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> Do You Guys Really Like Amp Modeling?
SeeJay
post May 9 2014, 12:32 AM
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Maybe I should preface this with a story.

In the early 2000's I was in a hot new band, we signed to a small label and they put us in a studio. I had some decent gear for a young broke rocker, but the engineers kept encouraging us to record through this new red amp modeler (we all know the one). So slowly the tracks turned from micing an amp to using the modeler and I HATED it. Hated how it sounded, hated how it felt, just hated everything about it. So I've had a slight chip on my shoulder ever since.

With that said. . . .

I think there is some great digital modeling stuff out there. I had a valvetronix VT30 I bought cheap for a while that was cool. For stuff I track at home, you can't beat the convenience of software (especially if I am recalling and tweaking tones)

I've been reading through some older posts and there's a good amount of posts about amp modeling.

So my question is, is it just out of general interest? Or do you guys really think it will take the place of a real amp?

And I am not asking "which is better" or "which sounds better", that's stupid. I hate that little red POS but I'm sure I could find a setting that could work for something if I needed it to. <--- Ignore that wink.gif

I'm just curious why so much interest.

Most amps seem to hold some value, where as software/amp modeling racks, seem to decrease in value all the time.

It just seems odd to me to invest so much money into something that will always depreciate in value. And next year, someone will come out with something better.

Like I've said, I've got some fun software, I've had a few amps I've dug with some modeling. But there's no way I would throw a lot of my money into it. Can't understand getting in a Fractal.

Explain to me the real appeal here.


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Todd Simpson
post May 9 2014, 01:26 AM
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Big shocker, ahem.

YES!!!!!!!


But it's not just me. Take John Petrucci. Loyal boogie man for years, recently went on tour with an axe fx. The AXE FX and KEMPER are two great examples of boxes that pros are using instead of taking big iron on the road in part due to cost. It's just cheaper to ship a small rack and maybe not even use real cabinets. Lots of live acts now are using fake cabs just to look rock-n-roll.

For me personally, I don't own an amp as such. I have an 11 rack and a power amp and thats my rig. I recently added a boutique pedalboard to the mix as I'm always adding gear somehow smile.gif

That said, I recently have fallen so in love with one of the amp models in my 11r that I went looking for the real thing (the Mesa Boogie IIC+) and am still on the lookout for one. smile.gif


Still, different strokes for different folks. There are lots of folks here, instructors included who are more "amp guys' and use actual big iron for live shows. Though everyone has plugins of some time for recording, amplitude etc. it seems smile.gif

For recording, I don't typically use the 11 Rack, I use OVERLOUD TH2. But thats only after using GUITAR RIG, AMPLITUDE, etc. extensively for recording.

In short, I'm a "modeler" type of guy who is just now learning more about tube amps where many guys are amp guys just learning about plugins and such smile.gif

WHAT"S THE APPEAL?

As for the appeal, the Modelers now are so good (AXE/Kemper, even the 11 Rack though it's much cheaper now than the other two) that it's honestly like having several amps in one rack unit.

I know thats what line 6 said about the pod, but now it's actually true with some modeler. And if pure tone is your thing, the kemper can literally sound like any amp on earth. It's so good in fact that hard core amp snobs can't tell any difference. So much so that tube guys all over are getting kempers. So imagine if you really could stuff all your tube amps in to one rack unit. Well, you can with the kemper. You can profile all your amps at every setting and keep them in the kemper and share them online. smile.gif

The axe fx does "profiling" but not quite as well. But it has a much more robust fx section, then again its got FX in the name smile.gif

The 11 Rack doesn't have profiling or the variety of fx, but it does have a great 8 channel recording front end as it's essentially a Pro Tools interface with a Mic Preamp. Also, it's built in amps/fx are killer sounding and will do high gain stuff if you know how to kick it in the head a bit. smile.gif Best of all, you can get a used 11 on ebay for under $300. So not a huge investment. smile.gif






QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 8 2014, 07:32 PM) *
Maybe I should preface this with a story.

In the early 2000's I was in a hot new band, we signed to a small label and they put us in a studio. I had some decent gear for a young broke rocker, but the engineers kept encouraging us to record through this new red amp modeler (we all know the one). So slowly the tracks turned from micing an amp to using the modeler and I HATED it. Hated how it sounded, hated how it felt, just hated everything about it. So I've had a slight chip on my shoulder ever since.

With that said. . . .

I think there is some great digital modeling stuff out there. I had a valvetronix VT30 I bought cheap for a while that was cool. For stuff I track at home, you can't beat the convenience of software (especially if I am recalling and tweaking tones)

I've been reading through some older posts and there's a good amount of posts about amp modeling.

So my question is, is it just out of general interest? Or do you guys really think it will take the place of a real amp?

