Guitar Pro: a complete workshop for guitarists at an affordable price

Audio recording and editing software

Screenshot of Audacity on Linux

Audacity - The Free, Cross-Platform Sound Editor Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. Main features: Record live audio; convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files; cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together; change the speed or pitch of a recording… See list of Audacity features

Audacity can load VST effects on Windows and Mac using the optional Audacity VST Enabler.

Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/Unix Open Source 2.9 MB audacity.sourceforge.net

Guitar tab software

Power Tab Editor. is a free tablature authoring tool for the Windows operating system. It is intended to be used to create guitar sheet music, more commonly known to musicians as guitar tablature and bass tablature. (aka guitar tab/bass tab). The program provides the most commonly used symbols in tablature, including chord names, chord diagrams, rhythm slashes, bends, slides, hammer-ons/pull-offs, harmonics and palm muting. A useful piece of software for people who want to learn how to play guitar, and for experienced guitarists who want to transcribe their own music and/or guitar lessons. The software can be used by both acoustic and electric guitar players alike. FREE

Transcription tools

Transcribe!

Transcribe! from Seventh String Software is a very useful transcription tool to help you work out recorded tunes in order to write it down or learn to play it. Transcribe! uses spectrum analysis to guess what notes and chords are played. It is also very useful if you just want to learn a tune from a recording. You can also playback files using a graphic EQ and in Karaoke mode.

But basicly this is how you use Transcribe!

Load a tune from a audio file or CD into Transcribe. Transcribe! now generates the scrollable waveform that it uses to guess notes. When the tune is loaded, hit play and as the tune is played, tap along on every beat with hotkeys. You use M as the hotkey for first beats, B for other beats, and S for first beat of new chorus. To get the beats where you want them, you can slow down the playing of the tune to 50% or 25% without changing the pitch, and easily retake parts.

It can playback any section of the scrollable waveform you select in loop.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux Free trial £25

Music Recognition Software

Transcribe! - Transcribe! offers many features aimed at making the transcription job smoother and easier, including the ability to slow down music without changing its pitch, and to analyse chords and show you what notes are present.

DsChordFinder - Find out guitar chords and even solos, leads and riffs in recorded music with this piece of software. No more expensive songbooks or hours and hours of trying to puzzle out a song. Do you want to know how to play that one song you have on CD, record or tape? Record it with Windows Soundrecorder, load it in the DsChordFinder software and see how it's done. DsChordFinder uses frequency analysis software on the recorded music to show how it's played on guitar. http://www.dubbeldam.com/chordfinder.htm

Band-in-a-Box has a built-in “Chords from MP3” feature that automatically figures out the chords from any MP3, WAV or WMA audio file, and displays them as chords in Band-in-a-Box.

Music Scanning Software

SmartScore Guitar Edition Converts scanned printed music into midi and music notation
Windows Vista / XP / 2000x; Mac OS 10.4 $99 3 / 7 MB demo download

Music players, slow downers ...

vanBasco's Karaoke Player is one of the most feature rich FREE MIDI Player around. It gives you the ability to mute any instrument (depending on the file being av multi channel midi) and slow down the tempo as much as you want. displays notes on a big piano keyboard. Useful for learning tunes. With the support for MIDI Karaoke files, its ability to mute channels, and change key it should be very useful for singers too. It plays the following file types: *.midi or *.mid, *.kar, and *.rmi (Windows MIDI files).

MS Windows 98/ME/2000/XP Freeware vanbasco.com 864 KB

Drivers

ASIO4ALL. If guitar software like Guitar Rig 2, Amplitube, Jesusonic or GuitarFX 3 woun't work on your machine, try ASIO4ALL - Universal ASIO Driver For WDM Audio before you decide to buy a new soundcard. ASIO4ALL wraps ASIO support around your existing sound card. ASIO4ALL is freeware.

Emulators - Virtual amplifiers and effect boxes

How can you turn your computer into a guitar amp and effects processor?

