NOTE: this review is for the full version of Rockrack, not the V3 player.
Rockrack is a multi-amp suite that was released a few years ago now. To me, I look at it as being very underrated given the amount of use I have gotten out of it and how seldom I see it mentioned anywhere.
What you get with the full Rockrack is a small but very high quality selection of amps based on products from Engl, Marshall, Mesa Boogie and a cool Brainworx original. Along with the amps users get a cabinet section and a small but very useful set of tools to get everything dialed in.
The GUI is really nice, it’s not quite to the level of the other Brainworx amp sims but I also don’t think it’s meant to be at that level either. The graphics are solid, the layout is simplistic and it’s really easy to navigate around the plugin quickly to unlock the vault of tones.
Amp wise there’s an Engl E530 clean and lead, a Marshall Jcm 800 clean and crunch, a Roland Jazz combo crunch/clean, A Mesa Boogie Rect-o-verb and an amp Brainworx created called the Metal 666. So basically, you have four complete amps in one sim. I really enjoyed the previous versions of rockrack so when this version came out, it was a must have for me. It features a selection of amps that covers a ton of ground tone wise.
For clean tones, there’s a nice selection of useful tones. The Engl, Marshall and Roland clean tone offerings are very strong and actually do really well with a TS boost. You can get a nice shimmering clean tone or a nice gritty clean tone, your choice. Add a tube screamer, OD or distortion pedal plugin to any of the clean channels for some great driven cleans or dirty tones. I also found the clean tones to be great for less gainy leads when driven so be sure to give that a shot.
On the distortion front, you also get a nice selection. The Marshall has some really nice cutting leads and rhythms, the Engl has a great spectrum of gainy tones and the Metal 666 gives you everything from crunch to tech death with high gain clarity and articulation. The Rect-o-verb is my favorite offering in the plugin, I could play on it for days. It has miles of tones for really anything from mid to high gain.
I have used every boost pedal plugin on the market on each of the Rockrack’s amps except for the jazz amp. I will typically use Rockrack when testing pedal plugins for the first time because I know every single amp responds well to being hit with some dirt. The brainworx bx yellow drive and blue chorus on the JCM 800 channel gave me the popular Zakk Wylde type tone, the bx greenscreamer with the Metal 666 was lights out for death metal and the Jazz clean with even just the onboard delay was real shimmery and smooth.
The impulse selection is decent but I assume it was tough to narrow down a small list of sims for such a crazy range of amps included. I have actually been using Rockrack to test new impulse packs for the last three years. It provides any tone I could need to test any impulse pack and because I am so familiar with the plugin, it provides a firm constant in the trial and reviewing processes. I highly advise trying Rockrack with anything and everything from your impulse response collection.
All Brainworx sims come with onboard stuff like a gate, delay and filtering options to get things sounding tip top and can all be bypassed quickly. As I also mentioned there’s a SHRED knob for guys that want to do some SHREDDING. Ok.. you get it, there’s a knob that says SHRED. It adds a nice tightness but it’s not suited to every amp in the suite.
UPS / DOWNS:
Whether you are just getting into amp sims or a seasoned pro, pick this up. You get so much quality and versatility in a small package for a great price, this plugin sells itself.
There’s just no genre you can’t do with Rockrack. Really nice clean tones that have warmth to them, mid gain rock tones, crunch across the board, gain for days and everything else you would need. It’s all there and the plugin really does reliably provide users with a solid, versatile experience.
When it goes on sale, it goes cheap and sometimes as part of a combo with another amp sim or guitar related plugin.
See more – Meet&Greet with the bx Rockrack