Today we will discuss the best 10 amp plugins Neural DSP offers for guitarists in 2023.
The amp simulators have been increasingly used because they offer many advantages for the guitarist. One of them is that he can have any type of amp just two clicks away, finding the perfect tone much easier than he could in the past.
Another advantage is that real amps are getting increasingly expensive, which can be costly for many pockets. Still, plugins increasingly emulate what a real amp can deliver, which means that as well as getting a tone almost identical to the real thing, you can add effects and change its characteristics much more creatively without much effort.
An amp plugin can come in many forms to transform the raw sound of your electric guitar. They are either meant to provide an amp and cabinet emulator or are a complete signal chain consisting of an amp and cabinet plus a tuner, noise gate, compression, overdrive, reverb, chorus, and many more.
In this article 10 Best Neural DSP Plugins For Guitarists 2023, we will talk about some plugins that represent a complete signal chain, which emulates either real amps or amps that are modded to the preferences of the artist who received a version and offer almost identical tones to the real thing without putting a lot of effort to achieve this.
Who Is Behind Neural DSP?
Neural DSP was founded in 2018 by Doug Castro and Francisco Cresp. They wanted to transform the way artists and audio engineers interact with digital sound processing, so they developed audio software and hardware solutions out of their shared passion for music and sound.
Guitarist and sound engineer Douglas Castro has been in the music business for almost a decade. He has experience in the audio software industry, having worked on projects for firms like Waves Audio and Line 6.
Francisco Cea has been a part of the music industry for over 15 years and is a bassist and audio engineer. He studied electrical engineering in college and has since assisted businesses like Strymon and Line 6 with their digital signal processing endeavors.
Are Neural DSP plugins CPU-heavy?
Neural DSP plugins can be CPU-heavy; it depends on how good your PC is and how you use it. If you set a low sample rate and buffer size, it may consume a lot of resources. But they have developed analog modeling technology designed to let you set a low sample rate and not consume so much.
The new audio engine employs an anti-derivative trigonometric interpolation (ATI) method to transcode between any system or DAW sample rate and an optimal sample rate for internal processing. With the help of the ATI algorithm, you may use their black-box modeling approaches based on machine learning to a wide variety of effects in custom amplifiers and distortion effects pedals.
By employing our ATI method, you can maximize CPU performance and audio quality at any DAW sample rate while experiencing greater stability. Users of Archetype: Gojira has noted a significant increase in CPU performance after this update, as the game no longer requires an oversampling setting in its plugins.
Let’s follow which are the 10 Best Neural DSP Plugins For Guitarists 2023:
The 10 Best Neural DSP Plugins For Guitarists 2023
1. Archetype: Rabea
Archetype: Rabea is one of the few plugins that offer guitar synth sounds besides modeling amps and cabinets.
Rabea is a musician who has embraced the digital world from the beginning. His musical style is hard to define, as it combines all aspects of the rock/metal/prog world. This collaboration started at the beginning of Neural DSP, but it’s about him this time.
Archetype: Rabea expresses his musical style and delivers 4 amps, pre and post-effects, and dual microphone modeling, all with an interesting twist (Overlord monophonic), a digital guitar synth effect.
The plugin interface follows the format that Neural DSP offers with all their signature plugins, providing an affordable package of controls. You can easily navigate through the signal chain, having menus such as (Synth, Pre Effects, Amp, Cab, EQ, and Post effects), alter global controls such as (Input Mode, Input and Output Gain, Gate, Doubler, and Transpose), as well as select the 3 amp types and 3 cabinet types.
The most important part is the inclusion of Overlord monosynth, but besides that, the easy-to-use suite of controls offers parameters such as:
- The 3 amps offer tones from clean to lead that combine its singing style. The Clean amp emulates a traditional Cali with a modern chime, capable of delivering Fender-like tones and crystal-clear. The Rhythm amp can also deliver clean tones, but it overdrives that ”rawk” along the way, giving it more gain. If you want more modern tones, the Lead Amp offers very aggressive tones or tones with a smooth saturation.
- In the Post Effect, you can use a delay and reverb that have some aces up their sleeve. The reverb has a freeze feature that lets you mute and then sustain a sound, so if you play the ambient chord and press freeze, you can play over that chord. The Delay emulates analog hardware with Icicles and Cross-feed controls to get dreamy delay sounds.
- Pre effects offer 4 pedals; a Dual Compressor for clean tones, an Octaver that works great with that Synth, a Fuzz that can be extremely aggressive, and an Overdrive for tighter tones. You can toggle between independent algorithms with special characteristics if you want the Vintage/Modern switch on the Octaver, Overdrive, or Fuzz.
- The cabinet section has integrated IRs captured by the folks at Neural DSP and features 3 cabinet types, each with 6 virtual microphones that can be positioned anywhere around the speaker.
