Great Guitar With A Guitar VST

Posts 1 - 20 of 20
  1. 588276
    StaticNomad : Tue 14th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Here is the latest track by the one and only Valvedriver that I think is a good example of some pretty badass rock/metal guitar using only a guitar VST - the Shreddage II software:


    I imagine Mr V will add his thoughts to this thread but here's one from him that serves as a good introduction to the topic of guitar VSTs:

    "This is entirely done with Shreddage. Around the time I first got it, I saw a comment here in a forum post that someone else made, saying that the virtual guitars are good for back up, or accents, but can never be used for a complete track. I took that as a silent challenge."

    I've never used the software so don't really now how many controls there are and how much expression you can put into your faux guitar playing. But, from Mr V's track, it sounds like a lot.

    I'm a guitarist so I'm very reluctant to get this sort of software even though I know I could do some great stuff with it. I just worry that it might make me even lazier with my guitar playng, which has gone downhill quite bit in the last year.

    Anyway, listen, enjoy and leave your thoughts on the subject here.
  2. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago The track sounds great, very convincing guitar tone I must say.....I used to think guitar emulation software sucked but that was in the past, you'd have to be a Luddite not to accept the advances software designers have made recently, I've also heard superb fingerstyle playing as well which is far harder to emulate than metal shredding tones and requires top notch keyboard skills, so what does the future hold from here? are instrumentalists going to become obsolete?....Drummers are now thin on the ground and bass playing parts are now mostly sine wav synths, and not to mention the days of guitar heroes have mostly passed (crying shame)...guess that's why contemporary music in many cases leaves a lot to be desired (Imo) but that's progress for you....I'll always be a traditionalist and prefer actual instruments where possible however home studio musicians will always want to expand their musical palettes (including me) so if it sounds good I'm in favour of it.
  3. 588276
    StaticNomad : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago I agree with all your points, Mr PJB.

    "I've also heard superb fingerstyle playing as well"

    Yes - I've seen some examples of that in terms of released products. Do you know of any examples of that being turned into proper tracks? Post one here if you do.

    Yes, metal is easier to do than fingerstyle stuff.

    I always try to maintain my instrument playing ability but some software stuff is just great though I have so far resisted any serious guitar emulation software. I do use some guitar VSTs but they don't come out playing wicked leads. I use them just as I do other synths ie for single notes or sometimes chords.

    Live is the arena in which great instrument playing still needs to be done though I'm sure someone must doing cool VST guitar playing live using MIDI controllers.
  4. 841435
    ValveDriver : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago I'm not entirely sure where to start. I suppose a thank you for shining a light on my track would be on order.

    PJB- First, thank you for having a listen, and the compliment. You are absolutely correct in saying metal is easier than fingerstyle. At least when manually drawing in each note. The software response between mouse click and keyboard is vastly different. With the keyboard, being pressure sensitive, you can achieve far more effects than trying to set the note velocity in the piano roll of the DAW. With the keyboard, I can pull off gliss slides, harmonic squeals, and a few other effects. Not in the Piano Roll. I'm sure, like you said, anyone with a high level of keyboard skill could pull off the finger style.
    As far as setting the tone, that comes in the mixer. The default setting in the VST actually sounds like shit. You still have to know what you're doing with distortion, amps, cabinets, compression, etc. It's not likely that someone totaly green is going to pick up the Shreddage vst and cut a track like this one right out of the gate. Not to say that it's any phenomenal track, mind you. In all reality, I don't know what the fuck I'm doing from a music theory standpoint.
    I feel confident in saying that these digital programs will never replace true physical instruments, or the guys, like yourself that play them. Truth be told, I find this software to be a great thing for people like myself that have the music in them, but were never fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to learn an instrument to get it out.
    It's also good for times when you can't pack your guitar and accompanying gear into the local pub to create a track.
    I'm sure there are people out there that wouldn't take a second look, just because it's not a physical 6 string instrument. But I'm glad to have it.

    "Live is the arena in which great instrument playing still needs to be done though I'm sure someone must doing cool VST guitar playing live using MIDI controllers."

    I'm sure if someone were to be banging out, on stage, a live Nice Track Bro on a midi controller, the people in the audience would be impressed at first. That is until the novelty wore off. Then, they'd be pretty bored, pretty fast.

    I'm sure I'll add more later.

