A Guide To Guitar VST Plugins


In music production, there are a lot of variables that have to be regulated to ensure that the final sound comes out as intended. 

This can be a difficult task, especially when dealing with recorded sounds as they are subjected to a lot of interference which end up altering the original composition. 

To correct this, people have resorted to the use of various software for making the necessary adjustments thus producing realistic tunes. One such program is the VST plugin. Here are more details about it. You can also see more details by checking out the best plugins for DAW.

What is a VST guitar plugin?

The acronym stands for Virtual Studio Technology. It is basically a piece of software that can be used to impose the desired guitar effects on a recording. 

It is used on Digital Work Stations (DAW) and is available in a variety of formats hence can be used with all kinds of stations. As such, it is widely accessible across most platforms. This makes it very popular among artists and producers. 

Acquiring access to it is as easy as downloading it and installing it on the platform that you are using. Some are free of charge while some come at a price. The configuration process is easy since DAWs usually have a folder that contains plugins. 

When a new one is downloaded and installed, it will be automatically saved in this folder where it can be scanned and found when needed. If the DAW is not programmed that way then you can add it manually through the settings. Click here to learn more.

What are the types available?

They can be divided into two broad categories, namely; audio effects and virtual instruments.


  • Audio effects 


They include:


  • Reverbs


These manipulate the spatial component of the composition to make it sound like it was taken in a particular space incorporating the aspect of sound reflection. This makes it come out more natural as opposed to a recording with no reverb. 

There are lots of options to choose from such as plate, chamber, hall, and room reverb. They all differ from each other to an extent. For example, the latter is the smallest and replicates the recording in a room setup with natural imperfections.

The hall on the other hand brings out a balanced tone with only a little amount of echoes, just like in a concert.


  • Vocal processors


They directly impact the vocals by altering attributes such as pitch and key. You can use them to transform your recording into something different. 

If your composition needs specific notes that you just can’t hit then these can come in very handy. The popular auto-tune feature is in this class. 

Aspects such as vocal register, scale, dry and wet mix, and speed are usually controlled using the auto-tune. You can also make it sound more human-like than robot-like or the other way around depending on how you like it.


  • Equalizers


These are the most common of the audio effects plugin. They serve to alter the harmonics of the recorded file by increasing, decreasing, or even removing certain frequencies thus changing the sound. 

As such, they can be used to make specific frequencies more pronounced than others thereby making them stand out. They can also be used to make the different components blend smoothly with each other to produce an equalized composition. 

Some of the commonly used ones are Dynamic, Graph, and Parametric EQ. 


  • Virtual instruments 


These are great in simulating sounds of various musical instruments. They work with MIDI tracks. Examples include:


  • Guitar VST 


They can either acquire their sounds from real guitar samples or oscillators. Thus they produce realistic tunes that you can rely on. The oscillators dictate the pitch produced by influencing the frequency at which this will happen. Therefore, it can be varied to give various keys as required.


  • Drum VST


This is composed of a set of virtual drums that is accessed through the interface using input devices such as keyboard and mouse. You can adjust settings to make the drums produce the music of your choice in terms of elements such as pitch and reverb. 

 What to consider when choosing a plugin?

There are a number of factors to take into consideration when trying to find the best plugins. These include:


  • Your genre


You should pick the type of plugin that matches the genre of the music that you are working on. It makes your work easier since you will only have to make a few adjustments to obtain the music you desire. Unless you are experimenting with something new, it makes no sense using a rock guitar plugin on jazz music for instance.


  • Compatibility


The type that you choose should be compatible with the platform that you are using and other materials. For example, if you intend to use the virtual instruments then you should go for VST version 2 and above. If your system only supports 64-bit plugins, then make sure you go for exactly that.


  • Price


This varies depending on the functionality being provided. Those with more advanced features with a wide variety to choose from will cost more than those with only basic features. It is important that you check out the ones that come with your DAW before you go looking for others. You can also download the free ones online and test them with your tracks. You might find one that works great for you and save yourself lots of money.



You don’t need to have an actual guitar to be able to produce good music. With these plugins, you can tweak your recordings to come up with the sound that you desire. For an upcoming artist, it would be wise to capitalize on these as they will save you both money and time that you would have used to buy and perfect the guitar. Remember to make use of the free ones first before you decide to invest in the paid versions. You just have to make a couple of adjustments and you will be having your well-customized natural music in no time. There are still a few other plugins you can use for mastering.


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