Frequency dynamics

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

Moderators: drumsound, tomb

Post Reply
User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9327
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Frequency dynamics

Post by vvv » Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:51 pm

Frequency dynamics - is this a thing?

Posting here to describe a pedal, I kinda stumbled onna description of what I perceive as the weakness in modeling pedals: I'm-a call it, "frequency dynamics".

By that, I mean, even when levels are dynamic, playing is dynamic, the frequencies on the track feel pre-EQ'd, band-passed, and not as I would adjust real mic'd amps.

There's no thunk and thump, no squeal-like-a-pig, and the mid-range is so consistent ...

The modeler tracks feel flat, lacking variation, chaos, rock-n-FUCKING-roll, altho' they sounded good in cans while playing.

Anyone agree with this description?
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
Nick Sevilla
on a wing and a prayer
Posts: 5174
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 1:34 pm
Location: Lake Arrowhead California USA
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by Nick Sevilla » Sat Mar 27, 2021 6:53 pm

I agree. I think it can be one of two things:

1. A compressor or limiter at the end of the chain, which we have no control over. Some like the Amplitube annd Waves,
have a "rack mount" post amplifier section, usually where you would find these limiters and comporessors on certain presets.
Take those off.

2. Shitty analog output design, where their chips simply compress everything past a certain point. This is mostly older stuff like the Pod 1.0

That said, I am liking the new Amplitube 5.

I also always send a lower signal into these emulators... that seems to give me more dynamic range on the input,
so I just adjust the output so it is also not too loud when being recorded.
Howling at the neighbors. Hoping they have more mic cables.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9327
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by vvv » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:16 pm

I'm experimenting with this stuff - I do so much like live amps better it is going slow - and I'll try that levels thing, thanks.

At this point, I'm just using regular pedals altho' I do have:

Eleven Rack: not really got into it - pre-sets sound so processed and digital, but I've not spent a lot of time as it's in a rack and not convenient - gotta move it
Hafler T2 into Microcab: can be OK for rhythm stuff when used along with live tracks
Zoom GM200: surprisingly useful S$20 digi emulator inna plastic box - some patches are really good and it's the best Zoom I have
Vox Stomplabs: I have the latest guitar and bass floor pedals; very processed and digi sounding, OK when used along with live tracks
Zoom 505: very processed and digi sounding
Zoom 606II: very processed and digi sounding - I had two, gave one away to my guitarist who has never mentioned using it
Tech 21 Character pedals: I have a few of these and overall they are the best of the bunch, the VT Bass is really, really good
Joyo T-21 clones: slightly different from the T-21's (ex., cab emulation is not defeatable) but sound just as good
Joyo Ironman series: just have the Orange pedal, fizzy at high-gain and better thru an amp

A few years back I was working with tons of Pod tracks and grew to hate them for the fizz, etc.

With the T-21 pedals as an exception, I think emulators lack random harmonics, which may be part of the problem.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

User avatar
A.David.MacKinnon
cryogenically thawing
Posts: 3576
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 5:57 am
Location: Toronto
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:04 pm

With the pandemic shifting so much of my work to mixing other peoples home recordings I've had to deal with more amp sim tracks then ever before. One thing I have noticed is that a low pass filter is the most important part of the mix chain. Start with it set as high as it goes and then start sliding down until the fizz gets better. A guitar speaker isn't really putting out much above 6K anyway. Taking out that extra high end goes a long way to making things sound less digital and plasticky.

User avatar
vvv
zen recordist
Posts: 9327
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 8:08 am
Location: Chi
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by vvv » Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:27 pm

Yeah, my DAW (CEP 2.1) allows for presets in its filters, and I have about 5 pre-sets I made for Pod tracks in years past that work at times for other emulated tracks. Or, I use my standard pass filtering. So far I have not tried using other EQ for boosts and cuts ... I most often change out and/or adjust the mic at the amp and in the room to get live sounds.

I'm also thinking that, no matter how good the cab emulators (again, Microcab, Sonicake/Tomsline Shaper and Digitech Cabdry, or the pedals' own) are as EQ's, they are missing the speaker distortion and moving air and, I suppose, effect of the mic.

I do take the emulators in to a nice pre - usually The Brick - and it dioes help, but the sounds just seem to lack ... depth.
bandcamp; vlayman;
THD; Geronimo Cowboys;
blog.
I mix with olive juice.

crow
steve albini likes it
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:57 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by crow » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:23 am

I have been trying to find good amp simulators for a long time, initially in order to have guitarists use for scratch tracks, so they can have fun recording with a DI, and sparing me the time/hassle of setting up an amp/mic setup for tracks that will likely not get used.

First, the Vox amplug is surprisingly awesome for its small price and size. Fantastic for edge-of breakup.
I also love the Strymon Iridium. Love love love it.
I recently acquired a Fractal FM3 once I realized it could be used to accommodate my guitar and steel needs live, and thus eliminate an awful lot of gear brought to shows. It's incredible IMHO. I haven't dug into it fully, but the level of customization allowed is unbelievable, and I was struck by the wide variety of non nu-metal tones available. I was expecting it to excel at hi-gain (which is kind of cheating, to me) but maybe not at mid-clean, classic crunch, or non-fancy sounds. I was relieved to hear that it's fully capable of dialing in some very personality-rich garagey tones, evoking "this-cheap-60's-noname-amp's-transformer-is-about-to-fail" kind of tones as well as "holy shit, I'm eddie van halen" sounds. Not cheap, but so far, its cost is far exceeded by the amount of gear it conceivably replaces. Not that I can bring myself to eliminate my amp pile...

User avatar
markjazzbassist
buyin' a studio
Posts: 872
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:33 am
Location: Lakewood, OH

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by markjazzbassist » Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:20 am

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:04 pm
With the pandemic shifting so much of my work to mixing other peoples home recordings I've had to deal with more amp sim tracks then ever before. One thing I have noticed is that a low pass filter is the most important part of the mix chain. Start with it set as high as it goes and then start sliding down until the fizz gets better. A guitar speaker isn't really putting out much above 6K anyway. Taking out that extra high end goes a long way to making things sound less digital and plasticky.
this all day long. totally agree on nothing above 6k and the LPF, i record guitar direct out of necessity and i do both of those and it helps a ton. Sansamps are great as well.

crow
steve albini likes it
Posts: 388
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:57 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by crow » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:25 pm

I always try to get a clean DI as well if a client is going to be sending an amp sim track, so I can try to beat the sound they were getting, in the same style.

asterisk
audio school
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Frequency dynamics

Post by asterisk » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:06 pm

I used to have this problem with amp sims. The old POD designs that I had used before never quite sounded right outside of very narrow contexts...namely volume and gain up full on kind of sounds. It's not that you couldn't get it to clean up, but I found that if I rolled back the volume pot on my guitar just about every amp model ended up sounding exactly the same. Plus there could be digital artifacts and strangeness in sound basically like the compression the OP is talking about. I thought it was probably from the ADDA conversion, but yeah, I think there's something not quite right in the way it processes dynamics.

But like one of the other posters I got an FM3 recently and it's basically won me over. It's expensive but the thing sounds..kind of amazing. And I've had it for more than six months so it's probably not the honeymoon period talking. Crazy good amp modelling and the way you can just sample IRs by the hundreds is so powerful. I can almost always find one that will sit in the mix well. The effects are good. The only thing I have a problem with is the fuzz face model. It doesn't sound right to me with the guitar volume down. But other than that it's pretty great.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 36 guests