If you’re wondering ‘is the guitar rig 7 update worth it?’ it helps to recall what made the software defining when it first came out. Native Instruments released Guitar Rig in 2004. Since then, the last major update was Guitar Rig 6 3 years ago.
Ultimately if you want to see guitar rig 6 vs 7 compared, you need to know what new features 7 has that 6 doesn’t. In addition, many musicians question whether to go for Guitar Rig 6 vs Amplitube 5, the other most in-demand amp sim.
Guitar Rig 7 Overall Breakdown
There is some confusion online about whether the upgrade from guitar rig 6 to 7 is free. Some musicians mistakenly thought it was part of the complete 14 bundle but no, unfortunately, this is not a free update.
Is the new software worth it? the prices listed vary, however, most sites list Guitar Rig 7 Pro upgrade (assuming you already have Guitar Rig 6) at anywhere between 50 and 100 USD. So, it’s not that low but it also won’t break the bank. Some of you may find it’s a bit much given that you already own the software in another form.
Remember also that if you don’t have it, you will have to buy it from scratch, and it retails at 130 USD approx.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to go into any Guitar Rig versions vs Amplitube 5. if you want a detailed breakdown you can look at our comparisons of guitar rig and amplitube here, as well as with other contenders like Helix Native assuming you are purchasing from scratch.
But for Guitar Rig 7 alone, we will now give you a thorough and honest breakdown as to what it does and doesn’t have to offer.
Guitar Rig 7 Features
The biggest draws for the update is how this version has 4 new amps and 5 new virtual FX pedals. In addition, the new software includes the Ozone Maximizer, 100 new rack presets, and loop machine pro, as well as new methods of organizing the signal chain with the new sidebar.
We truly are impressed with the variety and versatility of the new features here. Read on for a breakdown of why exactly:
kolor– based on distortion circuits from real-life hardware, you’re essentially getting more FX for the price of one. This one is great for adding character.
chainsaw – the first of two genre-specific pedals. We love how the developers are finally recognising the popularity of metal sub-genres, so this is a big bonus.
seattle fuzz – bonus for featuring a sound that is having a small revival at the moment but major designers don’t always cater for. If it’s not your jam, this may not be such a great feature, but remember this sound is also great for indie, shoegaze, and more
skreamer deluxe – a great all-round overdrive pedal
ivp stomp – bonus for modeling this off discontinued hardware. We feel the new gear with guitar rig 7 has its strongest feature in how it fills in gaps, and the IVP stomp is based off a pre-amp with an amazing clanging tone, sadly discontinued and much loved by many. It’s back now.
Ultimately we feel the stompboxes are one of the strongest parts of the update. They are good quality, although some audiophiles feel Amplitube wins out on this one. There have also been complaints that there is a discrepancy in quality with some of the other older features.
Personally, we feel the ICM technology is great if you’re not looking for perfection. For the creativity of these plugins combined with relatively high-quality sound, they do make the update very exciting.
LOFI FX and WHY We Are So Excited:
The second most exciting part of the new additions are the LOFI FX such as tape wobble, vintage vibrato, and noise machine (which can emulate everything from VHS to cassette noise to vinyl crackle!)
Native Instruments have seen a HUGE opportunity here with the continued focus on LOFI online and in adding these FX they have made the software appealing not just to guitarists but also sound designers, beatmakers and producers, who want to keep familiar sounds while branching out into guitar.
What Other New Features Are There?
The upgrade has over 100 IRs (impulse responses) as well as 4 new amps (bass rage, it’s great to have an addition to the guitar rig 7 bass amps in our view, as well as Super Fast 100, Reverb Delight, and AC Box XV).
There is also a new intuitive signal chain that is designed to streamline even the most byzantine signal paths.
We think there is a tiny bit more versatility and ease with the Amplitube signal chain organization software.
However, if you are already a user of guitar rig, the added simplicity is definitely worth the update.
Pro VS Player VS LE
How to decide on which version to get?
Of course, it depends on your budget. That said, what is the popular guitar rig 7 LE?
Fans of Native Instruments may notice that Guitar Rig 6 also had the LE feature. To make things easier, LE is a tier that has more features than Player but not as many as Pro.
We think LE is great if you want to try out the software without too much investment. However, whilst even in its free version, a sim like Amplitube is really great, we feel like most of the features that make the update worthwhile are available mostly in the Pro version (with some LE.)
These include specific amps, vabs, and stompboxes. Whilst LE does have some, like the tape wobble, the best stuff really does come Pro here.
That said, there is currently a limited edition upgrade from LE to pro that expires Jan 1, 2024.
If you are still unsure, there is a handy chart on the Native Instruments website that shows you what features you will and won’t get.
You can also check the price here, and if you buy using this link you will be supporting the website since we get a small kickback.
Pros, Cons, and How to Decide
Ultimately when you break it down, the update has the following pros and cons:
keeps up to date with trends in music
gives you genre versatility with a range of styles including shoegaze, classic rock, and LoFi.
As intuitive as former iterations, with the new sidebar as well
Great for more than just guitarists!
Decent quality emulations
If the new features aren’t hugely relevant to you, it may not be worth the update
Competitors like Amplitube 5 have more variety of IRs
Many musicians favor Amplitube’s cab modeling, too
ICM technology is great, but other amp sims do similar things equally or better
Some musicians find the sound a little generic and not true to life
We are very excited here about this upgrade as native instruments thought of providing a really creative range of new offerings. Though there are more cons than pros, the pros are BIG if they hit the mark for you.
It also thinks of genres other than rock, indie, and those based on guitar. there’s stuff for sound designers who only want to use minimal amounts of guitar FX, too. In this way it’s super up-to-date and spans a lot of current trends in music.
Features like the Seattle Fuzz pedal offer great sonic character, and you don’t always find them in bundles of VSTs that cater to the more mainstream genres.
Our verdict is that some of the offerings fill very important gaps in the market. therefore, if they do for you what you need, the update is definitely worth it, hands down.