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Guitar Rig Session Review

Guitar Rig Session Review

Integrating the power of the Apple Mac into my guitar processing set up has always been a bit of an ambition. I have even addressed Guitar and Garageband in a previous post.

Having eyed up the Native Instruments Guitar Rig Session for some time we managed to get our hands on one to put it through it’s paces. Low cost guitar to computer interfaces are becoming more and more popular and although this this is great news it brings with it the challenge of selecting the right device.

ses1Devices such as the Boss GT10 come with direct USB out. The problem is such devices are expensive and although the GT10 is easier to use than some devices it can still be pretty challenging especially when compared to the Guitar Rig Software.

Installing the software :

Installing the software pack is completed in two stages. Insert the disc and double click on the installer. If you are a Mac user you will have to enter your password at a number of stages during the install process. Install Guitar Rig, then the Service Centre and then driver. Restart the computer.

When you restart remember to go back to the disc and install the Kore player and the drum sounds. The installer doesn’t automatically take up the install process when you reboot and these great applications could easily be missed.

Once installed connect the hardware i.e. USB into the back of the Guitar Rig 3 Session I/O. Although completely irrelevant to the actual function of the device the hardware is solid, well built and looks amazing. Connecting the USB activated the lights on the top of the device.

We have used a range of USB interface devices and this definitely is the best for quality of build, I’d say this aluminum device would survive even the hardest of tours or road tests.

The guitar connects via input two and make sure you set the push button to instrument, this will be confirmed on the top of the unit via a red light. If you play the guitar at this stage a green signal light should appear on the top of the unit.

Back to Guitar Rig 3

We opted for a totally clean install of the XE software so that any shadow of our own full Guitar Rig 3 software wouldn’t complicate things. We were initially concerned that the stripped down version of the Guitar Rig 3 software (XE) would be akin to a trial or demo version of Pro and leaving you wanting….. I am very happy to say this really isn’t the case.


The XE comes with an excellent range of patches including our own favourite signature sounds such as:

  1. Pink Numb Lead
  2. Always with Satch
  3. Message in a Guitar Rig
  4. 2U is no name
  5. Mark in Arms

There are a total of 28 signature sounds never mind the other banks or the sounds and patches you create yourself. If you don’t hear any guitar after selecting a patch check guitar rig has set to use the session I/0 as the sound device. Click on Guitar Rig 3 and preferences.

We won’t go into too much Guitar Rig detail as the software has all the power of the full Guitar Rig software with options like the built in tuner, metronome are all included as well as the following core effects and patches including an impressive range of distortion effects.

One question we have been emailed (with reference to our previous review) is regarding latency issues with the software. Personally having reviewed the full version with Kontroller and now the Session I/O XE system I haven’t noticed any latency issues at all while playing or even switching between patches. The system is definitely reliable enough to use in the studio and as many artists are now doing in a live senario !

Although we used an amp for our final output there is no reason why this couldn’t have been a studio speaker or even the computer speakers. Really the Guitar Rig session is everything you need in one box. The hardware interface between the guitar and the computer as well professional level software for recording directly to Logic, Garageband etc.

The package is ideal for home studio, pro level interfacing and like me the amateur guitarist at home wanting all the latest stomp boxes, all the latest amps and the ability to record easily. This devices offers them all and better, at a fraction of the price ! We love it and just don’t see how they could have made it any better !!! Our guide to recording guitar with garageband is equally as applicable to the Guitar Rig Session as it is the Boss GT10.

Buy Guitar Rig Products (Amazon)
Native Instruments

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