AcmeBarGig’s next freebie is a monster. G-Spot, a freeware suite unlike any other.

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G-Spot (which stands for Guitar-Spot, as opposed to the upcoming B-Spot for bass) is Ken’s crowning achievement in amp modeling, and represents the culmination of everything that AcmeBarGig has done to date. It is a software suite rivaling products by some of the big software makers, with a particular emphasis on flexibility, versatility, and of course (it wouldn’t be AcmeBarGig otherwise) originality. What you see there constitutes the main “window” of the software, but there is SO much that this plugin can do, it’s really hard to believe it’ll be free. I’ve been playing around with it for the last couple of days and I just keep finding more cool stuff. Included in G-Spot are the most recent versions of the technology that’s made ABG’s name so far, all available in one comprehensive suite, with improvements to everything along the way and new ideas implemented as well. Here’s some of the features:

  • Built-In Redshift Pickup Replacer with an upgraded engine: Based on original technology developed by Ken, this allows you to alter your pickup sound to a variety of pickups. It works exactly as it says, and there isn’t any headache involved in using it – it handles the replacement part without any need for you to measure your guitar’s pickups or take readings or anything. You just enable it, select the pickup you want, and it goes from there. I am currently using this feature to record a high-gain, brutal thrash metal drum jam clip with my Fender Strat with single-coils, and it is phenomenal how authentic the aggression and power is with Redshift turning my pickups into some of the meatier humbuckers available. It also works in the other direction, making my humbucker-equipped guitars sound twangier and finer. I really don’t know how in the heck he does it, it just works. And of course it can be turned on and off, because we all have our guitars with their pickups for a reason and you don’t always want a different sound. But when you do, man, it doesn’t get any easier than this.
  • Built-in Drive Amp multi-preamp and Treble Booster: Coming before the amps, these two tools allow you to tailor the input for a variety of different tones. Drive Amp has a number of different colors which all have their own tonal impact, and the differences are not subtle – it’s a lot like having a number of different overdrive and distortion pedals with full drive, level, EQ, and clean/dirty mix controls. Treble Booster does exactly what it says, but allows you to adjust the frequencies affected and the level so that you can dial your pedal sound in exactly. These two modules open up a whole range of different sounds from the amp you’ve configured. Which brings me to the next big feature…
  • Total freedom to make your own virtual amplifiers: While many commercial software suites offer various levels of tweaking to their amps or mix-and-matching of components, G-Spot goes deeper to allow you to adjust everything about your amp’s clean and dirty channels. Internally it incorporates a wide variety of different tube types, which it switches between seamlessly as you adjust the tube settings Max Gain and Bias. On the Clean channel, you have in addition to those three “Character” settings which allow you to further tweak the sound. On the Drive channel channel, there are four tubes to adjust. In addition you can change which frequencies your tone knobs control, and whether the tone stack comes before or after the preamp. Finally you have a visually intuitive band-pass filter made out of sliding minimum and maximum frequencies for the input and output of the clean and dirty channels, which has a great deal of influence on the overall sound. For example, high gain sounds especially benefit from being rather band limited on input, with a sharp cutoff in the midrange – no real bass necessary on the front end, as bass is amplified and distorted much more intensely than other frequencies because of the energy in the waveform, so the low frequency adjustments that happen later in the signal chain “bring in” the bottom end quite profoundly. And did I mention there are a range of visual options for the amps’ components (the various knobs, faceplate, skin), all of which you can change and save as .HED files which can then be shared with others? This is AcmeBarGig’s amp making tool in your hands. It’s deep and very powerful.
  • A built-in IR loader that operates on whole folders at a time: Point it to an IR in a folder, and it will load the entire folder for you to select from either sequentially or in a list. Previously the only software with this sort of functionality was Voxengo Boogex, whose amp sounds are, in my opinion, unfortunately not nearly as fresh as they were when it was released. There are also a number of built-in cabinet IRs made by Alu of the forums, so if you don’t have a big library of cabs you can still have access to a range of sounds.
  • Room Modeling using new technology from ABG: This one I can’t get Ken to say very much about, but it works extremely well. There are many room shapes available and each room has three categories of options which can be adjusted: Room Size, Flooring (with options from Shag Carpet and Hardwood to Lenolium and Dirt) and Wall Coverings (again with more options from Aluminum Siding and Wood Panel to Brick and Glass). Placing the cabinet in the room involves two sliders, at the moment, though the final version might feature a more advanced GUI. Right now there’s a slider from “Near” to “Far” which is basically a slider between just the cabinet sound and just the room sound at each extreme, allowing you to dial in the right amount of the room to suit you, and another slider which adjusts the cabinet position in the room from Left to Right. Plenty of tricks have been used in the past in modeling suites to put a modeling amp’s cab sound in “real space,” but this is the most adjustable to taste and perhaps even the most effective method that I’ve used so far.
  • Built-in Multieffects: While these days having effects in your modeling software is pretty much standard, G-Spot includes a number of them that are pretty fascinating. There are standard things like delay and reverb, but two of the effects actually allow you to draw in your own waveform and use that to control the effect. One is Paiz Chorus, which allows for quite a number of modulation sounds as a result, and the other is The Wonder Girdle (I’ll let Ken explain the name behind that one), a filter which can do, well, damn near anything. Both of them, apart from letting you draw in your own waveform, can also save those waveforms as wavetables in the synth-ubiquitous .tbl format (and that means you can also load any wavetables you find around).
  • A Noise Gate! (okay, maybe after all that other stuff it’s not so impressive, but it’s still handy.)

