Whether you are a guitarist looking for new tones, or a sound designer looking for new ways to mangle your audio, virtual guitar amps and effects are a great way to achieve new sounds and enhance your productions. There are many great guitar amp and pedal effects plug-ins available on the market today to purchase, but there are also numerous effects that are available for free. In this article I'll offer up some professional guitar effect plug-ins from around the internet that you can use on your next project, completely for free.
About This List:
To offer the most value to you our readers, I have focused on free guitar plug-ins that are both Windows and Mac compatible.
Free Guitar Effects Plug-ins
AuraPlug Freetortion Plug-ins
AuraPlug has made a free distortion series available which currently features six free units, including their famous California Sun classic guitar combo amplifier simulator with dual clean and dirty channels.
AcmeBarGig offers 12 guitar effect plug-ins under the Freebies tab including vintage amp heads, aggressive metal amp heads, delay units and even a unique guitar pickup replacer to change the tone of your guitar pickup.
LePou Guitar Plug-ins
LePou Plug-ins are developed by LePou himself and are offered for free. As with most independent developers, donations are always welcome.
Heptode is a hardware guitar effects pedal manufacturer who has made two free plug-ins that emulate their hardware counterparts. The above videos demonstrate the sound of the hardware pedals by someone we are assured is not Jack Black.
Ignite Amps Plug-ins
Ignite Amps is another hardware manufacturer that has created software versions of some of their hardware products. Ignite Amps offers seven plug-ins for free including amps, pedals, and vintage tube equalizers.
AmpliTube Custom Shop
With 24 amp models including a digital chromatic tuner, 9 stomps boxes, 4 amps, 5 cabs, 3 mics, and 2 rack effects; AmpliTube Custom Shop is a great way to get your hands on IK Multimedia's great guitar simulation software. As the name suggests, in addition to the free units you can purchase more effects units from right inside the plugin to build your own custom guitar shop.
Kuassa Amplifikation Lite
Kuassa offers a free lite version of their flagship guitar amplifier plug-in Amplifikation, appropriately called Amplifikation Lite. You can also Explore Kuassa's Amplifikation One Amp Plug-in in depth with Tuts+ author David Bode.
Kuassa also offers a free 3-band Baxandall EQ featuring a smooth, natural and transparent sound.
Guitar Rig Player
Native Instruments Guitar Rig Player offers 17 cabinet emulations, plus 13 effects and sound modifiers. In addition to being able to use the free bundled effects, you can also use any product from the KOMPLETE Effects family.
Studio Devil BVC
Studio Devil has a free British Valve Custom amp available featuring built in 4x12 cabinet emulation and power amp drive control.
Camel Crusher isn't a guitar effect per se, but nevertheless it is great for processing guitars with its distortion and compression features.
Exploring new sound processing software can be a significant investment. Using free audio effects plug-ins is a great way to explore new tones and sound possibilities without having to make any costly investments while you are exploring your options; leaving you with the means to make an investment that will best suite your musical goals.