What song are you currently/next "working on"?

Thanks for detailing this all for me. The reason I asked was that I recently did buy a guitar VST myself… I didn’t really know whether there were any good ones out there, and stumbled upon the Native Instruments Session Guitarist packs. And just as I found them, it was it was within the final hours of a 50% off offer and so I bought one of them without too much research and testing.

Now I still need to get more familiar with how the VST works and is best used. The sound sample seem great and there is a ton of MIDI patterns. But, to be honest, I find the UX not very intuitive (goes for the entire NI environment) while I much prefer Toontracks way of doing things. Alas, Toontracks don’t have a good guitar VST (yet).

Anyhoo, I need to get my act together and test the Session Guitarist VST a lot more :smile:


For me, the best way to learn is to just sit and do it. I’m learning quite a bit by programming the midi via some tabs via Ultimate Guitar, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, drums… the whole 9 yards. This way I’m learning how to do all the articulations, down-strokes, upstrokes, etc. that make the guitars sound very realistic. Obviously everyone learns differently, but this seems to work best for me. When I’m done translating the Metallica song I’m working on, I’ll toss it up for listening so you can see what can be accomplished.


Huge +1.

This is great practice for developing your workflow for when you start producing original music as well.


Awesome @brik1970 ! Please post the new music so we can give it a good listen!


Will do, when it’s in a good state. That will be a while, probably.


I’m jazzed more people will be doing full covers of songs and not just bass. It’s a really rewarding experience.


I’m not sure if this truly counts as a “cover” as its just tabs that are available online and entering the notes into a midi-interface. That being said, it was fun to do and a good way to start delving into this end of music creation/production, and also exposed some limitations that I’ll make note of in the future. For some added fun, ripped the vocals from the original and synced them into the mix.

equipment used: AKAI MPK mini MK3 midi keyboard, Reaper, virtual instruments for rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass and drums and lastly, Moises.ai to create a vocal stem. Tabs from Ultimate Guitar (pro version).

Some issues I’m making note of and will not be fixing for this particular project (just chalking it up as part of the learning process): some parts with guitar the picking effect gets very intense and overwhelms the actual guitar sound, making those parts feel like they’re full of audio artifacts; timing on vocals are slightly off, this seems to be caused by the fact that the master track has numerous tempo changes in it; drums feel like they’re a bit too low in the mix, its difficult to get them mixed in and not red-peaking the master; there’s a few minor transcription errors (either with my inputs or the tabs) which I’m also calling “good enough” for now; lastly I did not input the rhythm guitar 2 midi, as there were only slight differences (a couple fuller chords, is all I really noticed), it didn’t seem worth the effort to enter the full tab in.

So, without further ado, here’s the file: 2023-07-23 - Metallica - Shadows Follow (from Tabs - VSTi Only)_9.mp3 - Google Drive

Feedback welcome.

Original song for comparison:


Great effort, @brik1970 - really well sounding rhythm guitar, I am surprised!

Yes, sure, the mix is a bit heavy on the guitar(s), but that is something you can play around with now that you have done the major work, i.e., entering all that MIID data.

The solo guitar is, naturally(?), sounding a bit artificial - I think it is very hard to imitate all the phrasing and small articulation that a human guitar player would use, especially with something as expressive as a solo.

And, anyway, your “drummer” is better than Lars Ulrich :wink:


Yes, I was rather impressed with the overall sound of the guitar.

Noted. I may go back and tweak the mix some more at some point.

Yeah, can only do so much following a tab (that may not be correct), and trying to mimic those articulations and slight timing variations. Overall, not too bad though. One thing I could not do with the guitar interface was to set the midi grid to allow for triplets, of which there are several in the tab. I had to go back through the midi piano roll and fix some of those parts, which was a bit of a pain.



This is really the fun part and quite educational - you can try all kinds of things and find out how that affects the mix and the end result. While I am sure there are certain “guidelines” the professionals follow, I would just trust my ears for now :smile:

Ugh, that sounds ugly… Did your DAW not allow you to quantize in triplets?? Maybe that wasn’t really helping…

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Reaper DAW can handle the triplets, the riffer control panel in the virtual guitar interface, however, can not (or at least, I couldn’t figure it out).


You know that could get me into so much trouble :joy:


Impressive @brik1970 !!


I’ve been working on perfecting “I can’t help myself” by Four Tops. I’ve got it down to full speed with about 98% accuracy with the notes. Motown was one of the reasons I wanted to get back into playing bass, so starting there seemed as good a place as any.


I’ve got the basics of Where I End and You Begin by Radiohead down, now it’s just refining it so my technique isn’t as sloppy.


That turned out pretty good for a guitar VSTi! I’m impressed with it.

You might want to play around with humanizing the rhythm guitar midi a bit (especially note duration). Should be just selecting a range and hitting H in the MIDI editor.

You could also duplicate the midi track and leave one perfect and really slop the second one up and see what kind of effect that had.


Thanks for ideas and tips. Not sure I’ll do it for this project, but definitely for the next one.


Currently working on this fast finger twister… “She’s Kerosene” by the Interrupters (something I discovered after researching some pop punk/ska stuff on youtube after that part of the course, as it was not a genre I was very familiar with). I’ve been working on learning it, on and off, for a while now.

I can currently only get a good play through/recording at 120bpm original song is at 170bpm.

Here’s my current progress on it (recorded at 120bpm): 2023-07-30 - The Interrupters - She's Kerosene (Cover - 120bpm).mp3 - Google Drive

Also same recording sped up to 170bpm: 2023-07-30 - The Interrupters - She's Kerosene (Cover - Sped up to 170bpm).mp3 - Google Drive

When I finally can play this at full speed, I’ll provide a video and accompanying audio from that play through.

Overall, I think the tone is matched pretty well, but I feel there’s too much compression for the recording, or it needs some EQ tweaking, because some of the higher notes are not coming through strong enough. Any thoughts?

Original for comparison:


Ok, this is probably going to sound funny. " take me away " by lash. But I’m also playing the Lindsey lohan version. In fact, I’ve been playinga couple songs by Lindsey lohan. " ultimate " is right in there. I fear there may be something wrong with me…


Oh wow, I like that. Thanks for the tip!

This has a killer and challenging bassline. You’re making really good progress on it though! I couldn’t do it at 170 for sure.