Going to be busy for a day or two, working on a track for a guy as part of a project

September 28, 2009

However, I was notified that my Guitar Rig 4 should ship soon. As soon as it does, expect a week-long intensive exploration of the software, with each day representing a different integral topic. I’ve been meaning to do something like that for the various programs in my litany of software, and it might not be a bad idea – spend at least 4 days exploring and explaining the sorts of creative avenues available with programs. Readers, what say you?

We’ll see how it goes with Guitar Rig 4 – that’ll be my “pilot” effort, and if it turns out well then I’ll go deep with the concept. I already did something like that when I broke Amplitube Fender back in… when was that, March? But this is going to be more focused than that.

I’ll let you guys know as soon as it gets in, and when I’m done recording this track for the gentleman I’m working with I’ll put up a cool update to make up for my divided attention at the moment. As always I thank you, my faithful readers, for coming by and keeping an eye on the blog. I’m very grateful for all the attention that it gets and for you guys spending some time out of your day to see what I’m up to. It means a lot to me and keeps me dedicated and energized. All for you, folks! 🙂


Sorry for the no-content week – explanation and plans for the immediate future:

September 25, 2009

I’ve just had a really silly week. Some of it was finishing some reviews for FrugalGuitarist.com, some of it was adjusting to some new medicines, some of it is having had the bad sense to buy a videogame that’s really fun, and some of it was trying to get some metric data for low-content periods with the new additions (the kind of thing a blogger likes to know but his readers don’t care about, I’m sure). I did find as expected that I more than doubled my no-content-day page views by adding the new sections – people are really loving them and coming to see ’em, and downloading a lot of the plugins! That’ll get even better, I’m sure, when I format the list properly.

The immediate things-to-do list includes the following:

1. Reformat the freeware VST list into something that makes it easy for the reader to quickly find the kind of plugin they’re interested in. I’ll also add a few that I forgot when I do this, including some great delays.

2. Ditch the current home-page since the initial plan for the blog has been ultimately ditched in favor of how it works now, with a lot of free-flowing content as I feel like putting it up, with some really focused periods where I examine this or that product or line, commercial or freeware. As such the Home page no longer accurately describes what I’m doing here, and so I need to re-write it. I also need to update the software list, because within a few days’ time I should be getting a box with Guitar Rig 4 in it to check out.

3. Guitar Rig 4 – lots of folks are curious about what’s up with this new product, now called Guitar Rig 4 Pro (pro, if you are curious, is the software naming equivalent of an amplifier which goes to eleven, I think). I intend to dig deep into its new features, as well as evaluate the existing sounds to see if they’ve been changed, improved upon, left the same, or what. I for one am especially curious about the Control Room cabinet simulation; they’ve been trying very hard to do cab sims right, with Guitar Rig 3’s Matched Cab function being their most recent effort ’til now… This new approach looks very different, as though perhaps they’ve abandoned the old cab modeling technology altogether and are going with a new thing. That would be A Good Thing, since GR3’s cabs remain the sticking point of difficulty when it comes to dialing in realistic tones quickly. Anyway, expect thorough evaluation and commentary on this, as a tie-in to a review I’ll be doing for FrugalGuitarist. (I recently had a faithful long-time reader remark that he likes it better when I just do stuff on the blog, but Will, my editor at Frugal, is a great guy and I love being a part of the site so I’m going to continue doing what I can to make sure it stays just as relevant and up-to-date with gear as my blog does; Will and I both do our parts to keep the site exciting and I will continue to do that no matter how my blog goes – hopefully you guys understand my love for both of these sites, and why I do each, since they give me different kinds of creative outlets…)

4. Encourage my readers to take advantage of the recently added Suggestion Box tab. Leave me suggestions, how else will I know what’s up?

Alright, that concludes that – next week will be back to business as usual here. Sorry for the dead week, let’s make the next one particularly lively to make up for it!


Added a new page to the site: Freeware Windows VST Master List

September 14, 2009

This one’s going to be available from the top bar for easy access.

I have a feeling this will become a popular page on the blog. Rather than have freeware links scattered throughout various postings, I thought, why not have a single list where I link to the collections or individual plugins that I have found most useful in my studio? There are other big freeware lists out there, but this one is for you if you particularly trust my opinion or something 😀

Seriously, though, here’s why this list is special: I’m only adding software with which I have had first hand positive experience, or received very strong recommendations from others. I’m not out to catalog the whole flora and fauna of the freeware world, but rather to hone down the information overload you get at a place like KVR or Rekkerd to a concise list of software that represents the best of the best in my experience.

Let me know what y’all think, and in general if you feel like I’m steering the blog in a good direction? I love feedback from regular readers and new readers alike, so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment… I appreciate it.


