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The 8 Best Free Guitar Plugins for Perfect Tone in Your DAW

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.

LANDR Guitar
Add fretboard magic to your track

Access a broad range of genres, playing styles, techniques, and phrasings with LANDR Guitar, the quick and easy way to find axe-slinging inspiration and add slick riffs to your songs.

LANDR Guitar

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.

If you have a DAW and an audio interface, you can easily access some of the most powerful tools ever created for guitar sounds.

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.

Lo-fi guitar chords anyone?

Lo-fi guitar chords anyone?

2. NI Guitar Rig 6 Player

Stompbox effects in your DAW with 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.

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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.

Check out more free VST instruments with Isabelle.

Check out more free VST instruments with Isabelle.

4. Audiosingularity SLO

Legendary American high-gain in your DAW.

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.

Need some new riffs to rock?

Need some new riffs to rock?

5. Valhalla Supermassive

Set the controls for the heart of the sun.

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!

If you need a quality ambient effect to pair with other guitar plugins, Supermassive should be on your radar.

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.

LANDR Guitar
Add fretboard magic to your track

Access a broad range of genres, playing styles, techniques, and phrasings with LANDR Guitar, the quick and easy way to find axe-slinging inspiration and add slick riffs to your songs.

LANDR Guitar

6. Echo Soundworks Vinyl Guitar

The warble, crackle and hiss of vintage vinyl.

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.

Lo-fi is eternal.

Lo-fi is eternal.

With its core tones captured directly from a vinyl record, Vinyl Guitar sounds like the real deal.

7. Ignite Amps Emissary Bundle

Bruising modern gain.

Bruising modern gain.

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.

Impulse response loaders let you use third party speaker captures from any manufacturer.

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.

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Various contributors from the LANDR team of music mentors.

@LANDR

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