There have been some great advances in digital and software modelling of amplifiers and effects in the past few years. There are a number of different options out there in the market, all with varying prices, and options. Some companies also offer hardware like footswitch boards to interface with their software, making the line between “real” music gear like amps and effects pedals and software very thin.
I received a copy of Waves GTR Solo on a one year free trial directly from Waves. I thought it would be a great way to play guitar quietly, and still get the sound of a cranked up tube amp.
GTR Solo is a condensed, “light” version of Waves GTR package, and contains 10 amp models, and 13 effects pedal models, as well as a range of cabinets and microphones. The amp range are as follows:
- Clean Based on a 1959 tweed Fender® Bassman®
- Sweet Based on a 1968 Gibson® Skylark
- Edgy Based on a 1980 Vox® AC-30 TB-2
- Drive Based on a 1964 blackface Fender® Super Reverb®
- Overdrive Based on a 1980 Marshall® JMP
- High gain
- Crunch Based on a boutique amplifier from Paul Reed Smith’s personal collection
- Shredder Based on a Marshall® JMP1 preamp
- PRS Scorch Based on a boutique amplifier from Paul Reed Smith’s personal collection
- PRS Crush Based on a modified 50W Marshall® MK2
- Solid state bass
- Solid State Based on a Hartke® 3500
Each amp model has it’s own distinctive tone, and when you can pair them up with any speaker cabinet, ranging from 1 x12s to 4x10s and 4x12s, and an array of microphone it opens up a whole world of tone. And don’t forget all the standard effects too.
I personally favoured the clean amp models hit with an overdrive pedal model, and the noise gate/compressor pedal to cover up the extra noise that the models generated. Yes! That’s right, this software acts just like real amps and pedals. Cranking a clean amp model such as the Sweet Gibson Skylark, and hitting it with an overdrive pedal resulted in awesome tone, but as it would be in the real world with these amps a high degree of noise was generated too. This all adds to the authenticity of the models.
I also quite liked the 3 Drive amps. They were capable of generating awesome rock and metal tones. I found the high gain models are little too much for my tastes, and I didn’t really play with the bass amp model.
Changing the cabinet and microphone also offered a huge array of tonal variations with the amps, and all react much like the real thing.
One thing I was a little disappointed with was I could not find a way to open GTR Solo in an audio recording program. I’m not sure if this was because GTR Solo, being a “light” variation in the GTR range of software didn’t have the functionality, or if I just could not work it out. Either way I think it would have been fun to record with this package.
If you would like to try out some computer based amp and effect modelling software Waves GTR Solo is a great starting point. Their one year free trial is a brilliant, as it really gives you plenty of time to play around with the software, and decide if you really like it. And the amp/FX/Speaker/Mic combinations all work so well.
I have also reviewed this on Jemsite’s comparison shopping. Go check it out for more reviews on this product, and prices at different online stores.