Top 20 Guitar VST Plugins that Sound Like Real Guitars

Jun 07, 2022

When it comes to creating the best guitar sound possible, you might think you need a great guitar, amp, pedal, and more. However, by using Virtual Studio Technology (VST), you can use a virtual instrument that sounds almost like the real thing. You will still to spend some money even if going the VST route, but you can get away a lot cheaper. And it’s so much more fun due to the infinite sound options you get.

The question remains though, which VST plugin is the right one to use? We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the 20 best VST plugins for guitar available that any producer who wants to emulate a guitar sound would enjoy.

1. Positive Grid Bias FX 2

You really don’t need any other guitar plugin than this one. It’s faster, slicker and much more fleshed out than the original Bias FX. It contains a ton of amplifiers, compressors, delays. And if that’s not enough, you can download thousands of custom pedal add-ons to customize it to your needs. Want that professional sound? Give Bias FX2 a try. We really can’t recommend it enough. Check out the overview below by Ola Englund.


2. NI Guitar Rig 5 PLAYER

For this guitar VST plugin, you can opt for a free version or a paid version, depending on what features you need. But we recommend getting the full Komplete 12 suite which includes Guitar Rig 5 and many other premium plugins. With the free version, you have access to a tuner, amplifier, cabinet, two delay pedals, one tube screamer, compressor, noise reduction, two equalizers, one pro filter, reverb, a limiter and a noise gate, volume pedal, and more. The most significant difference between the paid and free options are the number of cabinets, effects, and amplifiers you can use.

The Guitar Rig 5 Player is straightforward to use, even If you have no experience using VST plugins. However, with the free version, because you only have one tube screamer, you won’t be able to achieve weighty, aggressive sounds. Therefore, the paid option might be better for you.

If you choose, you can also use the Guitar Rig 5 Player as a standalone program. One minor inconvenience of trying to use this guitar VST plugin is that you have to register before you can download it. Once you have done so, the VST plugin will send you a serial key that you must use to authenticate using the Native Access program. Next, you download that program separately. However, step up is rather easy after that, and then you can begin to create unique sounds.


3. Ample Sound Guitar M Lite

This free plugin can emulate the sound of an acoustic guitar. It stands out from most other VST plugins because many times, they can’t come close in comparison to a real acoustic guitar. However, this plugin delivers a fantastic sound with the option to add additional effects. You can choose to double the guitar sound, helping to add width and body. If you need an acoustic guitar VST, then you should choose this one, because it sounds almost like the real thing.


4. Line 6 POD Farm 2.5

The Pod Farm 2.5 Line 6 plugin is a fantastic tool for any guitarist. It comes with over 1000 presets, and you can even divide your guitar signal into two. There are tons of chains of amplifiers and effects at your disposal, allowing you to have access to even more different types of sounds. Everything can be personalized to your needs and desires.

This particular VST guitar plugin also has a wide variety of delays, reverbs, compressors, phasors, as well as the chance to use any midi controllers like wah or expression pedals with the plugin. For those who need a VST that is powerful and perfect for producing rock, pop, metal, or any other type of music, then this might be the VST guitar plugin for you.


5. TSE Audio x50 v2

For those who are looking for variety, then this could be VST guitar plugin that you consider. It can effortlessly create crisp, bright, and clean tones, as well as heavy metal, aggressive tones. If you want, you can opt for a free version or a premium version.

In the free version, you get access to a tuner, equalizer, reverb, phaser, delay, a large number of cabinets, four distortion pedals, and more. It is easy to use VST guitar plugin that is intuitive, simple, and perfect for beginners who are looking for something to create a guitar sound.


6. Ignite Amps Emissary

Another good heavy sound amp comes from Emissary. It has a clear channel which can deliver clean or overdriven sounds that are perfect for metal tones. Also included in the Emissary plugin bundle is a NadIR dual impulse response convolver, which can work as both a cabinet simulator for both guitar and bass pre-amplifiers.

