VST guitar options for metal in 2022

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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Dormant
KVRer
Topic Starter
12 posts since 1 Apr, 2022

Post Thu Dec 01, 2022 7:10 am

Hi! I’m composer-hobbyist and I’m writing <not-so-modern> metal instrumentals with mainly VST instruments. Currently I’m sticking with Shreddage 3 Hydra for VST guitars, I’m pretty happy with it, but not always (haha). It’s solid, but has its weaknesses. So I wonder if there are good competitors in 2022.
Can we discuss about VST guitars (mainly 7 and 8 string) in metal songwriting for rhythms, leads and cleans, which ones you tried and which one do you prefer, their strengths and weaknesses?

As I’m starting this thread, I will start this discussion with my subjective opinions.

1. Shreddage 3 Hydra
As I said I think it’s really solid 8-string guitar with awesome number of options. Two blendable pickups, many articulations, unison bends, preferable fret position, forced string selection and even 4 different algos for virtual player’s logic.
For downsides, I really can’t get its anti-repetition algo to work right with double-tracking (with two separate instances of library). As a result, this guitar sometimes struggles to play repetitive notes while sounding not like a robot. Also, sometimes I have troubles to get my slides to work the way I want it (some slow slides through whole fretboard or realistic short slide-ish transitions while heavy riffing). And no muted tremolo articulation makes me sad.

2. Shreddage 3 Jypiter
This guitar has almost the same strengths and weaknesses as Hydra, but with less options (no additional pickups at least). Jupiter sounds WAY darker and I would say muffled even with tone control at max. I feel it has slightly better palm mutes and tremolo tho.

3. Ample Sound Hellrazer
I had a chance to play with it once. It sounded good but… I felt like it sounded less natural compared to Hydra. Maybe Hellrazer has less round-robins? IDK. I think It’s easier to control, but it is more limited at the same time.

4. Solemn Tones Odin II
Very sharp and crisp sounding guitar, which is good for low-tuned modern metal tones I suppose. I think it’s great for quick demos as a rhythm-guitar, but not as good for leads etc. It has a solid number of articulations, but no preferred fret position nor string selection, so this VSTi feels very limited for deep programming.

5. Heavier7Strings
I should say, this VSTi has absolute BEST sounding repetitive sustains I’ve heard so far, just wow. I wish Shreddage can sound like this! But as good its sustains are, its mutes are as bad. I just can’t get it sound right. While playing two notes in short intervals, I can hear mostly only one of them.
Another big problem for me personally – it has no keyswitches for critical articulations and options, only CC (or velocity control for sustain/mute/choke). Why, Three-Body Tech, why…

6. Cabal 8
Haven’t tried it, only watched demos. Pretty interesting slides realization, but… this guitar has something wrong with its attacks sound. It’s just not sound real. I can see it good for DOOM-like stuff, but otherwise… idk.

7. Musiclab RealEight
Long time ago I was intrigued by good djenty demos on YT, but then, eh… It’s all it can do. Sounds like midi-guitar, not realistic at all. Sorry.

Another two options I heard of, but haven’t tried: Prominy V-Metal (it’s old, but may be still worth it? I wasn’t able to find good demos with it tho) and Evolution Dracus (I have no idea about it, only seen some meh reviews).

It’s all metal VST guitars I know about. What do you think? Do anyone have experience with any of these? Did I missed some gem libraries you know about?


P.S. Sorry for my english.

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MJACau
KVRist
120 posts since 22 Jun, 2020

Post Thu Dec 01, 2022 9:08 pm


BBFG#
KVRAF
7042 posts since 28 Apr, 2013

Post Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:46 am

Re: Musiclab RealEight...
Not my favorite out of the bunch either. I'm assuming you picked it because of the extended range?
To me, it reminds me of their active pickup sound. More suited to Toto than Metallica IMO. If range is the reason you might try running it, or even the others on your list, through Blue Cat's Re-Guitar.
https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_ReGuitar/

Dormant
KVRer
Topic Starter
12 posts since 1 Apr, 2022

Post Fri Dec 02, 2022 5:24 am

MJACau wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 9:08 pm Here are a few more I use.

* SSG7 V - Guitar Synth
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/ssg7-v ... o-major7th

* Iron Axe - Guitar Synth
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/ironaxe-by-xhun-audio

* Carbon - Guitar Rompler
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/virtua ... nstruments
Oh, the first two are synths actually, not sampled instruments. Interesting.
Listened to SSG7, it souds fake... like a synth indeed.
Iron Axe, on the other hand, is quite good in comparison. Still not enough to say it's a real guitar, but may be there are better sound demos?
I never was a fan of UJAM instruments, honestly... Carbon sounds ok for scoring, layering, some creative design stuff, but not as primary instrument. It's sampled, but still sounds not like a real guitar.

