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Tezza

AAS Strum GS-2 sale 50% off (guitar modelling)

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I've bounced this over from the "Acoustic Guitar VST required" thread because Bill Phillips made a general post about it and I discovered upon investigation that they are currently having a 50% off sale on this.

It's an acoustic and electric guitar modeller, very small download (78mb). I don't own it and have not used it extensively, just listened to the demos. Some others who have experience with it might be able to chime in. I don't know that it satisfies my specific need for a traditional acoustic finger picking guitar sound but it does sound really good at what it does and has lots of possibilities for new and high quality sounds.

https://www.applied-acoustics.com/strum-gs-2/

Edited by Tezza
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I've owned this for a long time plus all of the expansions and like it a lot.  In fact, I own almost everything this company has brought out.  But I would say a few things.

I wouldn't worry about the "sale."  AAS is on sale for 50% off almost six months of the year.  Maybe not all of the products in the store, but at least some instruments are on sale.  So the "list price" of AAS instruments and expansions are only used by people who are in a hurry or haven't yet figured this out.  

All AAS instruments are modeled.  Which is to say that, unlike pretty much all the dozens of guitar virtual guitar instruments, it doesn't use real recordings (samples) of guitars.  While that isn't an issue with many of their instruments, there are some who feel that  Strum GS-2 doesn't sound realistic to them.  This is something you'll have to decide for yourself. 

You don't have to rely on demos.  You can test out whether you'll like it (and all their instruments)  by downloading their free Swatches player here.  
You'll see that this is an instrument that is fun to play.  I own a lot of guitar virtual instruments.  As a guitar player for decades,  in my opinion, the most authentic sounding ones are made by Orange Tree Samples and Ample Sound.  The best picking ones are from ujam, Realitone, Native instruments, and in HALion--and this one. There are many instruments that will let you set up a realistic picking pattern, but these instruments let you change chords on the fly in the middle of measures the way a guitarist does.  I used to think Strum GS-2 was the best at doing this until some other instruments came along . 

AAS also offers a lot of expansions, that are inexpensive and provide you with all kinds of guitar styles.   There are often crazy sales on AAS expansions from online sellers like Time+Space. 

There is also a cheaper version called "Strum Session" which sells in a bundle.  As this bundle is often given away free, you can also get it very inexpensively on KVR and other forums.  In fact, I bet there is somebody here who would give you their copy of "Strum Session" because they don't need it. But if you are ready to buy GS-2, you can make your mind up easily from downloading Swatches. 

Edited by Reid Rosefelt
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5 hours ago, Reid Rosefelt said:

As a guitar player for decades,  in my opinion, the most authentic sounding ones are made by Orange Tree Samples and Ample Sound.

I really like the Ample Sound acoustics. For electrics, I think that ISW Shreddage 3 is pretty good too.

PS. I love AAS's stuff. GS-2 is good, but to my ears it isn't the most realistic sounding guitar. As Reid suggested, the best thing might be to give it a demo.

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It does sound a bit synthetic, but really excels at real-time  strumming. It has several strumming articulations and is very responsive to dynamics etc.

The presets packs varies from  ok to great, but they unfortunately quantized every bit of life out of them. 

The cool thing is that it’s possible to create more far out sounds with the modeling engine.

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2 hours ago, LAGinz said:

Not the most realistic, but fun and effective to use as a compositional tool.

Agree 100%.  I play Strum GS-2 often for fun and for inspiration but I have never put it in a track.  

 

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Yeah, there’s something unnatural about this kind of automatic strummers. They’re urgently in need of a (better) humanizer. 

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Yes, Strum GS-2 doesn't sound like a real guitar.

The synthetic sound is precisely the reason I like AAS stuff, like Strum GS-2 and String Studio VS-3. I have not owned Chromaphone but I'd imagine it to line up with the others with regard to "realism".

Because the sounds are synthetic and can be effectively purer than real instruments, they can be easier to fit into a mix or processed further without blowing up the spectrum. They can be used to layer with more realistic sounds as an additional spice or to glue them together in the mix. But they also stand on their own as all the aforementioned instruments are capable of creating very aesthetic, lively and usable synthetic sounds. Just brace them for what they are.

However the physical modeling implemented by AAS comes with some caveats, such as the possibility to model absolutely horrendous combinations of impacts, excitations etc., in other words; you can create some ugly sounds with these instruments. Sometimes tweaking just one parameter slightly may turn an otherwise nice sound into a glitchy firecracker, and understanding what to tune and when comes with a learning curve. There is also no real "init" preset just like there isn't a factory default for how a guitar is constructed, what kind of strings it uses, how and with what the strings are touched, and how the body resonates - so to "init" you essentially start with some arbitrary model of all those.

The unpredictability and crackling sounds is what most puts me off from using AAS stuff, or I would probably use them more. I sold String Studio VS-3 and slightly regret it though, because occasionally I could get some sweet cutting & piercing synthetic bow sweeps out of it that I've been unable to reproduce elsewhere, and sometimes a track just screams for that specific sound and there doesn't seem to exist a "close enough".

 

If you're looking for realistic guitars, MusicLab is another option to add to the list.

 

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I have found that bypassing all effects, except chorus and compression, and hooking the resulting audio signal to a guitar amp sim can do a lot to make it sound more authentic. I've gotten some good results pairing this up with Audio Assault's Bulldozer.

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