Incredible. Guitar. Tone.

Now let me guess, the first thing that came to mind was probably a $5,000 guitar, and $3,000 amp, about $7,000 in microphones and another $20,000 in preamps and analog gear, right? Yikes… ready to take out a loan in the name of tone?

Don’t worry, neither are we. Luckily, you don’t need to drop that kind of cash to get the tone you want. Sometimes it’s just about making the best of what you got and dialing it in the perfect tone

So let’s talk about what we can accomplish for free!

We’ve gone through hundreds of free plugins to find the best tools for sculpting professional guitar tones on a budget. Here are Wired Guitarist’s Top 5 Free Guitar Plugins.

1. LePou Amp Suite

I know, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but one more just to drive the point home…

These are hands down, the BEST free amp sim plugins on the market. LePou’s arsenal of amp sims include emulated high-gain giants like Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, ENGL E645, and even his own original design. It’s one thing to make an incredible sounding amp sim, it’s another to have an entire pack of them.

Be sure to check out the LePou Amp Suite!

LeAmp Sim

2. TSE 808

Along with making a fantastic amp sim, the TSE X50, TSE makes one of the best overdrive plugins on the market. Using an overdrive pedal to tighten up your amp is one of the most standard moves in metal tone, and it works just as well with amp sims. TSE 808 is one of the most realistic tube screamer plugins we at Wired Guitarist have ever used, and the fact that it’s free is just insane. How can you say no to that?

Go grab the TSE 808!


3. OwnHammer Mesa Impulse Responses

Alright, you caught us, it’s not technically a plugin… but you’d be foolish to pass these up.

Quality cabinet emulations are key to getting a deep, rich, professional quality guitar sound. If you want some of the best in the business, look no further than OwnHammer. All of their impulse response packs contain dozens of high-quality IR’s, captured with the most pristine analog gear, and they are giving away a free package of these to anyone with enough smarts to download it.

Oh, I should probably mention that these IR’s are made from the industry standard in metal guitar cabinets… the Mesa Boogie Standard Slant 4×12 cab. Any questions? I didn’t think so.

Stop what you’re doing and download the OwnHammer Impulse Responses now.

4. LeCab 2.0

No matter what impulses you use, you’re going to need a plugin to load them into. LeCab is the most versatile, yet simplistic IR loader you’ll ever find. You can load up to 6 different IR’s at a time, blend them together, pan each one differently, flip a switch to keep things phase coherent, and way more.

What better to go with your free LePou amp sim than a free LePou impulse response loader?

LeCab 2

5. Guitar Rig 5 Player

For everything else, you need Guitar Rig 5 Player. This free version of Guitar Rig comes with delay, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser, and everything else you need to make a shoegazer’s dream pedalboard. Add in some noise gates and a tuner, and you’ve got everything you need to add the final polish to your tone.

Guitar Rig 5 Player is basically a bunch of free stuff all in one package. What’s not to love?

Guitar Rig Player

No matter what gear you use, it all comes down to knowing your gear. After spending some time with these plugins, we at Wired Guitarist have found some really impressive tones, and it just goes to show how little you have to spend to create competitive, punchy, articulate guitar tones.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

Also, we are a dealer for many beloved brands such as PRS, Ibanez, Mayones, Schecter, ESP, and more! Feel free to stop by our shop and we can help you find the right guitar for you at the best price possible.

This article was written by Connor Gilkinson, our editor located in Canada.

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