Table of Contents

Guitar Rig

Guitar Rig

I picked up this software and am really impressed, especially after being convinced I would never hear purely digital amp simulation software I liked (I didn’t like the first POD at all).

This has become everything I need for guitar, as it sounds better than any of the guitar effects I’ve used, analog and/or digital (Boss GX-700, Sansamp PSA-1, and Rocktron Prophesy). It just has an overall more responsive, organic feel to it than any guitar processor I’ve used... the amp models are rich sounding and the speaker simulation is the best I’ve heard (supposedly it’s based on impulse responses of actual cabinets rather than simple EQ curve). And the flexibility of effects chaining and preset management is amazing compared to hardware effects units.

The fact that it can be set up in stereo for Stick with the flexible split system makes it useful too (the manual even mentions the Stick). However for it to be more suitable for Stick I feel it needs a threshold based envelope trigger (for things like auto wah and slow gear), so it can’t replace my Boss SE-70s in that regard. But if you are looking for more conventional amp based sounds and common effects like compressors and reverb this is a great piece of software... a laptop and Guitar Rig could be your complete portable effects setup.

(and no this isn’t an ad for Native Instruments, I actually work for a different plug-in company :-)

Yeah ... I picked GR up some months back purely to use for recording guitar. I too was really impressed by it. No latency whatsoever with a huge variety of nice warm tones. I run it on my Powerbook G4. I also plugged my Stick into it and found some really nice tones there as well. As Rob mentioned, the lack of auto wah and slow gear would be an issue for me. The other thing was that I never really managed to find tones for the bass side of my Stick that I liked as well as my SWR preamp. Add to that the fact that I still have to go out to my rack for looping and I’m left still shackled to my rack for Stick.

I gotta try this one of these days when I get a new PC. I’m debating about getting an Open Labs neKO so I can use Reaktor live. When I do that I’ll be able to run Guitar Rig. It doesn’t suprise me that it’s really good. I’ve been really impressed with everything they’ve done; Reaktor is my favorite synthesizer ever. Lately I’ve been playing with their B4 organ program a lot. When/if I get the neKo I will be able to replace my whole guitar looping setup with stuff in Reaktor, and add the B4 and synthesized big band horns to it. Mwahahahaha.

Guitar Rig is nice indeed.
I downloaded its demo version from NI’s web site, and I like both its sound quality(which seems almost like vintage analogue gear to my ears) and its nice GUI, which makes it so easy to quickly build complex signal paths and quickly change the settings within each effect/amp. And, of course, the ability to have as many copies of each effect/amp/cabinet and as many signal splits as one wishes to have makes it feel like science fiction, when compared to real life hardware.

As the quality of such products would probably improve with each new version, I can easily imagine a future in which the most common setup for performing stickists would be: Stick→A/D Converter→Laptop running Guitar Rig (or some similar software)→D/A Converter→PA

I use it in combination with the edirol ua-25 and it works out so sweet for bass or guitar. Can’t wait to get my hands on my first stick due in August to try it out with this set up... 8)


Guitar Rig 2

Native Instruments has announced the release of version 2 of their Guitar Rig amp/cabinet/effects simulation software (although I haven’t yet been able to find a release date on their website).

Highlights in the new version appear to be a few new amps and cab sims (including for bass), rotary speaker sims, a handful of new effect sims (including analog synthesizer filter), a crossover mix function for high frequency and low frequency splits, a group of modulators (LFO, analog sequencer, step sequencer, multi-step envelope), and a loop machine.

The redesigned foot controller doubles as a USB2.0 audio/MIDI interface.

The package (software + foot controller) is priced at $579. Upgrades from Guitar Rig 1 are $119 for software only, or $449 for software + foot controller. ~ramuji

This looks like it could be really fantastic, adding some much needed features that will work well with the Stick (particularly the frequency splits and various modulators/filters/envelopes). Might give my SE-70s a run for the money... can’t wait to try it out. ~Rob

Taking about guitar software, has anybody tried GTR from Waves?


I am actually going to attend a demonstration of GTR tomorrow at the AES Convention. I will post any comments afterward. Today I was talking to the guys at NI about Guitar Rig and the Stick and they thought it would make a great effects unit (provided you had the processing power to drive two rigs). There was actually a slight bit of latency that I noticed when running just one rig on a G5.

Having a great time in NYC. If only this rain would stop. Toured Electric Lady Studios today and Ed Sullivan Theater yesterday as well as checking out CBGB’s late last night. Miss my Stick though. ~Steve Lemke

One of the cool things about Guitar Rig is that it lets you process a stereo signal, each with it’s own chain of effects (and more chains within chains...) , so you can just have one instance of GR running for both sides of the Stick with independent processing. Piling up a lot of effects units does eat up CPU though. I like the direction NI is going with GR 2 in allowing more unconventional setups using synth filters, modulation, etc. in addition to the standard guitar/bass amp setups. ~Rob

Just in case you run other plugins with your Stick that don’t let you process a stereo signal, you can try to use VSTHost. It allows to create chains of effects for different inputs. Here is the link, it’s free:


Guitar Rig does make a great effects unit for the Stick. I find that my 1.2GHz iBook is sufficient as long as I don’t go overboard with effects. Still, I can get an amp and cab sim on the melody side, a cab sim on the bass side, and 3 or 4 effect sims on each side while keeping the CPU load to acceptable levels. However, I have to run my latency at about 15 to 20 milliseconds to achieve that much processing (when otherwise I could get it down to about 7). I’ve been gigging with Guitar Rig since about March, and think it is almost perfect for the Stick. ~ramuji

I have been using guitar rig 2 and the rig controller foot board with my chapman stick since a few months now. For me it’s the absolute best combination. I have my 2 mono outputs, bass and guitar going into the foot controller and I can easily set up completly different effects for them. This mean I can have crazy effects on my bass and a clean guitar sound and vice and versa. I have put some guitar rig 2 patches for chapman stick online on my blog at if you want a quick start. I can only recommand this setup, my laptop is a 1.4 Ghz centrino and I still haven’t hit more than 60% CPU usage so far and no crash or freeze at all!



guitar_rig.txt (573 views) · Last modified: 03/02/2010 11:47