Best Amp Modeler

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magritte
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Best Amp Modeler

Post by magritte » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:54 pm

Hey guys,

What's the best amp modeler?

I live in a quiet apartment complex with neighbors, so I want to play through headphones and record in my DAW (Cubase).

I hear the line 6 stuff isn't very true to tube amps. Is this true? How good/bad are they, because a guy I work with said he'd give me a spare he has for free. However, the reviews I read were average at best and talked about weak distortion and tinny tones.

He has the Podxt and Pod Studio and said I can have either. Do both sound the same? If they sound the same I'd prefer the studio since it's smaller.

Thanks.
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:17 pm

If he's willing to give it to you for free, maybe he'd let you try it for free.
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Post by woodhenge » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:06 pm

I use a PodXt quite a bit and really like it, and I've always been a tube amp 'snob'. I always thought my old superlead, AC30, or triple-rec were impossible to duplicate, but the Pod nails 'em about 90% of the time... or at least close enough in a mix. For some things, I actually like it better than the real deal, too... and you can do crazy things to it that might just be damaging to the real thing.

Of course, your best bet is to play with it and really listen to it yourself and tweak it. I have always written my own patches... the presets are ok, but you can get way better tones if you geek out. :D

FWIW, YMMV, It depends, yada yada...
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Re: Best Amp Modeler

Post by LazarusLong » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:18 pm

magritte wrote:What's the best amp modeler?
What do you need it to do? What genre(s) does it need to sound good in?

For example, there are some bands (maybe even genres?) that simply NEED a POD. The sound of the POD, whether it sounds 'real' or not, is the band's sound. So yes for many of the ____core bands out there, POD is your best bet... but if you give that to a Chicago blues player? Total cheeseball and laughably bad.
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Post by JWL » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:24 pm

Hardware or software?

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Post by JES » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:08 am

That is the question. Here's the deal: gearhead guitarists will tell you that playing through an amp modeler is nothing like playing through a cranked tube amp. Users of amp modelers who make records will tell you that you can get perfectly good sounds to tape or to disc and that the music will sound just like a record. Both sides are right. They are less satisfying to guitarists but work fine for making records. All of the mainstream ones are pretty good and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

I've tried Pod 2.0 (still have it, rarely use it now that I'm in software) and Pod XT. Both are decent. The Johnson J-Station is supposed to do better heavy sounds but I wouldn't know.

In software, there's an embarrassment of riches now. Pod Farm was free for awhile if you had an iLok and got you all the Pod XT sounds. The knobs are fiddly in Digital Performer. Native Instruments Guitar Rig sounds better on some of the "woolier" settings to me but I don't like the interface as much. The clean amp models in Audio Ease Speakerphone -- so are really pretty -- but the distorted sounds I'm not so keen on. Most of the software modelers also have stompboxes and all sorts of other signal processing, but I often prefer other dedicated plugins for that. In fact, the best distortion plugin isn't a model of an analog distortion but its own thing: Ohm Force Ohmicide.

To end this dissertation: you can get usable sounds out of anything. If you're starting out, you will be the limitation for awhile and not the gear. On amp models, your best bet is to avoid presets and effects, and just start with an amp and a cab and fiddle until you get a sound you like that sits in a mix; do not worry so much about whether the "Marshall" sounds like a "Marshall" -- except for gearheads, nobody listening to the music is going to care.

HTH.

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Post by LazarusLong » Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:57 am

JES wrote:That is the question. Here's the deal: gearhead guitarists will tell you ...
+1. I totally agree with everything you just said. Solid advice.
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Post by decocco » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:48 am

I have used the POD XT Pro with great success on indie rock and metal stuff. The models don't sound exactly like what they're modeling, but they sound good. No, it's not like playing through an amp, but it still sounds good.

I have an original POD (the one that looks like a kidney bean) that I still use for one heavy metal wall of guitar sound. It blends in nicely with my real amp tracks. I can't stand the rest of the sounds on that thing. The Fender twin model is exceptionally horrible.

So, maybe just try both PODs and see which one you like the most.
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Post by Studio2roll » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:27 pm

I use the Pod X3Live in the studio and on stage and love it. I also have the Pod 2.0 which I use to use prior to the X3Live which is still good just not AS good. The X3Live feels real to me in it's responsiveness, and overall sound quality of the amps. And yes, +1 on ditching the presets and just starting with an amp and cab and building your own sounds. The presets are what get Line 6 a bad name from the guitar gear heads that I know. The ones who take the time to dial in a tone are usually pleasently surprised.
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Post by Studio2roll » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:27 pm

I use the Pod X3Live in the studio and on stage and love it. I also have the Pod 2.0 which I use to use prior to the X3Live which is still good just not AS good. The X3Live feels real to me in it's responsiveness, and overall sound quality of the amps. And yes, +1 on ditching the presets and just starting with an amp and cab and building your own sounds. The presets are what get Line 6 a bad name from the guitar gear heads that I know. The ones who take the time to dial in a tone are usually pleasently surprised.
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Post by vvv » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:26 pm

I like using analog chains to "model".

A VTB1 can get anything from a nice sorta Fender sound to a good D.I./Roland sound.

I have a US$50 (new) GM-200 from Zoom that does some very nice stuff, and the "pre-sets" are actually in the general area of what they say, ex., "Twin Drive" sounds like that, as does "Black Bottom", etc. Coupled with its cabinet emulator and basic (4) time-based FX, it's quite usable for recording.

My oldest chain is a Hafler T2 pre amp into a Microcab, now into the VTB1; I can get decent Fender to Marshall out of it, although nothing like a Knucklehead nor a Mark I or II ...

I find, as implied above, that you gotta get your own sounds out of this stuff, but it really helps if you know what it sounds like for real.

Don't be afraid to DI a pedal, either; something like a Rat into a starved tube pre can be just the thing.

(As I've said before, my "noize" link below has recordings with the recording chains listed if you wanna hear something done as described above.)
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Post by Crocoduck5000 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:32 am

For Fender amps I use Amplitube Fender. I run guitars through an ART Pro Channel tupe preamp straight into Amplitube Fender and people ask me how I mic my Fender guitar cabs!

I have not tried the POD, and I have not tried the original Amplitube, but there are some amazing tones in there that sound like the real thing. Plus there are all sorts of tweaks you can do to get that "cabbed" tone.

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Post by Crocoduck5000 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:32 am

For Fender amps I use Amplitube Fender. I run guitars through an ART Pro Channel tupe preamp straight into Amplitube Fender and people ask me how I mic my Fender guitar cabs!

I have not tried the POD, and I have not tried the original Amplitube, but there are some amazing tones in there that sound like the real thing. Plus there are all sorts of tweaks you can do to get that "cabbed" tone.

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Post by magritte » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:43 am

sweet.

the guy is letting me borrow a xt and studio for the weekend so i'll check them out. just wanted some general opinions on these things. never heard of them until recently tbh.

thanks.
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Post by Brett Siler » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:12 pm

I really like the Vox Valvetronics amps. I swapped out the speaker and it sounds great! It has a direct out that sounds really really good. I used it on a song for my bands new album just for demo parts but we ended up using it in the final mix.

If you wanna hear it the song is called "Torticline" http://www.myspace.com/stationaryodyssey

Also despite the companies reputation for sucking the Behringer Vamp actually has sound some decent sounds.

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