The Gmc Guide To Free High Quality Tone

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The Gmc Guide To Free High Quality Tone -- UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!

An article by The Uncreator



So we all want that Mesa Triple, Engl, 6505, Diezel, 5150, AxeFx, or whatever. We also would all want it for free - BUT - we unfortunately live in reality and this is not an option. For those of us who lack the often thousands of dollars to purchase high end equipment, there are solutions such as Native Instruments Guitar Rig 5, Overloud TH2, IK Multimedia's Amplitube 3, or Peavey's Revalver that can all be bought for a couple hundred dollars.

These products essentially emulate many of the high end equipment we love and know, and with recent releases, often times do it remarkably well. They also offer different mic positions, cabinets, stompboxes, and other processing alongside its guitar amp emulation. I will personally testify that these products are worth your money, especially Guitar Rig which produces brilliant lead and solo tones, and exceptional cleans.

Now, there is still yet another option. And this is the best part, everything mentioned from here on out is free. Do not make the mistake and assume that this freeware cannot stand on its own against the might of NI products or Peavey's legendary tone, these not only hold their ground, they often times exceed them.

With a guitar amp, there are many deciding factors such as room, mic placement, mic type, dual mic'ing etc. This is not only expensive, but most of us do not live in studio conditions. These freeware programs ( and the aforementioned ones) emulate the room, the mic type and position, and many other nuances home studio artists might struggle to achieve. These programs are simple VST's that can be opened in your signal chain inside your DAW. Now, lets begin! user posted image

The amp

LePou Lecto


LeCto is a guitar amp simulator inspired by an american modern high gain head. This simulator has 2 channels with 3 modes on each channel. It can go from crunch (raw mode) to modern high gain (modern mode).

Features :

-oversampling : determines the signal oversampling; up to 8x
-mono/stereo : determines the signal routing
-input : controls the magnitude of the input signal
-drive : controls the amount of gain
-low : controls the low frequency
-mid : controls the mid frequency
-high : controls the high frequency
-presence : presence control
-resonance* : controls the amount of resonance resulting from the interaction with the speaker cabinet

  • Only active on modern mode

LePou Legion


LeGion is a high gain preamp simulator. This is an original design, it's not based on any hardware gear. My goal here was to build a high gain sim that doesn't need any booster in front in order to be tight.

- 2 channels, actually two completely different preamp circuit
- 2 modes on each channel, rhythm and lead
- 2 tonestacks assignable to any of the 2 channels
- the usual drive and tone controls

Thanks again to requietus for his great job on the GUI.
Thanks also to the testers : Alu, daxliniere, cococo, shogger, Dimi, onqel and HOTRIFF.

New version 1.01:
- more output volume
- less volume variations with coutour changes

LePou LE456


It's a preamp sim roughly based on a famous German gear. It has 2 channels and 2 modes per channel. Each channels/modes share the same features. Apart from the usual tone controls (drive, low, mid, high and contour), each channels/modes offer two different tone stacks that can be accessed via the focus switches. Bottom and bright switches can be used to boost the low and the high frequencies respectively. On the low gain channel only (Clean/Crunch), the effectiveness of the bright switch decreases with the gain settings.

Nick Crow 8505


HQ - Oversampling ON / OFF. Use OFF to reduce CPU usage, use ON to get the quality sound without aliases (more CPU). When a project or the track is exported to a wave file (mixdown, bounce, render, freeze) oversampling is always automatically enabled regardless of the position of the button.
GAIN - Determines the amount of gain applied by the Pre Amp.
LOW, MID, SWEEP, HIGH - Tone Stack controls.
POWER AMP - Determines the amount of gain applied by the Power Amp.
VOLUME - Output level.

TSE (The Serina Experiment) Products



There are many more but these are some of the widely used and highly acclaimed products. The amp will be first in your signal chain, but an amp by itself is nothing right? You need the cabinets, and this is where things get interesting.

The cabinets

Now the cab emulation is where the variety comes into place. What do I mean by variety? Well I mean almost 700 plus samples of mic'ed cabinets. These however, are in the form of something called an impulse response, which in short and without getting technical about it, is a small .wav file that emulates a certain condition such as mic distances, type, room etc.

To use these you need something to load the impulse, which is know commonly as the "cab sim".

LePou LeCab2


KeFir V3


These are two amongst many, although the best and easiest to use. LeCab 2 is without a doubt my personal favorite as it allows blending of up to six IR's to create massive, unique tones. These will be second in your signal chain, just like in an actual amp setup would go, head first then Cab.

With these two entities you can easily start to develop and experiment with tone, and I do mean experiment. This where the big difference between the paid software and the freeware comes in. Guitar Rig does not want you to spend hours developing a tone, they have many presets and its designed for easy use. These freeware programs do require time, but they pay off in much more colored ways in reference to your tone. They allow for a more personal touch that can give you a great sound.

Next we need those impulses to load, and right off the bat I will give you more than 700 in one free easy download

The Impulse Response

God's Cab Impulse Responses

GuitarHack Impulses

Once you download these, inside your DAW when you have LeCab2 for example, you will be prompted to select a directory for the IR's. Simply select the location these were downloaded and extracted to and scroll through the list. Each file is a different mic, at a different distance, on a different cab. So there is a lot of experimentation to be done!

But we are guitarist here, and we love gear right? Of course, so here are yet some MORE free VST's that can be utilized to produce more varieties of tone!

The Accessories

Ignite Amps