There is no denying that the guitar is one of the most suitable and flexible instruments. Consequently, producers use it in many different creative ways. Since the birth of the electric guitar, we have witnessed massive progress in the guitar sound, amps that accompany them, and countless effects that bend the guitar sound in almost unimaginable ways. Multi-Effect processors became a standard device used in both studio and stage performances.


Guitar distortion and modulation


In recent decades we were introduced to various significant digital effects that are simulating distortion and many other effects for shaping and bending the guitar sound. The best thing about these software devices is that they possess everything in the box, so the options for processing the guitar sound became practically endless. One of these guitar multi-effect software plugins is Guitar Rig by Native Instruments, to which I will dedicate the following tutorial.


NI Guitar Rig 5

GUITAR RIG 5 is a modular and expandable effects processor from Native Instruments, combining creative effects routing possibilities with ease-of-use and pristine sound quality. Also, the Guitar Rig environment is a modular system, providing capabilities for multiple amplifiers, effects pedals, and rack-mounted hardware. The software simulates several devices, such as preamplifiers, cabinets, and microphones. Since the number of modules available in Guitar Rig is quite big, I will not bother you with all of them. I will show you how it sounds and let you further experiment on your own.


Guitar Processing


I have recorded a short guitar riff in SoundBridge. Without further delay, let’s hear how this guitar sequence sounds unprocessed.



~Guitar Riff – Unprocessed


In Guitar Rig, as you can see from the picture below, there is a section with modules on the left side of the interface. So I will start by placing one module after another by dragging and dropping it on the right-side section.





Firstly, let’s color this guitar riff with some heavy distortion. We will do this with the Guitar Rig`s “Skreamer“ module. Here is how it sounds:


~Guitar Rig processed with Skreamer




Next in the line of modules, from the line of amplifiers, is the one called “Jump“. Its sound is a well-behaved alternative to the Lead 800 – sporting a bit less gain, but at the same time perfecting the smooth, singing lead sounds we love to hear from British amps. Let’s hear how it sounds together with “Skreamer”.



~Guitar Rig processed with Skreamer & Jump


Control Room


The 3rd module in the line which I have chosen is “Control Room“. Unlike other offered cabinet modules that have only two different microphones to choose from, “Control Room” allows us to test an array of different microphones on the same cabinet by giving us even more tonal control. Let’s hear now how it sounds paired with two previous modules.



~Guitar Rig processed with Skreamer, Jump & Control Room




To finalize the processing of this guitar riff, I will finish by adding the “PsycheDelay” module. This stereo delay creates sounds that range from standard echo/ambient sounds to reversed effects that recall the “backward tape” sounds of the 1960s. To conclude, let us hear now how it sounds altogether.



~Guitar Rig processed with Skreamer, Jump, Control Room & Psychedelay


Feel free to download the project here.