- Overlord Synth has an algorithm that envelope tracking, note triggering, and pitch tracking that helps you control the synth without the need for MIDI programming or a keyboard. It has two built-in oscillators with arpeggiator, ladder-style filter options, and unison options, making the device the most powerful in the modern guitar world.
A lot of work has gone into the presets section, and you can find metal tones and ambient cleans, but most of it focuses on the synth. Rabea has created a lot of presets and explains them in a video on his YouTube channel, but you can also find presets created by artists like Andrew Groves, Danish Pete Honroe, Forrester Savell, Jack Gardiner, Leo Moracchioli, Nick DePirro, Steven Jones, and many others.
You can get cool guitar and bass tones using the Transpose knob and Fuzz pedal. Or if you want to make your guitar sound like a bass, you can use that octaver.
We recommend using that Freeze button on the reverb pedal, as you can practice scales or produce music much easier. And together with the metronome in standalone mode, the plugin is very suitable for practice.
In case you can’t play guitar by using Archetype: Rabea in your DAW with low latency, it also has a standalone version, and once you’ve decided that, it won’t consume so many resources.
Archetype: Rabea is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Rabea User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Rabea here.
2. Archetype: Abasi
Archetype: Abasi helps you get the iconic Djent and percussive clean tones of Tosin Abasi.
Archetype: Abasi is based on his styles that you can hear in Animals As Leaders, Born of Osiris, and more. It offers 3 amps (Clean, Rhythm, and Lead), each with its distinct character. The plugin has pre- and post-amp effects, 6 microphone options captured by Nolly from GetGood, and a nine-band EQ that gives full control over the amps’ freq response.
The interface is easy to navigate, offering at the top the option to enter the plugin’s menus, such as Pre-Effects, Amp, EQ, Cabinet, and Timing-Effects. Below them are the controls that don’t change when you enter another page, and these offer control of Input Gain and Mode, Gate, Presets, and Output Gain. Also, you can access a Tuner, select each amplifier separately, and resize the plugin in 3 modes.
When you select one of the amplifiers, the plugin gives a different graphic to them, and the controls are quite similar. You can see basic EQ controls (Bass, Middle, and Treble), two Boost switches on each amp, level, and master.
The differences in the amplifier controls are small and depend on how they work. The clean amp has a Blend knob that mixes the processed signal with the DI, the rhythm amp has a Tight Knob that varies the low-end response and offers smooth to aggressive tones, and the lead amp offers an extra Attack switch that saturates the highs of the signal for extra presence and clarity.
Besides the fact that Archetype: Abasi offers accurate Abasi tones, the way you interact with the plugin is effortless and offers parameters such as:
- By using the Low and Bright switches, you will no longer have problems with the sound of guitar pickups being too bright or dark. These switches offer a boost in the low and high end, making the amp respond differently to the raw guitar tone.
- The Pre Effects will help you achieve Tosin Abasi’s distinctive tone. The Pathos helps you add attack to the high gain heads, but the coolest part is that it is also a lead channel, so if you use it with the clean amp, you have an extra high gain channel. And Logos is a compression pedal that helps you achieve that thump technique of his.
- The Clean amp combines the traditional tube sound with piezo-like layers for ambient sounds and crisp chord progression. The Rhythm amp is great for metal and djent tones; the sounds it delivers are tight and articulate, offering good precision in syncopated rhythms, and the Lead amp offers high sustain tones suitable for soaring solos and fluid legato runs.
- It has two Time-Based effects located after the amp. The Multi-dimensional reverb and digital delay pedals are designed for ambient tones and deep leads.
- The cabinet section offers 6 microphones that can be placed in any position around the speaker. They have captured over 70 IRs to bring this amount of detail, and if you want to use your own IRs, it also offers a loader that can make this possible.
The preset section is rich in options and offers clean ambient tones with piezo to more aggressive ones suited to the djent style, even death metal. These have been created by Abasi, Nolly, and some by the manufacturer.
Because the plugin’s effects are unique, and you can’t find them elsewhere, they can be used individually so that you can combine them with other plugins. For example, you can use the amp or effects in solo by clicking on the icon at the top of the plugin and combining it with another IR loader or amp. This way, you can get even more tones.
Using the 9-band EQ, you can get rid of unwanted frequencies directly from the plugin without needing an external EQ. So you can clean the unwanted highs and lows or add more midrange to your tone.
You need to use both pre-amp pedals to get the tones for the thumping technique. You will easily get the exact tone by adding a little gain from the Pathos and considerable compression from the Logos. You can take an example from the presets created by Tosin Abasi.
Archetype: Abasi is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Abasi User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Abasi Suite here.
3. Archetype: Petrucci
Archetype: Petrucci offers 4 amplifiers with classic and remarkable tones that sum up John Petrucci’s taste and style.
This collaboration is the most complex on this list because John Petrucci’s tone and style are extremely hard to replicate, as he is an aficionado of every aspect of the signal chain. Working closely with him, Neural DSP got 4 amps, 9 effects, 6 mics, and a few extra features that weren’t incorporated in their plugins until this collaboration.
