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> Amp Sims: What's The Best For You?
Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 10 2018, 03:33 PM
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It's awesome to see how many amp sim options we can find nowadays. The most important brands are releasing different versions of their products so I can suspect that each of us can find a good option.

The most relevant brands are Fractal, Kemper, Line 6, Headrush, Atomic, Positive Grid, Mooer, and there are also many plug in options like Amplitube, Guitar Rig, Revalver, and many others. Each of those brands are offering different configurations and devices. Most of them provide convincing tones so I feel that the decision is more related to what you really need, and how much you can pay.


So my questions are:

- Are you using any Amp Sim as your main rig? Which one?
- Are you happy with it?
- Which other one do you think that it's perfect for you?
- Is there anything that you can't find in the market and that you think you are needing?


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 10 2018, 08:12 PM
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I'm a big fan as you know smile.gif I use wads of them. My fave plugin is still the Overloud series. It had the best tone and features of any I'd tried. Two signal paths, takes IRs, multiple guitar cabs/mics on each path, etc.

I've recently tried the Joey Sturgis Tones Misha and Ben Bruce. Both of which I like quite a bit. Also the FORTIN NAMELESS which is based on the MESHUGGAH amps that are no longer being made. So if you want that tone, just grab the plugin. The fortin does have effects but it does allow more control over your tone. The JST stuff is much more simple to use. So it just depends on the user.
Here are some vids I made using the JST and nameless.



QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 10 2018, 10:33 AM) *
It's awesome to see how many amp sim options we can find nowadays. The most important brands are releasing different versions of their products so I can suspect that each of us can find a good option.

The most relevant brands are Fractal, Kemper, Line 6, Headrush, Atomic, Positive Grid, Mooer, and there are also many plug in options like Amplitube, Guitar Rig, Revalver, and many others. Each of those brands are offering different configurations and devices. Most of them provide convincing tones so I feel that the decision is more related to what you really need, and how much you can pay.


So my questions are:

- Are you using any Amp Sim as your main rig? Which one?
- Are you happy with it?
- Which other one do you think that it's perfect for you?
- Is there anything that you can't find in the market and that you think you are needing?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 11 2018, 02:36 PM
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Killer post Todd! Thanks for sharing the videos!

Do you preffer those plug ins over Eleven?


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Rammikin
post Oct 12 2018, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 10 2018, 02:33 PM) *
So my questions are:

- Are you using any Amp Sim as your main rig? Which one?
- Are you happy with it?
- Which other one do you think that it's perfect for you?
- Is there anything that you can't find in the market and that you think you are needing?


I've been lucky enough to own many of the modelers you listed, but my favorite is still the AxeFX. Fractal Audio single-handedly created the high end modeler market when they came out with the AxeFX. Before that, everybody assumed guitarists wouldn't pay more than $500 for a modeler, and that stifled attempts to produce really good modelers, since it wasn't possible to make one for that price. When they came out with the AxeFX, Fractal showed there is a market for high-end modelers. Not a big market, but big enough to justify somebody making products in that range.

Personally, I prefer the sound of the AxeFX. But we've reached the point where youtube comparison videos are completely useless. When somebody posts a video comparing high end modelers to each other or to a tube amp, any difference you hear is simply due to one of the modelers being tweaked differently than the other. As great as the AxeFX sounds though, it's all the other things that really set it apart: effects quality, routing flexibility, I/O options, the editor app, remote control, etc.

As much as I like my AxeFX, I still enjoy playing through my Soldano amp. The fact is there is more to getting a satisfying tone than what you hear. There are psychological factors as well. For example, my mixes always sound better when my studio is lit by candlelight smile.gif. By the same token, there is something deeply rewarding about playing a guitar that is connected to glowing vacuum tubes.

While I can use the AxeFX for re-amping, if I know I'll be re-amping a track, I'll use a plugin since that's easier. My favorite is Helix Native. It doesn't sound quite as good as the AxeFX and latency is always a problem with plugins. Even with my 6 core MacPro, my songs are complex enough that it's difficult to get the latency when recording down to something I'm happy with.

