How To Get Good Sounding Rhythm Guitar Using Free VSTs

Posts 1 - 22 of 22
  1. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Sun 20th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    I've left the world of using loops for a bit, and have been trying to figure out how to create my own stuff using Midi and VST's. In particular I'm trying to learn how to make good sounding rhythm guitar. I created a youtube video showing my struggles. Maybe you'll get a good laugh at my expense, or maybe you'll see what I'm doing wrong and can offer some pointers. (Or less likely maybe you'll learn Anyway I'd love to hear what you all think. Here's the URL.

  2. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Mon 21st Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    Neuro, Nobody should laugh at you bro. This is a subject that many musicians (myself included) have wondered about for quite awhile now. But up until just a few years ago there really wasn't anything capable of producing realistic sounding virtual guitar. Simply due to the difficulties in emulating guitar with software, even with good samples, the tone itself is almost unimportant. There are so many different guitar tones you could cultivate, it really doesn't even matter if what you use sounds like a synth. What DOES matter, very much so, is that you have the means of articulating the tone that makes it sound like real guitar playing. The simplest sounding guitar riff can be almost impossible to mimic with samples or software, because it's not just straight notes. Playing guitar involves many things taking place between the picking or strumming hand and the fret board hand. The notes are articulated in particular ways involving velocity, pressure and a mutlitude of techniques like hammerons, pulls offs, down picking, up picking, alt pick, fast strum, slow strum, sweeping, sliding, vibrato, tremelo, portamento, pitch bends, pinch harmonics, normal harmonics, tremolo arm action, and the list goes on. The good news is there are some extremely impressive virtual guitar programs available now. Bad news is they are not cheap. And then there's the matter of learning how to use them. Your problem is obvious. The freebie software downloads unfortunately aren't in this group. What your using is good for nothing more than adding cheesy guitar sounds to notes. What your wanting to do is possible, or at least you can get some pretty impressive results with the right vst. If your willing to invest some time and money into this I would recommend looking at a couple of vst's from Impact Soundworks. I have researched and sampled pretty much everything out there and Impact Soundworks' scripting/engine is for me the best in terms of playability, response and authenticity, especially when you team it up with a top shelf amp simulator like Guitar Rig or Amplitude. Word to the wise, be willing to drop some dime and spend some time to get something close to reality. If you decide this is outside the realm of possibility I would suggest picking up a few good guitar sample packs and learn how to manipulate them in your DAW to suit your needs. Heres a few links for you to check out. Best of luck.

  3. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Mon 21st Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    Sorry, I must have done something wrong with that first link. Lets try again...

  4. 111346
    Planetjazzbass : Tue 22nd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    Philosophically and objectively we're poles apart on this subject, I don't want to come across as some retro Luddite who is going to be a total nay sayer as I've read a few of your posts before and I understand your situation however there is one prime issue when using vst instruments that are controlled via get the most out of these vsts, you have to be an adept keyboardist first, people seem to think because it's emulation software it'll be easier than playing an actual guitar, what really happens is unless your proficient on the keyboard you end up sounding like a sterile midi file with no nuances, getting the whole vst emulated sound requires heaps of velocity tweaks and subtle volume changes, the best examples can be achieved by hardware synthesizers which can do the closest I've ever heard to an actual guitar but they still require an experienced player and their very expensive, my advice is to buy a cheap guitar put in some time and sooner or later you'll get what your looking for...maybe.

  5. 630386
    JosephFunk : Tue 22nd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    And speaking of being worlds apart, @Neomorpheus you were very quick to assume that all that is free must be bad or cheesy as you put it and this is not always true as it relates to this thread. You said: "What you're using is good for nothing more than adding cheesy guitar sounds to notes." Wait a minute, hold the phone!

