MusicLab’s virtual guitars get a major overhaul.
It’s been a while since any MusicLab virtual guitar instrument has been featured in SOS — March 2018 to be precise. That review of RealGuitar (the acoustic models) explored its promotion to version 5, a substantial upgrade with many new features. A new Steel String model was added as a separate plug‑in to complement the original Standard model. The introduction of Multi Performance Mode was also particularly welcome, allowing the performer much more flexibility when playing chords; notably, melodic lines and internal movement within chords (voice leading) could now be injected in the midst of a strummed chordal part.
Since then, all other guitar models in the range (RealStrat, RealRick, RealLPC and RealEight) have received the version 5 treatment, RealEight and RealRick having languished at v1 for some time prior to a brief incarnation as v4. RealStrat also received a shot in the arm — the addition of RealStrat Elite, a separate plug‑in featuring a completely new sound set sampled individually from all three pickups, with additional patches simulating double‑tracking and 12‑string, with options for standard or baritone tuning. As of v5.1 the GUIs were all made resizeable. For those unfamiliar with these remarkably flexible, playable instruments I recommend referring to the 2018 v5 review for a detailed overview of their features (now common to all models): www.soundonsound.com/reviews/musiclab-realguitar-5.
Version 6 remains much the same in terms of core functionality, one notable improvement being found in the Output section: two faders to adjust the relative volume of upstrokes and downstrokes. This may seem trivial, but the ability to adjust these (particularly when reducing the volume of upstrokes) greatly improves the dynamics and realism of strummed chords. So what is significantly new in v6? The answer lies not so much in the instruments themselves, but in what MusicLab have incorporated to make them an all‑in‑one solution for virtual guitarists.
Guitarix may sound like a headbanging Gaulois from Goscinny and Uderzo’s Asterix comics, but is in fact a Linux‑based guitar amp simulator.
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