Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4

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GR 4
GR 4


General Information

Original Author: Staffay

Weapon: Guitar Amp Modelling Software

Make: Native Instruments

Model: Guitar Rig 4

Price: 99 - 449 $

Product Description

First of all I will mention that it is nearly impossible to make a review of a software this complicated without using a lot of pages. Therefore I will try to focus on the most interesting points of view.

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 is the long awaited update to version 3, and is a state-of-the-art computer modelling amp software. It features 15 different amp models, several cabinet types and plenty of modelled effects. It also features a "tape-deck", metronome, tuner, loop machine and can be connected together with the GR3 controller to be used in live situations. It works both as a standalone, VST-instrument and is RTAS compatible for Pro Tools users. NI seems to move towards the session/live player with this platform and this product is not solely for home/studio use. There are four alternatives available at the moment of the software in different price ranges/configurations as listed below. There are also updates available to GR3 owners at a reduced price.

Guitar Rig 4 Pro (only software) 199 $ / 179 € Guitar Rig 4 Pro/GR3 controller bundle 449$ / 399 € Guitar Rig 4 Essentials 119 $ / 99 € Guitar Rig 4 Mobile 119 $ / 99 € (portable audio interface with bundled Essintial software)

News from Version 3

- Control room, that enables the user to emulate 8 different microphones with 6 different speaker cabinets.

- 3 new amps. Hot Plex, Cool Plex emulates vintage Marshalls and Jump emulates a JCM 800 with a little less gain than the old Lead 800 version found in GR3.

- 2 new delay effects and 2 new reverbs.

- A master effects section that can be applied to any sound making it easy to compare different amp/speaker types with the same effect settings.

- New presets.


Minor changes like new graphics, easier navigation through menus has been made. The interface is pretty easy to learn and no manual is actually needed, as You can browse the presets to see how they are done. There are two "modes" for the interface. One for live situations and one for studio use. The amps & effects is very easy to identify with their role models, as they both look and are named similar. The only thing that messes the interface up is that if You are using a lower resolution on the computer screen, You will be in a situation with two scrollbars to the right. Since the modules takes quite a bit of the screen each, it is sometimes hard to get an overview of what really makes up a sound.

The metronome works great and has an unusual sound in the higher register, but when You get used to it, it's even easier to play with than the "normal" metronome sound. On the wishlist stands a possibility to program the metronome in steps, eg. so it can gradually increase the speed. The "tapedecks" works very well, and You can use one for playback and the other one for recording, which makes it a breeze to play along to backing tracks and record it simoultaneously. Since I don't have access to the GR3 controller at the moment this is written, I can't actually review it's functions.


The first consideration to be taken about how this software sounds is actually what sound card You are using. Eg. - the better sound card, the better sound You get. NI has put a lot of effort to make this product match "the real thing", and by my means this release is big leap forward, but still the tone and response is a little "flat" for my taste. In a recording situation the software works great though, there's nearly every sound You can imagine already in the presets and it's just to fine-tune one of them to suit Your taste. One must also consider the fact: What goes in comes out, the better guitar & better playing, the better it sounds. Personally I use this software for quick recording/practising and it is great tool which sounds great in most situations. All the amps modelled is very close to the originals and there is plenty of possibilities to adjust the sound.

Sound Clips

(Provided by NI instruments)

Overall Impression

This release is far better than version 3 and for some reason, I find it more responsive and a little warmer than GR3. The interface is improved, but still there is room for some improvements. I have not tested it on Vista 32/64 bit, but it's said to be compatible and NI is a company one can trust, since all of their products is top-of-the-line. For 199 $, which is actually "cheap" comparing to get all this stuff and record it with a top mixer/mics. It's overall an outstanding product in the field of amp emulators and can be highly recommended. Compared to it's competitors, this is top-notch - both in versatility and sound-wise, but the battle rages on.... But as i stated before: Personally I don't think nothing beats "the real thing".

Alternative Weapon

NI Guitar Rig 4
SimulAnalog Guitar Suite
Multimedia Amplitube 2.1

- Amplitube
- Guitar Devil
- Digidesign Eleven guitar amp emulator (Pro Tools)
- Powercore Tubifex (requires TC Powercore)
- Waves GTR3
- Vintage Amp Room / [Metal Amp Room] (just the amps, no effects)
- Peavey Revalver
- SimulAnalog Guitar Suite (free!)
- Free Amp 2 (free!)
- Tube Amp Baby (free!)

System Requirements

- Mac OS 10.5, Intel Core Duo 1.66 GHz, 1024 MB RAM Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista (32/64 bit), Pentium/Athlon XP 1.4 GHz, 1024 MB RAM

- Supported platforms: Mac OS X: Stand-alone, VST®, Audio Units™, RTAS® (Pro Tools 7/8) Windows: Stand-alone, VST®, RTAS® (Pro Tools 7/8)

- Supported drivers Mac OS X: Core Audio™ Windows: ASIO® (recommended), DirectSound™, WASAPI

  • NOTE! This is a processor-intensive plug. When running it in HQ-mode it takes a lot of resources from the computer, so if You planning to run it in conjunction with other plug-ins, be prepared to have a good computer!