Can A Virtual Instrument Replace The Electric Guitar?

Vir2’s Electri6ity is a new virtual instrument that attempts to put a virtual electric guitar in your DAW:

Electri6ity contains eight of the most famous and distinguished guitar tones in the history of the instrument. More than 24,000 24-bit samples were taken of each guitar. Three pickup options (front, rear, and mixed) are available on every guitar. An impressive amount of samples allow you to play every articulation on every fret of every string for an absolutely authentic guitar sound. Downstrokes, upstrokes, seamless velocity layers, ghost notes, mutes, harmonics, hammer-ons, pulloffs, slides, releases, and FX…the sky is the limit with Electri6ity.

Electri6ity also utilizes the most advanced scripting to date, including the revolutionary Articulation Morphing Technology (A.M.T.) and Velocity Morphing Technology (V.M.T.) allowing for the seamless morphing from dead mute to sustain or from soft to loud. Advanced string and fretboard positioning is performed by artificial intelligence which adapts to your playing. Play fluid lines in real time using the legato engine, play chords using the chord detection engine which understands almost 2000 different chords, easily double-track, do unison bends, strum, pick, trill, tremolo pick, slide…all of this is built into the Electri6ity engine and full editing control is given over each of these parameters.

All samples in Electri6ity are recorded clean – a direct input from the guitar. Use Electri6ity´s built-in multieffects (phaser, flanger, chorus, reverb, and delay), Screamer module, and amp simulation (British, Classic, Clean, Jazz, Metal, Modern, and Rock) to make the sound come alive, or use your own guitar amps or simulators to multiply the possibilities.

Electri6ity is powered by the industry-leading Kontakt engine. It is compatible with VST, AudioUnit, and RTAS (Pro Tools 7 & 8) plug-in formats allowing it to work seamlessly within any major sequencer, in addition to standalone use.

Check it out the demo video. It features composer Richard Friedman playing Electri6ity. And leave a comment with your thoughts on Electri6ity taking the place of an electric guitar in your studio.

Electri6ity Features:

Electri6ity includes eight guitars:

  • Strat
  • Tele
  • P90
  • Les Paul
  • Rickenbacker
  • Danelectro Lipstick
  • ES335
  • L4

Three pickup positions:

  • Front
  • Rear
  • Front + Rear Blend

Recorded variations per sample:

  • Downstroke/upstroke
  • Picked/strummed
  • Seamless velocity layers

Playing modes:

  • Polyphonic
  • Monophonic
  • Legato (Sustain/Muted)
  • All modes can be combined with a Slide Mode for real-time slides from each fret to each other fret.

Articulation list:

  • Sustain Neck <> Bridge
  • Sustain <> 5th / Octave Pinch Harmonics
  • Dead Notes <> Muted <> Half-Muted
  • Ghost Notes Clean
  • Ghost Notes Dirty
  • Chucka-Chuckas
  • Harmonics
  • Hammer On (played after sustain note) / Hammer On (tapped)
  • Pull Off (played after sustain note) / Pull Off (tapped)
  • One and two frets Slides Up / Down
  • Slides (Slide in and from each fret to each other fret)
  • FX Samples (Screams, Scratches, Whammy-FX, etc.)

Release types:

  • Finger Noise
  • Finger Noise Short
  • Mixed I
  • Mixed II
  • Hand Mute (fret can be selected)
  • Palm Mute
  • Slide Down Short
  • Slide Down Medium
  • Slide Down Long
  • Slide Down (1 fret, short)
  • Slide Up (1 fret, short)
  • Slide Noise Down
  • Slide Noise Up
  • Pick Noise

Integrated engines:

  • A.M.T (Articulation Morphing Technology) & V.M.T (Velocity Morphing Technology) allows you to seamlessly morph from soft to loud notes, from dead muted to sustain, and even from sustain to fifth or octave pinch harmonics! The morphing is phase-aligned without any phasing artifacts.
  • Advanced string and fretboard positioning – the AI chooses the best fitting strings and fretboard position for you. It takes speed, timing, notes and polyphony into account. Manual overwrite is possible whenever you need it (by manually choosing a string or a position on the fretboard).
  • Advanced guitar noise engine – adds pick, finger and slide noises according to your playing.
  • Advanced legato engine – fluid legato lines in real time.
  • Advanced vibrato engine.
  • Advanced humanization – nothing is random, everything is artificial intelligence.
  • Advanced guitar chord detection – almost 2000 chords are detected and transferred into guitar chords in real time. Most guitar chords are available in up to three different voicings.
  • Inversions and chords with additional root key are detected.
  • Easy Double-Tracking – without increasing the memory footprint.
  • Auto Unison-Bends.
  • Dynamic sympathetic resonance simulation.
  • Performance keys for strumming and picking – powerful yet easy to use.
  • Performance keys for trills, tremolo picking, one and two fret slides (it´s possible to slide whole chords as well).
  • Full control over the engine, tweak and control the playback with more than 100 parameters!

