With the advancement of virtual studio technology, anything is possible. You can add almost any instrument without having to learn how to play them. By only learning how to play basic piano, you can add instrument tracks such as the electric guitar.
Not only are you saving time on learning how to play electric guitar, but you can also save money. Instead of buying an expensive guitar, you can add guitar tracks by downloading some of the best electric guitar VST plugins. They even sound very convincing too.
Top 3 Best Electric Guitar VST Plugins
To save you some time, Let's take a quick look at some of my top picks:
Electri6ity (My Top Pick)
It may be a little bit expensive compared to the other electric guitar VSTs on the list, but this VST is worth every penny. Big Fish Audio really did an incredible job making this fantastic electric guitar VST. It has a massive selection of some of the most convincing virtual guitar sounds.
Bright Electric Guitar by Sonivox (Best Value)
For a meager price, any aspiring music producer can add this VST to your instrument quiver. It has a collection of high-quality electric guitar samples that were recorded by talented guitarist, Jud Crane.
Scoring Guitars 2 by Heavyocity (Most Epic)
This VST is excellent for creating the most epic guitar sounds that are suitable for creating film scores. With a collection of some of the best film-scoring samples, you can add a little drama to your songs and make them a little more interesting.
An excellent electric guitar VST should sound very realistic. It must pass as the real thing. To achieve a realistic sound, talented musicians, producers, and sound engineers collaborate to record and sample high-quality tracks.
You should also consider the number of choices of amps and guitars. Some keyboards and analog synths could not produce the same convincing sound that these VSTs can.
How and When to Use Electric Guitar VSTs
The primary function of having an electric guitar VST is for adding guitar tracks to your projects. Some need MIDI programming, and some are already pre-recorded samples. Using samples for your final tracks does not mean you are not a talented music producer. Choosing the right sound and turning them into a song requires a lot of talent, creativity, and effort.
Some people will always choose real instruments over VSTs, but don’t let that discourage you. It always goes down to preference and practicality. If you have the budget, I will gladly recommend for you to hire a musician to record electric guitar tracks for you. However, as home music producers (have you built your own studio yet?), the practical thing to do is use the best electric guitar VST plugins.
In a world where real instruments and virtual studio technology both exist, you are free to choose one of the options or both to produce a song.
To use an electric guitar VST, you can either program the notes on the MIDI piano roll, use a MIDI controller, or just drag and drop the samples into your timeline.
Features to Look For:
Before buying or downloading an electric guitar VST, make sure you go through these essential aspects to consider:
Sound quality is vital in an electric guitar VST. You can instantly tell if an electric guitar sounds authentic. Make sure that the electric guitar VST you download sound like the real thing. Because sound is obviously the most critical element in the mix, I only included VSTs that sound like a real electric guitar.
Consider the number of effects included in the package, especially if you paid hundreds of dollars. Aside from the sound quality, having a wide selection of effects is always a positive thing.
Amp simulators can simulate different kinds of guitar amplifiers. With a wide selection of amps, you can unlock more sounds and have a lot of options to create the right sounds for your virtual guitar tracks.
Don't forget the price. Make sure you are getting the best value for your money. Just because a VST is expensive, doesn't mean it is the best. It's a good thing that most VSTs have a free trial of their product. If you see this option, always try the product out first before buying.
Look for an electric guitar VST that is easy to use. If you are not into complex programs, settle for something easy to understand and manipulate. Not being able to maximize the use of software can be a waste of money sometimes.
If the electric guitar VST you want has the option to switch from guitar to guitar, it probably might be an excellent choice, assuming that they sound good. Various guitars will sound different; being able to choose a guitar for different scenarios can help a lot with your music production and sound design.
The Best Electric Guitar VST Plugins
Alright, let's look at our contestants now!
Big Fish Audio did an incredible job developing this outstanding electric guitar VST. Aside from how good it sounds, it is effortless to use, and it comes with eight different guitars to choose from. It may be a little expensive, but because of its performance and features, you can’t go wrong with Electri6ity.
The sounds on this VST are very authentic. The instruments sound really close to a real guitar. You will find a hard time believing it's a virtual instrument. Recording high-quality guitar tracks can be very tricky. No other VST can produce the same realistic sound as well as the Electri6ity.
Aside from the top-notch sound quality, the Electri6ity caught my eye with its simple user interface. The samples were recorded multiple times to get a more accurate tone and dynamics.
This electric guitar VST is the ultimate all-around tool that can help you create convincing guitar tracks for your songs. Once you download this plugin, I assure you that it will be your go-to electric guitar VST. You can experiment with the wide selection of sounds by swapping amps and effects to your liking.
Bright Electric Guitar by Sonivox
For a very low price, you can add the most realistic Fender Strat sounds to your tracks. This electric guitar VST emulates some of the best sounding Strat sounds that come in different strum patterns and variation of chords.
This VST nails the Strat sound very well. American Standard Fender Stratocasters will cost you more than a thousand bucks. However, with this VST, you can get the same sounds without learning how to play guitar for a fraction of the price.
