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Version 3: I had an accident and could no longer play guitar. :- (. I missed having guitar on my tracks, especially acoustic accompaniment and riffs. I tried using my synths, but they sounded like synths! I needed something real — something human! Waiting for friends to come over and play parts for me became inconvenient and embarrassing. I needed to find a way to lay down tracks on my own. I needed a virtual guitarist! I went on a mission, buying and trying nearly every guitar library ever made. A couple of them weren't bad, but most of them left me cold or frustrated. I was tired of filling my hard drive with thousands and thousands of samples that were packaged in a non-user friendly interface. The last thing I wanted to do was spend more years learning complicated key-switches. By the time I got a track down, the inspiration was lost. I was discouraged and frustrated until I tried MusicLab's RealGuitar. It's fantastic!.
The interface is neat, clean, and fun! I'm a visual person, and I love seeing the notes on the virtual neck. The way the keyboard is laid out is intelligent, giving total control over the type of strum, fret noise, slide, tremolo, and all the other little squeaks and articulations. The strum engine is a snap to work with and as powerful as you need it to be. I think they call it the "Struminator." The built-in rhythmic patterns usually give me exactly what I need, and if not. .. I can simply make adjustments or create my own patterns. All in all, RealGuitar is easy to use, sounds realistic, and sits perfectly in the mix. This is the first sample-based virtual guitar plug-in I've found that truly emulates the real thing. I've got pretty good ears and most of the time I cannot tell if it's real or RealGuitar. I feel like I'm playing again! Thank you, MusicLab, for creating such a great product. :-). I'm saving up to buy RealStrat and/or RealLPC.
Version 4 (update): RealGuitar v3 by MusicLab is an amazing piece of audio software and represents the finest in virtual guitars, and it just got better with the release of v4. Like many previous version users, I had to consider whether or not to upgrade. After reading through the list of improvements and new features, it was impossible for me to pass on this one, and I'm glad I went for it.
The new Song Mode alone was enough to justify upgrading. I'm a songwriter, and I work in a linear fashion, measure by measure and in structural parts, i.e., intro, verse, pre-chorus, rise, climb chorus, bridge, middle eight, etc. The Song Mode in RG4 helps to create backing tracks in a familiar and natural way — as if I had a guitar in my hands and could play it well. The Time line enabled easy navigation along the song. And, to make the workflow as simple as possible, chords are inserted into the song track and patterns are drag-n-dropped into it.
The Pattern Library Browser has been improved, and provides faster access to over 1200 guitar rhythm patterns that are neatly categorized and selected with the help of the Pattern Filter. Any inserted pattern can quickly be multiplied or edited throughout the song. Chord edited has also been enhanced. Other improvements include Humanizing (sound, timing, velocity, pitch), FretNoise (trigger) FX, Transpose, Harmonics, etc.
Version 4 is a significant update, and I'm glad I grabbed it!