The plugin’s interface has futuristic graphics but, at the same time, keeps it simple. You can select each menu that represents the full signal chain of the plugin (Pre Effects, Stompboxes, Amp, Cabinet, EQ, Volume, and Post Effects), you can use the global controls of the plugin (Input Mode, Input and Output Gain, and Gate), and also two game-changing features (Transpose and Doubler).
When you change amps, each amp has a different graphic, and the controls remain almost similar; only the rhythm amp has different controls, such as a Tight knob, a Bite that boosts attack, and a mid boost.
The most important part of Archetype: Petrucci is the way it provides its exact tones, offering basic controls without complicating things, such as:
- Pre Effects offers a cool dynamic control to condition the amp signal. Here you find a compressor and a wah pedal that recreates its iconic tone. Also on the next page is an Overdrive, Phaser, Chorus, and a Flanger, located before the amp.
- The 4 amps cover everything you need; the Piezo amp offers a very usable tone in its cleans, works perfectly with piezo pickups, and sounds good with single coil ones. The clean amp is resonant and rich; it has a switch that adds presence at low volumes.
The rhythm amp is the middle way as it is the most tweakable, as the gain can be very soft or huge. And the Lead amp offers a huge sustain and deep harmonics to take lead tones to another planet.
- The cabinet section has 6 virtual mics captured by Jimmy T at DTHQ. These can be placed anywhere around the speaker, but the Room Mics section is the most interesting part. It offers 3 room types (Close, Mid, and Far), both with a level knob, which helps you create a much richer and more present tone.
- Transpose helps you play in any tuning you want without noticeable latency, and Doubler is an effect that projects your signal into a stereo field with an adjustable spread control.
- Post Effects offers 3 rack mounted effects for dreamy sounds. It offers a Stereo Chorus with spatial and vintage modes, a Stereo Delay with a cross-feed for unpredictable trails, tape saturation for warm harmonic distortion, and reverb with a dark sound with a celestial shimmer.
The coolest part of the presets section is that you can find a lot of presets created by John Petrucci, and you can find presets for certain tracks of Dream Theater. Also, many other artists have contributed to this section and created presets for everything from metal to progressive, blues, and the craziest effects. You can find presets from artists like Nolly, Andy Sneap, Cory Wong, Kiko Loureiro, Per Nilsson, and many more.
If you decide you want to use the plugin in live or band practice contexts, the plugin has a volume pedal that MIDI can control, and using it; you can make interesting effects or turn off the volume between parts/pieces.
The metronome is an interesting addition; it can only be used standalone and is useful because the graphical representation adds a visual sense of it.
If you want to make your sound make spatial sense in a room, we recommend using either Doubler or Room Mic. This way, your tone feels like having the amplifier in a rehearsal room or concert hall.
Archetype: Petrucci is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Petrucci User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Petrucci here.
4. Tone King Imperial MKII
Tone King Imperial MKII offers essential vintage tones in a modern package.
The Tone King is one of the best examples of tube amplifiers combining vintage features with modern-era innovations. This plugin also presents this feature; it is packed with crunch and clean tones reminiscent of an iconic era and 7 effects meant to complement its sound.
The plugin’s interface has graphics that replicate the look and layout of Tone King combined in the package that Neural DSP offers. You can easily access the signal chain (Wah, Pre Effects, Amp, Cab, EQ, Post Effects) and the plugin’s global controls (Input and Output Levels, Gate, Input Mode, also presets). It also offers Front and Back control of the amp, an accurate tuner, and a button that resizes the plugin interface.
The most important part of the Tone King Imperial MKII is that in addition to being able to deliver its tones, it also has a built-in attenuator that compensates for the volume it receives. Let’s take a look at what this plugin has to offer:
- The Pre effects section is rich; it has a Wah pedal, which offers a deep sweep and can be mapped to a MIDI expression pedal, and 3 pedals. The Compressor provides rich tones and glassy, while 2 overdrive pedals give you everything you need, from the most subtle boost to a classic tube saturation.
- The amp has two ways to alter its tone: Amp Front has two channels (Rhythm and Lead) and holds a spring reverb and a bias-modulated tremolo. You can use a mid-bite control to soften tweed voicing or add aggression.
Also, in the AMP back, you can alter an attenuator that keeps the volume it receives at the same level, and the interaction with the power amp lets you acquire more tonal variations. It has an HF compressor compensating for the lost highs because you can lose highs when the attenuator is activated.
- In Post Effects, you get a 9-band graphic EQ that helps you alter the overall tone (this time, it’s located after the cabinet). After that, you get a chorus, stereo delay (which has a BBD sound), and a reverb that offers subtle or infinite ambient tones.
- The cabinet section has been built with plenty of IRs created by 5by5 Studios and holds 2 speakers and 8 virtual microphones, along with a small room that creates a richer dimension to the sound.
