Plugin Alliance has introduced the freeware bx_rockrack V3 Player virtual guitar amplifier effect in VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin formats for PC and Mac based host applications.
The plugin is based on the new bx_rockrack V3 guitar amp simulator plugin which is currently priced at $199 on the Plugin Alliance website. The freebie version works as a “preset player”, meaning that it comes with a selection of pre-made patches that can’t be changed in any way (unless you decide to purchase the full version of the product). The only unlocked control on the user interface is the master output volume parameter which is used to prevent clipping in the DAW. However, bx_rockrack V3 Player is based on the exact same sound engine as the commercial version and it doesn’t come with a time limit or other similar limitations that are often find in demo versions of commercial software.
bx_rockrack V3 Player packs 26 presets in total, covering a variety of tones and distortion flavors. It includes clean Fender and Marshall tones, a few nice sounding jazzy patches, and over a dozen distortion setups suitable for use in metal and rock tunes. When clicking any of the controls apart from the master out knob, an info overlay will pop up, describing the limitations of the free version.
It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to register for a free Plugin Alliance user account in order to download your copy of the bx_rockrack V3 Player. The plugin must be activated when loaded for the first time (this is done by entering your account username and password).
So, is a plugin like this one worth downloading? On the negative side, it’s just a preset player with locked controls and it also requires user registration and activation. On the positive side, it sounds very good and the included presets do provide quite a bit of versatility. I’ve also found that placing a volume control in front of the plugin works as a pretty solid substitute for the built-in gain knob which is locked in the free version, giving the user a bit more control over the signal on the output.
In my opinion, beginner guitarists and users who don’t necessarily have much experience with guitar amp software should definitely give this one a try. Advanced users and skilled guitarists who like to customize their tone should find an alternative solution. We’ve listed some of our favorite freeware options in the best free guitar amp VST plugins list.
bx_rockrack V3 Player is available for free download via Plugin Alliance (54.9 MB download size, ZIP archive, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/VST3/AU/AAX plugin format for Windows & Mac OS).