    The guy in the link below uses free stuff, but he is also a very experienced guitar player. He Shredds at time index: 7:41 using free amps and free tone impulses. Go to time index 07:41
    Apparently, there is a huge YT following for free Amps and Tones that skilled people are using to make their guitars sound like the two paid commercial links you posted. I think this is what @neuromancer56 was getting at. When you are on a tight budget and you are low on cash and you are NOT a pirate, @neuromancer56 recommendations are very noteworthy until the cash flow returns. What I also like about some of these freebies is it forces you to get your hands dirty rather than being lazy just adding presets and zipping along. So many people preset their way through a song these days. A preset is only meant to be a starting point. But I do remember long ago using free stuff, it made me better because it forces you to think, like setting up more AUX SENDS and AUX RETURNS, and routing them through just about anything like a Multiband compressor, unison, or any other device, external or internal of your choosing. It really forces you to do some creative thinking on the fly. Wizards and presets, meh.

  6. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Tue 22nd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    All of you are right.... JosephFunk is right in that the VSTs I showed in my video will make awesome guitar sounds if you apply them to actual guitar loops, or if you do like the guy did in his video and used them to play live. Neomorpheus is right that if you try to put those same vst's over simple midi its going to sound cheesy and that if you use the paid VSTs and a little bit of work, you can get fairly decent sounding guitar through coding beyond simple midi notes. This seems to work especially well for metal. Planetjazzbass is right in that there are some genres even with the best VST and fancy DAW setups you just aren't going to get the full effect of a real guitar. All in all I've learned a ton from this thread already.

  7. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Tue 22nd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    @Neomorpheus Thanks for pointing out these VST's. I checked them out and the sample tracks were impressive, and there is a strong following on youtube that is producing some awesome stuff. I looked for something cheaper, but this is really the best deal you're gonna get on something decent. They work with the free Kontakt Player so that's a big plus not having to buy Kontakt for $400.

  8. 841435
    ValveDriver : Tue 22nd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    Neo is absolutely correct in his reply. All of it. So much so, that all I'm going to say is that I use ShreddageII as an engine, and run it through either Pod Farm 6, or Guitar rig. Like he said, it took some learning of the software, and some creative processing. But after all is said and done, I've been able to knock out some very real sounding tracks. Feel free to go to my profile and listen for examples. If what I have is what you're looking for, I'll be happy to answer any questions and give you advice.
    Take care.

    Dude. I haven't forgot about our project. I've been slowly building a foundation for you to play with, but I ran into some weird technical difficulties with my FL studios that has put a serious delay on EVERYTHING! Once I get it up and running again, I'll send you what I have so far.

  9. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    Aaron I was hoping you would comment. I think you and I and PJB are pretty much giving Neuro the straight talk based on our opinions and experience on this subject. Sorry Joe but frankly I'm at somewhat of a loss on where your coming from with your response. Your example link is a video of a guy playing real guitar and very proficiently I might add. Maybe I'm mistaken but I got the impression that Neuro was attempting to get realistic sounding virtual guitar with programming or by using his midi keyboard. I also get the feeling you think I was talking out my ass and/or bashing the use of all free software. "You were very quick to assume that all that is free must be bad or cheesy", Joe, first of all I was only referring to free guitar vst's, not ALL that is free. Secondly, I didn't assume anything. I have sample tested around 15 virtual guitar emulators over the last three to four years. Here's a list of which that are/were free downloads:

    Ample guitar
    DSK Electrik GuitarZ
    DSK Strings
    DSK Dynamic Guitar
    FL Slayer (free with FL Studio)
    Super Riff Guitar
    String Thing
    Suburban Guitarist
    Lethality electric guitar

    All of these are pretty much on the same level as the Camel Crusher Neuro used in his video and IMO are as Wayne and Garth puts it, "Not Worthy".

    Here are the sample based versions:

    Ministry of Rock2
    Music Lab Real Strat
    8dios Guitar
    Evolution Strawberry
    Shreddage 2, IBZ and SRP

    All of these are sample based with amp cab modeling capabilities and can definitely deliver the goods. They are all excellent examples of the latest in technology for creating virtual guitar. My favorite is the Ministry of Rock but its also the most expensive (around $300.00). They are all worth checking out and by all means check out Valvedrivers tracks to hear what hes doing using Shreddage. That's the real proof in the pudding.

