Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Toneforge Guilty Pleasure

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are going to review a new plugin for the Toneforge serie, Guilty Pleasure!
This is the third guitar amp plugin from Joey Sturgis' Toneforge (the first one was the Ben Bruce, the second one was the Menace, click here for the review),  and it takes the same idea behind the other two plugins (a lightweight, good sounding, complete guitar amp simulator) and applies it to a different kind of sound, more Marshall/mid rangey oriented, which is both good for '80s hard rock and for modern metal.

Let's start by saying that I like the idea behind the Toneforge guitar plugins, an idea that differentiates them by most of the other amp simulators on the market: to create a small, single amp plugin instead of a huge and expensive suite that clogs your cpu, and that eventually you'll end up using only 1%.
Better to buy just the single module you need, and load just that in your guitar channel.

The plugin is pretty complete: it features the amp, an overdrive and a noise gate, a delay, a reverb, a wah, a cabinet simulator with two cabinets (Mesa and Orange) and 4 microphones, and an Ir Loader (making it the amp modeler of the company with more features so far); plus tuner, parametric eq and limiter.

One of the smartest and most pleasant addition to this plugin is the fact that it can be loaded on a stereo buss, in which are routed for example two guitar tracks, left and right, and it will process them independently, so that two tracks are controlled by one single plugin instance (also saving cpu resources).

Another thing that I like very much about Toneforge amp modelers, and this is no exception, is that they are designed by the gold record certified producer, Joey Sturgis (click here for an interview), therefore they are made with music production in mind: the plugin sounds good even without touching the eq (this is also thanks to a serie of tweaks made by Sturgis called "Magic" that can be enabled or disabled): it has a very musical mid range that helps the guitar to cut gracefully through the mix and less grit compared to the Menace, which has a more "5150" kind of vibe.
This is something that is impossible to find in the other most popular amp modeling bundles, like Amplitube or Guitar Rig: with those you have to spend a lot of time finding the right virtual gear and tweaking it, inside the suite and with external plugins to make it sound right, while with Toneforge products, and Guilty Pleasure in particular, it just sounds good enough right after you load it, and it leaves you more time to focus on the song.

For the future, I expect also a standalone version inside the Toneforge plugins, usable also outside the Daw, so that we can just plug the jack into the interface and rock out!
I would suggest also a bass amp modeler with the same philosophy, it would rock!
For the moment I can only suggest this plugin, because it's really good, one of the best guitar amp modelers I've tried so far.

Thumbs up!

Specs taken from the website:

- High gain amp simulator with noise gate

- Two cabinet simulators (bypassable)

- Four microphones modeled

- Built in impulse loader

- Stompboxes: overdrive, delay, wah, reverb

- Rack: tuner, parametric eq, limiter

- Vst3 format with automations

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