Roland VG-99 V-Guitar Multi Effects Processor System

Roland-vg-99 LogoModel a wide range of electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, synthesizers and amplifiers.

This is an all-in-one package that is impressive. At the heart of the VG-99 are two completely independent signal paths. You can Model classic guitars, basses or amplifiers, and then assign up to 11 effects, twice. You can then use those two channels independent of each other, or simultaneously. Using an optional floor-based controller, you can do all of your channel switching or blending,

The acoustic guitar modeling is not bad. While it may not sound 100% perfect, it’s close enough for most demo and home-recording projects, and beats the cost of purchasing a steel string and a nylon string guitar. I was actually pretty impressed with the bass modeling. Another impressive feature is the alternate tunings. These are synthesized tunings, so your guitar won’t be physically re-tuned, but it will sound as if it is. The upside here is that your guitar’s neck won’t need to endure the physical stress of the constantly changing string tension, and the strings will always feel the same. Some may feel that the downside is exactly that: you won’t have the added visceral dynamic of how the strings really feel in an alternate tuning.

The D BEAM and Ribbon Controllers can be assigned to any parameter in the VG-99 and provide fairly impressive real-time expression. I find them a bit odd though, because you generally need both hands when playing guitar. But you can certainly wave your guitar neck across the D BEAM controller. For example, you can play a chord, “freeze” it, and then play over the chords.


This is a product with a lot of features. The modeling alone is worth the price of admission. But the dual-channel design makes it even more dangerous. When you add in the MIDI and USB interfaces, you have a pretty serious little machine that is perfect for home-recording.

Comprehensive Demos


HBS Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-Effects & Amp Simulator

Zoom G5What do Dave Mustaine, Wayne Krantz and Eric Struthers all have in common? They are fans of the Zoom G5. Be careful… if you take a closer look at this multi-effects pedal, you might be too.

It’s amazing how multi-effect technology keeps on progressing. Zoom’s new G5 is yet another impressive unit that delivers an overwhelming amount of value and flexibility. I have to rave about one feature first: the multi-dimensional expression pedal. In addition to moving the pedal up and down, you can twist it to the right or left. Do the math…. yes, significantly expanded levels of expression and real-time parameter changes. The end result is that you can assign up to four parameters to the expression pedal. Nuts.

Based on their popular G3 model, the G5 is a great balance of digital processing and what can feel like old-school stomp boxes. I say “feel like” because while there are not actually any stomp boxes under your feet, the G3 is designed in such a way that the experience is the same. This is not just because there are four heavy-duty switches, but also because each one has three real control knobs, each with its own small LCD display. Needless to say, this is all highly programmable. Once again, do the math. There is an insane amount of fiddlin’, tweakin’ and savin’ available here.

There is a 12AX7 tube built into this pedal, which is cool. But what’s really cool is that it can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch.

There are too many impressive features to list here, but the few other ones that really impressed me are:

  • Up to nine simultaneous stomp-box effects
  • 16dB boost via foot-switch, with dedicated tone control
  • More than 120 effects
  • More than 150 patches designed by well-known guitarists
  • Up to 60 seconds of looping / phrase recording
  • More than 40 drum patterns
  • Balanced XLR output
  • Free “Edit & Share” software that allows you to send your custom settings to friends

There is a lot to shout about here. The most important detail is, of course, the sound, which is great. Zoom has done a nice job of crafting analog sounds out of digital models.

Zoom G5 Product Page:


Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-FX Processor Demo – Sweetwater Sound – YouTube
Eric Struthers, guitarist with Aaron Neville Quintet does a really nice job of discussing and demonstrating the G5. Not only the different sounds, but he explains why some of the features are particularly useful for him. This is a really helpful video because as a working musician, his discussion is as “real world” as it gets.

Dave Mustaine Demos the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects & Amp Simulator Pedal – YouTube

Dave Mustaine intro overview of the G5 is great. He explains all of the high-level features and what makes this pedal such a standout. What makes this video pretty cool is that in the second half, his guitar tech walks you through a few patches. It’s interesting to get his perspective because he gets into a very technical discussion of various parameters. Even if you are not a Dave Mustaine fan, this is a good video for getting a nice demo of the pedal.

Wayne Krantz demos the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects & Amp Simulator pedal @ Sound Service TV – YouTube

The intro is a little unusual. Wayne seems like a slightly odd bird, but he’s a pretty monster guitar player, and that’s what counts. Here he demonstrates some of his favorite sounds from the G5. The video gives you a pretty good sense of what the pedal is capable of. Wayne is a highly respected guitarist, so I’d say this is a pretty big endorsement.