Freeware Guitar amps and effects

VST effects plugins - virtual amplifiers, effect boxes - can be used to process audio input in realtime and tracks or sections of tracks in music sequencers software and audio editors. That is, when used with an appropriate software (VST host applications, audio editor, sequencer) and with a hardware configuration (sound card that supports ASIO. ASIO is driver software for your audio interface providing the low latency necessary to be able to prosess audio input in real time, as you play. Modern Macintosh computers typically ship with low-latency audio drivers.

Jesusonic - Jesusonic is a fully programmable effects processor for guitar, bass, vocal and general use. Jesusonic is also available as part of REAPER. FREEWARE.

Commercial Guitar amps and effects

GuitarFX Software - “Guitar FX transforms your PC into guitar effects processor… GUITAR EFFECTS SOFTWARE (GuitarFX) for Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP. The purpose of my GuitarFX is to turn Personal Computer with Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP and a sound card into a GUITAR EFFECTS PROCESSOR. GuitarFX applies audio effects like reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, SMART DISTORTION, filters to electic guitar signals. Note: your guitar must be plug-in(ed) into microphone or line input of your sound card. GuitarFX works like standard hardware “stompboxes” and makes guitar sounds more impressive to play blues and hardrock.”

Simply plug your guitar into the microphone or line input of your sound card, run this software, then press “Start” button. To stop playbacking pre-recorded guitar sounds click once on a picture of a small red lamp placed left to fx-slot with “Playback wav” title. Enjoy real-time crazy distortion smoothed by power filters and shaped by multi-band equalizers! Author of GuitarFX™ offers several presets, including “hard rock”, “high gain lead” and “solo” effects. However, you can click through several menus to easily create custom tones. They can be saved as pre-sets for future use. Pre-sets can be assigned to “hot keys” F1..F12. Among the effects, you can apply 4 types of distortion, noise gate, wah-wah, compressor, EQ, flanger, reverb, chorus, delay and a number of other filters and effects. You can save your recordings to your hard drive. GuitarFX has the “software effects chain builder” with 16 fx slots. Clean guitar signals go to the top fx slot, then they are passed through all fx slots from the top to the bottom and go to the sound card output from the bottom fx slot. You can move any fx slot up. To do this place your mouse cursor on the top part of the appropriate “Tune” button and then do right mouse button click. Also you can move any fx slot down. To do this place your mouse cursor on the low part of the appropriate “Tune” button and then do right mouse button click. http://guitarfx.net/

:amplitube_uno.jpg Amplitube UNO Windows 2000/XP - Free virtual amplifier. Amplitube UNO is a single amp version of Amplitube, with one overdrive stomp box distortion pedal effect.

Amplitube 2 The hype is true: “guitar amp and effects plug-in [that] raises the standard to an unprecedented level of high-quality emulation and extreme flexibility, for crafting the ultimate guitar tone. 14 Preamp and 14 EQ models, 7 Power-Amp models, 16 Cabinet models, 6 Microphone models, 21 Stomp Effect models, 11 Rack Effect models, High-precision Tuner, 2 Guitar rig chains (2 simultaneous guitar rigs). Build your custom Amp within 20,000 combinations, 20 simultaneous effects’ slots, flexible routing. Price: $ 399.00 / € 329.00 (VAT excluded).

Native Instruments GUITAR RIG 4 is a professional all-in-one software and hardware set-up for guitarists and bass players: All-in-one studio with amps, cabs and effetcs. A huge range of authentically emulated amps and effects are perfectly complemented by a robust foot controller boasting an integrated, studio-quality sound card. The included foot controller has an integrated, studio-quality sound card. Choose from 8 amps, 15 guitar and 6 bass cabinets, 4 rotary speakers, 9 microphones with adjustable positioning and 35 effects plus modulation components. Drag and drop any number of components into the virtual rack and arrange them into the desired order. A wide range of distortion, modulation, delay, reverb, pitch and volume effects allow the sound to be tuned, twisted and tweaked until the most tantalizing tones are obtained.