Some of the features of the Emissary by Ignite Amps is three touring modes including dual mono, mono, and stereo, high-quality resampling for IRs as well as different sampling rates, selectable delay, and global input level and single IR level controls. For those who want to record whole songs at home on your home, this is an excellent option for you.


7. Audified ampLion Pro

This Guitar VST plugin can also work as a standalone program, depending on your needs.

Some of the features it comes with are:

  • A five-channel guitar amp
  • Metronome
  • Two cabinets
  • Audio player
  • Advanced recorder

The sound that it produces is quite impressive, and you can even get clean tones out of it. You can choose between different presets before you find the one that is right for you, and you can give change the Mic Placement. Even if you opt for the free version, it gives you tons of variety and control.


8. LePou Amp Pack

The LePou Amp pack is perfectly suited for creating aggressive sounding music, and it is effortless to use as well. Just make sure you put LeCab2 cabinet in the chain to get this booted up.


9. IK Multimedia Amplitube Custom Shop

This free Guitar VST plugin has tons of features, including:

  • Three amplifiers
  • Tuner
  • Cabinet
  • Delay
  • Overdrive
  • Compressor
  • Wah-Wah
  • Chorus
  • Equalizer
  • Tremolo
  • Chorus
  • Volume Pedal

It is an excellent VST plugin that can even work as a standalone program. You can also opt for a paid version if you want to get access to even more features. However, if you are beginner, you might choose to use the free plugin until you understand your needs and preferences better.

The main downfall of this plugin is you have to register to be able to download it. However, since it is still free to use, this is more of a minor inconvenience than a con.


10. Shattered Glass Audio Ace

This VST guitar plugin brings together the best of the 1950s: it is tweed, all-tube, with a 5Wamp. This particular module comes with some of the most basic and standard amplifier mods. With this plugin, you can adjust the amount of feedback and grid stopper resistors. However, you can turn off both of these features if you want to get an original amp sound.

When using the Ace Vintage Tube VST guitar plugin, you quickly find out that the sound it produces is fantastic and is warm, clean, and bright. This vintage plugin is not right for people who are want to create heavy metal, but it might work if you try to use it with distortion pedals.


11. Studio Devil Amp Modeler Pro

The Studio Devil is particular interesting VST plugin because it has a big emulation of valve amplifies that comes equipped with more than 15 pre-amplifiers. Some of its features include full tone controls like midrange, treble, gain, bass, presence, 3 Power Amp models with drive controls. It comes with 32 cabinets that were designed by Studio Devil. This VST plugin comes with a parametric equalizer, two compressors, chorus, phasor, tremolo, delay and reverb with three different modes, like Room, Club, and Hall. You can utilize the wah-wah effect in real-time thanks to the midi.

While this is a relatively new plugin, it comes at an affordable price and delivers a quality product that is good for anyone who wants to produce a guitar sound.


12. Overloud TH-U

This guitar plugin comes with a library filled with 239 models, making it the most extensive selection that a single plugin offers. It comes loaded with 89 guitar amps, four bass guitar amplifiers, two bass guitar cabinets, 50 guitar cabinets, 77 pedals and effect rates, 18 microphones, and more than 1000 presets.

Overload also collaborates with multiple notable amplifier brands, including DVmark, Brunetti, THD, and Randall to help make this a VST plugin that is nearly unmatched. For music producers who want a huge variety of sounds and options, then the TH-U Overload VST plugin might be the right one for you.


13. SimulAnalog Guitar Suite

This VST plugin is free and does the job quite well, and it contains a few amplifiers and pedals. However, one downfall of this guitar VST plugin only works with 32bit, which means it won’t work on a 64-bit system.

The interface on this one is a little hard to figure out, but once you do, you can achieve a wide variety of sound. You can even emulate sounds from Fender, Marshall, Univox, Oberheim, and more.


14. Avid Eleven MK II

This VST guitar plugin comes with a vast range of amplifiers, effects, and cabinets. Thanks to this variety, it can produce a realistic, pure sound. By using the Avid Eleven MK II, you can make creative modeling techniques that sound almost like the real thing.

