One of the most hotly anticipated updates to any piece of software in the world of music, this Guitar Rig 7 review will break down the pros and cons of all the amp sim’s new features. Many musicians celebrate Native Instruments’ long-running amp sim for its true-to-life impulse responses and wide variety of tones.
Now, the Guitar Rig 7 update hops on the latest trends with exciting lo-fi FX. Yet, it also keeps the characteristic breadth and variety of guitar rig 6. We share our take on the sounds included here, so read on.
Guitar Rig 7 Overview
Overall, Native Instruments Guitar Rig 7 comes in two versions, Guitar Rig 7 pro and Guitar Rig 7 le. Simply put, LE is a less varied and detailed version of Pro that comes with other Native Instruments products, a feature that we cover later in this article.
Apart from that, new features for Guitar Rig 7 include pedals, FX, a limiter, and new amps, so read on for a closer look and our thoughts on their sound.
What Is New In Guitar Rig 7?
New pedals: Guitar Rig 7 has five new virtual effects pedals. These include Kolor (black box hardware distortion, Seattle fuzz, and Swedish death metal modelled ‘chainsaw’. There’s also IVP stomp, modeled off a discontinued instrument preamp, and Skreamer deluxe overdrive pedal.
Other New Features: Guitar Rig 7 also includes a new sidebar and loop machine pro allowing you to layer loops and improvise over tracks. It also has a new cabinet impulse response loader to emulate the acoustics of actual cabinets.
Is Guitar Rig 7 Free?
You may wonder at this stage ‘is Guitar Rig 7 free?’
The answer is that only the most basic version of Guitar Rig 7 is free. This version is called Guitar Rig 7 Player, and it does have a good amount of things included. It also has the same great sound and intelligent circuit modeling technology. However, it is lacking a lot of other features.
If you’re looking for a great guide on what features the free vs paid versions do and don’t have, you can find one on the Native Instruments website here.
However, if you’re worried about a higher cost for Guitar Rig 7, don’t be. If you already own Guitar Rig 6, you don’t have to pay the full price, so read on for more.
Guitar Rig 7 LE vs Pro
Do you want a step up from player, but don’t want to pay the full price for Guitar Rig 7 Pro? There is a middle option called Guitar Rig 7 LE. However bear in mind if you want this version, it comes along with other Native Instruments products. One of the best is the Komplete 6 bundle of hardware, where it’s included. However, you can’t buy it individually.
So, why would you want to get LE? Well, if you have LE, there is a Guitar Rig 7 upgrade to pro at a cheaper price. In fact, you can get it for 149 USD as opposed to 199 USD for Guitar Rig Pro straight up. Therefore this is a useful option if you are going to be buying some hardware gear anyway. As a result, it lets you save money and get multiple bits of studio gear in one go.
Guitar Rig 7 pro price:
As stated above, the full price for Guitar Rig 7 pro is 199 USD making it relatively expensive for a plugin but not too pricy. For what it is, we think it’s extremely worth it due to the quality and professionalism of the technology.
However, if you are on a tight budget there are two options. You can either buy Guitar Rig LE and upgrade for 149 USD. Or, you can go for an update if you already have Guitar Rig 6. This costs 99 USD but is only available for those who already have the previous iteration of Guitar Rig.
Native Instruments Guitar Rig New Updates and Features
So, how do the new features of Guitar Rig 7 stand up against market competitors? And, how do they compare to old variations of the software? We’re happy we can say the new features are really exciting, especially the Lofi FX. So, let’s break down their quality and sound. Plus, we’ll look at the question of ‘is Guitar Rig 7 worth it?’ based on these additions alone.
There are three new amps as part of the Guitar Rig 7 update. First up, the Superfast 100, based on the Soldano slow100. There’s also the Reverb Delight, based on a classic Fender amp, and the AC Box XV based on the Vox AC 15. There’s quite a good range of tones here; one thing that unites the amps is they are all very crisp and clear. In classic guitar rig style, they have a very lifelike sounding tone. They are also, with the help of the impulse response loader, very malleable.
The reverb delight has lush undertones and overtones and overall is a very high quality, vintage-sounding amp. At first it feels a bit limited to genres like classic rock. However, it could just as easily work with modern indie depending on the rest of your production.
Meanwhile, the Superfast 100 has a laid-back 90s cool. It could work with anything from nu-metal to pop-punk with quite a significant college radio feel to it.
Lastly, the AC Box XV is also pretty classic rock but has a generally appealing all-round tone. It could easily add to indie or hard rock too. Clean, all three are more versatile. However, of the three, the AC Box XV and Reverb Delight feel best suited to the widest variety of genres. Think anything from versatile modern pop, indie, rock, alternative, and more.
