Guitar FX: Effects Processors Software for Windows/PC
Another place to plug your guitar in!
Ask yourself why you plug your guitar into effects pedals, boxes or stompboxes?
The answer is you want to have a great sound. You are dreaming about power impressive distortions
like Metalica has and natural sounding 10 sec sustain like Santana guitar sings!
During XX century guitar players have known one way only - to buy expensive pedals and stompboxes and
plug a guitar into a hole in these devices. But times have changed.
Today all we have got personal computers (PC). I am sure many guitar players with PC have seen several
holes at the back side of their PCs. These holes look very similar to the holes on the effects pedals!
So, many of us sometimes think -
I have pluged my guitar into effects pedals during last 10 years.
But now I would like to try something new. Well, why (at the end) do not try
to plug in a guitar into PC? What happens if I put my guitar cable jeck
into one of the holes at the back side of my personal computer?
The answer is you will get a great guitar sound! Yes, your PC can
pumps electric guitar signals, processe it, apply distortion, sustain,
wah, chorus, flanger, reverb, delay effects and output result signals on your
headphones or speakers.
PC does not need an additional equipment to do this. No options necessary!
(I am sure your PC has a sound card).
How to do it?
Usually, we have "big jeck" or 1/4" jeck at the end of a guitar cable. At the back side of PCs usually we can see 1/8" holes. So, you need to buy in nearest computer or music shop a 1/4"->1/8" adaptor. It costs around $1..$2. Then you can plug in your guitar into the blue color hole at the back side of your PC. Usually this hole has "Line" title as shown on Picture 1. Don't forget to plug in your stereo headphones into black color hole (with title "spkr") at the back side of you PC. Now you can tune your sound card audio mixer. Go to the Windows 95/98 "Sart" menu at the bottom right corner of PC screen, choose "Run" option, type "SNDVOL32.EXE" and press "O'k" button. You must see a picture like you can see on Picture 2 from
Set up all slieders exactly in the same positions as you can see on my picture.
Now you are ready to get some for free software from the Internet Download 1 Download 2, install and run it. Now try to play something on your guitar and you hear that your personal computer works like the best traditional effects pedals or stompboxes! You must know that you can find in the Ineternet hundreds titles of free audio effects softwares for your PC. It means you can enjoy with the best world distortions, sustains, reverbs, choruses, flangers, delays, equalisers, tube amp simulators realy for free using only your personal computer!
Personal Computer is the best distortion pedal !
GuitarFX is a cool guitar software (it's on the market since 1997!) that's actually capable of turning your computer into excelent guitar amplifier.
Simply plug your guitar into the microphone or line input of your sound card, run this software and enjoy real-time crazy distortion smoothed by power filters and shaped by multi-band equalizers!
Author of GuitarFX offers several presets, including "hard rock", "high gain lead" and "solo" effects.
However, you can click through several menus to easily create custom tones.
They can be saved as pre-sets for future use. Pre-sets can be assigned to "hot keys" F1..F12.
Among the effects, you can apply 4 types of distortion, noise gate, wah-wah, compressor, EQ, flanger, reverb, chorus, delay and a number of other filters and effects.
You can save your recordings to your hard drive. GuitarFX has the "software effects chain builder" with 16 fx slots. Clean guitar signals go to the top fx slot, then they are passed through
all fx slots from the top to the bottom and go to the sound card output from the bottom fx slot. You can move any fx slot up. To do this place your mouse cursor on the top part of the appropriate "Tune" button and then do right mouse button click. Also you can move any fx slot down. To do this place your mouse cursor
on the low part of the appropriate "Tune" button and then do right mouse button click.
Demo sounds in mp3: tube overdrive, distortion, solo
Download GuitarFX 3.04
Computer Works Like Distortion Pedal!
electric guitar fx |
best distortions pedal |
my guitar fx |
Guitar FX v2.18 Help (old version, latest v3.04)
If you have an old or expired version of the Guitar FX or It stopped to work download AGAIN the latest and working without time limit version of the Guitar FX from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/guitarfx/, you must get at first Yahoo ID and password, it's for free at http://www.yahoo.com
About sound delay (latency) from Input to output:
Too big delay? If you want to have very small delay you must use Windows 98/2000/XP and sound card with WDM drivers, or you must check the Optimization check box (Windows 98 + VxD drivers only! you must download special VxD version of the Guitar FX) in the Realtime section of the Guitar FX. Also, Press 10-20 times in->out delay (-) button in Realtime section. If you hear sound clicks etc. press 10-20 times in->out delay (+) button in Realtime section. If you use SB Live!/Audigy under Windows 98 check that you use VxD drivers, or use the Windows 2000/XP version of the Guitar FX from http://groups.yahoo.com/group/guitarfx/
Two 8 bands Equalizers:
Activate it in "Effects"-> "EQ"-> section in my Guitar Software FX 3.04. Pentium 233 MHz or better recommended.
48 kHz support:
Pentium 233 MHz or better recommended.
