V-Metal. But it is a bit far away to be honest in terms of effects sounds.

The amplifiers and pedals included in the VST is average – which again calls for more and independent VSTS. But that’s not so bad.

Sugar Bytes Guitarist isn’t something I’d really recommend, but it is indeed light on the HD footprint (unlike Ministry of Rock 2).

I found that this works best with jazz and lounge-type music. In EDM, this would work efficiently, especially its synthy-lead sound.

I would also say this VST is more of a composition tool. It helps to have more ideas about guitar playing since you could see the guitar fingers on the fingerboard and you could have yourself or someone better play it live.

Or maybe a better-sampled instrument.

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Final Words

No VST will come across a real guitar player for acoustic or electric guitar. But you’re needing to crunch some time to squeeze out a decent rhythm section. These guitar libraries work efficiently for that purpose and that alone.

If you don’t expect them to sound as real as it could get, things could work out between you and the VSTs above. If you also expect them to sound like guitars in your mix, then they would certainly will as these are the finest ones available to date.[:]