Guitar Rig 2 vs Robo Recording Setup

Brandon Drury —  May 14, 2008

As anyone who has read even ½ of one of my posts on the home recording forum, I’ve been highly critical of direct guitar recording for a while now. I’ve noticed that more and more talk has been centered around the dramatic improvements in direct guitar recording technology and I’m hearing this on tunes posted in Recording Reviews. So, I figured I would give it a spin in a head to head contest with a few of my amps.

Note: I’m not biased on this test. To be honest, I wanted to say “This $200 plugin replaces my entire amp collection”. I WANT to be able to make robo recordings with $2 in gear! Did it happen? I’ll let you decide. I want to make it perfectly clear that this test was not a big deal. I probably should have played it tighter. I probably should have taken more time. I didn’t really plan on making a shootout. Oh well, here goes.

Guitar – The guitar is an Agile Telecaster. Why Telecaster? Why not! I’m playing high gain rock stuff here. I realize a Telecaster is not the most obvious choice for this. Oh well. To make matters worse, these strings are robo old. To make matters even worse, you can hear just how poorly the intonation is out when I hit the higher chords. So what does this prove? Nothing! I’m not trying to prove anything. I was goofing around and not taking this too seriously. Maybe I should have restrung it. Maybe I’ll do a better shootout with more direct guitar gadgets if people like this one.

Amp Simulator – Native Instruments Guitar Rig 2. Why only this one? Because it’s the only one I have. Technically, I didn’t really pursue this one anyway. It came with Komplete 3 which I purchased for the synths and samples. I normally am too busy pulling crap out of my highly raised nose to ever actually purchase a direct guitar product.

Amps – The amps in this contest were all my amps I own. Peavey 5150, Rivera Knucklehead, and my trusty ’71 Marshall Superlead. I considered using my Fender Bronco also, but maybe I’ll save that for the next one.

Cabinet – My trusty 1×12 former floor wedge on stage turned into Celestion G12H30 mega cabinet. I REALLY like this cabinet even though it looks like death. I don’t use a grill! My Marshall JCM 800 4×12 cabinet has been collecting dust for some time now.

Mic – I used my Royer R121 with this. It’s clear that if I wanted more fizz than this (for metal I definitely would) I would need to make some changes. With that said, I need to remember that my Mackie’s tend to hype of electric guitars a little bit so guitars come out sounding a tad boring and a tad too smooth on computer speakers.

Preamp – I used my Trident S20 preamp. Not much to say there.

Converter - I used my Mytek AD96 converter on the mic’d signal. The direct guitars were tracked through the Hi-Z input in my Presonus Firestudio.

The Results: You’ll have to head to the Member’s Only forum here at for those! Guitar Rig 2 vs Real, Expensive Recording Rig

Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.