  10. 1505430
    urbanshokker : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    the video wont play for me

    As far as the topic, its knowing how the mechanics of a guitar work, how the strings are played and in what succession is what adds the realism, even on a VSTi which may not be the best but "close enough".....There was a time when doing it that way was a fun challenge for me and I got decent results, enough to where it fooled many folks...these days, when free-time is limited in my life, I just pick up a guitar and play what I need (much easier)

  11. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    @urbanshokker: yeah not sure why the video at the top doesn't work, that was autogenerated by looperman. You need to click on the youtube link in the first post below it to see the video, or
    Much easier for me to do midi than play the guitar. Playing would take me years of practice and I would be lousy at it. I just fired up rocksmith again and I was miserable... lol

  12. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    @Neomorpheus: JoesephFunk made an honest mistake giving me more credit than I deserved. I don't see that he was accusing you of talking out of your ass. If he was right about my intentions (to use real guitar as the source) then my free vst's would have made sense to use, and what you suggested would be wasted money. Since my intentions were just to use midi, you wound up being correct. But this came from Joe wanting to give me the benefit of the doubt and if anything his heart was in the right place defending my cheesy guitar sounds. You wound up being right, because I was just doing midi, and free VST's just weren't going to get me where I needed to get to. I thank you for saving me a lot of time going down the wrong road. I bought the archtop hollowbody. I figure I can do more funk, jazz, chill out & pop with that, and if I need to do some rock, I can probably use the free VSTs on top of this to get me there. Worst case I can always buy Shreddage 1 for $59. As Jimi said, at the end of the day music is just about bringing people together in a positive way. Let's leave all the conflict to the politicians and the extremists. Music is my escape from all that nonsense.

  13. 186161
    Spivkurl : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    I am from a similar school of thought to PJB on this one. A real guitar and some practice are the way to go.

    I have gotten acoustic guitars/basses anywhere from free to $750 US. I have gotten electric guitars/basses starting from $25 up to around $600. I have gotten good results from recording each one of them, regardless of how little I paid for them. You will note that this is a similar price range to virtual instruments.

    Buy a nice second hand instrument, plus a second hand microphone (for acoustic) or a DI box (for electric). Practice playing and getting a good recording. Then keep doing it.

    Even from a crappy player such as myself, a real instrument will always be more expressive than a virtual keyboard based guitar instrument. Even the simple fact that it is keyboard based can take away from the realism... A piano style keyboard or midi implementation allows unlimited polyphony, this is not the case with guitar. In essence, a guitars polyphony is limited by the number of strings on the guitar. This limitation is part of what makes a guitar sound like a guitar.

  14. 2255594
    slava72 : Wed 23rd Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    same here,been shitty guitarist, i have got better results by"playing" real instrument,then from vst emulationes,you dont have to be virtuoso,learning few chords,couple of weeks practicing rhythm,job done,it always can by edited,choped in a digital realm,and it is very rewading.

  15. 630386
    JosephFunk : Thu 24th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    @neuromancer56, Don't worry man, the title of your thread is: "How To Get Good Sounding Rhythm Guitar Using Free VSTs" and I said yes. It is not titled is pro gear better than free gear? We all know the answer to that. I posted a link to support your thread title. But some have spun it to pro gear vs. free gear even despite posted evidence to the contrary. If the title was how to get GREAT sound then I am likely to change my position but you said GOOD sound and I found more than a dozen guitarist who know what they are doing and have achieved good sound using free VST's. Experience can overcome almost anything in the right hands. Like an experienced producer using MAGIX can surpass a noob using Pro Tools any day. One thing you should know, that there are no absolutes in this world. You can achieve a good sound with free gear which is why Looperman himself created a section for it which is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Many of the commercial products also have free offerings as well. So too many rely too heavily on the commercial products to do all of the work for them, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I think it is because some of them don't have a clue on how to design a great rig from scratch. Just remember, Jimi Hendrix and Prince did it from scratch with real analog gear. There more satisfaction in building your own rig from scratch opposed to a preset because you get that much more better and experienced as a result of it.