20 thoughts on “Can A Virtual Instrument Replace The Electric Guitar?

  1. I think that I'll always prefer using a real guitar. While I've been impressed with what companies like Line 6 have done with amp simulation. To my ears, though, Electri6ity sounds a bit too cold and computer generated. Also, I'm not exactly the biggest fan of Native Instruments.

  2. I think the "realness" of a guitar's sound comes less from its tone, and more from the techniques used to play it. As someone who has put plenty of time in playing both real guitars AND faked guitars, this demo still has plenty of aural giveaways to being the latter… linear bends (a real guitar bend slows down as it gets closer to the desired pitch), overlapping notes at small intervals (notes that would have been on the same string), the absence of hand-positioning sound (both right and left hand) in the space between notes, etc.

    I wouldn't fault a non-guitarist for using it if it was the only option available.

  3. its a step in the right direction for virtual backing tracks, i'll give it that. as far as replacing guitarists altogether…never gonna happen. people want to see and hear the real thing!

  4. This actually sounds pretty amazing to me – though the guy doesn't make it sound exactly like a guitar, it would fool most people.

  5. On some of the demos there is this deep "thunk" sound on each note attack – not a pick strike, it's bassy and at the same pitch for any note. What's that?

    The giveaway here is the sameness of technique. There are no popped harmonics, no laying back toward the bridge, no fretboard plucking/tapping, and you can't grab the peg head and bend the neck till it breaks like a Gibson SG 😉

  6. i agree! the demo above shows crazy keyboard skills but i think the amp sound is ruining the illusion quite a bit. sounds like a cheap amp to me. however it made me curious enough to look for other demos and i really like one, but it's not on youtube. i found it on the vir2 website. it's called 'beyond belief'. this one is amazing!!!

  7. Anyone here actually use this thing yet? The problem i have with all of the sample based guitar plug ins is that they all sound fair at about 145BPMs, but take them up to 170+ and the attacks of the notes is all wrong.

    I want to know how this sounds when playing some real speed/thrash type metal riffs. Anyone try it yet?

  8. rhetorical question. No chance, but I think that they are getting closer by the day to understanding articulations and how they really work on "analog instruments" I play keys and I do mess with virtual guitar software like applied accustics Strum electric, and music labs real lpc. You can totally get a sound that will fool 95% of the people who listen, but that is if it is played like a guitar. I mean you gotta really understand the instrument that you are attempting to emulate in order to even get close. This dude seems to have some clinical techniques and I get the "left hand never leaving the pitch bend" thing to always have a little play there, but kieth is right, a guitar bend never rolls out at a 45 degree angle, the tension picks up the further you bend, then ofcourse your ear and brain tell you to slow down when approaching the desired note, etc… I am not gonna break down his performance or anything cause really , it wasn't bad for meat and potatoes, and it seams honestly like the guy doesn't know better, or had only messed with the thing for 5 min before they rolled. Agreed on that corny ass tone too, put it through a real amp and there is one more baby step closer.

    I will end with two things.

    1) no emulator can out real the real, but if it done well enough it can sure fool some people, but that is kinda like being an impostor or something, or margerine.

    2) If i could rip the shit out of the guitar then I wouldn't probably mess with these too much, but me being much better at the keys then I ever will at the guitar, something like this but done tastefully can make sense when you are tracking and just gotta have a bit of guitar. But as there are guitarists replacement is a mute point….. ok you got my rhetoric….. Orelaaay!

  9. Hi everyone,

    Przemyslaw Kopczyk did a very nice, dark and moody trailer demo for Electri6ity. All guitars (rhythm, clean and solo) were played and recorded live.
    The rhythm and clean guitars are using the various strum keys in Electri6ity which make it very easy to do rhythm and strumming parts.

    Take a listen: http://www.benjaminstelzer.de/demo_new/Electri6it

    Cheers,
    Benjamin
    Vir2 Development Team

  10. Is it as good a real, experience guitarist who's been playing 20 years? Never?

    Will it allow me (who can play five chords, but with a second gap in between while I rearrange my fingers) to fool about with getting a half decent guitar part in my compositions without having to hire a guitarist? I think it will…

  11. It's fake and steers composers / songwriters/ arrangers into the wrong direction because it makes big promises while it only half delivers.

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