Making Good Sound using Guitar FX:
Build in Presets
I recommend to use the build into GuitarFX presets Distortion 1, Distortion 2 and Default in the Realtime section. You can get now from GuitarFX v2.18 slightly distorted sounds (blues style) and then move step by step to radically distorted sounds. If you move the knob of "Effects"->"Distortion"->"Distorter Pro"->"Input Gain (Drive)" slider to the left the input signal gain is small, input signals are not amplified and the distortions in the output signal are small. If you move the knob of this slider from left to right, the input signal gain increases, the input signals are more amplified and distortions in the output signal increase too.
Constructing your own presets
Record your guitar with some your favorite chords into 16 bit mono 22 kHz (or 44.1 kHz) wav file using any audio recording software like CoolEdit, WaveLab or build in Windows recorder. Then run GuitarFX, press Start button in Realtime section, go to Playback section, load your wav file and press Play button, then check Effects and Mute Live Input check boxes. Press Clean button in Realtime section.
- Go to Distortion section and click on Standard radio button and check Boost Low Freq. check box.
- Move slider Color of Distortion to the right on 3-5 mm.
- Move slider Gain to right on 50-90 mm.
- Move slider Gain (Reverse) to left on 10-20 mm.
- Move slider Bass to the right on 10-15 mm.
- Move slider Amplify Frequencies Higher Than to the right on 10 mm.
- Move slider Hi Frequencies Gain to the right on 10-20 mm.
- Go to Effects -> EQ section, check Pre EQ check box.
- Move Up on 10-20 mm 450 Hz and 850 Hz sliders
- Move Down on 10-20 mm G slider
- Check Post EQ check box.
- Move Up on 10-20 mm 1.7k and 3.4k sliders
- Move Down on 10-20 mm G slider
- Go to Effects->Distortion->Distortion Pro->Filters 2
- Check Low Pass Filter check box.
- Move slider Frequency of Low Pass Filter to the right on 10-50 mm.
Go to Presets sections and save your preset.
Control Signal Distorter
I released new distortion effect in "Effects"->"Distortion"->"Distorter Pro" section in my GuitarFX v2.18 software. I named it as "Control Signal Distorter". Now you can go from clean sounds to total distorted sounds by very small steps by 4 various ways using 3 new sliders and one old slider "Input Gain (Drive)".
These new sliders are:
- "Clean" --> "Crunch"
- "Clean" --> "Sharp"
- "Clean" --> "Distorted"
Why are so many sliders?
If you want this sound Smart-Distortion.mp3 you need in All 3 new sliders. They affect on guitar sounds with different audible effects. They distort guitar signals by differently sounded ways. You can combine all these distortion to get your own "signature" guitar sound.
How to Use:
- Run GuitarFX, press "Start" button in "Realtime" section, as you always do. Wait up to 30 sec.
- Choose the "Distortion 2" preset, i.e. press the "Distortion 2" button in "Realtime" section
- Go to the "Effects" section, then go to the "Distorter Pro" section.
- Move "Clean-->Crunch", "Clean-->Sharp" and "Clean-->Distorted" sliders to the left or to the right and try to hear how they affect the output sound.
Additionaly you can go to "Effects"->"Distortion"->"Filter 2" section and in "Brightness" filter choose "Ultra" position. You will have tons of hi frequencies. Also, you can control "growl" of the sounds at "Effects"->"Distortion"->"Filter 1" in "Hi Pass Filter 3". Move the "Cut of Frequency" slider to the right to get more "natural" sound and move this slider back to the left to get more growl sound.
ATTENTION: if you move any or all of these 3 new sliders to the right to get more distortions the output signal level is reduced automatically (this prevents the noise power increasing). You can increase the power of the output signals by moving to the right the slider "Output Signal Level" in "Effects"->"Distortion"->Distorter Pro section or you can move to the right the "Output Level" slider near the bottom of the face of the GuitarFX (or both).
Sound Card Audio Mixer Help (GuitarFX)
Around 25% of users with SB Live reported me that GuitarFX did not work on their PCs. But on another side 75% of users reported that GuitarFX works fine See more details here. So, we must understand that the problem is not in my software GuitarFX. The problem is in SBLive audio mixer!
The standard SBLive audio mixer is a very limited version of the standard built in Windows 95/98 extended audio mixer. In many cases SBLive mixer does not allow to do the correct and fine tunings. This is our case! Sometimes SBLive mixer can't be tuned for working with GuitarFX. But this is not a problem. Simply run c:\windows\SNDVOL32.EXE (click here or run it manually from "Start" button, section "Run" ) and you will be able to make your SBLive work with my GuitarFX.
If you plug your guitar into MIC input you can check Off Mic Input in PLAY CONTROL (only) and hear only processed sounds. Uncheck it and you will hear both direct sounds and processed sounds. The same thing will be right for LINE-IN in Play Control section if you plug the guitar into Line-In input. The picture (see above) shows what you must see if you run c:\windows\SNDVOL32.EXE for the first time. Sometimes you can see restricted picture like the following:
Don't worry. It is very easy to show all possible control sliders. Go to Parameters menu, then go to sub-menu Propetries. You must see a picture like bellow:
You can see that Windows Audio Mixer contents really two parts. These are Play Control and Record control. Both must be tuned correctly. If you want to see, say, Line-In slider in Play Control section you must check it as I have shown on the picture above! The same things are right for Record Control section. If you plug your guitar into Microphone input it should be as on the picture below:
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