This article is just a rundown of the major guitar amp effects programs. If you are an electric guitar player, these types of software give you a choice of vintage guitar amplifiers simulated on your home computer. Some of these guitar amp simulators cost an arm and a leg, some, not necessarily the worst, are quite inexpensive. Others are free.
You will find that the brochures for guitar amp simulators use terms like “crafting”, “shaping” and “modelling”. The AmpliTube 2, apart from giving the world a nifty pun on “amplitude”, offers us the chance for “crafting the ultimate guitar tone”. Whoopty-doo. What that means is you use the program to make variations on installed amp simulations, to produce your own tone. Their are five modules which include tuner, stomp, amp head, miked cabinet, and rack effects, on two series/parallel guitar rigs. fourteen preamps and equalizers, seven power amps, sixteen cabinets, six microphones, twenty-one stomp effects, and eleven rack effects. The company says we get all the gear to create twenty thousand amp combinations. The general consensus amongst guitar players who have tried this software is that it is the best available.
SimulAnalog Guitar Suite simulates:
Boss DS-1 (Distortion stompbox)
Boss SD-1 (Super Overdrive stompbox)
Tube Screamer (Overdrive stompbox)
Oberheim PS-1 (Phaser stompbox)
Univox Univibe (Modulations stompbox)
Fender Twin 1969 (Guitar amplifier)
Marshall JCM900 Dual Reverb (Guitar amplifier)
The major claim to uniqueness of this simulator software is that we cannot tell it apart from the sound of the original equipment. The other thing is it is free. The program is the result of a bunch of boffins developing a set of effects plugins that musicians could obtain and play around with without any great effort.
Here is another product name thought up by a punster – ReValver. It is made by Peavey who also makes real-world guitar amps. The Mark III model gives us fifteen sought after amplifiers in one little box. The ReValver claims to capture the “true sonic nature” of vacuum tubes. Some guitarists feel that this program has some extra flexibility in the range of individual simulations you can come up with, although it is fairly expensive.
Another free guitar amp simulator is Voxengo Boogex which has a range of sound shaping features. Using Boogex you can get heavy distorted sound or slight distortion. Boogex is also able to apply any speaker cabinet impulse response, and it comes with several example factory presets.
Reaper, according to the company blurb, is a “fully featured multitrack audio and MIDI recording, editing, processing, mixing, and mastering environment”. This program has quite a low price ticket and many guitarists love it. It includes VST guitar amp simulators and effects. When it operated in real time, many guitar players feel that it is like plugging into a real effects pedal.
Drum loops: If you import a loop as an audio file (instead of MIDI), Reaper can create loops by simply dragging the right (or left) edge to expand the length of the audio clip. In this way you can for example, take a 4 measure loop and stretch it out over an entire song.