If you using it, may be you can post or send me some good examples in a mix?
BBFG# wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:46 am Re: Musiclab RealEight...
Not my favorite out of the bunch either. I'm assuming you picked it because of the extended range?
To me, it reminds me of their active pickup sound. More suited to Toto than Metallica IMO. If range is the reason you might try running it, or even the others on your list, through Blue Cat's Re-Guitar.
https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_ReGuitar/
Yes I'm aiming mainly for low tunings.
Re-Guitar looks interesting as tone-shaping tool, I definitely will check it out. But the main problem with VST guitars is not the tone but features they provide for realistic sounding riffs, articulations etc.

For example, for drums it's all about programming skills, not the samples actually, to sound realistic. But for guitars, programming skills can't save it if source sounds like synth and not like real recorded instrument.

rasmusklump
KVRAF
1650 posts since 13 May, 2004 from Germany

Post Fri Dec 02, 2022 9:24 am

Dormant wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 5:24 am
MJACau wrote: Thu Dec 01, 2022 9:08 pm Here are a few more I use.

* SSG7 V - Guitar Synth
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/ssg7-v ... o-major7th

* Iron Axe - Guitar Synth
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/ironaxe-by-xhun-audio

* Carbon - Guitar Rompler
https://www.kvraudio.com/product/virtua ... nstruments
Oh, the first two are synths actually, not sampled instruments. Interesting.
Listened to SSG7, it souds fake... like a synth indeed.
Iron Axe, on the other hand, is quite good in comparison. Still not enough to say it's a real guitar, but may be there are better sound demos?
I never was a fan of UJAM instruments, honestly... Carbon sounds ok for scoring, layering, some creative design stuff, but not as primary instrument. It's sampled, but still sounds not like a real guitar.

If you using it, may be you can post or send me some good examples in a mix?
BBFG# wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:46 am Re: Musiclab RealEight...
Not my favorite out of the bunch either. I'm assuming you picked it because of the extended range?
To me, it reminds me of their active pickup sound. More suited to Toto than Metallica IMO. If range is the reason you might try running it, or even the others on your list, through Blue Cat's Re-Guitar.
https://www.bluecataudio.com/Products/Product_ReGuitar/
Yes I'm aiming mainly for low tunings.
Re-Guitar looks interesting as tone-shaping tool, I definitely will check it out. But the main problem with VST guitars is not the tone but features they provide for realistic sounding riffs, articulations etc.

For example, for drums it's all about programming skills, not the samples actually, to sound realistic. But for guitars, programming skills can't save it if source sounds like synth and not like real recorded instrument.
I didn't know SSG7 but demoed it right now because of this thread and I have to say with a good ampsim it sounds really good. I am going to buy it this evening so that I can use it tomorrow 😉

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MJACau
KVRist
120 posts since 22 Jun, 2020

Post Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:14 pm

Oh, the first two are synths actually, not sampled instruments. Interesting.
Listened to SSG7, it souds fake... like a synth indeed.
Out of the box, it sounds crap (And the interface is cluttered and terrible) but it works and is very usable.
You have to turn off it's awful effects and use you own amp sim (like you would have to with Solemn Tones's Odin)
With some creative key switching you can get it to sound as good Shreddage without the weight of Kontakt.
scoring, layering, some creative design stuff
In defence of Ujam Carbon, what your saying is very similar to Ujam's marketing for Carbon, so obviously Ujam want to market it as broadly as possible.
For Carbon the same as SSG7 turn off effects, use your favorite amp sim, it can do what Odin can do with rhythm and leads with it's key switching system, no pitch harmonics sadly.
But for guitars, programming skills can't save it if source sounds like synth and not like real recorded instrument.
It is up to you the artist, the technician to make it sound 'believable', and bend these plugins to your will, just as much as the drums programming.

And I forgot about Iridium Iris's Lethality, a free Guitar synth.
https://plugins4free.com/plugin/2009/

Dormant
KVRer
Topic Starter
12 posts since 1 Apr, 2022

Post Sat Dec 03, 2022 1:57 am

MJACau wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:14 pm You have to turn off it's awful effects and use you own amp sim
I always use external amp sims and IRs with any VSTi guitar.
MJACau wrote: Fri Dec 02, 2022 12:14 pm With some creative key switching you can get it to sound as good Shreddage without the weight of Kontakt.
I'm fine with detailed keyswitch programming as I do it with Shreddage anyways, but can you please show me some good examples where SSG7 sound that realistic?