Ken’s got a G-Spot Tutorial up for anyone curious about the upcoming software, and I am currently working on figuring out how to record a video that will show how to work with it a bit and examine some of its very impressive features. One thing I can say right now, having used this pre-beta version for a few days: this is a new idea in amp modeling. Not just in freeware amp modeling, but in amp modeling in general. Where Ken goes with it, I don’t know, but it is an extremely impressive and capable piece of software that gives you more freedom to make your own signature sound at the very deepest levels of editing than anything I’ve used in the past. And it’s free.

Clips incoming during daylight hours.


13 Responses to AcmeBarGig’s next freebie is a monster. G-Spot, a freeware suite unlike any other.

  1. Ken McLaren says:

    Dude Nice review…Thanks so much man…
    So, The “Wonder Girdle” Where the heck does he get these names..Right? HAHA. A film maker friend of mine Bruce March has a comedy he’s working on about a bunch of less than brilliant cops trying to nab the dreaded Panty Bandit. One of the characters who was ripped off by the bandit was a 70 year old hooker. When giving her statement to the cops she said… “He Stole my Crotchless Wonder Girdle”. So I lost a kidney laughing at it and had to name my latest creation “The Crotchless Wonder Girdle”..I dropped the Crotchless of course..

    Also one more note Agreed, there will also be a “Preset SDK” released alongside G-SPOT. External developers can then create things for G-SPOT on their own. The example that comes with the Preset SDK creates Random Head designs, which will also be put in G-SPOT as a compiled addon. I decided to do this to add that little more bit of flexibility to G-SPOT..

    Anyways, great review..
    Thanks Man

  2. Will Chen says:

    Oh mama! I’ve got to DL me a copy of this one.

  3. Jason says:

    My goodness this looks killer!!!

  4. New Holland says:

    What about BUG-SPOT: Bass ‘u’ Guitar-Spot
    would suit acmebargig or is it bugmebar or vaporwaregig i don’t remember.

    Hmm, i think it was gotanideaiwon’tfinishbargig. I like you guys, but i stick to serious software.

    Agreed + Acmebargig = best comedy ever!

  5. Gisle Aune says:

    Ken sent me the beta and I forgot to download it… Can’t wait for weekend.:)

    Have tried the pre-beta, you guys won’t be disappointed at all when this hit the internet.

    The release will be a sensation for guitarists around the world.

  6. geareview says:

    New Holland, seem rather testy, would you like to talk about it? 😉

  7. New Holland says:

    Hmm, i wait for the finished version this (if ever… the acmebargigstory you know… kingdom of announcements)

    Let’s see if i find my favourite bugs, the ones included in the preampus-series 🙂 don’t wanna miss them 🙂

  8. geareview says:

    New Holland, while some of Ken’s earlier stuff had some bugs, I haven’t encountered much in the way of misbehavior in his later products. I’m running Reaper 64-bit with its native bridging, and if there were going to be hiccups you’d think I’d be seeing them for sure. Is there a personal beef you have with AcmeBarGig? I just can’t imagine an impartial third party having such demeaning things to say; there’s criticism and there’s just being nasty, and I think that some of your comments fall well within the latter, which I’m sorry to say makes me suspicious of your motives. Any history with Ken that people should know about in taking your remarks into consideration?

    Ken has definitely made a lot of announcements, but to be fair they’re usually followed by releases. He’s been a very prolific freeware developer, and I think this project effectively trumps anything he’s done to date. I’ve had access to the beta versions and I’ve seen it get closer and closer to being ready for release, so if your concern is that he’s not going to follow through on this, I think that’s really unwarranted.

    You might have noticed that I recently switched my blog to moderated commentary – I have to approve comments before they’re posted. I’m allowing your comments through for now because the last thing I want to do on my blog is quell legitimate discussion (and in the realm of discussion there is plenty of space for critique!), but if it becomes apparent that you’re just here to attack his stuff or me then I’m not going to humor that. Fair warning.

  9. New Holland says:

    Ok, i am very disappointed with acmebargig, e.g. the DIG2.5 disaster: announced as guitar player’s heaven, just to be never released. Then cancelling the preampus line half the way to do the synth thing. Although he wanted to sell updated heads of this line soon. After that going back to the preampus/g-spot thing and many more disappointment through the year. I simply don’t like this kind of reliability.