The presets section shows off most of its abilities, featuring numerous presets from Neural DSP and some artist-created ones. Here you can find presets created by artists such as Ihsahn, Forester Savell, Jack Gardiner, Koke Benavides, Neil Zaza, Rabea Massad, and many others. These cover everything from the cleanest cleans, some even with added effects, to the craziest ones.
The Tone King Imperial MKII being a combo, has only one speaker. If you want to get a much more diverse mix of cabinet options, you can add your own IRs, or combine them with other Neural DSP plugins for a wider variety of tonal options.
Using Room Mic, you can add an extra dimension to the final sound, making it richer in tone.
It also works well with other Neural DSP plugins if you need a wider variety of effects. A great combination would be Tone King Imperial MKII and Archetype: Rabea, which has many creative effects.
Tone King Imperial MKII is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Tone King Imperial MKII User Manual.
You can buy Tone King Imperial MKII here.
5. Archetype: Plini
Archetype: Plini offers 3 amps and emulates the energy and tonal range of the famous modern guitarist, Plini.
Plini is one of the guitarists of today’s generation who combines various styles, such as fusion, progressive, and metal, with impressive elegance and flow. The combination of Neural DSP and Plini has one very important aspect in common: ”innovation”, and resulted in a plugin that can offer the full range of tones you need nowadays.
The interface of Archetype: Plini has modern graphics and an easy to follow parameters. Mostly you can access the signal chain menus (Pre Effects, Amp, EQ, Cabinet, and Post Effects), use global controls like Gate, 2 switches representing Stereo or Mono and Oversampling, Input and Output Levels, and a preset tab. Also, you can easily select the 3 amps and resize the plugin interface.
The most important part of this plugin is the way it covers every aspect of a complete signal chain, providing simple controls such as:
- The 2 Dynamics effects placed in front of the amplifier provide control over signal dynamics as it is crucial for subtle playing and filling saturation gaps between amplifiers.
So here, you have a compressor that is a virtual analog model of a widely used bus compressor, and the threshold is linked to the makeup gain, which means that the output volume will remain constant. Also, the overdrive provides basic controls and adds a boost in overtones.
- The cabinet section offers an adaptive cabinet sim module that provides 6 microphones and can be used in either mono or stereo. In this menu, you can find controls for panning, level, phase parameters, and distance.
- In the Post amp, you can find two Time effects that help you get more nuanced tones. It has a multidimensional reverb with a huge sound that takes you wide and narrow dimensions with the Space and Time controls. The Delay uses a machine-learning algorithm that emulates a Tape Saturation for a combination of vintage warmth and color.
- The Clean amp offers a punchy and transparent sound and embodies all the definition and headroom of a much-used Clean amp. Crunch is the most tweakable of the bunch; it can deliver transparent cleans and a high gain to match; it’s based on a British amp with a new-wave twist. Lead uses Crunch’s design with an additional triode gain stage for leads and hot-rodded heavy riffs.
- The EQ offers 9 graphic bands that will alter the head’s tone to the cabinet, not the overall tone resulting in a much larger amount of sound from the amp.
The presets section offers tones from spacious ambient cleans and leads, to aggressive high-gain tones suitable for progressive and death metal genres. Plini himself has designed these and covered his whole spectrum of tones.
Being among the first plugins that Neural DSP has released, it only has some of the features that the new ones have. However, we recommend ensuring the plugin is up to date, as features like tuners are included in the newer updates.
When using the lead amp, you may experience unwanted highs. You can use the EQ built into the plugin to add a cut in the highs or lows and boost the frequencies you like.
If you have your IRs or want to use an external IR loader, the plugin lets you use only certain sections of the signal chain. Double-click the icon, and you can disable and enable the desired function.
Archetype: Plini is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Plini User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Plini here.
6. Soldano SLO-100
The Soldano SLO-100 brings the legendary American high-gain tones to your studio.
Neural DSP’s collaboration with Mike Soldano is one that users of their plugins who play metal and softer genres appreciate because this amp’s circuitry is responsible for the massive American metal tones that are used to this day. The result is as straight as it gets; you get a two-channel amp that gives you tones from the most crystal clear to the most distorted.
The Soldano SLO-100’s interface is as easy to use as possible, with a menu selector that takes you through the entire plugin chain (Pre Effects, Amp, EQ, Cab, and Post Effects), global Gate, Input, and Output controls, as well as an Input mode (stereo and mono), and a preset selector. It also offers a tuner and a button to resize the plugin in 3 forms.
The most important part of the Soldano SLO-100 is the classic tone it offers, but also versatile because you can create modern tones with it, and the way you interact with it is efficient, offering controls such as:
- The amp controls are identical to what you can find on the original, and you get two Clean and Overdrive channels, each with its own Preamp Gain and Master Gain. The Clean channel has 2 additional functions to the Overdrive: a Bright switch that gives a treble boost for a better definition and a Crunch switch that adds a gain boost and a saturation warmer.