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MJACau
KVRist
120 posts since 22 Jun, 2020

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 5:04 am

but can you please show me some good examples where SSG7 sound that realistic?
'Realistic' for a Guitar sounding synths is subjective as it's not a guitar in the physical sense, just try the demo and see what you come up with.
I think most wavetable synths can simulate a guitar plucking sound pretty easily, I know Icarus can, I'm sure Vital has guitar like pre-sets.

Dormant
KVRer
Topic Starter
12 posts since 1 Apr, 2022

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:11 am

MJACau wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 5:04 am
but can you please show me some good examples where SSG7 sound that realistic?
'Realistic' for a Guitar sounding synths is subjective as it's not a guitar in the physical sense, just try the demo and see what you come up with.
I think most wavetable synths can simulate a guitar plucking sound pretty easily, I know Icarus can, I'm sure Vital has guitar like pre-sets.
Here is the problem. I want realistic virtual instrument. I don't mind if it's synth or sample library, if it sounds realistic enough.

I think I can call myself objective for the word "realistic" here, because I'm guitarist. I can easily hear if instrument sounds fake, I'm interested only in ones that can trick me. SSG7 can't. This synth sounds like synth. It has good modelling and imitation of string playing, but I can easily tell it's imitation, not a guitar.

rasmusklump
KVRAF
1650 posts since 13 May, 2004 from Germany

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:53 am

Have you only listened to the demos or actually tried the demo with a good ampsim?
I did demo it and it sounds really good

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MJACau
KVRist
120 posts since 22 Jun, 2020

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 8:01 am


Here is the problem. I want realistic virtual instrument. I don't mind if it's synth or sample library, if it sounds realistic enough.

I think I can call myself objective for the word "realistic" here, because I'm guitarist. I can easily hear if instrument sounds fake, I'm interested only in ones that can trick me. SSG7 can't. This synth sounds like synth. It has good modelling and imitation of string playing, but I can easily tell it's imitation, not a guitar.
That's because your a Guitarist and not a keyboard player. All Synths are 'fake by design' your never going to get a Real Guitar sound (TM), because it's not a real guitar. :lol:
Maybe you're after Midi-guitar?! That's understandable, Guitar is your instrument.
I'm a Bass player, guitar doesn't interest me I dislike using picks, my needs are different, I use Guitar synths for composing so "realism" is not my main aim, but what works for the music I make.

It sounds like you have already made up your mind what you like using, Hydra for rhythm and Heavier7Strings for leads.
Last edited by MJACau on Wed Dec 07, 2022 5:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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VELLTONE MUSIC
KVRAF
1724 posts since 19 Sep, 2017 from The Future

Post Tue Dec 06, 2022 12:31 pm

i'm x rock-metal guitar player and made a rare sounset for sylenth1 while ago especially for metal and heavy genres - the sound has unique dark,doom,apocalyptic harmonic content,can't make such with distortion over guitar.
Haven't seen anything like it anywhere as soundset.
May upgrade and release it again.
Cheers :)

Alex_Longard
KVRist
155 posts since 4 Dec, 2014 from Ukraine, Germany->Munich

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:32 am

VELLTONE MUSIC wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 12:31 pm i'm x rock-metal guitar player and made a rare sounset for sylenth1 while ago especially for metal and heavy genres - the sound has unique dark,doom,apocalyptic harmonic content,can't make such with distortion over guitar.
Haven't seen anything like it anywhere as soundset.
May upgrade and release it again.
Cheers :)
Show please your soundset.

User avatar
VELLTONE MUSIC
KVRAF
1724 posts since 19 Sep, 2017 from The Future

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 7:59 am

Alex_Longard wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 4:32 am
VELLTONE MUSIC wrote: Tue Dec 06, 2022 12:31 pm i'm x rock-metal guitar player and made a rare sounset for sylenth1 while ago especially for metal and heavy genres - the sound has unique dark,doom,apocalyptic harmonic content,can't make such with distortion over guitar.
Haven't seen anything like it anywhere as soundset.
May upgrade and release it again.
Cheers :)
Show please your soundset.
can't find video with more agressive madness,so cut a piece to hear how the 'normal' presets sounds under instruments.
The set was named 'Alien Invasion' but original sound was alternated many times after that.
The resonance,drive and distortion was combined very specific way and what was interesting as idea these presets was first arpegiated ,then sequenced with lfo.
Definitely will assemble a separate set,i guess 10 euro would be folks price,even have a working title A.I.R Dark Force - sometimes lose inspiration and days hybernate as sound design activity :)
Write me to my email to find and send you some more agressive stuff,cause will forget if don't remind me about that.
Cheers :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFWQqXGh_EU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD8MZgmJjZE

Jason Washburn
KVRian
569 posts since 18 Jul, 2007 from Quebec, Canada

Post Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:13 am


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