New From Ken: AcmeBarGig Series 60

September 7, 2009

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AcmeBarGig Series 60 Release Page with Download!

Ken was kind enough to get me a copy of Series 60 a bit before he released it so I could check it out, and I think this is the best one yet. It has tons of range. The key to getting the most out of this one is understanding how the Drive Amp section works – it’s an extremely powerful tone shaper. It has different “color” selections which reflect different drive profiles, and the EQ section on it is incredibly important. In the following clip, I leave the settings on the main amp itself as the screenshot above shows; all that I change are the Drive Amp EQ settings. They start at zero/zero/zero, then I turn up the bass and treble but leave the mids at zero (don’t fret, it isn’t a massively scooped sound at all, remember this is shaping the drive); after that I turn the midrange up more. The midrange has a determining role in how much distortion and compression you end up with, so as I turn it up the sound gets heavier. However, by a little over half-way through the clip I have stopped adjusting anything, and from then on it’s just playing dynamics to get different sounds.

I really like the tones that you can get from this with less than intense amounts of gain going on. It’s really dynamic, and with the Drive Amp midrange before 1/5 or so and the Drive Amp Treble and Bass at noon (again, not a scooped sound) there are some great shred tones to be had. It gets pretty saturated at high levels of distortion, for sure, even into super fuzz territory if you set the EQ on Drive Amp and on the amp itself to extreme territory.

The cabinet sim is LePou’s LeCab 1.10. The default IRs that come with LeCab sound great with this amp, and were what I used, so you can get this sound yourself without spending any money at all if you please.

I apologize for the brief bit of cutting out at the start, I had some noise gate trouble that I didn’t catch ’til after the recording and I couldn’t adjust it without re-recording the whole thing or going neck-deep in automation to try to get the Drive Amp settings where I had them. Ah, the perils of live rendering.

This is a great freebie and I highly recommend it. You’ll be surprised at the range of sounds you can get. I’ll update this post tomorrow once he has the link up.

P.S. – Word of caution, Ken informed KVR and others that this amp would have 8,000 watts of power if it were real. Incidentally it has enough volume output that it seems to have 8,000 watts of power in the DAW, too. Keep the Master volume really, really low or you could explode your head. Not even kidding.


Be back to work on the blog tomorrow, just needed a weekend off.

September 7, 2009

Sorry for the delay, guys, but all work and no play, etc. – I’ll be back at it soon.

Good news, everyone! When Guitar Rig 4 hits, I should have a copy of it to put through the paces. You can bet I’ll be paying close attention to what has changed, what hasn’t, and how the overall package compares to what others are offering these days.


This was supposed to be Softube Metal Amp Room, but then LePou released a new amp modeler: “HyBrit,” a multi-Marshall simulator!

September 5, 2009

Seriously, this drum track was intended for Metal Amp Room. And, uh, probably will still be used for my Metal Amp Room demo. Which is cheesy, I know, but it takes awhile to get the drum track right and I’m digging this one… I can come up with something else cool to play over it 🙂 I wasn’t going to do any more recording tonight but then LePou released a new amp modeler and it wasn’t about what I wanted anymore, you guys have to hear this thing!

Here’s the release thread at GuitarAmpModeling, and here’s LePou’s blog. How does it sound? Little something like this:

But that’s just the high-gain side. And just one sound the high-gain side can do, much like SoloC this is a highly flexible plugin that will fill a lot of needs in the studio. It’s a two-channel plugin with blendable Normal and Treble inputs for the first, Plexi-inspired channel, and a built-in boost switchable for the second channel, which is based on a JCM. He actually started this plugin before SoloC, but ended up abandoning it to work on SoloC once he had learned what he wanted to learn. Well, when SoloC and LeCab were released, he decided to revisit the code and gave it a total overhaul, added some great features, and now we have a killer freeware Marshall sim 😀


Working on a Metal Amp Room clip right now, stay tuned ladies and gents :)

September 4, 2009

Just wanted to let you guys know I’m not asleep at the wheel, here, I’ve got the drum track done and solid, now I’m to recording the guitar parts. Metal Amp Room is pretty damned rad, though. The two cabinets are well chosen, providing contrast without sticking out from one-another; I plan to demonstrate that by quad-tracking (hey, it’s metal, right?) and using one take with each cabinet on each side. The amp itself is, as you would expect from Softube, very authentic and high-quality. Their software is among the most expensive as far as price-to-gear-modeled ratio, but I really can’t argue with the sound quality. Whether it’s worth it to you is a determination you have to make for yourself. My review of the Amp Room bundle should go live on FrugalGuitarist on Monday, so you’ll see all I’ve got to say about it then – for now I’ll leave it at this, and get back to working on this Metal Amp Room clip for y’all.

I am such a southerner, who says “y’all” on a blog?

Y’all.