Sugar Bytes Guitarist:The Perfect Guitar Emulation

by Kim on August 10, 2011 · 0 comments

These phrases caught my attention, “the most complete guitar software of all time” and “the perfect guitar emulation”. This is what Sugar Bytes Guitarist claim and definitely many got curious and see for themselves if this claim is true.

And I am one of them and with those phrases in mind my expectations are high.

At first look the Graphical User Interface looks attractive. Its central work window is dominating and guitar neck is located at the bottom. You will see the play button, by pressing it the default song will play. The step sequencer will work on its pattern in the main window while  strumming machinery comes to life and the robotic  fingers jumps around.

With bespoke controllers, the built-in sequencer plays the guitar and you can also trigger chords and strumming via MIDI. It also has MIDI sequencer that allows patterns to be dragged and dropped also expressive qualities like mutes, deadened notes, stops, slides, slower or double strums and up or down strokes are easily entered into the step sequencer grid. Fun extra controllers for looping and time stretching that bring a modern edge to a traditional instrument can also be utilized.

Done with the physical examination, I am down to run through some of its presets to get a feel for what Guitarist can do and the result— mixed.

In general, the cleaner riffs are more successful, with some surprisingly good picking and strumming action. However, some of the rock efforts are embarrassingly robotic, too bad tunings can’t be changed. In short, this isn’t the most complete software of all time.

This isn’t what I expected, it is more of a virtual guitar that’s played by a pattern sequencer and is designed to emulate rhythm parts played on an electric guitar. Good thing you can do lot of things with it. It has the capacity to emulate nuance and expression, chords and fingering patterns can be customized and be played live or sequenced. It is also possible for notes in each chord throughout the pattern  to be changed to enable melodic parts with hammer ons and pull offs.

In addition, you can choose from four sampled guitars, namely, a Duesenberg Starplayer Special in both standard and bright varieties, a Stratocaster and a Telecaster.  To achieve natural sounding repetition and for its mod wheel to be used to dampen/deaden, guitar multisamples can be triggered in a random round-robin sequence.

It could have yielded far better results if it includes a dedicated amp sim plug-in. Eventhough it has three amp options (two modelled amps and DI/bypass), ), a modulation box, a delay/reverb stomp and a volume/filter rocker pedal with which to shape your sound, the effects are in a fixed order and only sound passable. There’s no compression and I wish things can be more acceptable if we will be able to freely move the ‘fingers’ and save the resulting chords – and create custom tunings and save them as presets. You can detune individual strings, but there’s no global fine-tuning.

Sad but true, this is a disappointing yet promising start for Sugar Bytes Guitarist.  It falls far short of its claim of being the most complete guitar software of all time, very misleading.

Virtual Guitarist 2, Electri6ity, Guitarist, VSL Guitar, AmpliTube 3 and Guitar Rig 4 would perhaps be able to make such a bold claim. Looking forward that these criticisms be resolved in future updates.

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