As far as what I'd like to see in the future, I think we've already reached the point where high end amp modelers can successfully emulate tube amps. It's time to reach for another goal. Amp modelers should now aspire to produce tones that sound good but go beyond what can be done with a tube amp. I use my AxeFX to generate speaker impedance resonances that don't exist in any amps in the real world. It's time to look beyond merely emulating tube amps.


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Mertay
post Oct 12 2018, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (Rammikin @ Oct 12 2018, 03:40 PM) *
...


Good points. As something I never noticed, no one has done a loudness compensated eq yet.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 12 2018, 07:37 PM
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For recording YES!!! smile.gif I always prefer plugins for recording so that I can go back and change any of the parameters at at time. During mix down, during more recording, etc. Having the ability to change every aspect of a sound after it's been recorded is just amazingly handy. I used to use the 11 rack for recording processed tone, but I found re amping through it to be much more time consuming than just changing a parameter on a plugin. I"ve tweaked my patches on my OVERLOUD plugins to the point where they sound just like I want them. It's taken years but it's time well spent imho.

The 11 rack is great for practice/live/quick and diry recording where I just want to plugin and hit record. If I do record with it, I always record a dry / direct signal to another track so that I can go back in later and use my plugins. The 11 lets me record dry and processed signals to different tracks just like the axe fx. Also the 11 only has single signal path. The TH2 plugins offer dual signal paths and no limit to the way you can arrange outboard gear/pedals. Also, multiple guitar cabs on each path, two mics per cab, and I"ve never run out of "blocks".

Also I can't hear any latency on the TH2 plugins as I'm playing at high speeds so any audible latency would kill it for me. I use the plugins as I record so they have to be as fast as I am. So far, no audible latency on th2 or th3 and I set the samples as low as they will go on Logic Pro X with no issues. I'm on a quad core mac pro with 16gm ram and SSD drive through an iConnectivity 4+ interface. It reacts as quickly as my 11 rack unit as far as my ears can tell.

Todd
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 11 2018, 09:36 AM) *
Killer post Todd! Thanks for sharing the videos!

Do you preffer those plug ins over Eleven?


This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 12 2018, 07:40 PM


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Rammikin
post Oct 12 2018, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Oct 12 2018, 04:12 PM) *
Good points. As something I never noticed, no one has done a loudness compensated eq yet.


I don't recall seeing that either. But I haven't had good luck with loudness compensated eq's. In my experience, the proper amount of compensation depends too much on the input.


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Mertay
post Oct 12 2018, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (Rammikin @ Oct 12 2018, 07:44 PM) *
I don't recall seeing that either. But I haven't had good luck with loudness compensated eq's. In my experience, the proper amount of compensation depends too much on the input.


The better coded ones (tdr stuff for example) handle that nicely but q options or the eq's overall quality can lack.

But considering 3 bands (and gain if pre designed amp) it shouldn't be so hard to design, as loudness-tone relationship is the most confusing thing for guitar players the company who develops it (or maybe copyright) has a good chance of huge selling products.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 13 2018, 03:54 PM
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QUOTE (Rammikin @ Oct 12 2018, 12:40 PM) *
It's time to look beyond merely emulating tube amps.



I'm really curious about the future. What are your thoughts about the future?

The current issue was that hardware wasn't powerfull enough but that has been solved with Fractal III so I wonder what are the next moves... I wonder if they will move to an Ipad full control as it happened with P.A. consoles. Maybe in the future they just provide some kind of box with inputs and outputs and everything is controller by wifi with Ipad and cellphone.





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Todd Simpson
post Oct 13 2018, 07:07 PM
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As you probably already know, I really do think this is where we are heading. The next generation of players coming up, grew up with cell phones/tablets being the center of their world. They get more powerful each year. The aging iphone 6s can already run amplitube with great tone and no audible patch lag. I"m thinking vendors will start to off load processing to an ipad and focus on providing a product like the stomp io. At which point, the device will be focused on I/O and options. I"m hoping someone makes a modular version that allows the user to add foot switches or more than one wah/volume pedal etc.