And I am not asking "which is better" or "which sounds better", that's stupid. I hate that little red POS but I'm sure I could find a setting that could work for something if I needed it to. <--- Ignore that wink.gif

I'm just curious why so much interest.

Most amps seem to hold some value, where as software/amp modeling racks, seem to decrease in value all the time.

It just seems odd to me to invest so much money into something that will always depreciate in value. And next year, someone will come out with something better.

Like I've said, I've got some fun software, I've had a few amps I've dug with some modeling. But there's no way I would throw a lot of my money into it. Can't understand getting in a Fractal.

Explain to me the real appeal here.


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: May 9 2014, 01:33 AM


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klasaine
post May 9 2014, 02:17 AM
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As vintage toned preferenced as I am, I was an early adopter of modelers and using software. I even used a POD (split with a Twin) on a tour through 1999 and 2000 (but that's another story).

Many of my friends went into production and a few of them own rec studios. Most if not all of them immediately bought 1) a POD and 2) any 'modeling' software that came out: Amplitube, Waves, etc. I got used to 'using' it pretty quickly and I learned to find the handful of models that I liked on or w/in each piece of gear or software. In a recording studio situation you've got time to tweak in a controlled environment - where you can make subtle changes comfortably over the course of the session. And you can do it again or change the model or re-amp if it's not right. Like I said - 'controlled' environment. *Having said that, now most of those studio owners have bitchin' old vintage amps and iso booths to record them in ... as well as 2-trk machines to sum to.

Live - I'm OK with using the Line 6 amps. I occasionally see them as backline. I know which models work for me (yes, even with my pdl brd). I do turn off ALL the fx except 'maybe' reverb. I can get 90% of what I need out of them. there's a 'response' thing that's missing (I'm sure no one in the audience or even the bands notice - ?).

Will I ever get rid of my tube amps? No way! For what I do, especially live, they just sound and feel better (to me - I know that generally the audience doesn't know any better or care). The only solid state amp I own is a small Fender bass amp.

I'm thinking about an 11 Rack.
I like the gestalt.

This post has been edited by klasaine: May 9 2014, 02:17 AM


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audiopaal
post May 9 2014, 06:51 AM
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I've tried the lot of them, and although modeling is very good now compared to before, I don't think it comes close to the real thing.
I have one amp, that I'm really happy with, and I woudn't trade it for a modeler :-)

But as Todd says, different strokes for different folks.
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PosterBoy
post May 9 2014, 10:25 AM
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I've used the Axe Fx Ultra since about Oct 2008.

Yes it doesn't quite have that in room feel of a real amp, but for a mic'd amp sound it's great, I've got my set go to patches for my cleans, crunches and high gain etc now, as you can imagine.

I need to still experiment more with some other amp models in it.

For what I do live, where I do like/need to have a nice variety of tones at the push of a footswitch, it gives me something I couldn't get with amp and pedal board without spending double or more what I paid for the Ultra, and the inconvenience of moving it all.

This post has been edited by PosterBoy: May 9 2014, 10:29 AM


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Mertay
post May 9 2014, 11:15 AM
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Modellers do heavy dist. and modern tones very good, but its not that it represents perfectly but we judge from what we hear (albums) in that era and the modern days are full of modeller sound.

So the music aesthetic is strongly connected to the sound, which makes it harder to fit that to modellers specially pre-2000/1990 sounds which we listened real amps with signature sound.

This post has been edited by Mertay: May 9 2014, 11:16 AM


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SeeJay
post May 9 2014, 11:32 PM
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Some Solid points.

I get a situation where it makes sense for touring and shipping. These modelers can be VERY solid pieces of equipment.

Again, I'm not necessarily commenting on sound quality. And I get it making sense in certain situations like touring. I guess I get having a modeler and feeling like you have a bunch of amps. buuuuut . . . you can also just get a bunch of amps. smile.gif Seems more fun to me.

My point is, I can't fathom putting a lot of money into the modeling stuff. Although it may sound great, and can make a lot of sense in some situations, it's like all sound equipment, you're going to have to constantly be trading in and trading up. Otherwise before you know it, you have an outdated piece of equipment that holds no worth.

Also, you will NEVER find me with any Line6 product. . . . But you guys read my story, I'm a little scorned. smile.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 9 2014, 12:26 AM) *
Big shocker, ahem.

YES!!!!!!!


But it's not just me. Take John Petrucci. Loyal boogie man for years, recently went on tour with an axe fx. The AXE FX and KEMPER are two great examples of boxes that pros are using instead of taking big iron on the road in part due to cost. It's just cheaper to ship a small rack and maybe not even use real cabinets. Lots of live acts now are using fake cabs just to look rock-n-roll.

