Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by Troubadour, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. Troubadour

    Troubadour Active Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Greetings Folks!

    I'm an intermediate level guitarist and home studio hobbyist with a boatload of great gear including a firewire-based mixing board to a Mac Pro with Garageband and Logic Express, but I'm completely new to recording, so I've got a few basic 'newb' questions for the membership here regarding VSTs for guitar.

    I prefer an ultra 'clean' sound on guitar about 98% of the time, and I don't really need amp or speaker cab emulation, but over the years, I've tried virtually EVERY configuration imaginable in an effort to polish my 'live' (home studio) guitar sound without achieving the desired goal. This includes the use of premium FX (mostly reverb/delay) directly through the amp's FX loops, and even a few wet/dry/wet setups using the amp's Line Out to a solid state amp with separate cabs. No matter how I try, it just seems that I cannot obtain the truly pure, seemingly multi-dimensional, almost 'crystalline' sounds that I see others achieving on YouTube and elsewhere using VST's. And so, I'm hoping to get some help with the following questions:

    1) What specific VSTs (for Mac) are currently considered by the pros to be the very BEST for studio-grade guitar and what (if any) pitfalls or limitations do I need to watch-out for in purchasing them?

    2) Can the FX provided by a VST/plug-in be active and heard while playing the instrument in real time? Or is it a situation where the FX can only be added to a previously recorded signal and restricted to playback?

    Many thanx
  2. Troubadour

    Troubadour Active Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    What? That's it? Fourteen views and not a single answer to either of these entry-level (aka, beginner) questions? I thought this was a "professional" recording forum?

    What is it they say? . . . All dressed-up and nowhere to go.
  3. Hackroot

    Hackroot Active Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    CA, USA
    As far as FXs go, you can definitely track with some onboard plugins running. I've done that many many times with virtually no delay (obviously there is a small one but it works)
    I do all of my mixing and tracking in logic and my guitars sound great with using the standard logic pro plugins. Just got some waves plugins im experimenting with but not used to and they sound alright. What you also need to take into account is that you should stack guitar recordings. Play the same guitar part with different tones and stack them on top of each other to get a truly powerful guitar.
    You should be able to get fantastic guitar sounds with the built in plugins of logic.
    If you can't you are doing it wrong. It's not a plugin issue, but rather how you use what you have at hand. Instead of spending money on plugins, get some outboard guitar effects, or maybe even a multi effects pedal like the VOX tonelab st. You wont regret it, and it sounds better than 1000s of plugins.
    listen to my guitar recordings at
    to get an idea of what is possible with the tonelab ST, and an Apogee duet, and some onboard plugins. Sometimes I reamp the guitars I record through the DI. We aren't micing cabs right now because we have crap amps and a crappy mic.

    The next reason why it may not sound so crystalline is because of your interface preamps. How are you currently tracking your guitar?
    What exactly is your setup?
    What instrument are you using?
    Tell me more and I may be able to help
  4. Troubadour

    Troubadour Active Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    Fender Strats
    Fender Tele's
    Fender Jaguars
    Gretsch 6120s
    Gretsch 6129s
    Gibson Les Pauls
    Ukuleles . . . galore
    Mandolins . . galore
    Premium Tube Amps . . . galore
    1x12 and 2x12 speaker cabinets . . . galore
    FX Pedals . . . galore
    TC-Electronics 2290 Digital Dynamic Delay
    Lexicon PCM-91 Digital Reverberator
    Mackie Onyx-1620 Mixer (firewire)
    3.2 GHz MacPro (Dual Quad Core)
    Logic Express (not Logic Pro)
    Waves GTR3

    Problem is, despite all this premium gear, I've never been able to achieve the truly pure, thick, crystalline, multi-dimensional sound of a quality studio-recorded professional guitar, but then, I've just now received the Waves GTR3 package, so who knows, maybe that'll help!

    Many thanx!
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