Guitar Combos Native Instruments GUITAR COMBOS: Offer particularly accessible emulations of 3 classic guitar combos. Using the same award-winning engine as GUITAR RIG, they deliver incredible sound and are extremely easy to use. The package includes AC BOX COMBO, PLEXI COMBO and TWANG COMBO. The lovingly emulated tube combos have an absolutely authentic, warm and dynamic sound, producing the purest of tones. Their flexible nature allows them to be used both as stand-alone applications and as plug-ins. The 100 professional presets included in the package only hint at the wide musical spectrum covered by these classic amps and at the potential they offer.
http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=guitarcombos_us
Replaced by http://www.native-instruments.com/#/en/products/guitar/guitar-rig-4-essential/GuitarRig 4 Essential ($89 version of GuitarRig), but consider the GUITAR RIG MOBILE packages with a USB2 I/O audio interface + The GuitarRig 4 Essential software.

VST guitar effects plugins - freeware

VST effect is a type of VST plug-in that is generally used to process audio. Types of VST effect include (among others) reverb processors or phaser effects.

VST plug-in needs a VST host application.

:effectizer11.jpg Effectizer version 1.1 - VST insert effect suitable for keyboards and synthesizers. Effectizer is a simple multi-effect plug-in that features six popular effects: WahWah, Overdrive, Tremolo, Modulation (Chorus/Flanger or Phaser), Stereo Delay (with ping-pong option) and Reverb. Supports host tempo synchronization and automation. Room for 32 presets. Low CPU usage.

The Kjaerhus Audio Classic Series

  • Classic Chorus - A great sounding and easy to use classic Chorus VST Plugin.
  • Classic Compressor - analog style VST Compressor Plugin with a lot of warmth and punch.
  • Classic Delay - emulates three of the most commonly used delays / echo sounds types
  • Classic EQ - a 7 Band Stereo Equaliser with a warm analog sound
  • Classic Flanger - Take a trip back to the mid 80's with our Classic Flanger.
  • Classic Master Limiter - The Classic Master Limiter VST plugin is specially designed to boost the overall level
  • Classic Phaser - The Classic Phaser emulates analog phasers from the 70’s and 80’s.
  • Classic Reverb - Classic Reverb is a nice and smooth reverb that does a good job
  • Classic Auto-Filter - The Classic Auto-Filter is an analog modeled four-pole filter with resonance control.
Platform: Windows only Freeware Download

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SimulAnalog Guitar suite It is a suite of vst plugin with amplifiers and analog processors for guitarists, actually containing the simulation of:

  1. Boss DS-1 (Distortion stompbox)
  2. Boss SD-1 (Super Overdrive stompbox)
  3. Tube Screamer (Overdrive stompbox)
  4. Oberheim PS-1 (Phaser stompbox)
  5. Univox Univibe (Modulations stompbox)
  6. Fender Twin 1969 (Guitar amplifier)
  7. Marshall JCM900 Dual Reverb (Guitar amplifier)

This suite is not a commercial product. It is born inside an academic research project about the modelling of electric devices, and then applied to the musical instrument field as an evolution of the techniques currently available in some commercial units. Its most important feature is the extremely high precision of the simulation, which is about indistinguishable from the original sound. http://www.simulanalog.org/guitarsuite.htm

Matthias Becker Cortex Guitar Amp virtual guitar amp. Two different preamps with gain. Tube or solid state type amplification. EQ controls. Four speakers and 17 different speaker-types per speaker.

External links: KVR VST Audio Plug-in Resources lists hundreds of freeware instrument and effect plug-ins that can be downloaded on the web. plugorama.com

VST Plugins - commercial

:aurapro-large.jpgAura Pro Virtual guitar amplifier. Aura Pro is a versatile virtual guitar amplifier that combines warm, gutsy valve tones and crisp solid state sounds, with the convenience and power of digital audio.

Traditionally designed, not mathematically modelled, Aura Pro follows in the footsteps of classic British amp designs. To achieve the authentic sound and feel of a good analogue hardware amp, it was refined during many hours of live audition sessions by musicians using db audioware's QFX audio technology.

Works with any host program supporting VST (PC Windows) and Audio Units or VST(Mac OS X)


All trademarks belong to their respective owners.
VST PlugIn Technology by Steinberg ( www.steinberg.net )