The Best VST Guitar Amp Simulator Effects For 2013

Guitar amp simulators are almost a must for any recording studio or producer. It’s a very economical way to get a great guitar tone without having to go to an expensive studio and setting up various amps. Being a mix engineer for over 20 years, I can tell you the most important thing to look for in any guitar vst plugin is the tone. I’ve mixed so many tracks where people have used horrible harsh sounding Line 6 tones that it’s a breath of fresh air when someone brings in a great track to work with.  So here is my Number 1 pick for best guitar vst amp:

Kuassa Amplifikation Vermilion $39

Seriously, this has to be the most underrated plugin out there, considering it’s low price. The sound, is absolutely phenomenal. I strongly suggest that you download the trial and test it. I do suggest you put it on a stereo track so you can hear what you can do in full stereo (if you have a mono guitar track, send it to a stereo bus and use the plugin in stereo).  The interface is incredibly easy and fun to work with. There are no gimmicks. Every preset sounds fantastic and you can tweak it to your heart’s content. Choose an amp type, select one of 5 cabinet types (you can have a different one for the right/left side which you can pan as you like for a huge guitar sound) and finally you have a choice of 4 microphone types which you can position anywhere on the amp as you would in a real recording situation (you can bring it closer, farther, left/right and even position it straight on the cabinet or on an angle).  I just love this plugin because the guitar tones are thick, warm and lush (and not metallic or harsh as can be found on other guitar amp software). Tweaking is really simple to do. An additional little bonus is a built in spring reverb and a tremolo effect that cay be synced to tempo. If you want to fiddle with the plugin even more, you can even load your own impulse responses (with the great tones you get, you probably won’t even bother with impulses). Between the cabinet types and mic placements, you can get a pro guitar tone in an instant.

Kuassa Guitar Amplifikation Vermilion

Key Features :
* 3 different Amp Types
* 2 Amp Channels to choose from: Clean and Lead
* Built-in FX: Tremolo with BPM sync and Spring Reverb
* 5 types of matching cabinets
* 4 microphone types to choose from (2 dynamic mics based on the Shure Sm57 and Sennheiser 441, 1 large diaphragm condenser and 1 ribbon microphone)
* Freely adjustable dual-miking configurations with mono/stereo configurations
* Built-in Noise Gate and Limiter
* Fun easy to use interface (everything is right in front of you with no complicated settings or tweaking)
* Support up to 96k Sample Rate
* Works on both 32 bit and 64 bit native systems on PC and Mac, as a VST or AU


There are many guitar amp simulators out there. If I had to choose a close second, it would have to be Scuffham S-Gear. It’s reasonably priced at $99 and the guitar tones are fantastic, on the same level as Kuassa’s Vermilion. You get a great selection of guitar amps, cabinet simulators and many effects to work with (reverb, flange, delay’s, etc). Other contenders in the guitar amp simulation market are Overloud TH2, IK Multimedia AmpliTube, and Native Instruments Guitar Rig. They are more expensive but they have been around a lot longer and have a larger user base.

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