5 Essential Amp Sims And FX Racks For Guitar

Things have moved on - here's five we think you should know about      04/07/12

Buying Choices

They have their critics of course… There are those who say that plugging a guitar into a computer and playing through software just doesn’t come close to the visceral experience of playing through a tube amp. Well that may be the case but it may also be missing the point somewhat.

Software amp sims are convenient, they give you a far wider range of tones than the hardware equipment that most guitarists will have reasonable access to, they’ll let you practice silently using headphones while playing along to some favourite tracks and, when used for recording, can, arguably, be indistinguishable in the final mix from a hardware rig recorded with real mics.

Nope, amp sims probably aren’t going to replace a favourite tube amp and a board loaded with boutique stompboxes but they are a practical complement to your hardware and they ain’t going away…Here’s a brief overview of five of our favourites:

Native Instruments Guitar Rig

Guitar Rig Pro 5’s range of amps cover s many eventualities but it excels in the number of effects modules it has, especially in studio and synth-style processing
Guitar Rig Pro 5 is expandable too. All NI’s Komplete Effects slot straight into Guitar Rig, for additional specialized sound processing.


  • Mac and Windows
  • Standalone, VST, Audio Units, RTAS (Pro Tools 9 or higher)
  • Amps: 17
  • Cabs: 27
  • Effects: 54

Pricing and Availability:
179,00 €

Also available as Guitar Rig Kontrol (399,00 €) which combines Guitar Rig Pro 5 software with a foot controller and integrated low-latency audio interface.

More information:



NEXT: IK Multimedia Amplitube 3



More News: Like This
Even more news...


More Videos

Meet The Makers Extra: Axel Hartmann 

Design philosophy and history

Sonic LAB: Analogue Solutions Impulse Command 

Unusual desktop analogue instrument

5-MINUTES-WITH: OTO Machines Biscuit 

Quirky 8-bit multi-FX - with 50% Off Plug-in version

Sonic LAB: Bitwig Studio 3 Update - Presentation 

Yeah, that Grid...