Submitted by Alexander on Tue, 03/06/2012 – 07:14.

This selection represents the best guitar effects software to help you turn your computer into a full featured effects processor.


Since we have already covered amp modeling software, this time we will focus on software that provides quality guitar effects. These popular software effects applications will get you as close as technologically possible to your favorite stomp box and rack mount effects – minus the bulk, weight and the hassle. Note that certain packages excel in specific effect types, so do check out your favorite effect types via the demos before you decide on which is your top pick. We have included both paid and free guitar effects software for you to sink your teeth, and mouse, into.

Guitar Effects Software – PAID

These are the top commercially available guitar effects programs. Most of them are considered as amp modeling software as well, because they usually include both amp and effects modeling in one package.

Guitar Rig

Guitar Rig

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Mac

Although not as dominating in amp modeling, Guitar Rig takes the top spot in our guitar effects software list. It leads the pack with its meticulously detailed effects modeling. Its 54 modeled effects closely follow the behavior of legendary stompboxes and studio racks. Even professionals are having a hard time picking out the real pedal against this guitar effect software in a blind test. Its versatile design allows you to chain effects together in virtually any manner, without the hassles of cables, space and budget constraints. It is truly a truck load of gear in one software package. Retail Price: $199.00
Line 6 POD Farm

Line 6 POD Farm

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Mac
Mobile POD runs on iOS

The Line 6 POD Farm program is famous for its amp simulation, however many users have realized that the quality of its modeled effects are equally superb. Some even use the POD Farm strictly for its effects! It has a huge collection of FX – up to 94 – and it modeled some of the most popular stompboxes including the MXR Phase 90, ProCo Rat, Uni-Vibe, Arbiter Fuzz Face and Big Muff Pi. It also includes modeled versions of old analog devices like the EP-1 Echoplex. Setting up is a breeze with its simple carousel-style interface, which lets you visualize your signal chain. Current Retail Price $49.00
AmpliTube

IK Multimedia AmpliTube

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Mac
Runs on iOS

AmpliTube’s effects are as noteworthy as its amp modeling capabilities. The current version comes with up to 51 effects – modeled after rare vintage gear like Ibanez Tube Screamer, Arbiter FuzzFace, MXR Phase100, MXR Dynacomp, Electro Harmonix Memory Man and many more. What sets AmpliTube apart from the competition though is its very intuitive interface. No parameter is more than two clicks away, and its realistic looking graphics are extremely easy to operate – even allowing for drag and drop operations. If you want a quick setup software, AmpliTube is your best bet. Price: usually about $200.
Audiffex Guitar Pedals

Audiffex Guitar Pedals

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Mac

Audiffex Guitar Pedals was one of the first professional guitar software packages, with its original version released more than a decade ago. It has since been upgraded but continues its legacy of providing stompbox effects in software form. The latest version is an all in one guitar effects software package – which includes 36 plug-ins that also works for bass, vocals and other instruments. Features include consistent interface with all effects having similar controls, modular plug-in configuration for easier and flexible routing and intuitive preset management. Current retail price: $49

FREE Guitar Effects Software

If you want to test the waters, here are the some of the best free guitar effects software packages. Aside from the limited freeware software, there are Lite or Trial versions of commercial programs which you can get for free, but with limited in features. The good thing though is that even when they lack features, they work and sound just as nice.

Guitarix

Guitarix

More info:
Runs on Linux

If you prefer the Linux platform, then Guitarix is your best free guitar effects solution. It is a free, full featured guitar amp and effects software. Aside from its impressive amp modeling capabilities, Guitarix has 25 equally impressive effects modules. Effects include a noise gate, modulation effects like flanger and phaser and it even has weird stuff like auto-wah. Guitarix’s low latency audio engine ensures respectable audio, which is said to give you not more than 10 milli seconds of delay. This is a simple yet effective guitar effects software, unfortunately it is only available for Linux users.
SimulAnalog Guitar Suite

SimulAnalog Guitar Suite

More info:
Runs on Windows

The SimulAnalog Guitar Suite is an old but still popular free guitar effects program. It contains a set of VST plugins that emulate some of the most common used guitar effects and amps. It has simulations of five essential guitar effects which include Boss DS-1, Boss SD-1, Tube Screamer, Oberheim PS-1 and Univox Univibe. The SimulAnalog Guitar Suite was born out of an academic research and thus applies a zero deception, no marketing hype approach. The interface is very basic but the sound is said to obtain lass than -40dB of difference compared to the original hardware.
AmpliTube Free

AmpliTube Free

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Mac

AmpliTube Free is a cool entry level program for those that want to experience software based guitar effects and amp modeling without spending money. It only comes with 9 stompbox and 2 rack type effects, but it covers essential effect types which are good enough for various musical genre applications. Should you need more, AmpliTube offers an upgrade system in which you can shop for additional amps, cabinets, mics and effects. Each model can even be tried out for free for two days prior to purchase, quite impressive for a free software!
GNUitar v0.3.2

GNUitar

More info:
Runs on Windows
Runs on Linux

GNUitar is a basic free guitar effects software that allows you to turn your PC into a guitar effects processor without having to spend a single dime. Nothing much needs to be said aside from it is working as intended. Although you don’t have too many options, it has all the essential effect types including distortion, reverb, echo, delay, chorus, flanger, equalizer, wah, phaser, tremolo, vibrato and noise reduction. The package comes with 2 different types of distortion and has various flavors of echo, reverb and delay. This free software works for both Windows and Linux.

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Free Guitar VST Plugins
Low-cost Modeling Amplifiers
The Top 10 Guitars of All Time!


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