Illustration by Kate Koenig

Nashville producer James Cody examines plugins from IK Multimedia, Native Instruments, Line 6, Waves, Neural DSP, STL Tones, Positive Grid, and Universal Audio that can help you take your guitar-recording to pro levels.

There are more audio plugins at our fingertips than ever before. Whenever new products or software hit the market, I always ask myself, “Will I actually use this and will it serve my needs?” On the topic of guitar amplifiers and simulation, I take a “best of both worlds” approach. When performing live, I use solid-state Quilter amplifiers because they sound great to me, and they’re lightweight and easy to transport to gigs. If something isn’t broken, why fix it?

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UA enters the entry-level interface fray with a stylish unit that includes a track-transforming compressor and preamp.

Beautiful design. Fun to use. The 76 compressor is a true tone sweetener. Elevates quality of raw tracks without burdening host computer processor or involving extra effects.

More expensive than roughly equivalent competition.


Universal Audio Volt 276


Generally speaking, audio interfaces are tools we prefer not to think about too much. Even powerful interfaces like Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin are made as streamlined as possible, so you can focus on the tracking, editing, and mixing that goes on inside your DAW.

To date, Universal Audio has largely steered clear of the lower-priced side of the interface spectrum, focusing instead on the more professional-grade end of the production equation and leaving the entry-level business to companies like Focusrite, PreSonus and others. UA’s Volt series of interfaces, which range from the $139 1-in/2-out Volt 1 to the $369 4-in/4-out Volt 476 mark a change in that strategy

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Fig. 1

Your DAW and a simple plug-in can match your guitar lines in weird and colorful ways. Blast off, space cadets!

Hello everyone and welcome back to another Dojo. This time I'm going to do something a little unusual and give you some ideas on how to use a vocoder for creative harmonies on your guitar within the DAW of your choosing. Get your belts tightened; the Dojo is now open.

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