Benefits of Virtual Guitar Amps
Unlike a real amp that generally offers a very distinct sound, virtual amp sims are purpose-built to be versatile. Most options offer an insane amount of control over your sounds. The way the cabinet interacts in the room, the room itself, microphone positions, and your signal chain.
Real amps and simulators have pros and cons, for more info read our full guide on real vs virtual guitar amps.
This has always been one of the strongest selling points for virtual guitar amps - especially for recording engineers. When recording guitars, they’ll often mic the amp but also split the signal to get a clean DI track.
When you have printed guitar tracks the base sound is pretty much unchangeable. But what if it needs to be changed? What if it sounded great in the moment, but when you revisit it in the next session you realize it’s not working in the bigger picture?
The biggest benefit to capturing a clean DI signal during tracking is that you can always reamp it. A reamp box is essentially a DI box that works in reverse. It alters the impedance of the signal so that you can send it out of your interface, mixer, or recording desk and send it back into an amp and re-record as usual.
Or, you can simply throw an amp sim on the DI track. This means you have almost infinite options and time to dial in the perfect sound to fit the song. It’s not unusual for songs to be recorded as they’re being written. This means the guitar sound needs to evolve along with the production.
Great Tone at a Reasonable Volume and Price Point
It’s well-known that getting a tube amp to hit its sweet spot means it generally has to be just this side of cranked. This isn’t an issue if you have the space to do it. But most guitar players don’t. Many are playing and recording out of their bedroom or apartment. And nobody’s neighbor wants to hear you biff the intro riff to “Crazy Train” anymore than they already have.
Virtual guitar amps let you access world-class sounds without having to inconvenience anyone around you - or break the bank. You’ll also save on having to purchase other pieces of gear like pedals, power attenuators, and isolation boxes.
Best Virtual Guitar Amps: Summing Up
What once seemed virtually impossible is now beyond possible. The capabilities of virtual guitar amps have exceeded anyone’s expectations. They pack in fantastic classic and modern tones, almost endless tonal combinations, customizable signal chains, realistic room sounds, and more all in an affordable package that allows you to rip it without making much noise.
There are so many plugin options out there you’ll have to check each one out for yourself to find the best for your sound. The future of guitar tones is here.