1. Electrik GuitarZ
For rock music, you’ll obviously need a great guitar. We have amps aplenty to grunge things up, or just go straight for an electric with Electrik GuitarZ. It features ten classic electric guitar models, a five-band EQ and four effects for extra flexibility. It’s PC only but go for DSK’s Dynamic Guitars for a Mac option.
If you did opt for the Mac guitar then you’ll need to grunge it up with some amp and cab plug-ins, and they don’t get much better and simpler than these five amp sims and one cab from LePou. They are both Mac and PC compatible and you get rock, metal, British types among others. They are free, but donations are encouraged.
3. MT Power Drum Kit 2
Need some power drums to back your rock track? Look no further because Manda Audio’s MT Power Drum Kit 2 features all the beats you need. You can play the virtual drum kit on screen by way of your MIDI controller or load in loads of different groove. It’s both Mac and PC compatible and the easiest way to rock grooves.
4. Ample Bass Precision LITE
You’ll need a big bass sound to hand your rock track on and Ample Bass Precision LITE delivers just that. It’s one of the few plug-ins here to be RTAS and AAX compatible (as well as AU and VST like the others) and is a 450MB download ’Lite’ version of a 3.6GB full model of a Fender Precision bass, but still gives you a great ballsy bass sound.
5. Guitar Rig Player 5
You can’t ignore Native Instruments when it comes to freeware. Yes, the German software and hardware developer is giving away titles to tempt you to buy more, but the freebies you get really are worth the download. Guitar Rig Player 5 is a cut-down Mac and PC version of the amazing Guitar Rig and features an amp, 17 cabs and 13 effects.
6. Sean Pandy Drums
Need two sets of drums? Of course you do, this is rock we’re talking about. Sean Pandy Drums is a Mac and PC drum ROMpler plug-in featuring a kick, snare, four toms and a ’Sub Blower’ to deliver bottom end. The drums have six different velocity layers and up to 10 random samples for a proper human feel. Great for rock and metal!