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Abel Mendoza’s Worship Guitar Essentials Virtual Guitar Rig Review

October 2018 Martin Header Leaderboard (HLB)

Abel Mendoza has done it again, except now he’s intentionally doing it for us guitar guys. Previously he had released Motion Pads for guitar players and other musicians to supply the need of ambient drones for transitions and mostly filling in gaps. Now he’s put together a fully functional virtual guitar rig specifically thought out for worship guitar players. Here’s what Abel had to say on his new release,

Whether you’re a professional looking for a virtual solution for practice or a beginner in a low budget, Worship Guitar Essentials is for you. Custom layout, designed from the guitar player’s perspective. This template features controls for amp simulator and a virtual pedal board including:

  • Tuner
  • Overdrive
  • Overdrive 2 (second stage drive)
  • Boost
  • Fuzz
  • Chorus
  • Tremolo
  • Rotary
  • Phaser
  • Delay (1/4)
  • Delay 2 (1/8.) (alternative reverse mode, read presets description)
  • Tap Tempo
  • Reverb (alternative freeze mode, read presets description)
  • Shimmer Reverb
  • Master Volume Control

All effects settings are fully customize-able.

How it works?

Worship Guitar Essentials is based on a virtual live rig that Apple has designed called MainStage. MainStage is a software designed for gigging musicians, singers, and sound engineers  and allows the user to bring studio effects into live environments. Over the past two years I’ve migrated my music production and mix projects over to Logic Pro X, Apple’s flagship DAW for pro music production. I have to say, its the best DAW out there considering what you get for your money. They’ve loaded logic with tons of plugins, soft synths and even guitar tools that rival a lot of the 3rd party plugins that go for a ton of money. MainStage is based on Logic, but intended not to record, but to perform. It gives you the power to customize the user interface to your needs and make it not only functional, but also very cool if you know what your doing.

I had a chance to look at Worship Guitar Essentials upon its release and I’m very impressed. Abel’s design is simple and straight forward. He’s laid things out like a pedalboard, where each pedal is visible and properly labeled. The order pedals are in follow the rules every guitar player should know and that’s a great thing considering that Abel till now has mostly worked on keyboard related products. There’s even an “Altoids” tin that won’t hold your picks but is a nice piece of eye candy. See what I did there?

What do I need?

Before using Worship Guitar Essentials, you’ll need a few things including:

  1. Apple computer
  2. Audio interface
  3. MainStage software (App Store)

If your like a lot of people who perform as a hobby, you might be missing one of these 3 but there still is a big group of people that own at least a Mac and simple audio interface. I do not recommend using the mic port built in to the computer, its not designed for low impedance (low Z) signals. You can get an affordable audio interface new at $50, making that part a lot cheaper than most guitar pedals. You can also use it for more than just playing live, you can record your music through this as well which is a big plus. MainStage costs $30 in the app store, making it the most adorable guitar amp/FX simulator on the market. Additionally you can use any midi controller to control any parameter in the software making it a great live companion.

What does it sound like?

I love the tones you can get on this. The amp used standard on this emulates a Fender Twin. Its naturally a great choice for clean guitars. The effects Abel has put on this are very “now” and they cover all the ground you’d expect from a typical boutique pedal board. Even things like a shimmer reverb or a tape delay are very well done and at almost Strymon quality. You can listen for yourself on the demos Abel has made in the video above.

Pros

  • A great setup for a software based guitar player
  • easy user interface thanks to Abel’s preset
  • great tone from a $30 software
  • the preset only cost $20 to have access to Abel’s programing and sound design
  • epic clean tone

Cons

  • You need to own an Apple computer to be eligible to buy MainStage.
  • A Mini controller is a must for on the fly changes.
  • An audio interface means one more investment if you don’t already have one
  • The overdrives are somewhat lacking, but that might be a software limitation.

You can buy “Worship Guitar Essentials” here. In case you missed it, the video above has audio demos of Worship Guitar Essentials.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Melvin Anaja

    June 14, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Can you use this in Logic Pro?

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