- The Overdrive channel offers the amp’s full power, has a perfect balance between presence and body, and is ideal for rhythm tones like Morbid Angel, Obituary, and soaring leads that you can add a cool nuance when adding Post Effects.
- Pre Effects has 4 effects, a compressor that helps you to highlight the cleans, a boost (OD1) that is useful when you want the amp to have a little more power, an overdrive (OD2) that can boost the highs making the Overdrive more modern, and a chorus.
- The 9-band EQ is located between the head and the cabinet; it is meant to shape the amp sound and can be used to add or remove frequencies from the amp. It gives much more control over the amp’s frequency response.
- In the cabinet section, you get 6 mics captured by Adam Nolly, who, as usual, uses a lot of IRs to get this done. And if you want to use your own IRs, it also has a built-in IR loader.
- Post Effects has 2 effects in total, with simplified controls, so you have a delay with a ping-pong switch and a classic reverb that is only good for highlighting the amp’s tone or giving it room.
The preset section offers tones from the softest to the most American heavy, only good for genres like Trash Metal, Death Metal, Brutal Death Metal, Progressive, and more. Besides the presets created by the company, you can find plenty of presets from artists in bands like Pain, Bleed From Within, Rings Of Saturn, Emperor, Haken, Bleed From Within, and many others.
If you want to add some crunch to your clean, you have two options: use the switch on the amp or use the pedals in the Pre. We recommend using the one in the amp, as it offers the classic old-school death metal tone.
The Soldano SLO-100 is a classic, and the thing that sets it apart is the multitude of variations through which you can pull off tones from the most classic to the most modern. If you have other Neural DSP plugins or have distortion/overdrive pedals, either digital or analog, we encourage you to try them out because you can get the craziest tones out of it.
The most common setting for classic death metal tone is Presence and Depth set around 1-2 o’clock; that’s where the amp saturates most optimally.
Soldano SLO-100 is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Soldano SLO-100 User Manual.
You can buy Soldano SLO-100 here.
Parallax is a multiband distortion that helps split a bass line into 3 frequency spectrums and process them separately in a single plugin.
This technique is quite common in the bass world. Engineers split a bass line into several channels and individually process a certain freq spectrum to get more aggression from the mids or highs. Parallax selectively splits and processes the bass signal and helps you add distortion or compression in multiple frequency spectrums, saving you a lot of time and helping you see in real-time what’s happening in those places.
The plugin’s interface is initially intimidating, but it takes up to 10 minutes to understand. You have a menu selector that takes us to the main page or the cabinet section. You can find global Input and Output Levels settings, an Input selector (Mono and Stereo), and a presets section. You can also notice a tuner and a button that helps you resize the plugin.
The spectrum has 3 bands and can be adjusted in any position using the three letters: L- Lows, M- Mids, and H- Highs, each of which has a separate channel that can be turned on and off as needed.
The most important part of Parallax is the way it has implemented the multiband processing technique in a plugin, providing quick controls that require minimal effort:
- The two distortion bands (Mid and High) process the bands separately using a tube modeling technique for rich harmonics with a natural response. Mid-drive distorts the selected portion of the spectrum, adds color, and enhances articulation. High drive interacts with HPF freq control and adds the optimum fuzz or tightness.
- Low compression uses a Bus compressor algorithm that helps to remove the low end of the spectrum because a distorted low end is not very useful. It has 3 knobs (Compression, Low Pass, and Low Level) and offers infinite size on tap.
- The cab sim section offers 6 microphones that can easily be placed around the speaker. It only affects the mid and treble bands, as when distorted, only the highs and mids naturally benefit from sounding musical, and the low end seems problematic in the mix.
- The Equalizer offers an additional layer of control regarding the Parallax’s freq response. It has 6 bands, which helps you either add a boost in the low end, add more texture, or attack.
The preset section offers over 100 options from artists such as Forrester Savell, Jon Stockman, Nolly Getgood, and more. It offers a wide range of tones, from the softest to the fuzziest distorted ones.
A blend of Parallax and Darkglass Ultra tones gives you a boost in versatility. You can modify Darkglass Ultra’s tone with Parallax or blend the tones for a modern sound suitable for metal genres and more.
In some situations, if you distort the signal too much, you may have unwanted frequencies in the spectrum. We recommend you listen carefully, and if you encounter such problems, you can easily use a separate EQ to eliminate unpleasant frequencies. Usually, these are found around 2k-4k Hz.
If you set an aggressive gate, you can create a very suitable tone for the Djent, especially if there are many syncopated sections. That way, the breaks you make between notes will be clean, and when you play, the tone will be articulate.
Parallax is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Parallax User Manual.
You can buy Parallax here.
8. Archetype: Gojira
Archetype: Gojira is ”The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe”.