  5. 498019
    Tumbleweed : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Tis true...the guitar vstis are now sounding fabulous under the control of talented keyboardists...but drummers??....I think I have tried most of the drum vstis and I would still kick in $ if I could get a real drummer to move into my neighbourhood...I would even go out and buy a decent drum mic I still use loops (badly) ..shit....Ed
  6. 588276
    StaticNomad : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago "I'm sure if someone were to be banging out, on stage, a live Nice Track Bro on a midi controller, the people in the audience would be impressed at first. That is until the novelty wore off. Then, they'd be pretty bored, pretty fast."

    I know what you mean, Mr V, but I have a different take on it. Live I think is all about seeing someone actually demonstrably playing an instrument, of whatever description. So, when you hear an instrument go higher, you expect to see a guitarist move his fingers up the neck and/or to the higher strings. On a keyboard, you expect to see the focus on the right hand (ie the higher notes).

    So, I don't see why an audience coudn't get used to seeing the same thing done by an "emulator guitarist" on some sort of MIDI controller. It's really just the standing over a laptop pressing buttons that don't necessarily correspond with what you're hearing that is boring and not really like an actual performance.

    If people can see someone controlling some device that is clearly functioning as an instrument and hear the sound changing with their movements, everything will be fine.

    Don't forget: the guitar (especially the electric) is a rather sophisticated piece of technology. And very recent too. MIDI controllers are just a bit more recent.

    Do you think you could do a half decent job of playing Shreddage live? If not you, how about a very skilled keyboard player/guitarist?
  7. 841435
    ValveDriver : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Ed- I use drum VST's too. Much like the guitar vst, when in it's default state, the sound quality is just a touch better than shit. I always assign each piece to it's own mixer track, process the hell out of them, then assign all of those to a bus track, where I do a blanket EQ, compression, and whatever other effects I need for the specific track I'm working on. I have a drummer friend, with real drums, but getting our schedules to line up enough to do anything is near impossibke, but If I could...I would totally take the live drums in my tracks over VST. Any day of the week.

    Static- There's not a chance in hell I could play anything live on stage. Firstly, because I'm not at all capable of playing anything. Second, I would have such crippling stage fright, I'd probably just stand there, frozdn, drooling like a fucking idiot. But, for someone who can do that stuff, absolutely it could be done. Speaking of Shreddage specifically, there are a lot of intricacies in the software that allow some really in depth programming abilities. For example, you can control the pick attack, strum directions, up, down, or alternating for the double pick effect, palm release noise, amp noise, hammer on/pull off, palm mutes, and a bunch of other things that I still haven't learned.

    I fully agree with you about the midi controller being an instrument in its own sense. But I think if anyone using one for a guitar synth would have to advertize in their act that that's what they do. That way, people are going there to see just that. Otherwise, people are going to be pretty disappointed when they expect to see a Les Paul and get a Roland, ya know? That's why I always claim in my track descriptions that I use it.
  8. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago The fingerstyle guitar emulation I heard was played by Jordan Rudess (on youtube, the guy is incredible) As Mr Valve has stated there's a lot to understand and take control of in the Vst so more power to him, plus I have no problem with keyboardists taking over the role of other instruments if they can pull it off, Joe Zawinul of Weather Report used to say people didn't believe he was playing all the parts simultaneously in many of his live performances , but he was....the guy was a genius. I think as more people (audiences) become accustomed to the power of midi you'll see a greater utilisation of Vst's in live performances... Heck at a rave you've already got hundreds and hundreds of people grooving to one dude who is effectively a knob twiddler....sorry DJ's but I'm totally old school here, put on someone's record by all means but then back off and shut the f..k up!
  9. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Wed 15th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago I picked up Shreddage 2 about a year ago but have hardly touched it, mainly due to laziness and not wanting to take the time to learn how to use it effectively. Its a bit complicated but quite an impressive piece of software and someday I intend to work up some music with it. But yeah as Aarons points out in his comments and also demonstrates in his recent track, its extremely capable of producing some pretty damn good realistic sounding rhythm and lead guitar. The vst guitar software doesn't yet lend itself to live performance, as far as I know. But in terms of sampling and emulation these things are nothing short of amazing. Shreddage in particular, is mainly aimed at Rock and Metal music and is packed with an unbelievable amount of controls that help you with scripting and editing for superior results. Things like articulations, parameter adjustments, velocity response, drop tuning, picking modes, customizable mapping, effects generation, cab simulation, its all included. As well as advanced techniques as Aaron mentioned - palm muting, sustains, hammer-ons, portamento, pinch squeals, string/pick noises etc. Its cool as shit to put it lightly. The developers really went the distance with this thing. Instrument vst's have received a considerable amount of criticism for years from musicians that feel they threaten the future of real playing. Its funny because so many professional musicians now commonly use DAW's and keyboard and drum vst's, but the guitar software still gets a lot of flak. I seriously doubt vst's will ever totally replace real instruments but as Valvedriver has shown, they certainly can provide the alternative for many talented producers to claim ownership to songs with some pretty awesome guitar tracks without having to invest thousands of dollars in gear and years of practice to acquire such ability on the instrument. I think that's incredible. As far as the live performance issue goes, I think I may be in the same company as PJB when considering attending a live concert of a band consisting of 1 or more guys on stage with midi keyboards and laptop computers. BUT, the new generation of music lovers certainly has no problem with it. Look at Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Skrillex and few others.
  10. 588276
    StaticNomad : Thu 16th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Some other thoughts on playing something like Shreddage live:

