Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

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vvv
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Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by vvv » Thu May 31, 2018 7:44 am

I'm sure I've posted about this before, but it's been sometime and things change and I'm killing time ...

I cain' afford no Kahktails or Frempers and I dislike Line 6 fizz ("Pods are for puds"), but I do have some cheaper ones. I only use 'em DI, and often inna supporting role with mic'd amps where I need to throw down a quick add'l supporting guitar track, or I want a lead to really stand out.

The Tech21 "Character" pedals are interesting, and quite usable with a little work in mixdown. The VT is particularly good for a quick bass DI and sounds quite convincing with it's switchable cabinets - the EQ is excellent, and because of that it is usable on guitar, also.

I have the California, also and it gives good Boogie.

I have a Joyo American Sound what is said to be (without the switchable cabinet effect which is always on) a copy of the Tech21 "Blonde". It does a good job for clean rhythms where you might want, say, a Twin.

All of the above pedals are nicely stackable with other gains and drives - I keep a Duncan booster in front of them (itself a usable boost/drive pedal with the ability to get a single-coil sound from buckers).

I really like the Vox Stomplab for ridiculous effected, shoe-gazey sounds, but it is also usable in general, altho' I do feel it is overly bright and kinda digital in sound - you know, at the top end.

I have some Zoom options and the 505II and 606 are fun to mess with, particularly (like the Vox) in their presets, if only as a quick way to inspire sounds that I might re-do with better pedals. I also have the Zoom MSB bass pedal but while I find it fun, I don't dig it much on DI, tho' I can't really explain ... it's digital-sounding and requires much tweaking, altho', after tweaks, it's quite usable with an amp - but too many options and I bog down getting a sound.

Perhaps my fave simulator set-up is a Hafler T2 into a MicrocabII (the latter of what I just fixed after a monitor fell on it and jammed the push buttons). It's not necessarily very flexible, but gives a couple good sounds, including a really nice earlier (pre-900, altho' not Jubilee) Marshall set.

Finally, there's something to be said for just DI'ing straight into a tube (even starved-tube) pre amp - think, "Black Dog".

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by kslight » Thu May 31, 2018 8:18 am

Since my real Amp is dead, all of my tones are direct. I have no complaints about the Line 6 HD500x...lots of power in there. Coupled with two notes wall of sound plugin it sounds pretty good.

I also sometimes just go totally direct out my pedals into Two Notes torpedo live (basically hardware version of Wall of Sound).

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu May 31, 2018 10:26 am

been using the scuffham s-gear for years now, love it. he's well overdue for an update, hopefully it'll be this year and hopefully it'll include an ac-30 model.

also picked up the mercuriall reaxis and spark recently. haven't really had a chance to dig in to them much but early results are very promising.

i demo'd the kazrog stuff too and some of that seemed cool, i might look into that again but i think the mercurialls will probably do me for high gain stuff.

if you'd told me 10 years ago i'd be using amp sims exclusively i'd have said you were crazy. but here we are. and i gotta say, for me the workflow is so much better. if i were running a commercial recording studio i'd be all about recording real amps. but for one little morespace recording solo stuff...being able to sit in the sweet spot and record guitars at a comfortable volume with no headphones is a joy.

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by vvv » Thu May 31, 2018 6:43 pm

I don' know, I'm mebbe a hypocritical purist weasel, but we don' use no steenking plug-ins for amps.

I hafta rationalize the hardware sims to me.

I mean, there's a reason I own so many amps that take up so much space, money and maintenance time, not to mention annoy the fambly, neighbors and occasional visiting acoustic player.
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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by floid » Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 pm

Amps, like tape and consoles, are done. Over. Sell them now before the market crashes even further - if you can.
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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by standup » Thu May 31, 2018 8:17 pm

I got a tech 21 [*]“LIverpool” pedal basically for open mics with an electric guitar. Occasionally use it for late night got-to-record-a-part work. I have the S-works amp sim plugin too, I mostly use it to overdrive a recorded guitar part a little more, I rarely track a guitar into it. I feel like it’s weighted toward classic rock sounds that are not my thing. But it’s pretty useful for adding just a bit more grit on low settings.