    Is this going to end up like RV MKIII: Praised by the beta testers as “The best, the greatest, simply the Revolution”. What happened, it works partly. No updates, no bugfixes.

    I’ll try acmebargig vsts again, as soon as there is real release. I don’t trust the beta version hype this time.

    It is not only acmebargig and peavey, now NI did this not finished philosophy with GR4. GR 4.0.7 the released version contains more bugs than common for an NI release. Now there is this GR 4.0.8 public beta test, delivering the missing features they prommised you should have already got when bought the initially released version. They canceld the RK 2 midi support, promised by the developer at the day of the release, which lead many RK 2 owners to buy the update.

    So i don’t trust unfinished software.

  10. geareview says:

    Well, give Ken a chance to change your mind on this one. I understand being skeptical of promises, but I think this software will not leave you feeling disappointed. None of the stuff he’s worked on ever went away, it all stays around in his tool box as he works with new ideas and new ways to use previous technology; G-Spot in a sense is going to be the realization of the promises that he made with DIG 2.5 and all of the Preampus line. Having had first-hand experience with it I can categorically state that it’s powerful, flexible, easy to work with, and just gives you so much more than anything else he’s ever done. It really deserves the title “Freeware Suite,” and I think that when it comes out it’ll be pretty clear that in the freeware realm, there’s not much competition for the whole package that he offers.

    As far as Revalver MkIII, I’ve been disappointed with the lack of bug fixes and other things since its release as well. I thought it was amazing when it came out and the sound quality is still great, but it had such great potential and I regret it never really got a fair chance at realizing everything it could have done. I’m not quite sure where the blame lies. There’s not a lot of ground for comparison between ReValver MkIII and Ken’s G-Spot/B-Spot, though – one is a commercial product that competes according to the traditional rules of the market, priced accordingly, while the other is a freeware release that doesn’t really have to play by the same rules.

    I think everyone understands that the patches Native Instruments have released for Guitar Rig 4 are implementing features that were probably slated for release with the software, just finalizing the full feature set – but, hey, that’s how it goes in the industry, sometimes deadlines creep up before things are quite ready and compromises get made. At least Native Instruments is releasing the patch to bring the full functionality in, and making it available to the public (even if it is in “beta” form, so perhaps more prone to instability though I’ve not had such problems myself). I wasn’t aware of the RK2 midi support, that sucks.

    I guess in the end it’s up to you whether you choose to give new things a chance to win you over, but at least there’s no money involved – if you want to give G-Spot a try when it releases, there are no demo limitations or licensing issues or anything like that, it’s just free. Pretty hard to beat that price, and free isn’t much of an investment if in the end you decide you didn’t like it anyway. But I think if you give it a chance, you’ll find it offers more than anything Ken has ever promised in the past, delivering on the concept that started with DIG 2.5 and going way, way, way beyond.

  11. Gisle Aune says:

    Mew Holland, DIG 2.5 really had to be scrapped. It had a bug that it would take an little eternity to fix and this amp is by far better.

    The sound o DIG 2.5 was really good, but tweaked wrong and it’s tone would be a disaster, but tweaked right, it was the most heavenly lead guitar sound i’ve ever heard (better than many real amps…).

    G-SPOT don’t have such bugs and it’ll be released.

  12. Ken McLaren says:

    Man…he has a beef here too…

    He used to be an ABG beta Tester until I kicked him out for being a moron. He didn’t understand what the word escalate means…You can read all about that at GAM…Look at the crap he wrote there…

    Agreed, Thanks for allowing this thread to continue as is…


  13. Ken McLaren says:

    Oops hit the enter button before I was finished writing…

    Oh Yeah in answer to DIG 2.5… I don’t answer to you New Holland. My product I can remove or add them at will…what do I need your permission for.

    New holland is not a customer, He is a failed beta tester with a vendetta towards me and my company. If he had real opinions and or questions I would speak and treat him with the same degree of respect that people have come to know me for. Likewise, when people speak with disrespect to me or my company they get it (dis-respect) back. I am not a corporate fool who will put up with nonsense from anyone and nor should I.

    I have nothing to explain about, I don’t create vapour ware…

    So, the question remains New Holland…

    What have you contributed to the world? Other than comments designed to beat down a man who actually has contributed to the world…

    So, apparently you are part of Peavey too eh, or so you said? I think Scott, Michael, and the rest of Peavey should distance themselves from a puke like you. Or perhaps thats just another one of your lies..Like dare I say the SONY/BMG emblem on your avatar…I checked with some Good friends, you are not and have never been signed by them. Either company…

    So, why would you make yourself look as if you are a signed artist?

    So, I challenge you to show us the proof…Are you signed or not? If not then are you gonna say that you have your band logo and Sony/BMG together because you are a Sony/BMG fan? Man get a grip and come to reality…

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