    I appreciate that there are shitloads of controls and parameters you can manipulate and alter. But how are you supposed to control even a few of these live at the same time as playing the notes?

    Remember that a guitarist can do a great deal with two hands, including controlling how the string is hit/plucked/strummed and damped/muted afterwards. And pitch bend from the fretting hand and the number of notes played can be performed with just one hand ie how many strings are hit.

    So, to recreate all of this in software, it seems like you'd need far more than two hands to pull it all off. You might need two hands just to cover the note playing, which would leave none for pitch bend or whatever else.

    So, you'd probably need to design a special guitar-like MIDI controller just for doing all of this. And then you realise that you're essentially just building a guitar (controller), which means that you might as well just go play an actual guitar. It gives you more control over all these parameters.

    Perhaps one of the best hybrid solutions is to use an actual guitar with MIDI output from each separate string. Imagine a chord played that triggered a different type of acoustic guitar for each string. That would sound weird, perhaps cool and technically impossible in the acoustic world.

    Also, I have a new challenge for Mr V: make a track in which you don't try to simulate authentic guitar playing. Instead, try to do things with it that a guitarist couldn't do. Perhaps if you control loads of parameters at the same time, you could do stuff that you'd need more than two arms and ten fingers to achieve on the actual instrument. This is what I would try to do if I had this software.

    I hope you'll take the new Nomad challenge...
  11. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Thu 16th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago "But how are you supposed to control even a few of these live at the same time as playing the notes?"

    Yes as I stated I'm not aware of any guitar software that has live performance capability.

    "Also, I have a new challenge for Mr V: make a track in which you don't try to simulate authentic guitar playing. Instead, try to do things with it that a guitarist couldn't do."

    This is actually the exact reason I purchased Shreddage. I wanted to try to program something on a Superhuman scale like Joe Satriani-ish. We all know he's an Alien.
  12. 588276
    StaticNomad : Thu 16th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Neo:

    Sure you could use Shreddage live but I think you'd struggle to control many parameters if you were playing the notes from a keyboard. Apart from it being very easy to generate a note, I think a keyboard key is not a very good controller and doesn't take advantage of what people can do with their hands. A hand's interaction with a string is much better.

    What sort of superhuman stuff do you think you might be able to get Shreddage to do? Are you thinking loads of fast, widdly notes - the kind that you probably can't play?

    That could be good but I'm thinking of maybe altering some parameters which you couldn't physically do on a real guitar. So, maybe something like changing the shape of the guitar's body while notes are being played. If you could get the software to morph between different types of guitars while the same note was being played, I think that could create a weird and cool sound.

    Now I want get this software to see what sort of crazy stuff I can do with it.
  13. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Thu 16th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Maybe using this controller, the Seaboard would make the true nuances of a guitar achievable through a definitely will happen sooner or later and probably go into the realms of outer space, the thing is though the learning curve on most instruments is reasonably equal and there's no way around putting in the hours with the possible exception of the sitar, apparently you need to be chained to one at birth and get used to the idea of watching your fingers bleed for years and years.
  14. 588276
    StaticNomad : Fri 17th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago PJB:

    Yes, I've seen the Seaboard before. It looks pretty damn cool.

    Do you remember the Eigenharp? That looked cool and had loads of options but it seems to have failed and I've not heard anything about it in years. It was apparently quite difficult to play and fairly expensive.

    The strings on a sitar are indeed utter bastards. I've had one since 1998 but never play it. It's collecting dust in the attic.
  15. 841435
    ValveDriver : Fri 17th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago After using both a VST and a real guitar, there really is no comparison. I mean, when it comes to using midi controlers you can do a lot to make it sound real, but it will never have that full rich sound of a live guitar. With Shreddage, it's possible to adjust the note velocity, but it's all still very digital. Even with a pressure sensitive keyboard, it still has cutoff limits. Specifically, the line between palm mute and sustained notes. Once you hit that line, it's very clearly one or the other. With a real guitar, you have control over that to a nearly infinite level.
    Same with the pick attack. You can, obviously, control your pick attack on each pluck with a real guitar, but with Shreddage, you set the pick attack...and that's it. Every note starts with it at that setting.

