INTRO RealRick by MusicLab is an extraordinary virtual guitar that is modeled after two of the most sought after instruments ever made. Some years back I sustained an injury, which has made playing "real" instruments nearly impossible. Yet, I continued to produce music by either hiring a guitarist of making due with sample library instruments. MusicLab eventually came to my rescue by developing RealGuitar for my acoustic needs and RealStrat for my blues, garage rock, funk, and surf needs. I really dig those two instruments, and they have become indispensable musical tools. Note: RealLPC is on my list, but I'm not as much into classic rock and metal and the other genres associated with that fine guitar. What I really hoped for was just released and is now on my MacBook — a virtual 6 and 12-string Rick! I am a huge fan of the British Invasion sound as well as the later jangle guitar bands. My biggest influences are the Beatles, Joy Division, New Order, REM, The Smiths, Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. One of the things they have in common is the unmistakable jangly bell-tone rhythm guitar. I simple love that sound, and now I have it! But I found RealRick to be much more than just an authentic, great sounding Rickenbacker 6 and 12-string sample library. RealRick also features MusicLab's Pattern Manager and Guitar Pattern Library that assist in creating backing rhythm tracks. This is a very playable instrument that is also fun to play.
Ordering and downloading was straightforward.
Surprisingly usable manual.
Installing, authorizing, and launching was a snap.
Interface is attractive.
I selected the "Chords" button, pressed and held a key, was instantly reminded of the early Beatles sound, and smiled.
User-friendly, inspiring interface.
Deep pattern library and excellent pattern browser.
Flexible switch system.
Extensive array of usable articulations (mutes, harmonics, bends, chopping, scrapes, etc.) — yields very realistic results.
Four chord positions with graphic fret-board note/chord display.
Sounds great and is recorded DRY as a bone! Thankfully, there are no baked in effects.
Convenient standalone version (and plugins of course).
Stereo and Mono just like the real thing.
Good price considering what this instrument is capable of doing.
Innovative developer, known for frequent updates.
What guitar is next?
Any chance MusicLab will release a bass collection?
SUMMARY This is a bittersweet day for me as an eMusican/producer. It's sweet because I finally have the virtual guitar I always dreamt about. It's bitter because I no longer have an excuse for not making music. Like the other offerings by MusicLab, RealRick sounds great and inspires creativity. It is addictive, which is much better than staring at my controller and waiting for lightning to strike. I highly recommend RealRick to any eMusician, producer, film and gamer scorer, DJ, sound designer, etc., who is looking for a virtual Rickenbacker 6 and 12-string guitar. If you dig the early to mid-60s sound and the later jangle stuff of the 80s and 90s, this should be on your wishlist. I have no regrets picking this up, and sincerely hope others will share my excitement over this new release. "We keep working to make your music production life even more fun than it is today!" Well, Tommy Zai is having more fun and gives RealRick two big thumbs up! Thank you MusicLab for adding this authentic, legendary guitar to your collection.
Note: In my upcoming project I anticipate using RealStrat for leads, RealGuitar for anything acoustic, and RealRick for Electric Rhythm.
RealRick v4 Update The new RealRick version skips from v1 to v4. This seemed strange to me at first, but then I thought about it and think I figured out Musiclab's rationale. Their other, more seasoned, instruments have naturally progressed through the versions, i.e., 1, 2, 3, and 4. They used the same research and development to bump RealRick up to v4. Like RealStrat and others, RealRick now has improved sound and performance. The most noteworthy new feature is the Song Mode, which helps turn this fine instrument into a powerful workstation. At the risk of criticism, Musiclab seems to be taking a path similar to Toontrack. I see this as brilliant. Most experienced electronic music makers have more plugins than they can count; yet, how many do they use. .. or more importantly, how many help the creative process? The Real instrument line are extremely musical and serve as a songwriting assistant. In use, ideas develop and flow instead of going somewhere to rot and die. Some of my favorite new features include:
• Global Song Mode with option to export MIDI • Easy chord change and pattern insertion • Increased strum time range • Advanced humanize engine with several parameters and randomization options.
All in all, this is a sweet update, and I'm glad I picked it up. It's worth all $49 as an upgrade for registered users. RealRick perfectly captures the chimey, bell-like jangle. Thank you, Musiclab!.
*On a side note, it's been a rough year financially, and I was forced to sell my Jetglow 620 to pay some bills. Using RealRick eases the pain!