The 8 Best Free Guitar Plugins for Perfect Tone in Your DAW
Guitar plugins are one of the most exciting things about being a guitarist in 2023.
If you have a DAW and an audio interface, you can easily access some of the most powerful tools ever created for guitar sounds.
I’m talking about virtual amps and effects, learning tools, sound banks and all kinds of helpful software that can help you create music.
But if you’re on a budget or just getting started, you’re probably wondering about the best free guitar plugins you can download right away.
There’s a lot of free DAW plugins out there, so it can be difficult to know which plugins are worth installing.
That’s why in this article I’m breaking down the best free guitar plugins for any situation.
Let’s get started.
1. Amplitube Custom Shop
IK Multimedia’s Amplitube software has been one of the leading names in DAW-based amp emulation since the early era of VST plugins.
The modern edition of Amplitube packs dozens of acclaimed amps, speaker cabinets and effects into a powerful plugin.
Luckily for budget-conscious guitarists, Amplitube includes a free tier called Custom Shop that gives you access to a basic collection of models completely free.
If you’re just getting started with guitar and you want some great tones to keep you inspired, Amplitube Custom Shop is a great place to start.
2. NI Guitar Rig 6 Player
NI’s Guitar Rig has been a favorite among guitarists for its great sound and configurable virtual pedalboard.
It’s also popular with producers looking for effects to include in their mixes.
Sometimes the unique feel of stompbox effects is the perfect solution for dry and boring sounds that need a little something extra to stand out.
Guitar Rig 6 Player gives players access to a single British-Style amp and cab along with a selection of stombpox effects—not bad for a free guitar plugin!
3. Spitfire LABS
Looking for interesting free guitar sounds to use in your productions?
Spitfire’s free instrument platform offers several unique guitar sample sets for producers looking to step outside the box.
You’ll find extended techniques like Harmonics and Ebow along with traditional setups and classic old school sounds.
If you’re looking for usable guitar sounds with an experimental flair, LABS is among the best options.
4. Audiosingularity SLO
The Soldano SLO is one of the most legendary amps when it comes to old-school high gain rock.
Praised for its super saturated, mid-forward distortion, the SLO defined the hot-rodded American sound in the late 80s and early 90s.
And while its high price tag puts the real amp out of reach of all but the most well-heeled players, Audiosingularity’s SLO plugin gives you a taste of the magic in your DAW.
With authentic modeling of every aspect of the amp’s signal path, bonus stompbox effects and more, this free guitar plugin could be your ticket to fire-breathing rock.
5. Valhalla Supermassive
This plugin isn’t strictly for guitar, but it gets the nod for being a great addition to any musician’s plugin collection—completely free!
Supermassive is an ambience powerhouse with an expanding library of modes that cover delay, reverb, modulation and everything in between.
With names like ‘Large Magellanic Cloud,’ be prepared for some truly galactic effects.
If you need a quality ambient effect to pair with other guitar plugins, Supermassive should be on your radar.
6. Echo Soundworks Vinyl Guitar
Who doesn’t like a little lo-fi goodness from the vintage LP era?
If you’re after the intimate sound of retro acoustic guitar, Echo Soundworks Vinyl guitar offers a great take on it.
You can even increase the string noise and fret buzz to add realism and character to your parts.
With its core tones captured directly from a vinyl record, Vinyl Guitar sounds like the real deal.
7. Ignite Amps Emissary Bundle
Ignite Amps has been a favorite of ours for years thanks to their free vintage-style tube EQ plugin.
But they offer plenty of excellent guitar software, especially for players looking for bruising modern gain.
Their Emissary bundle includes a thorough component-level modelling approach of a famous custom amp head.
You’ll also find the excellent NADIR dual impulse response loading software included in the bundle.
This type of plugin lets you use third party speaker captures from any manufacturer.
8. BlueCat Free Amp
BlueCat is another mainstay of the freeware plugins scene.
But their no-frills amp simulations may be all you need if you’re just looking for simple recreations of the most common amp styles.
With familiar Classic clean, Classic drive, Modern drive modes, you’ll find easy-to-use control sets and quality tones on tap right away.
Free guitar plugins in your DAW
Free plugins are a great starting point for anyone to jump into making music with a computer.
If guitar is your primary instrument, there’s more software than ever before available to help you sculpt your sound.
If you’ve made it through this article you’ll have a great start when it comes to free guitar plugins.
Get all the best free plugin
Check out our monthly free plugin round up.
Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.
Gear guides, tips, tutorials, inspiration and more—delivered weekly.
Keep up with the LANDR Blog.