Free emulators of guitar amps gain momentum

Free emulators of guitar amps gain momentum

There's quite a few musicians around who wish that free Linux alternatives to Guitar Rig were easier to use and fun looking. Good news, everyone: Guitarix is now available as LV2 plug-ins with fancy skins.

Recently Hermann Meyer introduced the first version of Guitarix featuring LV2 versions of some of the amps/cabinets, both mono and stereo versions:

  • GxAmplifier tube 12ax7 tonestack sovtek cabinet 4x12;
  • GxAmplifier-II tube 12AT7 tonestack soldano cabinet AC30;
  • GxAmplifier-III tube 6C16 tonestack bassman cabinet 1x15;
  • GxAmplifier-IV tube 6V6 tonestack soldano cabinet mesa;
  • GxAmplifier-V tube 6DJ8 tonestack ampeg cabinet HighGain.

That's quite handy if you don't need the typical ultra-flexibility of JACK hosts' connectiions and simply want to use the effects.

GxAmp I

GxAmplifier as an LV2 effect

These LV2 plug-ins rely on same backends as Guitarix itself (like Zita Convolver) and use graphics by Richard Dalton. We shot a simple demo featuring GxAmplifier-IV applied to the second track in a simple Ardour 3 session.

The plug-ins aren't perfect yet. There's still an issue with threaded design which makes it impossible to freeze a track with a Guitarix LV2 plug-in on it (basically, it makes Ardour crash). Hermann is already looking into that.

The next version of Guitarix is likely to feature more LV2 plug-ins: AutoWah, Wah, Booster, and Tube Screamer are already available in the Git repository. Their visuals would do with some more work, though.

Wah plug-in

GxWah effect applied to the same audio track with automation

You can grab Guitarix at SourceForge. Note that LV2 plug-ins aren't built by default, you need to run './waf configure' with '--build-lv2'. LADSPA versions are still available, same as standalone version of Guitarix.

Around same time Tim Goetze resumed his work on CAPS plug-ins (currently only LADSPA) that emulate various amps and cabinets as well. The amount of changes is huge, here are just some of them:

  • complete rewrite of AmpVTS;
  • more tonestack models
  • CabinetIV added, CabinetIII restored;
  • more filters for AutoFilter.

Tim provides rather verbose documentation on the website and as a separate download. Do check it out.

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Leave a comment
  1. Mix of LMMS & Audacity is it?

  2. Alexandre Prokoudine 28 January 2013 at 3:21 pm

    You mean Ardour? Well, a DAW is a DAW :)

  3. I’m installing Linux on a virtual machine just to test it out. Hopefully it will be as good as you say Alexandre.

  4. cabinet thai hoang long an

  5. Hey,
    I’m putting in UNIX system on a virtual machine simply to check it out. Hopefully it’ll be nearly as good as you say Alexandre.

  6. Still waiting ,mix of lmms & audacity is it ?

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