I'm fairly familiar with VSTs, Ableton, and similar stuff. But all of those require some configuration/setup. The flexibility allows you to build complex systems, but I'm looking for a "gallery" of virtual audio machines (think of guitar pedals for example) that I just download and immediately start jamming with (on a connected microphone, guitar, or MIDI controller).

This doesn't require any kind of standard -- it could be implemented on a variety of platforms, for example Ableton Live.

So are there any websites where I can look for "ready to use" tools like this?

  • I think you are less familiar with VST's than you think you are. – user1167442 Aug 10 '13 at 1:19

Have you ever looked into Reason?

While there is room for much configuration and setup, the virtual rack gear has many presets to just jam with. They've also recently opened up to 3rd party rack extension developers.

I guess the main reason I mention this option is that, unlike many other plugins, the virtual equipment actually looks and behaves like real equipment. No menus or dropdowns and such. Just knobs and faders. I would guess that that makes it much easier to jam with.

  • And can you recommend some websites for preset files for Reason? – themirror Apr 8 '13 at 1:53

KVRAudio lists a ton of VSTs, and are (or at least were at one time) run by the company that makes a device that runs VSTs as a stand-alone (physical) device. I believe they list if the plug-in has a stand-alone mode.

If you want to run any VST as a stand-alone using a free program called SAVIhost - but that only works for instruments. They just updated the software to 32x and 64x.

More and more VSTs are shipping with stand-alone versions. I often use those when I just want to play.

There are a couple of software vendors that do the "stomp-box" metaphore, some of them are stand-alone effects. I believe Native Instruments Guitar Rig will run as a stand alone. reFX has Slayer which can be a set of effects pedals, and reValver by Peavy. Image-Line and TH2 also have a similar products.

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