The Plug in Place

Not sure I missed it or not but lets start a thread for useful plugins.

These should work with pretty much any DAW, usually VST 2/3 (Virtual Studio Technology), and simulate ‘things’ (effects, amps, cabs, pedals etc). Some are paid for, some are free, most have some kind of demo.

Generally you install these and then use them as a plug in in your daw rather than on their own

I’ll try break it down into sections and keep it up to date


(free) RoughRider3 - compressor

(free) OrilRiver - stereo reverb

(paid/free) Focusrite Fast Balancer - comes with scarlet 2i2

(free) klanghelm DC1A3/4 compressor

Nembrini Audio
(free) 808 stomp distortion pedal
(free) Analog rack chorus
(free) Analog rack cleaner
(free) Analog Rack Delay
(free) Analog Rack Noise Gate
(plus some other freebies)

(paid/free) Rekab Dev LX480 reverb

(free) Valhalla DSP Valhalla Supermassive - reverb/delay

(paid/free) Softube Marshal Silver 2555

(free) Neural amp modeler

(paid) Positive Grid BiasFx2 (amp sim/pedals all in one)

Been using BiasFX2 for a while and its nice to just download a sound similar to what you are after but…

Wow some of the NAM amp models are incredible, much better, and … free! You can run it multiple times for amp/cab and pedals too. Much better than the Softube marshal.

My current ‘path’ is RoughRider 3 → OrilRiver → NAM with an AC30, Marshall , Dumble or Fender twin reverb/bassman + either 'gods cab ’ or celestrion vintage 30 3x12 impulse response (speaker cam sim).

Crazy that there is so much out there and its free. have to Wonder what a NeuralDSP amp sim is like!


Thanks for sharing, Rob. Certainly another variant of GAS pleasure (pressure) :joy:


Good topic Rob.

There is certainly a wide range of great plugins, both free and paid for.

I extensively use Waves plugins - I treated myself to one of their bundles back when I took early retirement - and have accumulated wide range of products over the years that followed. Not bought many since 2016 as the exchange rate made them more costly.

There are always some good deals to be had, so always worth a look. No harm in window shopping.

Probably too many to mention here but I like the fact some of their amp/cab/pedal combos can be used as standalone and not just in my DAW (Reaper).


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The first one I’d recommend anyone to use is Youlean loudness meter. It helps you set the optimal output level for YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud or any other channel.

The free plugin is enough for my needs. It shows you when and where the audio signal might be clipping, what the temporary output level is for a song section, and ultimately the general output level of the song.


Plus one from me on YLM. Its my go to for setting up level for OMs. Can run in a DAW, OBS and as a desktop standalone. Pro version is worth getting a you can set the preferred level for each streaming service, which does change now and then. So once I am set up and good to go I’ll take a vocal/lyric sample and set my PlayAcoustic and AI gain to get as near to YouTube’s 14 LUFS ceiling and True Peaks of -2DB. I can then bring the guitar level up to fine tune the balance. I’ll do that separately aiming for 20-18 LUFS. That gives me a good start which can be fine tuned. Same approach in Reaper if its a multitrack project. :+1:


:joy: . I find these tools add more “pressure”.

I have used VoiceMeeter Potato, which does give some visual levels indication … but relative to what … :thinking: :man_shrugging:.

However, I will record myself in a ‘solo’ Zoom session, achieve what I think are reasonable mic/guitar levels in the recording playback, only to find … SNAFU :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: … when I join a live Zoom session (eg. JGC OM XVII last night) and having to adjust levels again … really frustrating and adds unnecessary pressure prior to a performance … :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :scream:

Basically, it’s been guesswork thus far, but will give YouLean a try-out … hopefully it’s aimed at my ‘noob’ skill-level. :upside_down_face:

Thanks for posting @RobDickinson and other contributions thus far by @Jeff , @TheMadman_tobyjenner



Was watching the recent Paul Davids video and I think only 2 or 3 out of 10 players used a real amp (real includes boss katana …). I dont think this is talked about enough esp in the modern day but most pro’s are not using guitar amps most of the time now…

Anyone got a rec for a free VST host app?

Something like these

To run VSTs without using a daw as such

Anyone using one of the Plugins - Neural DSP ? Some of those look quite tasty

I will try Youlean loudness meter.

I do enjoy Neural DSP plugins and the sound quality is great at low or loud volume. However, I’d say that it can be difficult to dial the tones that you need for a beginner with so many presets and options.

The best that worked for me was sticking with one amp, one clean preset and changing the tone with the pedals. But, I’m pretty sure that there are endless possibilities for more experienced players.

I found that it was easier to find tones with Boss Katana as you can download presets online that are made for specific songs. Example “Blink-182 tones”, “Nirvana tones”. It’s not that easy with Neural DSP.

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ok purely for scientific reasons I downloaded a 14 day demo of the Petrucci plugin,
I’m pretty impressed, 4 amps, pedals, lots of nice bits and features

…well outside my neural pathways, Mathieu, … :upside_down_face: , but hope to get around to trying Youlean later this week.

Been using pettuci a lot and like it, much better sound quality than bias fx.

Found a 30% off code so bought it.

Spent all day today learning the Time solo using. Rebea lead setting…

Fingers destroyed :rofl:

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Good to know that you are having fun with your Pettruci amp purchase :slight_smile:

Do you have an electro-acoustic guitar ? If so, did you try the piezo amp ?

I wonder if it makes the acoustic piezo pickup (DI) sounds less nasal, just like recording with a condenser mic. I’d love to record my acoustic with the DI and have a good sound and may buy this plugin if it works.

I do, I’ll record something.

Will say it makes my electric sound incredibly like an acoustic

ok I say that but how I record something… cant seem to even gt that working in ableton live haha

Drag and drop the Petrucci plugin on your audio track in Ableton ( in yellow in my drawing).

If the plugin doesn’t appear, you have to go into the settings (plug-ins) and click on search plug-ins.

Oh I can get the plug in working fine just actually recording something isn’t!

Anyhow you could always try the 14 day free trial?

Yes I’ll try the free trial.