The guitar is easily one of the most popular musical instruments we have today. If we were to pick just one instrument that represents the West, we will have no choice but to pick this wonderful instrument that has gone through a whole lot of history which you can read about here.
Before we go into our main focus here, we will take some time to quickly take a close look at the guitar as we have it today. This will better prepare us for what we will be discussing in this article.
A Little about the Guitar
The guitar as we have it today has gone through a lot of evolution. We can loosely group the different types into acoustic and electric. Under each group, we have variations which affect both its tone and use.
Let’s try to break down the different types of guitars under these two groupings.
Under this group we have the following:
Under electric we can have the following:
We can also have a third group which can be known as acoustic-electric. Under this we have:
These different types listed above all have different tones and characteristics.
Everything we have listed above is very important in the context of what we are discussing in this article. A quick look at the lists above will show that any attempt to get or own all of these will not just cost an arm and a leg, but also require some serious commitment for an individual to be able to effectively play them all.
Each of these instruments can deliver a tone unique to it. Each of the tones can then be further modified into tens of other tones using different effects. The implication is therefore that the tonal possibilities that can be achieved from all of these different guitar types and effects are mind boggling.
Now here’s the shocker; you can get all of these and more in a single software and have them at your fingertips inside your DAW (digital audio workstation) of choice.
These software, commonly known as plugins, have changed the face of music production than any other single factor aside from technology as a whole.
VST Plugins to the Rescue
We are in this article looking at guitar VST plugins. First, a plugin as seen in this video, is a software or program that you can install and run within a larger program just so it can perform a very specific task.
There are different types of plugins and they operate on different platforms. VST is one such platform and plugins that work on this platform are known as VST plugins.
In this case, a guitar plugin is a virtual instrument that allows different guitar tones to be played within a DAW either with a suitable midi instrument or through step-writing.
Can you imagine having tons of different guitar tones, effects, amplifiers, cabinets and even microphone positions to play around with? This puts so much options at your fingertips that it can become downright confusing having to wade through all those samples to find the one that is perfect for your project.
Well, it’s better to have too much options than having very few.
Making a Choice
Before one even begins to try to think of which particular sample or tone to use from the huge selection that usually comes with these plugins, one must first decide on which guitar plugin to get in the first place. This is because there are quite a number of options currently available from different vendors and brands.
Since this can also be very confusing, here are few things you should have in mind just in case you visit a DAW VST Hub and find different recommendations from different users.
While price is not everything, you may be shocked at just how much some of these programs can cost. Some can cost as much as a few thousands of dollars. By determining what your budget is, you may be able to save yourself some time and heartache by focusing on the options within your budget.
Thankfully, you can almost be sure that you will find options for any budget range including free offers. You should however understand that in many cases, you will be getting what you pay for.
This is one factor that affects your cost the most. Some of the best and most expensive options out there are usually those sampled from actual live instruments performed by professional musicians. These types offer the highest level of realism and so they cost a lot more. They also require a lot of space because of their extensive library collection.
The alternative which is usually cheaper is to go for synthesized samples. These are samples created through computer programming. You may be able to find some good stuff here if you look hard.
It is important to understand that a VST plugin will not work on every platform and with every DAW. You should therefore ensure that your DAW and OS are compatible with any type of plugin you want to get.
If you get the right guitar plugin, you will be amazed at the world of possibilities that will be opened to you. In fact, you will only be limited by your creativity.
Take your time, find the right guitar plugin and explore your creativity to your heart’s content.