The most anticipated release from Neural DSP, Archetype: Gojira, represents the transition from a guitar amp emulator to a tool that covers every aspect a guitarist could want. It has 3 amps and 3 cabinets (with 6 mics) that you can select and combine. On top of that, they have added specific effects you can hear in their sound, such as Pitch Shifter, Octaver, and many more.
The interface is easy to navigate; you can enter any specific menus of the signal chain tools, such as Pitch Section, Stomp Section, Amp, EQ, Cabinet, and Post Effects. Pitch Section offers the opportunity to set the two Pitch pedals and program the MIDI Wow pedal, a MIDI-Programmable pitch shifter with 3 pitch sweep modes and octaves.
The second menu opens the Pre-effects window, offering 4 effect pedals (Overdrive, Distortion, Phaser, and Chorus) modeled after the Gojira sound. After that, you have the Amp and Cabinet section, which lets you select the 3 heads and cabinets in any way you want.
Finally, the plugin has a 9-band EQ positioned between the amp and cabinet and 2 time effects pedals such as delay and reverb.
Archetype: Gojira covers almost everything you could want from their sound, from clean to the most brutal high-gain tones. So the most important part of this plugin is that it gives you a lot of options by which you can achieve that:
- The Clean amp offers tones based on a vintage tube amp with which you can opt for clean tones and natural tube saturation. The second amp is Rust which is a crunch amp and is the most tweakable because, having a lower amount of gain, you can saturate it with overdrive and distortion pedals. And with the Hot amp, you get most of the Gojira specific tones.
- The three cabinets are captured by Adam Nolly of Periphery; each cabinet has 7 microphone options that can be placed anywhere around the speaker in stereo or mono.
- With the Wow and Oct pedals, you’ll be able to get the tones from the song ”Stranded”. Wow has 3 modes; Fatso, which blends dry signal and pitch signal, Blade 1, which is a standard pitch shifter; and Blade 2, which works on the same architecture as Blade 1 but has a higher pitch.
The OCT pedal has two independent octaves, -1 and -2 below the raw signal. With it, you can create heavier tones, and the results are massive in conjunction with the Wow pedal.
- OD Pedal adds overdrive and is good for tight boosted leads, DRT adds dirt to the signal and works similarly to a Rat pedal, PSHR has only one control (like MXR Phase90) if you set it low and you can get a slow phase shift. Also, the CHR adds dimension to your tone.
- Post-FXs are located after the head, and you can either use a 9-band EQ to adjust the signal or add a Delay that gives a simple slap back from airy, wide to gigantic sounds, and the reverb can produce huge ambient sounds in no time.
The presets section contains many options created by artists from bands such as Emperor, Born Of Osiris, Periphery, Bleed From Within, The Contortionist, and Car Bomb. Here you can find the craziest presets, from ambient clean and lead metal tones to pipe organ-type tones. However, there are also presets created by Gojira that represent more tones from their songs.
If you want to choose a cabinet for a particular head, but when you select one option, it changes the other too, you can disable the Link button above the head and cab selection and choose head 1 with cab 3, for example.
The Hot amplifier can provide a lot of gain, resulting in distorted, not clean tones. You can clean up the signal using the Gate knob but preferably use the amp’s Gain around 4 o’clock and add a little depth and presence. This way, you will get a modern tone suitable for many metal genres.
You may encounter clipping sound in the plugin output when using Hot or Rust amps because they have high headroom, resulting in big volumes. You can fix this from the amp’s Output, or if you want to have high output from the amp still, correctly setting the Output gain knob of the plugin will solve this problem.
Archetype: Gojira is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Gojira User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Gojira here.
9. Fortin NTS Suite
The Fortin NTS Suite offers the character and sound of the high-gain Fortin Natas amplifier.
The Fortin NTS was created closely by Neural DSP with the help of Mike Fortin. They managed to capture every aspect of the original, and the result is a two-channel amplifier (Clean and Lead) that gives you aggressive and massive lead sounds and cold, clean sounds. In addition to the amp, they’ve also included three of Fortin’s famous pedals (Zuul, Grind, and Hexdrive) that complement the emulation of the amp’s original sound.
The interface is clean and is divided into 3 main parts (Amp, Cab, and Effects pages). In the Effect section, you can find the three pedals positioned before the amp, and they help you either clean up the tone, boost, or add overdrive.
The amp page offers all the controls that the real one has, offering basic controls like gain, bass, mid and treble, two eq switches (bright and kill switches), and a switch to select the two channels, and the cabinet page allows you to set the position of the 6 microphones around the speaker.
The most important feature of this amplifier is the addition of the two 6RIND and 6IRTH controls found on the original, as well as other tone-shaping ones:
- 6RIND control modifies the lead channel’s high-end freq response resulting in a clearer and brighter tone, while 6IRTH boosts the low-end for more power and depth. It is necessary to use the two in tandem; the most used settings are at 1 o’clock on both.
