Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Edition

Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Edition

The Rig Kontrol 3 pedal requires a Mac host.


The Holy Grail of the electric guitar involves a single magical box that replaces racks of gear and puddles of pedals, with no compromise to quality, accuracy and flexibility. Guitar Rig 3 is a significant evolution in digital guitar hardware and software. It could easily serve as the cornerstone of a completely digital guitar setup.


The Guitar Rig 3 Kontrol Edition consists of the software, which is also available separately for $339 and can be used as an Audio Units effects plug-in, and the Rig Kontrol 3 pedal, which combines full switching and control of any and all of the software’s many modules and features with a complete analog-digital interface. The Rig Kontrol 3 sports high-quality, 24-bit, 192KHz in and out; two input channels with separate gain knobs; a headphone jack with volume control; a stereo pair of balanced quarter-inch jacks; and MIDI-in and -out ports. There is also a pair of external foot-pedal controller inputs, extending the live performance potential. The Kontrol gets its power from the USB 2.0 connection (USB 1.0 doesn’t fly), so you need a Mac host. It’s a cinch to program the eight switches to modify any aspect of the many controls of the amps and effects, and the pedal is sturdy enough for the rigors of the stage.


The brand new Modifiers let you change and modulate any amp or effect setting.


The software emulates four new amp models, bringing the total to a cool dozen. All the bases are covered, from clean Fenders to ultra-dirty Marshall and German boutique offerings, and the amps are eminently usable and fit well into an overall song mix. Purists may argue that the amp emulations are not spot-on to the real thing, but we found the range and quality of the individual amp models outstanding, with convincing overdrive breakup and air around the sound. When you select a specific amp, a matching speaker cabinet is automatically inserted into the chain, and you can mix and match different amps, speaker cabinets, and microphones to your heart’s content.


Guitar Rig 3 includes great new effects, including a cool re-creation of the venerable Roland Space Echo, a tape-based delay and echo unit legendary in the musical universe. There’s the Delay Man delay, a simulation of the funky Memory Man analog delay from Electro-Harmonix. Mix in the outstanding range of distortion and fuzz effects (11 in total), the luscious modulators, the perfect emulation of the Digitech Whammy pitch shifter, a variety of equalization and filter effects, and a decent Wah (finally!), and you have a one-stop shop of tonal tools ranging from bread-and-butter to bizarre, and you can control everything via the Kontrol hardware.


The bottom line. Guitar Rig 3 is a truly exciting turnkey solution for electric guitarists looking to replace the spaghetti nightmare of cables and foot pedals. While there are some pedals we’d still love to see emulated, you’d be hard-pressed to exhaust the vast array of possibilities to be found in Guitar Rig 3.


COMPANY: Native Instruments

PRICE: $599

REQUIREMENTS: 1.4GHz G4 or faster or 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo, Mac OS 10.4 or later, 512MB RAM

Excellent range of amps and effects. Kontrol Rig hardware does everything. Fantastic audio quality. Universal binary.

Nothing really.





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I can't really say enough about this. Allot of guitar people will scream at you for going the way of the tecno geek. But really when it comes down to it, you can get every sound you ever wanted with this thing. I have gear and I have this, and I now use Guitar Rig more. And I will be playing a show with this. About 4 people in the crowd will be angry that I don't have 500 pounds worth of gear to lug around, but the other 200 will be enjoying the sound. So I will take the 200 people. Trust me, in about 5 years it won't be uncommon to hear artists just playing with a high powered computer, a guitar, and this.




Normal folks can't afford to fill their garage with amps and effect pedals. Technology like this brings a wealth of sonic solutions to the common man. Here, here.

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