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by Cirrus » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:10 am

floid wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 pm
Amps, like tape and consoles, are done. Over. Sell them now before the market crashes even further - if you can.
You know what? I think you're right.

Last year I picked up a great UK-made AC30 for £400, which is about half what I would have considered a good price based on 10 years of buying/ selling amps on Ebay. Since then, I've seen that kind of price be quite common.

I also tried three times over last summer to sell a boutique little 1x12 that retailed (it was discontinued some years ago) for over £1k, and was typically selling second hand for between £350-£450 between 2012 and 2016. Ebay, facebook, Gumtree and guitar forums. No one was interested, even for £200. This is for a well built 30 watt el84 amp with multiple power reduction options, great tone controls, and rave reviews online. No one wants it. I decided for that price, I'd rather keep it.

Meanwhile, I few bands that I've played on bills alongside have moved to Kempers, bands that typically used Marshall/ Mesa stacks. This is beside the usual smattering of bands that use the line 6 etc modelling amps. And lots of studio owners swear by their Kempers - people who work in situations where miking a real amp at any volume would be totally normal.

Personally, I think it ultimately doesn't really matter - guitarists should just do whatever works for them. The sound of a valve amp isn't intrinsically *better* than the sound of a digital model. I like what I guess I'd call the interactive nature of a vox power section driving alnico speakers and playing guitar in a loud soundfield where the guitar can get some extra sustain from the resulting positive feedback loop. The most logical way to get that is by using a real amp. If I couldn't do that any more, I'd move to a modeler and it wouldn't be the end of the world.

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by losthighway » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:53 am

floid wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 pm
Amps, like tape and consoles, are done. Over. Sell them now before the market crashes even further - if you can.
Yes, sell them to me. Your Supros, your VibraSonics, your AC30s, your new boutiquey Morgans, and Milk Man's. They're only worth about half what you paid for them, but it's best to take cash now because soon everyone on stage will be plugged into a DI and they'll be worth nothing.

Also, you'd best sell me your Studer before it crashes as well. I'll give you $500, in a year you'd be lucky to get that much.

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by vvv » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:37 pm

And whatever losthighway doesn't want, try me.

Playing guitar and bass "in a loud soundfield" isn't a failing, or even a feature - it's a fucking essential to my life's happiness.

I mean, what, I might as well get my nut playing keys?

And after playing 'em, I like collecting 'em, and working on 'em.

I have 7 tube amps, from a Tiny Terror to some Fenders, Musicman, Ampeg, Vox and a Silver Jubilee combo.

I have at least 10 SS amps, from a Zeus (Randy Rhoads type) to a Ampeg PF500, and including a tuck-n-roll and a Trademark.

Not bragging, just establishing cred; I fully intend to keep acquiring, wiring and wringing headaches out of the haters.

ROCK AND :roll: !

(I'd like to try a Kemper sometime ...)
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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by ashcat_lt » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:37 pm

I have absolutely no problem creating a "loud sound field" with amp sims. In fact, I honestly believe that the problem most people have with them is that they never really crank them up as loud as the amp that they're modeling would be at comparable settings. If you're complaining about the "feel" or "dynamics" of an amp sim, it's almost always because you need more SPLs.

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Re: Let's talk guitar-amp simulators

Post by vvv » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:22 pm

To some extent.

By what I mean, the "sound field" to the extent it interacts with the guitar is different between SS and tube amps.

Or so I tell me.

Plus, the soft-sims is gonna feed the guitar, but not the same unless, mebbe, you monitor thru a guitar cab ...

And I can't imagine pedals would work the same, either. Lately, I've been into heavy distortion at times, by what I mean the Zvex stuff, cranked Muffs and Rats, stacked pedals, and other aural testosterone supplements.

Dammit, I'm single-minded on this, I'll not be persuaded! :twisted:
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