It will take some time to be sure. It's taken years for some folks to accept the AXE FX / KEMPER as a viable alternative for a tube amp. Even now many folks resist software options like BIAS and others despite how great they sound.

I don't think the google based devices will see the same kind of progress just because they don't yet have a hardware standard. The apple mobile device all have very strict hardware configurations and fast connection ports. Apple has been moving everything toward mobile for years. I really think they have a leg up on other vendors to be the brains/guts of wads of upcoming gear. Even ORANGE amps released the OMEC which is a stomp box/interface to let you use apps on your iphone for your signal chain.

Todd
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 13 2018, 10:54 AM) *
I'm really curious about the future. What are your thoughts about the future?

The current issue was that hardware wasn't powerfull enough but that has been solved with Fractal III so I wonder what are the next moves... I wonder if they will move to an Ipad full control as it happened with P.A. consoles. Maybe in the future they just provide some kind of box with inputs and outputs and everything is controller by wifi with Ipad and cellphone.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 16 2018, 07:04 PM
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Yngwie has something to say about this...

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Mertay
post Oct 16 2018, 07:46 PM
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Imagine any one of the guitar legends, will play a song he released 20-30 years ago. Pretty much everything built in that era are working or serviceable so he-can get "that" sound to stage even though he needs a few roadies to carry the stuff smile.gif

But now imagine that gear was a phone made 30 years ago biggrin.gif



The way I see it, with each leap of technology follows the argument of authenticity. My amp and processor are still working after 20 years so I have a trust on equipment specially made for guitar, probably the most curious here on plug-in/vsti development (even beta-tested for companies at one point) but can't guarantee I'll use any software released today for the next 3 years.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Oct 16 2018, 07:49 PM


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PosterBoy
post Oct 17 2018, 08:11 AM
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My Axe Fx is still going strong 10 years later (I can't believe it's been that long!) The convenience and versatility are the biggest plus points.
I do still want a decent pedal platform amp and pedal board, for some reason even though I don't have any need for one whatsoever.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Oct 17 2018, 02:20 PM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Oct 16 2018, 03:46 PM) *
Imagine any one of the guitar legends, will play a song he released 20-30 years ago. Pretty much everything built in that era are working or serviceable so he-can get "that" sound to stage even though he needs a few roadies to carry the stuff smile.gif

But now imagine that gear was a phone made 30 years ago biggrin.gif



The way I see it, with each leap of technology follows the argument of authenticity. My amp and processor are still working after 20 years so I have a trust on equipment specially made for guitar, probably the most curious here on plug-in/vsti development (even beta-tested for companies at one point) but can't guarantee I'll use any software released today for the next 3 years.



Hehehe that's so funny. They won¿t be able to do some kind of revival concert, but most of the bands and musicians update their sounds. The Rolling Stones don't sound like in the 60's anymore, and neither Paul MacCartney, and in the case they would want, they have lots of tools to do it nowadays.. don't you think so?


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 18 2018, 07:41 PM
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All they need is a KEMPER or whatever thing does what a kemper does in the future which will probably be a simple app running on an iphone smile.gif That way they don't have to carry the fragile vintage equipment on tour. Which is a bit part of what is happening now.

I don't know if anyonce noticed, but that rock/cell phone has Babylonian Cuneiform (one of the first written languages) on it's keypad. smile.gif

Todd
QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Oct 17 2018, 09:20 AM) *
Hehehe that's so funny. They won¿t be able to do some kind of revival concert, but most of the bands and musicians update their sounds. The Rolling Stones don't sound like in the 60's anymore, and neither Paul MacCartney, and in the case they would want, they have lots of tools to do it nowadays.. don't you think so?


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 18 2018, 08:17 PM
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Here is a guy using his iphone and BIAS to do a pretty darn good demo of various tones he's getting. Has a pricey orange amp right behind him.




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