“When I first discovered plugins, I was ecstatic… We can get a great tone by plugging directly into the interface”: Gus G on using only plugins in the studio

Forget traditional amps – Firewind and ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Gus G prefers using plugins when recording.

Gus G performing live

Credit: Andrea Ripamonti/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

As digital guitar technology becomes more sophisticated, more and more players are opting for plugin-based amp sims over hardware amplifiers. Purists may clutch their pearls at this notion, but many forward-thinking audio enthusiasts are embracing the change with open arms. And among them is Firewind guitarist Gus G. In his eyes, a strong plugin can easily capture the same depth and tone as a physical amp.

In a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, the guitarist explains how helpful plugins are in the studio. “In the studio, I just use plugins, basically,” he says. “I use my signature guitars obviously, the Jackson Star model, my San Dimas guitar, and I used my Jackson Rhoads Concept Series… I use plugins to record, and I send the DI tracks to Dennis Ward, the guy who mixes our albums.”

Firewind’s latest record, Stand United, was recorded with plugins – and it isn’t the first time Gus G has used plugins on a record. “I’ve used plugins for a long time by now – I’ve been using them for at least ten years,” he explains. “When I first discovered [them], I was ecstatic… I was like, ‘Wow! We can get a great tone by plugging directly into the interface.’ It was revolutionary.”

And that was ten years ago – as Gus explains, “It’s come a long way since then.” Artists have an endless selection of plugins at their fingertips, allowing them to play with tones they might not be able to achieve with physical gear.

“I use all kinds of different [plugins],” Gus explains. “I love the STL Tones, the Atma-Sphere amp. I’ve also used things from BIAS Positive Grid, I’ve used IK Multimedia for some clean stuff. And lately, I’m really into [Blackstar’s] Saint James plugin… It sounds pretty close to the amp.”

Of course, he still loves a good amp while performing live. “I use Blackstar‘s St. James amps with the matching cabs,” he says. “I have a small pedal board that I have up front, and that consists of four pedals, basically. A tuner, an overdrive booster which is like a Klon pedal, I’m using the Archer to boost my tone. That’s the main sound that I use for rhythm and lead. A Morley Wah, and a Digital Delay by BOSS.”

Related Artists

Related Tags


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.