The Virtual Guitarist Electric Edition follows hot on the heels of Steinberg’s original Virtual Guitarist. The Electric Edition is similar, but also offers typical guitar effects.
The Virtual Guitarist has 29 players offering a variety of guitars and amplifiers, sounds and phrasing styles. The plug-in actually uses real recordings of session guitarist Thomas Blug. There are lots of single-note riffs and strummed rhythm parts played on Fender Stratocaster or Esquire, with power chords and more rhythms played on Gibson Les Paul or 335 guitars in Rock, Pop, Soul, Funk, R&B, and Metal styles.
To play the Virtual Guitarist, you can either play chords on a MIDI keyboard, or just parts of chords. A single note produces a major chord, while three notes are needed to play minor, or sus4, chords. For other chord types, you need to play four notes. If you play with a normal touch, chords will appear on the main beats of each bar. Hit the notes harder and Virtual Guitarist will only play the chords on the weak beats. To play long chords, press a sustain pedal attached to your keyboard. Again, velocity controls the sound produced: hit the notes lightly and a slowly strummed chord will sound; hit the notes more strongly and a heavy chord will sound.
Real guitarists are not perfect, so you can use the Timing control to produce tighter or looser timing. Similarly, the Dynamics control lets you increase the amount of random volume change per beat. When an arpeggiated or picked pattern is chosen, Virtual Guitarist automatically adapts itself to the tempo of the current song you’re working with, so it can cope with accelerandos. Unfortunately, the slowest tempo it can handle is 70BPM. You can also shape the sound by altering the stereo width or by switching on Track Doubling, or using the Mic Position and Presence controls.
The Electric Edition library extends the range of sampled guitar sounds from the standard Virtual Guitarist. You can never have enough variations. At the asking price, the Electric Edition is reasonable value for money.