Ever wonder what the best guitar VST plugins are? Not every musician can play the guitar. A lot of producers tend to simply pencil-in their notes using software.
With all the technological innovations within electronic music, it is becoming more and more easy for anyone to sequence a convincing guitar instrument within software.
Perhaps another advantage of using a VST to mimic guitar sounds is that it takes a lot more time to record from a real guitar. Mistakes and recording errors become very tedious when working with real instruments.
The miking setup you’ll need to get a clean recording out of your guitar can also be expensive. This is a big advantage of using software instruments. They are cheaper.
On the other hand, replicating the sounds of an actual guitar using software is something that’s not always an easy task. There are many different variables that make up the dynamics of realistic guitar playing. It is tough for programs to factor in all of these details to create a realistic playing experience.
There are a ton of great guitar VST plugins out there. In this article, I have compiled 5 of, what I think to, the best software guitars on the market. If you felt I left any worthwhile plugins out, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below.
Frankly speaking, a lot of producers use RealGuitar and have been using it for a long time.
It’s very realistic as the name says, and the recent updates(v. 3.0) gave this plugin a lot more features and versatility.
Real guitar is the acoustic version of its series. There are other guitars in the ‘Real’ series such as RealStrat and RealLPC.
To install RealGuitar, you’ll need 5 GB of hard drive space and 2 GB RAM, This is nothing compared to some of the software instruments I have seen taking up 10+gb. Surprisingly, this plugin isn’t too CPU intensive and will run quite smoothly.
The RealGuitar VST works on both Windows and Mac. No matter what operating system or DAW you are using, RealGuitar will be supported.
One of the coolest features that had been added to the newer version of the RealGuitar is the ability to accept input not just from MIDI controllers, but also from Guitar Hero controllers(yes, I mean it!). The smooth sounds and the realistic guitar controls make this VST one of the best ones to try on this list.
The Vir2 Electri6ity is a plugin that can be used with the Kontakt player. It is well-known for having a lot of realistic sampled guitars(Specifically it samples famous guitars from the beginning of rock and roll, all the way up to modern day)
If you are looking for a realistic vintage sound then this plugin is definitely worth a look.
Just like many other realistic Kontact instruments, this one will take up a considerable amount of space. The whole download package takes up around 25 GB of space.
Just like RealGuitar, Electri6ity is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier, Electri6ty is more of a time warp back to the times of classic Strats, Telecasters, and vintage Les Pauls. Each of these guitar sample libraries sound very warm and can easily fool the untrained ear to being the real thing.
This is a must-have plugin if you need some warm and crunchy rock guitars, but don’t want to worry about recording real ones.
Fractured: Prepared Acoustic Guitar
If you want a more ethnic, traditional, and unique set of guitar sounds, then Fractured is a great plugin to try out.
The sounds and presets that come from this VST are tweaked acoustic guitar sounds but the catch is that they sound very ethereal from all the effects and processing they have done.
Fractured is compatible with both Windows and Mac(it also supports 32 and 64 bit computers).
You will only need a small 2.3 GB of disk space for the samples, which is very convenient compared to the above-mentioned guitars.
What is interesting in Fractured is that it not only includes really awesome guitar presets, but also a bunch of percussion and drum sets to accompany its melodic elements.
Fractured contains over 100 samples. Each sample is very high in quality and is carefully chosen.
Sometimes, you will need more than just one or two styles of guitars, and this software company really takes the cake when it comes to the most number of guitar-style-choices.
8Dio offers many different choices of guitars. The one in the video above is the 8Dio Steel String guitar.
Their guitars have such high quality and realism, that at some times it makes you wonder if you’re hearing a real guitar or not.
Most of 8Dio’s guitars only take a few gigabytes each, so you can just choose which of the guitar VSTs you want to install instead of having to deal with one big bulky package.
All of the guitars are compatible with both Windows and Mac.
8Dio’s guitars vary depending on the genre you want. You can choose from the sweet, standard tunes of 8Dio’s Songwriting Guitar, to the smooth and solemn Steel String Guitar. If your genre calls for it, you can even go with 8Dio’s amazing Progressive Metal Guitar (especially those who want to recreate Djent type music without a high-end guitar equipped with a distortion pedal.).
There are also VSTs for ukuleles, dobros, mandolins, and other guitars. 8Dio even has different product lines for a ton of instruments other than guitars!
Each of these guitars even have unique and individual presets that can be tweaked to the user’s preferences.
Each of these guitar VST plugins are unique in their individual ways.
For instance, RealGuitar is for your everyday producer who just needs a simple, but convincing, acoustic guitar sound.
Electri6ty might only be more appreciated by producers who are in a dire need for a guitar with a vintage vibe. While it does take up more space, its realism and authenticity is worth it.
Fractured may be for those who want to deviate from the usual and standard acoustic or pop-rock genres and go mystic with guitars. It is especially great for producers who are looking for a new, unheard of, sound to add to their productions.
8Dio’s instruments are another great option for producers who are looking for a very specific genre. Their guitars sound great and realistic!
All-in-all, every guitar VST plugin on this list is a great choice and will provide you with a realistic sounding software guitar!