For its low price, the Bright electric guitar exceeds all expectations if you are looking for an authentic Strat sound for your tracks. It also comes with a variety of tones, mutes, and velocities.
This electric guitar plugin may not be for everyone, but It is the best pick for fans of the classic Fender Strat. The quality you get with this plugin is hard to believe when you pay the fraction of the amount of buying the real thing.
Shreddage 3 by Impact Sound Works
Shreddage 2 is the definition of metal guitar. This electric guitar VST is easily the best choice for all metal music producers.
Dynamically, this plugin does a great job. It has realistic guitar tones and presets that you would hear in the metal genre. Not only that, it sounds very realistic because of its human-like dynamic touch.
What I like most about the Shreddage is the straightforward interface. You can easily navigate through the program and master it in a span of minutes. Some VSTs are really confusing, but not the Shreddage 2.
I recommend this electric guitar VST for any metalhead who wants to record demos. IF you’re a fan of metal, you should definitely try this fantastic plugin.
Orange Tree Samples Rock Evolution
This fantastic collection of electric guitar samples is easily one of the best sample packs filled with the best electric guitar chops that money can find. The Rock Evolution sample pack is pretty good. Aside from all the other sample packs, this one truly stands out because of its sound quality.
The Orange Tree Rock Evolution makes a name for itself because of its fantastic sound collection. This VST is the ultimate collection of rock and roll samples, which you can use to create full-length songs.
The articulations, such as palm mutes, whammy bar manipulation, slaps, and natural harmonics, brings this app together and makes it one of the greatest of all time.
This electric guitar VST does not disappoint. It has features like customizability that creates unreal sounds that you will likely use over and over again, especially for creating rock and roll riffs and songs.
AmpleSounds Ample Guitar G II
AmpleSounds are well known for creating high-quality and realistic sounding guitar and bass plugins. With this particular plugin, they did an excellent job in sampling one of the most iconic rock and roll guitar sounds, the Gibson Les Paul.
If you are a fan of classic rock, chances are, they used a Gibson Les Paul to record their tracks. Bands like Led Zeppelin are known for using it, and you can use it too. (without having to buy one)
I like the fact that this plugin comes with a massive selection of effect pedals that can change the tone very accurately, depending on your stompbox. It kind of feels like routing the signal for real guitar effect pedals. You can create different tones for rhythm and lead sections.
Although this electric guitar plugin may not sound as realistic as you want it to be at first, you can get the right sound with just a couple of tweaks. I am pretty sure you can get it to sound authentic because the interface is pretty much straightforward and easy to use.
Scoring Guitars 2 by Heavyocity
As I mentioned earlier, this VST does a great job of creating dark and ominous film scores. It is a 5GB collection of high-quality guitar content.
I really love the sounds on this VST. It includes atmospheric complex pads, cinematic phrases, and ambient guitar sounds that are perfect for telling a story by using music as your medium.
What I like the most about this plugin is the massive selection of presets and samples that are ready to use with just a few clicks. It also includes different patterns, effects, and modulation that you will most likely enjoy when creating distant ambient background tracks.
This VST is excellent for adding layers to enhance your song. If you have a lot of empty spaces in your project, this VST can fill it up with some of the most incredible sounds.
Chernobyl Studios Metal Guitar (Free)
This electric guitar plugin is surprisingly good, considering you can download it for free.
For a free plugin, the sounds have grit and tightness. You would not experience the same with other free electric guitar plugins. Of every free one of its kind, the Chernobyl Studios Metal Guitar is probably the best.
I like the fact that this VST is free. It is excellent for metal music and any heavy guitar-driven genre of music. With just some little tweaks, you can make this already good sounding VST sound even better.
I recommend this bad boy of a plugin for mixing metal music on a budget. The Shreddage 2 might be better in more ways, but the fact that this one is free makes it worthy of a mention.
Why Chose an Electric Guitar VST?
The main benefit of using an electric guitar VST for your tracks is the ease of recording. Some bands create demos that are not really that good in terms of guitar sounds. However, with the use of VSTs, you can produce amazing quality without going through the challenging process of recording with a real guitar.
For a person who doesn’t own or know how to play guitar, using the best electric guitar VST is the most practical option.
- What VSTs do I use if I own a real guitar? If you know how to play a real guitar, you will most likely own one. It does not mean you cannot use a suitable VST. Instead of downloading a guitar simulator or sampler, you can download amp sims and effects VSTs to enhance and record quality guitar tracks. You can record guitar tracks by using an audio interface or by using a microphone and strategically placing it by your guitar amp.
- Do I need a MIDI controller to use a Guitar VST plugin? No, you don’t necessarily need a MIDI controller to use electric guitar VSTs. You can map out the chords with the interface of your VST or program the notes with the built-in MIDI editor in your DAW. You may also use your computer’s keyboard to hit the keys you want to record.
When choosing an electric guitar plugin, make sure you select one that fits the genre you create the most. If you are into creating different genres, you can go for a more diverse VST with a wide selection. However, a diverse VST can be more expensive than a one-trick pony VST. If you are on a budget, go for the best electric guitar VST that will suit you the most.