The low fi fx include tape wobble, noise machine, and vintage vibrato. But how do they stack up? They’re definitely FX that ride the wave of many modern trends in Lofi. They don’t aim to throw back to a particular era, instead, they recognize currently Lofi is a world of its own. But this is great, because all three are really fresh and clear sounding. They’re smooth ear candy that instantly adds a spark to your tracks.
Individually, the vintage vibrato harks back to old organs and other machines with slight imperfections. The nose machine is exciting and super varied. It offers the classic tape noises and vinyl crackle.
However, it also has more unusual options like birdsong, VHS tape, and even the sound of a fire crackling in the background. Noises are realistic yet not intrusive and they blend perfectly with your track. Lastly, the classic Tape Wobble is subtle but easy to modify. There are a variety of presets for all of this.
Ultimately we think that the Lofi FX are one of the biggest draws for guitar rig 7. They’re not just emulating old gear, they’ve cottoned onto the conventions within modern Lofi music and are truly giving musicians what they want.
Guitar Rig 7 Review: Pedals and Other Features:
Apart from amps and FX, Guitar Rig 7 has some great new pedals. In, fact, there are 5 new pedals that are based on ICM (intelligent Circuit Modelling). This means they are exact emulations of real-life counterparts down to the individual components.
Kolor is a very exciting pedal. This one is all about adding color and atmosphere to your music, something it does in spades. It creates an intensity to your guitar playing that comes from the undertones and overtones that it adds to sound. This is a subtle addition but a very nice one.
Seattle Fuzz uses ICM to mimic a pedal from one of the grunge era’s top producers. It doesn’t say who, but this pedal definitely packs a punch. One thing some grunge fans may notice is that the sound is quite modern. There is a slight grittiness to grunge-era FX that may seem like it’s lacking at first.
In this light, it makes the Seattle fuzz pedal slightly more appropriate for 90s alt-rock or pop punk. However, once you tweak features like impulse responses, it provides a delicious, dark moody undertone to your playing. This one really brings back the atmosphere of underground Seattle gigs quite easily. The main thing is it’s one that’s great to play around with in combination with other features.
Chainsaw and Skreamer Deluxe
Meanwhile, Chainsaw also models itself after a scene – 90s Swedish death metal. This pedal has a sharp, screaming sound, perfect for playing at both ends of the fretboard. It doesn’t need much added and it’s also great for other genres of metal in our opinion.
Meanwhile, Skreamer Deluxe is a classic distortion pedal for high gain or heavy playing. It helps balance out your sound smoothly and really nicely. As a result, it’s ideal for heavy rock, alt-metal, and many more modern genres from the 90s onwards.
Preamp and Other Features
Lastly, the new pedals also include a pre-amp, the IVP stomp. This is based on a rack-mounted preamp using NI’s Intelligent Circuit Modelling technology. This actually makes Guitar Rig 7 one of the few places you can find the IVP stomp easily. Apart from this, the manufacturer discontinued its hardware incarnation.
In addition, the update includes the ozone limiter as well as new impulse response controls. In general, these meet the same high-quality standards as the rest of the rig. The IRs in particular are very lifelike and great for giving your guitar work more of a realistic edge. This is the feature that brings you into the metaphorical room with the amps! Yes, IRs on other amp and cab sims are good too. But this update reminds us why Guitar Rig is one of the best.
Is Guitar Rig 7 Pro Worth It?
At an overall level, we would say a resounding yes. This is a very exciting update. However, no Guitar Rig 7 review can overlook the reasons why you may want to consider its market competitors. These are not to do with its quality at all. Instead, they are mostly if its main features do not immediately align with your niche within music.
Why might you want to use something else?
Is Native Instruments’ guitar rig 7 worth it for the features alone? And, why might you want to use something else?
If you’re dead set on your genre, remember all versions guitar rig 7 and the native instruments guitar rig series in general are pretty versatile. This is great but for specialist guitarists such as in djent, metal, or industrial. Alternatively, for genres like jazz and blues you may want something tailored towards your style of playing.
So, we now end our Guitar Rig 7 review and we’re glad to say it’s definitely an update that lives up to the hype.
Lots of musicians have hotly anticipated Guitar Rig 7 Pro as one of the most exciting software updates on any plugin for a while now. It’s not hard to see why. This is one of the most realistic and inventive amp sims on the market. Do guitar rig 7 player and guitar rig 7 le meet the same requirements? Yes, if you’re going for quality. However, if you want to best of the new features and their versatility, we think you need the full package.
Since its release, we found with the guitar rig series that the standout features are those that meet two criteria. Firstly, they have catered to current musical trends. Secondly, they then put an innovative twist on them, such as the Lofi and vintage features.
The rest of the amp sim is stellar too. However, the biggest takeaway is that this is the best amp sim if you’re in genres like indie, synth pop, lo-fi, and so on. It’s great to see amp sims branch out for these genres that many beginner producers don’t immediately associate with guitar. Yet even if your interests lie elsewhere, this is still a fantastic gateway to a broader range of effects.