Amp Simulators are cool, but since the vast majority of music producers are on a tight budget, it’s good that there are some free options out there. Make no mistake, these are good options too, no bs.
First up we have Ace, from Shattered Glass Audio. According to the developers, “Ace is a faithful digital emulation of a legendary 1950s, American, all tube, tweed, 5W amp”.
It features two added amp mods, “adjustment of the amount of feedback and addition of grid stopper resistors”.
In a very cool added feature, Ace allows you to swap out stereo emulation for different ones. Pretty robust for a free amp plugin.
Next up is an extremely impressive plugin from the renowned Voxengo. Maybe I’m going a bit overboard with that comment, but Voxengo puts out serious heavy-weight plugins, and I’m always excited about their future releases. If only I could afford them all!
Boogex is a great amp simulator for a guitar VST or even a live recording, as it boasts close to zero latency. It “is also able to apply any speaker cabinet impulse response (selection of built-in impulses is available).”
The best part about Boogex is the sound diversity, as playing with the knobs can get you a jazzy feel, classic feel, or something straight out of left field. There are over 60 built-in cabinet impulse responses to aid in your sound design.
The GK in the name stands for the Gallien-Krueger amp and speaker, of which this aims to be an exact replica of. You have got to love these faithful reproductions of analog software, especially when they nail it. Audified has done just that with this GK Amplification 2 LE. Now, as you may have guessed from the LE, it is a stripped down version from the “pro” edition. I almost didn’t include it in this list because of that reason, but the LE edition is pretty badass in itself. The technology inside GK allows you to play along with your favorite artists as you learn their songs. Here is a quote from the product page:
- Simulated amps: Gallien Krueger MB150
- Simulated cabs: MB 150
- Simulated mic: Audix D6
You can also control the amp with any midi controller, making it good for live. You’d want the pro version before taking this live though, in my opinion.
This standalone or VST product is great for both beginners and veterans alike. It’s easy enough to use that any bass or guitar player can get a better sound from their playing, even if they don’t know much about VSTs. You don’t even need a DAW to use this free amp plugin, you can run it right on your computer.
There are several different modules included: British, Bassvox, Cabinet, Fuzz, Compressor, Vintage Reverb, Tuner, Input and Master.
applies asymmetric tube triode overdrive usually found in single-tube microphone pre-amp boxes. The sound this plug-in produces varies from a mild “warm” overdrive to a fuzzy distortion.
Another totally free amp simulator plugin from Voxengo? Yup, I told you they bring the heat. This one ” applies asymmetric tube triode overdrive usually found in single-tube microphone pre-amp boxes. The sound this plug-in produces varies from a mild “warm” overdrive to a fuzzy distortion.” You can also emulate a lower-quality tube triode utilizing the -6db/oct built-in low-pass filter. Below is the feature set taken from the product page at Plugin Boutique. For accuracy’s sake, it’s copy and pasted:
There you have it, the very best free amp simulator VSTs on the market for 2017. I’ll keep this page updated until at least Dec. 31st, 2017 when a new version will be published. Feel free to leave any good suggestions in the comments section.