For me personally, I don't own an amp as such. I have an 11 rack and a power amp and thats my rig. I recently added a boutique pedalboard to the mix as I'm always adding gear somehow smile.gif

That said, I recently have fallen so in love with one of the amp models in my 11r that I went looking for the real thing (the Mesa Boogie IIC+) and am still on the lookout for one. smile.gif


Still, different strokes for different folks. There are lots of folks here, instructors included who are more "amp guys' and use actual big iron for live shows. Though everyone has plugins of some time for recording, amplitude etc. it seems smile.gif

For recording, I don't typically use the 11 Rack, I use OVERLOUD TH2. But thats only after using GUITAR RIG, AMPLITUDE, etc. extensively for recording.

In short, I'm a "modeler" type of guy who is just now learning more about tube amps where many guys are amp guys just learning about plugins and such smile.gif

WHAT"S THE APPEAL?

As for the appeal, the Modelers now are so good (AXE/Kemper, even the 11 Rack though it's much cheaper now than the other two) that it's honestly like having several amps in one rack unit.

I know thats what line 6 said about the pod, but now it's actually true with some modeler. And if pure tone is your thing, the kemper can literally sound like any amp on earth. It's so good in fact that hard core amp snobs can't tell any difference. So much so that tube guys all over are getting kempers. So imagine if you really could stuff all your tube amps in to one rack unit. Well, you can with the kemper. You can profile all your amps at every setting and keep them in the kemper and share them online. smile.gif

The axe fx does "profiling" but not quite as well. But it has a much more robust fx section, then again its got FX in the name smile.gif

The 11 Rack doesn't have profiling or the variety of fx, but it does have a great 8 channel recording front end as it's essentially a Pro Tools interface with a Mic Preamp. Also, it's built in amps/fx are killer sounding and will do high gain stuff if you know how to kick it in the head a bit. smile.gif Best of all, you can get a used 11 on ebay for under $300. So not a huge investment. smile.gif



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Todd Simpson
post May 10 2014, 07:35 PM
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Well, if you have something that works, there's really no reason to "trade up" imho. So for example, my 11 RACK is great and I'm not going to be swapping it out for the next thing any time soon. I like it's tone quite a bit and I've tried WADS of modelers and sold them. THis one has the tone I'm looking for so it's a keeper just like a nice amp smile.gif

I think you may be talking about the axe fx in particular. They are killer units but not cheap and yeah they do come out with a new one every few years. There is really one main version of the Kemper on the other hand (as far as the tone guts), and one 11 rack.

So it sounds like you can't imagine going crazy and buying an axe fx. I actually agree there just because of the price. Different strokes and all but I don't like buying gear that ties up that much money since I'm constantly wanting to try new gear and I need the money somewhat freed up so I try to spend as little as humanly possible on all of it so I can get more stuff. Again, that's just me smile.gif I've been through half a dozen guitars in the past several months bought/sold. Half a dozen hardware modelers bought/sold.

The most expensive bit of dedicated gear (not counting my computer which I use for other stuff) I own is my interface. About $1,000 presonus 16 channel firewire. That's about the roof for me for one bit of gear. Only reason I went that far is that it's the center of my entire studio and other bits can swap out around it.

As for my 11 Rack. It was used and probably cost what you spend on a boutique overdrive. You can get them all day long for $300 or so on ebay and it sound amazing. It will sound great next year too smile.gif I kept my digitech GNX4 for years and years while trying to find something better. It took until now (the 11rack) to find something that sounded as good as 10 year old bit of kit. So yeah, you don't have to upgrade each year at all if do it right and you don't have to go broke to get a modeller smile.gif




QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 9 2014, 06:32 PM) *
Some Solid points.

I get a situation where it makes sense for touring and shipping. These modelers can be VERY solid pieces of equipment.

Again, I'm not necessarily commenting on sound quality. And I get it making sense in certain situations like touring. I guess I get having a modeler and feeling like you have a bunch of amps. buuuuut . . . you can also just get a bunch of amps. smile.gif Seems more fun to me.

My point is, I can't fathom putting a lot of money into the modeling stuff. Although it may sound great, and can make a lot of sense in some situations, it's like all sound equipment, you're going to have to constantly be trading in and trading up. Otherwise before you know it, you have an outdated piece of equipment that holds no worth.

Also, you will NEVER find me with any Line6 product. . . . But you guys read my story, I'm a little scorned. smile.gif


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SpaseMoonkey
post May 10 2014, 09:02 PM
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I've owned a Vox VT50, Egnater Renegade 65w (2x12 and 4x12 cab), and a Mesa Triple Rectifier (4x12 cab).

I loved the warmth form a tube, but realistically for me it was a waste as I couldn't use them as intended. Can't just wake up in the middle of the night and go hey I think I want to record that solo for a collab I have a great idea. Because well... I don't think the entire block wants to be woke up from the sound of my guitar playing.