  16. 994534
    Neomorpheus : Fri 25th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    @neuromancer56, I'm glad you understand the points that I was making as well as Joes. Both are valid. Joe and I seem to have opposing views here but really we don't. I'm a huge fan of his and have nothing but admiration and respect for him. My reason for responding was to help you in your quest to attain more realistic sounding virtual guitar than what you were able to get with what you are using. Hopefully I gave you some useful information. If there's anything else you think I could help you with along these lines just let me know.

  17. 1564425
    rasputin1963 : Fri 25th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    I haven't found a free VST that good deliver me a convincing rhythm guitar sound... and I've looked. You might get some free guitar samples from the 'Net somewhere... but it's jolly hard to trigger them in a DAW and make them sound like a real guitar playing... especially with all the resonance and clicky noises that a real guitarist makes...

    So I invested in the MusicLab REAL GUITAR 3. And in most cases it sounds really good. Worth every penny.

    Spivkurl is right when he says the REAL way to go.... is with a real guitar. That's true. I also wish I had a choir of three beautiful girls here who could do backup vocals for me anytime. But that's just not feasible for me. I have tried several times in my past to pick up the guitar and learn it. But piano/keys is my first instrument, and I found it very painful getting the calluses needed to play guitar. After a while, my fingers just throbbed and bled, and I said, "Enough!".

    So MusicLab works well for me. Just my 0.02

  18. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Sat 26th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    So I've been playing around with ArchTop Hollowbody VST, but it hasn't been a silver bullet. It will take some work with that to get it where I want to be. In the meantime, I was able to make some progress with free VST's. The first thing I learned was that adding reverb just made everything I tried sound so much better. There were also a ton of useful effects (Wah-Wah, Overdrive, Compressor, and a ton I didn't use) in the Fretted Synth VST. These helped. You can hear the latest here on my track "Its not easy bein cheesy"
    I've still got a bunch of improvements I could make even with the free VST's. I need to learn how to master pitch shifting, and see if there's anything I can do to get strumming patterns into the Midi.

    For the Archtop Hollowbody, I need to figure out getting vibrato working. There is a lot of power here, but I have discovered a weakness in that it doesn't seem to handle fast strumming patterns well. Strumming patterns are important for Rhythm guitar, and I may need to look for a different guitar VST to do these well, unless I can figure out a way to do this in Reaper MIDI easily.

  19. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Sat 26th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    I've found that delay is actually much better than using reverb, really makes the guitar sound powerful. I've also had good results with Emissary Ignite Amp. Gives it tighter cleaner distortion. While free VST's can produce good lead guitar sounds, I threw in the towel for now on using them to get a good sounding chord. I used the Archtop Hollowbody for that. It doesn't sound as good as I would like, but at least it sounds like a decent guitar.

  20. 2276282
    neuromancer56 : Sun 27th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    So I broke down and bought Shreddage II also and used that for the rhythm/chords. The track is still cheesy, but the guitar sounds are almost decent now.

  21. 851137
    crucethus : Sun 27th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    I have found that if you buy a good guitar processor and play a hardware synth dual toned by an octave, you can get close to the sound of a guitar, and Y

  22. 851137
    crucethus : Sun 27th Aug 2017 : 1 year ago

    hey it cut off my reply:

    that sound I got uses the Roland ME 30 and a cheap Yamaha keyboard and can be exampled by listening to two tunes I did using it.
    Also using a hard keyboard you could run it through using VST's and that would sound cool, but through midi is a little more difficult.
    So good luck, and have fun experimenting with these sounds as you may come up with something quite original

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