- The cabinet section offers 6 virtual mics, and each can be positioned around the speaker, used in mono and stereo configurations, and offers controls such as panning, level, and phase.
- The Zuul pedal is a noise gate with a single control, and the Hexdrive offers 3 controls (Drive, Tone, and Level) and overdrive with classic or modern tones.
Grind is a boost that works great with the 6RIND and 6IRTH; using all controls at noon offers a bright and present tone for 7-string guitars.
- In addition to the basic EQ controls in the amp’s two channels, you can find a Bright switch that adds more treble, a Kill switch that boosts mids, and Presence and Depth controls that can be used to achieve a more articulate tone.
- The NTS has two channels, and each has its controls. For example, the Lead channel can use the switches and the 6RIND and 6IRTH controls, while the Clean channel cannot. However, the Clean channel is quite bright, and its tones are crisp and sparkling.
The Fortin NTS has a rich preset bank, with presets created by great artists like Ola Englund, Rabea Massaad, and many others. They can be accessed at the top of the plugin, and you can find from the cleanest tones to massive ones suitable for Thrash Metal, Death Metal, and more.
Fortin NTS is among the first plugins that NeuralDSP released on the market and did not have all the features that the new ones like Archetype: Rabea have. If you want to add some of them (like the tuner), ensure you have updated to the latest version.
If you use your IRs, you should consider that each IR has its phase because when using the plugin with two IRs, they may be out of phase. But don’t worry; the plugin helps you to solve this problem with a switch for each IR.
When you want to practice and have the lowest latency of the plugin, we recommend using it standalone because you will benefit from a latency of 0.3.
Fortin NTS Suite is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Fortin NTS Suite User Manual.
You can buy Fortin NTS Suite here.
10. Archetype: Cory Wong
Archetype: Cory Wong delivers funky clean, and edge-of-break-up tones.
Cory Wong is a guitarist and bassist from America, also a Grammy-nominated artist. His standards were captured by the folks at Neural DSP, resulting in a plugin with various tone options. Archetype: Cory Wong offers 3 amps, 8 effects, 3 cabinets, and a 9-band graphic equalizer.
The plugin’s interface has graphics that are easy to integrate into any studio design. On top of that, it requires minimal effort; you can quickly select amps and cabs, alter global controls such as Input and Output Gains, a Gate, an Input Mode selector (Stereo and Mono), and a preset section. Also, you can activate an accurate tuner from the main interface and resize the plugin in 3 ways.
The signal chain can be easily seen, and the menu changes when you click on any part of it. You can enter menus such as (Wah Pedal, Pre Effects, Amp, EQ, Cab, and Post Effects). Each of these can be turned on and off when you double-click the icon, making it possible to combine the plugin with external effects or plugins.
The most important part of this Archetype: Cory Wong, is how the controls alter the final tone, as well as the amp options that have distinct tones, such as:
- D.I. Funk Console is based on a channel strip, which recreates that bubble tone by owning a tube saturation compressor and selectable frequencies in the EQ section. It features a High and Low Pass useful for cleaning up the signal. But the most important part is that it can work without a cabinet, which means you can add a vintage nuance to your D.I. signal.
- The Clean Machine amp is a fusion of the best cleaners in the industry; it has been customized to Cory’s preferences and has a wide range of control. With it, you can get crunchy, clean tones with a warm top end.
- The Amp Snob amp is a model based on a rare amp in the industry. It can offer a wide range of tones: when you set the gain to low, it offers crystal clean tones, and when you set the gain amount higher, you can have an iconic border of breakup tone. The tube amp will soften transients and round up the sound of the boosters with responsive dynamics and a great bottom end.
- The pre-effects are a collection of his 5 favorite pedals, like an envelope filter with an easy-to-use interface, a compressor that adds a modern punch, a booster that’s a trendy take on a classic, and an overdrive that adds a great amount of saturation to the beginnings of fuzz.
- The post effect holds 3 pedals: a lush chorus, vintage shimmering, a delay based on a BBD engine that will give you warm tones and cool repeats, and a reverb with a shimmer switch to create a dreamy atmosphere.
The preset section offers a wide range of tones for funk, pop, ambient genres, and more. It also features many tones created by Cory Wong himself; they are very creative and show his vision for the plugin. Besides that, you can also find many presets from artists such as Rabea Massad, Tim Henson, Plini, and many others.
The plugin can also work very well with a bass; D.I. Funk Console can make this possible, and if you want to see how you can make this possible, Cory Wong has created some bass presets, so it gives a good starting point.
The plugin offers some of the cleanest Strat tones and more, and because it’s versatile and modern, it can be combined with several Neural DSP plugins. A very good match would be between Archetype: Cory Wong with Rabea or Petrucci.
Ensure the plugin is up to date because that’s the only way you’ll get the tuner plus extra presets.
Archetype: Cory Wong is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Archetype: Cory Wong User Manual.
You can buy Archetype: Cory Wong here.
1. Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite
The Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite brings a piece of history to your studio by emulating the sound of the famous IIC+ and IIC++.
The Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ represents an important part of the classic Metal or Progressive sound. Many guitarists use it, including James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, John Petrucci of Dream Theater, Prince, and many others. Also, it offers IIC++ tones too, a more modified amp than what you find on the market, featuring a new preamp circuit and added gain for a tighter low-end response.
The plugin interface offers accessibility from every aspect. It lets you go into all 5 menus (Pre Effects, Amp, Cab, EQ, and Post Effects), offers global Input and Output controls as well as Gate, and the main part of this section is that it offers a Transpose Knob and a Doubler that works without much latency. It also gives you a tuner, a Metronome, and the ability to select amplifiers and cabs.
The two amplifiers (IIC+ and IIC++) have the same settings as the original. They have push/pull knobs for Treble, Bass, Deep shift, a Bright for the Lead Channel, and a 5-band graphic EQ. Behind the amps are Reverb and Presence controls and a switch that lets you change the two power amp topologies (Class A and Simul-Class).
Besides giving you the sound of the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC++, this plugin provides detailed controls, such as:
- The Cabsim module was captured by the folks at 5by5 Studios. It 3 cab options from Mesa Boogie Traditional Slant 4×12, Standard Slant 4×12, to Stacked Horizontal 2x12s, each of which benefits from 10 microphones that can be placed around the speaker.
- In the Pre Effects menu, you have 4 pedals representing a compressor that offers glassy tones, 2 overdrives that offer the richest classic tube saturation, and a chorus that offers a rich modulation before the amp; the results are interesting. In Post Effects, you have a Delay with a warm Bucked Brigade sound and a Reverb that colors almost anything from subtle ambiance to infinite soundscapes.
- The Metronome offers several time signatures and sound sets in 5 modes. It has a graphical representation of each beat, allowing you to practice with it much easier, especially if you use it as a standalone plugin.
- Transpose control offers almost insubstantial latency and helps you change tuning by giving you control of the signal up or down in pitch with a constant range of +/- 12 semitones in real time.
- Room control in the cabinet section is an interesting addition because it allows you to blend the signal of a virtual microphone in the room with the one next to the speaker. This way, the sound is much fuller and richer.
Nearly all the musicians Neural DSP has collaborated with have contributed to a preset section that offers tones for all possible genres (from Blues/Jazz to Death Metal) and special effects with very interesting clean tones. So, in addition to presets created by Neural DSP, you will find presets created by artists such as Per Nilsson, Tom Quayle, Charlie Griffiths, Forrester Savell, Rebea Massaad, Adam Nolly, and many others.
Being a classic amp, it can only deliver modern tones if you add an overdrive or distortion that saturates it in that direction. It works well with the Pre Effects pedals in the Fortin NTS Suite; the results are brilliant.
The metronome function is useful in more situations than practice at home; this is also useful in contexts where you play with a band. It’s a creative and efficient way, and the time you give to practicing with your band is much more valuable.
For more special effects, it can be used with what Archetype: Gojira has, such as Pitch pedals. This way, the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ can deliver even more creative tones.
Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite is supported on PC and Mac, and the plugin formats in which it is available are Standalone, VST, VST3, and AU. You can find it for 64-bit only. Considering this plugin has a 14-day trial, it is worth trying out.
For more information on system requirements and instructions on using, you can check out the Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite User Manual.
You can buy Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+ Suite here.
They were the 10 Best Neural DSP Plugins For Guitarists 2023. These plugins represent an impressive collection of tones, from the softest to the most aggressive, and what’s cool about them is that they go well together.
During testing, we noticed that the Archetype plugins offer several possibilities for effects pedals, each specific to the artist’s tone. This is cool because they can be combined with plugins that emulate a real amp, which gives a wider range of tones.
One of the best combinations is between Archetype: Rabea with any of the plugins listed. The plugin’s effects, synth, cabs, reverb, and delay, are malleable and offer creative tones. So this is a safe bet whether you want to use it alone or combine it with what you have in your library.
Another good combination would be between the Soldano SLO-100 and the Fortin NTS. Fortin’s effects suit low-tuned guitars, like 7-8 string guitars. Well, the Soldano having a classic tone, needs a booster up front to sound modern, which the pedals in the Fortin NTS can do.
Or, if you want an even more modern sound in both, you can use Archetype: Gojira for either the cabinet section or its creative effects. Gojira is one of the modern bands, they have some complex tones, and the plugin emulates their full signal chain, which can help if you want to replicate their approach in tones.
Archetype: Petrucci is the most complex and tone-rich variant you can choose. Its tones fit any genre you want, it has versatile effects, and the amp tones are about the best quality Neural DSP has to offer.
We hope this article helped you choose the best option that suits your playing style and gives you the desired parameters. We invite you to test all their plugins as they have a 14-day trial and are easy to download.