I think there is more to everything, as a bedroom player those amps are overkill. So it really ended with the Kemper met my recording needs and with that it has made my life better, from recording whenever I please to I don't have to play lets set the room up.

For the price of my Kemper I could have bought a tube amp. But for me I'm a GAS'er so I would have just traded the Mesa in for a Engl, then when I got sick of that maybe a EVH 5150III, then maybe a Randall Satan, then what? Who knows but now I just kicked my Kemper on and play, get tired of tone, just spin the knob to find a new sound.


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Todd Simpson
post May 11 2014, 03:59 AM
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Another fine point smile.gif As most of us do most of our recording in our home studios, having an amp solution that sounds great and records great without having to create MASSIVE VOLUME is a wonderful thing smile.gif

Being able to record and get the tone I want in the middle of the night is a wonderful thing. Just plugin and go, always sounds killer, ready to go, record etc. This alone makes it worth the price of admission IMHO and why I didn't use a real amp for quite some time in my home studio.

So yeah, I'd personally consider a good modeler a crucial tool for the home recordist for that reason alone.

Also, like you, I have HUGE gear addiction issues. Your KEMPER is the perfect solution as you can download an unlimited number of amps from the web and they will sound just like the real thing smile.gif For me it's more about discovering new combinations of the bits that are already included. I"m still not familiar with all the bits in this unit. So I"m always finding new things I didn't know were there smile.gif



QUOTE (SpaseMoonkey @ May 10 2014, 04:02 PM) *
I've owned a Vox VT50, Egnater Renegade 65w (2x12 and 4x12 cab), and a Mesa Triple Rectifier (4x12 cab).

I loved the warmth form a tube, but realistically for me it was a waste as I couldn't use them as intended. Can't just wake up in the middle of the night and go hey I think I want to record that solo for a collab I have a great idea. Because well... I don't think the entire block wants to be woke up from the sound of my guitar playing.

I think there is more to everything, as a bedroom player those amps are overkill. So it really ended with the Kemper met my recording needs and with that it has made my life better, from recording whenever I please to I don't have to play lets set the room up.

For the price of my Kemper I could have bought a tube amp. But for me I'm a GAS'er so I would have just traded the Mesa in for a Engl, then when I got sick of that maybe a EVH 5150III, then maybe a Randall Satan, then what? Who knows but now I just kicked my Kemper on and play, get tired of tone, just spin the knob to find a new sound.



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SeeJay
post May 11 2014, 04:12 AM
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Oh yea, for home, you can't beat the convenience.


What software/plugins do you guys like?

Eleven sounds solid. I have had NI Guitar Rig 3,4 and now 5. There's A LOT you can do with the Guitar Rig stuff, though I usually keep it pretty straight forward.


QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 11 2014, 02:59 AM) *
Another fine point smile.gif As most of us do most of our recording in our home studios, having an amp solution that sounds great and records great without having to create MASSIVE VOLUME is a wonderful thing smile.gif

Being able to record and get the tone I want in the middle of the night is a wonderful thing. Just plugin and go, always sounds killer, ready to go, record etc. This alone makes it worth the price of admission IMHO and why I didn't use a real amp for quite some time in my home studio.

So yeah, I'd personally consider a good modeler a crucial tool for the home recordist for that reason alone.

Also, like you, I have HUGE gear addiction issues. Your KEMPER is the perfect solution as you can download an unlimited number of amps from the web and they will sound just like the real thing smile.gif For me it's more about discovering new combinations of the bits that are already included. I"m still not familiar with all the bits in this unit. So I"m always finding new things I didn't know were there smile.gif



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Todd Simpson
post May 11 2014, 06:17 AM
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I was a HUGE Guitar Rig 3 fan for a long time, and liked GR4 as well! But once I got turned on OVERLOUD TH2 I was hooked. I've tried the SCUFFHAM AMPS plugin and it's actually better than all of them for low/mid gain and clean tones if you are looking for something really nice and warm and "tube sounding". I've got a preset thread for GUITAR RIG with wads of patches in my personal thread that you may wanna peek at! Grab the OVERLOUD demo and the SCUFFHAM demo and see what you think smile.gif

Yeah, the 11Rack is a very solid unit. I've been buying and selling modellers for a few years now looking for my next keeper. Finally found it. It's also a pro tools front end so it's got a nice mic preamp/xlr input on the front. You can record everything through and it's got presets for everything as well. Dollar for Dollar, a used 11 rack is unbeatable imho.

QUOTE (SeeJay @ May 10 2014, 11:12 PM) *
Oh yea, for home, you can't beat the convenience.


What software/plugins do you guys like?

Eleven sounds solid. I have had NI Guitar Rig 3,4 and now 5. There's A LOT you can do with the Guitar Rig stuff, though I usually keep it pretty straight forward.


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