Spitfire Audio releases LABS Electric Guitars, a FREE instrument library for macOS and Windows.
If you haven’t already checked out Spitfire Audio’s LABS collection, you’re in for a treat. LABS, in my opinion, is an absolutely fantastic collection of free instrument libraries, and it has pretty much everything you need to make most kinds of music.
A couple of personal favorites are Trumpet Fields and Tape Orchestra.
Electric Guitars feature various musical styles and playing techniques, curated by Leo Wyatt, Dino Pollano, and Keith Theodosiou (guitarists). The musical styles include Rock, Blues, Pop, Indie, and 80s and cover a fairly broad spectrum of dark to light.
Changing the playing technique allows you to go between Rhythms, Plucks, and Sustained Notes.
Guitar instrument libraries tend to divide opinion and don’t always sound as natural as many other virtual instruments. Some musicians will immediately disregard a virtual guitar, maintaining that it’s best to use the real thing.
While that’s true, we could say the same about anything; I’d rather own a nine-foot Concert Grand and an array of vintage keyboards than a copy of Keyscape, but I love Keyscape.
I think the issue with guitar libraries is that we have to think more carefully about context. For example, with a piano or strings VST, we can leave them out in the open to an extent, and it sounds great. But, with a virtual guitar, we often need to think more about the lines/notes we play and where it sits in the mix if we want it to sound authentic.
We’ve covered other instruments like Vinyl Guitar (free) from Echo Sound Works and UJAM’s Virtual Guitarist Amber, and I think they all rely on sensible decisions regarding context.
Having said that, what we have available today is far beyond anything that virtual guitars of the past offered.
The strumming patterns in LABS Electric Guitars are very usable, and the demo (Louis Rugg – No Relation) is an excellent example. It shows the different elements of Electric Guitars working together in the right context to produce something believable.
While the sounds are well suited to various applications, the demo is also a great example of how you could score a reflective scene, which is what Spitfire Audio does best.
Electric Guitars and other LABS libraries work inside the free Spitfire Audio plugin, with a nice and simple layout. You can download the plugin in AU, VST2, VST3, and AAX formats for macOS (10.10 – 11, Intel, and M1) and Windows 7, 8, or 10. 32-bit DAWs are not supported.
Some Spitfire Audio stuff can get very expensive, but LABS is a collection we are lucky to have for free.
Download: LABS Electric Guitars
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