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In-depth Feature:  NI Guitar Combos
Three classic guitar amps in software
Fat Elvis writes: .

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Native Instruments' Guitar Rig is a very clever bit of software that builds on the legacy of the software guitar amp and effects simulations that went before it to create a modular system that seemed to have everything just right. Now, Guitar Rig is not just software - it has a hardware component in the form of a foot-pedal interface so although there may be many computer based recordists out there who would relish having the software side of things to use as a plug-in, they might not wish to pay the full cost of the package for what may turn out to be a superfluous piece of hardware.

At the time of writing, NI told Sonicstate that they have no plans to release a software only version of the Guitar Rig but what they have done is to take three of the amp simulations from Guitar Rig, add appropriate effects to each and release them as Guitar Combos - available either as a package of all three or separately

Guitar Combos covers the three most recorded generic amp sounds ever - Fender, Marshall and Vox AC30. These are represented by the Twang Combo, Plexi and the AC Box. Each amp can be used in stand-alone mode with ASIO 2.0, DirectSound, MME or Core Audio drivers or used as a plug-in in any sequencer in either VST, Dxi, Audio Units or RTAS form. There are some features in common to all of the amps, notably a built-in tuner, input and output volume controls and associated metering and an intelligent noise gate. Other than these the guitar panels are laid out wth the usual array of gain and tone controls plus switching and knobs for whatever effects each one has.

The extra effects for the Twang Combo are a 'Skreamer' overdrive to drive the amp harder plus spring reverb and vibrato. The Plexi has two pedals to drive the front end - the self-explanatory 'Big Fuzz' and the 'Cat' distortion - and there is also a digital delay with a max 2 seconds delay time in the chain. Spring reverb, tremolo and a switchable treble boost make up the effects for the AC Box.

Each amp comes with a bunch of presets that can be found in a list that appears when you pass the mouse over the speaker area of the combo. There are 64 patch storage spaces for each amp and 32 of these (39 for the Plexi) are taken up by the preprogrammed presets, all of which are designated either SC or HB to let you know which type of pickup (single coil or humbucker) they are typically voiced for. Any knobs and buttons are also operated by mouse but there is also the possibility of controlling some parameters in real time using MIDI data.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Mac and PC Demos available
  • Guitar Combos video demo at MESSE 05

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