Best Free Virtual Guitar Amp Simulators VST for PC and Mac
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Best Free Virtual Guitar Amp Simulators VST for PC and Mac

If you are a guitarist, you know the struggle you have to face when you want to record. Micing up amps, tweaking your mic placement every take till you get the right tone. Spending thousands of dollars getting the boutique tube amps so you can get the right tones that can help you sound like your favorite artists.

These everyday struggles of guitarists can be resolved very easily nowadays with one simple thing: virtual guitar amp simulators.

Guitar amplifier softwares or simulators have come a long way; today, they are seen as true competitors to real amps. You can find comparison videos all over YouTube comparing amp sims and real amps.

Whether you are a fan of guitar amplifiers software or the real amps, there is no harm in trying out something new that is free. So, here are some of my favorite free virtual guitar amp simulators that will get you the perfect guitar sound for your next song.

This list is just a collection of free amp sims that I have personally used and recommend.

The list mentioned in this article is not in any particular order; these softwares can all serve different purposes for different players, so try them out yourself and let me know how you like them.

Some Of The Best Free Guitar Amp Software For Pc And Mac

Amplitube 5 CS

Amplitube 5 CS
Amplitube 5 CS: Image Source

Starting the list is one of the best guitar amp software that exists in the market right now. Amplitube is extremely versatile, and you can create the perfect tone out of Amplitube no matter what genre you play.

The new Amplitube 5 is their best simulation software yet, and it has a completely free-to-use demo that you can use forever called the Amplitube 5 CS.

Features

  • You will get 5 amps with matching cabs, 10 stompboxes, and some rack effects in the free version. 
  • You can purchase any of the paid amps or effects you want from the Custom Shop store and add them to your collection.
  • Great control over every aspect of your tone from pre and post-processing available inside the software itself, allowing you to do in-the-box mixing within the software itself.
  • You can use this both in-studio and live because the software can be midi controlled and programmed. 
  • If you don’t want to use a DAW, you can use Amplitube as a standalone guitar effects software. 
  • Amplitube is available both on PC and Mac.

Review

Amplitube 5 CS is a solid free guitar amp software for PC and Mac. It provides great control over your tone, and it is really versatile, allowing you to control and shape your tone just as you want.

It sounds very realistic, and it is one of the best amp simulations in the market right now. You can create amazing tones with this software with little experience as well.

The standalone feature is what really makes me happy as I don’t feel like opening up my DAW every time I want to play guitar.

Also, the overall interface and tweaking ability are sure to satisfy even the harshest guitar nerds, so it is a great software that you can try out.

Pros
  • Amplitube has one of the best sounding amp simulations in the market right now. It sounds very close to real tube amps.
  • Amplitube has an interactive UI that is easy to navigate, and you can easily use this software without any prior experience.
  • The various stompboxes and effects can help you create every tone that you need in your arsenal. If you want any particular amp or effect, you can directly buy that effect/amp from the custom shop, saving you the cost of buying a full software license.
  • This software is both PC and Mac compatible. Due to its compatibility with all systems, Amplitube helps you share your project files and presets with everyone.
Cons
  • It takes a while to load this software if you are not using a new machine built out of modern specifications.
  • As a demo of paid software, the options are a bit limited when it comes to amp choices, given that the paid software features around over 180 gear models.

You can download Amplitube 5 CS for PC or Mac from the link here.

NaLex Ninja

NaLex Ninja
NaLex Ninja: Source

Coming from one of the best-known amp simulators to a hidden gem. The NaLex Ninja is a completely free amp simulator that you can download and use for modern metal tones. It should be noted that the NaLex Ninja is not a guitar suite; It is just an amp head. So, you will need another software to run the cabinet simulations using impulse responses.

The NaLex Ninja is a very simple-to-use software with an easy UI. The options are limited but effective, as tweaking each knob will help you create a new tone. This software can be best used for creating rock and metal guitar tones. However, the amp has good versatility, and you can get a variety of sounds out of this amp.

Features

  • Great amp simulation for modern guitar metal tones, both clean and distorted. It provides some level of versatility as you can get crunch tones out of this amp as well.
  • Simple UI that is easy to use with great control over the basic aspects of your tone.
  • Sounds great out of the box. You can play both in mono and stereo with the flick of a switch.
  • Modeled to be perfect for rock and metal guitar players giving them all the essential tones.
  • Power amp level knob allows you to shape your tone in interesting ways.

Review

The NaLex Ninja is a great amp simulator that you can get for free. As free software, it definitely has its limitations. The software does not come with a tuner, any stompboxes, or pre/post-processing features. It is a one-trick pony that does what it is meant to do, right. If you want metal guitar tones for free, this is one of the best guitar software for pc free.

Pros
  • Great for rock and metal guitar playing.
  • The quality of tone is really good and does not need additional boosts.
  • Easy to use and gives you a great tone out of the box
  • Requires minimum tweaking to get the right tone
  • The tones are mix-ready and sit well within your rock and metal mixes.
  • Both clean and lead channels are great sounding.
  • Loads up quickly and is very light on your CPU.
Cons
  • Requires additional software to run (cabinet simulators and impulse responses)
  • Great for rock and metal, not for much else
  • Does not have an inbuilt tuner

You can download the online guitar amp NaLex Ninja for PC and Mac from the link here.

Amped Roots Free – ML Sound Labs

Amped Roots Free - ML Sound Labs
Amped Roots Free – ML Sound Labs

If you watch gear videos on YouTube, there is a good chance you may have watched Riffs Beards & Gear. The Amped Roots Free plugin is the signature plugin created in collaboration with the host of the channel Ryan “Fluff” Bruce. I have watched Ryan’s videos over the years, and when this plugin came out, I tried it out at once.

This was the first amp simulator that ML Sound Labs released, and it showed just how amazing their quality of work was. This plugin sounds great out of the box.

There is no need to tweak anything. Be it for distorted rhythm or face-melting leads; you can get it all with this plugin.

Features

  • The free version of Amped Roots features the 5034 Fluff amp, which is a favorite of the artist Ryan Bruce. It sounds great, and it has a very aggressive sound, great for rock and metal.
  • It is the perfect software for plug-and-play. You do not need to tweak anything; load it up, and you are ready to go.
  • You have great cabinet simulation but also the ability to load up your own favorite impulse responses.
  • You get a pedalboard with a noise gate and overdrive to shape your tone the way you want.
  • The amp model included in the free version of the software is based on an EVH 5150 iii model with EL34 tubes.
  • You can use this software with a DAW or in standalone mode on your PC and Mac.

Review

The Amped Roots Free is created for rock and metal guitarists. It does rock and metal great, but that is where it ends. This software does not have any clean sounds at all.

You can lower your guitar volume and gain to clean up your sound a bit, but it is based on the third channel of the EVH 5150 III, so you will not get a crystal clear, clean sound out of this amp.

The features such as the pedalboard and the cabinet selection are great, and they help you get a great sound out of the box that you can use live and in the studio.

If you are a rock and metal guitar player, you need to have this plugin in your arsenal because the tone and the amp simulation are really great. The sound is really tight and aggressive and even responds to your picking strength and style.

Pros
  • Great rock and metal guitar tones out of the box that are mix-ready.
  • Easy to use UI with focus on plug-n-play.
  • Variety of tone presets included for ease of use.
  • The Amped Roots free can be used as a VST or in standalone mode.
  • Included cab sim, impulse response loader, and pedal board give you more options to shape your tone as you want.
Cons
  • Does not have a clean channel
  • Does not have a tuner onboard

You can download Amped Roots Free guitar software for PC and Mac from the link here.

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