The Avid comes with 33 models, 33 amplifiers, ten microphones, and 15 cabinets to help you create your ideal sound. You can even try to produce the same sounds from Mesa Boogie, Soldano, Marshall, Vox, and Fender with this VST plugin.

Thanks to the customization of the Avid, It could be a good option for you. However, one drawback is that it is only compatible with the Protools DAWS.


15. Waves GTR3

Can’t make a VST list without mentioning Waves. The GTR3 comes from a collaboration between Waves and PRS Guitars. It has all the essentials that you need to emulate the same sound from amplifiers from Vox, Fender, Marshall, Mesa/Boogie, and more. It also comes with more than 30 cabinets and 30 amplifiers.

For someone who is looking for a vintage and realistic sound, then this is the VST guitar plugin that you have been looking for.


16. Sonivox Bright Electric Guitar

If you want to emulate the sound of Strats, then this might be the VST guitar plugin for you. This one delivers a wide variety of strum patterns as well as chord types. While Stratocasters aren’t for everyone, they can produce a bright, clear tone that you might find enjoyable. The VST guitar plugin is one of the cheaper ones, but it delivers an unbelievable sound that you won’t expect.

For the price, the sounds are top-notch, and they sound very similar to the real thing. It is hard to compare it to other plugins on this list because it delivers a sound that is on par with that of a real-life strat. It also has three different velocities for both mutes and tones.

While this won’t be the right plugin for metal producers, if you want a strat sound, then this is the plugin for you. At an affordable price and quality sound production, the Bright Electric Guitar Sonivox is a good option.


17. Impact Soundworks Shreddage 3

This VST plugin comes from Impact Sound Works and has become a popular choice for people who want to emulate a serious metal sound. It was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint with the high tone that it produces. It is so good that you might think that you are listening to the real thing.

For creating a metal sound, this is one of the best available, and it helps deliver a bright and clean tone. The layout, in general, is straightforward to navigate and use, even for beginners.


18. Orange Tree Samples Evolution Rock Standard

OrangeTree can create some of the most realistic tones there are on the VST guitar plugin market. Luckily, you can choose between several different sample packs. This particular VST produces a sound so realistic; you won’t believe you aren’t listening to the real thing.

You can easily emulate guitar sounds like palm mutes, string slaps, natural harmonics, and divebombs, and you can even make guitar sounds like picking. Also included is a built-in effects engine that gives you a fantastic blues sound that feels and sounds like a real guitar is playing. Overall, it is an excellent VST plugin that won’t disappoint you.


19. Ample Sound Ample Guitar G II

AmpleSounds has made a name for itself for their heavy rock and metal guitar sound. If you want to emulate a Gibson Les Paul, then this is likely the VST plugin for you. When you need to produce harder rock sounds, then this can become your go-to plugin choice.

When you first use this guitar VST plugin, you might find that the sound isn’t as realistic as others on the list. However, with a few modifications, you can quickly find the right sound and tone for you. With this plugin, you can get effects like pedals, which can help you vary the sound quickly and achieve a darker chord progression than most other VST plugins.


20. Chernobyl Studios Media Guitar

Chernobyl Studios Media Guitar is a free version of a VST guitar plugin that delivers a surprisingly good result. While the downloading process can be a bit consuming at first, you can quickly understand it once you start to play around with it. The overall sound of this guitar VST plugin is rather good and delivers a tremendously realistic electric guitar sound. If you are on a budget and want to create an electric guitar sound, then this is a VST plugin that you should check out.


Bonus: Vir2 Acou6tics

Acoustic guitars are particularly hard to emulate, but this VST guitar plugin delivered by Vir2 sounds almost as good as the real thing. It has six different acoustic guitar sounds that you can choose between, which help make it sound more realistic than other VST plugins. You also have many different articulations you can choose from to help achieve a real sound as well. The library sound that this electric guitar has as well is fantastic, but you have to do a bit of work to get the mix right. Otherwise, it might sound too overly synthesized.

The Vir2 Acou6tics VST also has an excellent library of chord samples, which, with some work, can help you achieve a crisp and realistic sound.