    As far as morphing from one guitar to another, I'm not sure that's possible. You can run more than one, but I haven't found a way to crossfade them.

    I'll take the Nomad challenge! At some point
    I'm on the back half of the second track in the Overmyth Trilogy. Once that project is finished I'll see what I can come up with.
  16. 588276
    StaticNomad : Fri 17th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Mr V:

    "You can run more than one, but I haven't found a way to crossfade them."

    No problem. Just do it the obvious way: ie set up two different versions of Shreddage and then crossfade from one type of guitar to another as the note is forming. If you do it very skilfully, it could sound like the guitar is turning into another type of guitar as it's being played.

    Keep the settings of the two versions of Shreddage the same but just have one significant difference ie the body type (or whatever it's called). You don't want it to sound like another guitar is coming in (nothing wrong with that) but that the note is morphing into something else.

    Take up my challenge, experiment with the morphing technique and let us know how you get on.

    I guess if you wanted a variety of pick attacks, you'd need to set up multiple versions of Shreddage and have the MIDI part split between them. That's not too hard to do but it will take up lots of processing power.

    If you really wanted to come up with a cool guitar track incorporating a range of techniques, you might need to run, say, 50 versions of the VST.

    Damn, I need a new PC as mine is 5 years old and I'd have no chance of setting up as many versions of Shreddage as I'd like to use. I struggle right now with multiple synths and processing power.
  17. 588276
    StaticNomad : Sat 18th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Here's a bit of Jordan Rudess playing some flamenco guitar on a keyboard. Sounds pretty good to me...

    Jordan Rudess Flamenco Guitar
  18. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Sat 18th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Yeah I agree Rudess is pretty incredible. This is a good example of what we are talking about though. The sound replication here is fairly close to believable. However I think Flamenco is extremely difficult for even him to replicate. The major problem here is the attack which is probably impossible to be created digitally. This is sacrilegious to true Flamenco though ! This is Flamenco.
  19. 841435
    ValveDriver : Sun 19th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago "No problem. Just do it the obvious way:"

    Yeah. That's the way I would do, and have done it. I was thinking you meant to crossfade within the VST. See, there's my brain heading straight to overcomplicatuon mode as oppsed to keeping it minimal.

    Usually, I have to run up to 5 different instances of shreddage just to get it to sound like two. I will use two of them for the rythym tracks. One left, one right. Each of them to a separate mixer track, and like you mentioned, each tweaked just differently enough to be able to tell the differnce if you really listen carefully. I do that, not only, for a more realistic sound, but also to help avoid phasing issues. Then I have one for any clean guitars, and one for leads. Then a 5th one if I need it for whatever. I'm sure there'sxa way to split one instance into two midi controlers, but honestly, I've been too lazy to research.

    I don't worry too much about pick attack. I'll increase it just a touch on the lead, though. Generally with metal, the level of distortion and compression cover the pick attack, in the main riffs, anyhow. Leads are a bit more noticable.

    Maybe when I finally get around to that bluegrass/hip-hop/dubstep fusion, I'll focus on the pick attack more.

    That is my point too. No matter how well you disguise the virtual, you can never fully replicate the sound of real human on real strings. As a user of VST's, I advicate for them for people like me, who don't know how to play a live instrument, and truly don't have the time to practice in learning. As long as those people also don't try to bullshit anyone into thinking it's a live instrument.

  20. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Mon 20th Mar 2017 : 1 year ago Aaron, I actually think the guitar vst is an awesome and ingenious idea, but as players go on the issue, I feel I may be in the minority with this kind of thinking. I have debated this on occasion with a few other players who gave me a load of shit for my so called wasting money on it. But I think you nailed it on the head here. As I said I have tinkered around with it but not seriously and I think that some of the reason goes along with what you have mentioned. Its like having to learn to play all over again in a different form and it's somewhat frustrating. But since I am into using vst's I feel I'm more likely to have an interest in it than someone whose not. I just need to get my get my head straight and sit down with it long enough to get something going. It seems like those who are most against this are those that are strictly players. Having said that, I'm really stoked to see our amigo StaticNomad show some interest. I think he is also a good candidate and would definitely be interesting to see and hear what he could do with one.

    By the way, have you checked out the IBZ update for Shreddage 2?
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