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Guitar Simmulation SW
Old 11th February 2009
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Guitar Simmulation SW

There are many choices.
The prices have come down on multiple market dominant products.
What do forum readers recommend?
Do you recommend a solution with an associated DI from the same company, or just the SW (if I already have a good DI and good AD converters)?
Thank you,
ES
Old 11th February 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Zachary's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
i like guitar rig 3
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
CaliTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use guitar amp sims on a daily basis and tried them all, so I'll give you my opinion.

For distorted tones the best in my opinion are Peavey Revalver, Overloud TH1, Softube Metal Amp Room, and Digidesign Eleven.

For cleanish/Crunch tones, I like Podfarm (Clean only. Crunch Tones are pretty "digital" sounding), Revalver, and Soft Tube Amp Room, and Digidesign Eleven.

I have Waves GTR3 and the only thing I really use on it is the Bass amps, so I'd probably stay away from those.

If you were only going to get one, I'd say Revalver is the most realistic and versatile one. Try out the demo.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliTone ➑️
I use guitar amp sims on a daily basis and tried them all, so I'll give you my opinion.

For distorted tones the best in my opinion are Peavey Revalver, Overloud TH1, Softube Metal Amp Room, and Digidesign Eleven.

For cleanish/Crunch tones, I like Podfarm (Clean only. Crunch Tones are pretty "digital" sounding), Revalver, and Soft Tube Amp Room, and Digidesign Eleven.

I have Waves GTR3 and the only thing I really use on it is the Bass amps, so I'd probably stay away from those.

If you were only going to get one, I'd say Revalver is the most realistic and versatile one. Try out the demo.
Revalver won't work in PT, TH1 is good all around but is very glitchy in PT8, Eleven is OK here and there but insanely overrated (ESPECIALLY FOR CLEANS, and I mean CLEAN, not SEMI CLEAN), and Amplitube can get some surprisingly good overdriven stuff, it depends on the song, the player, your guitar, and what you like. Fortunately most all of them have demos and you can decide for yourself.

I have frankly gotten bored with all of them and if it weren't for the hassle of micing real amps and not being able to play them late at night when I do a lot of my work, I would not even use a plug in anymore

TH
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I feel kind of like a broken record but if you're interested, I do reviews on this kind of stuff, check my blog in my signature if you'd like some clips of modern amp modeling software.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Dump software and go with a POD X3! I am a recent convert and will never play software amps again!
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tms8707056 ➑️
Dump software and go with a POD X3! I am a recent convert and will never play software amps again!
Someone else mentioned this to me recently and liked it too....tell me more. Good eh?

TH
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Pod X3 is software amps. It's just software amps running on a streamlined computer in a classy looking box with built-in control and expression. But the algorithms are the same ones you use with their Pod Farm software. The hardware interface is portable, inexpensive and low-latency so there are legitimate reasons to prefer it, but it is not inherently superior or even inherently different from a well constructed software setup, and in fact a well constructed software setup offers significantly higher processing power and comparably low latency and portability - though the necessary investment is correspondingly higher.

If I were going to dismantle my software setup and go with a hardware solution I would buy an AxeFX.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed ➑️
Pod X3 is software amps. It's just software amps running on a streamlined computer in a classy looking box with built-in control and expression. But the algorithms are the same ones you use with their Pod Farm software. The hardware interface is portable, inexpensive and low-latency so there are legitimate reasons to prefer it, but it is not inherently superior or even inherently different from a well constructed software setup, and in fact a well constructed software setup offers significantly higher processing power and comparably low latency and portability - though the necessary investment is correspondingly higher.

If I were going to dismantle my software setup and go with a hardware solution I would buy an AxeFX.
Yeah, AxeFX, or I could just wait and get the new Mesa Mark V head for almost the same price

TH
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Which would be great if you wanted to get a variety of Mesa tones, but not all that good if you're looking for a pitch-sensitive wah center frequency running into a split stereo configuration of a Dumble Super Overdrive and a Twin and a harmonized echo with feedback on the echoes

There are plenty of folks who have moved from big amp setups to software setups (software in a computer, or software in a floor or rack unit). I'm one of them, my analog collection is down to just a few amps and a scant 33 pedals. With my software I can do anything I'd ever want to do - the limiting factor is my own creativity rather than access to sounds. Pretty neat. And you don't have to sign away your analog gear when you go digital, you know, I'm rocking both happily - though I find myself plugging into my computer interface more often than my real amp these days, and I've made patches which emulate my real amps so closely that people have asked me what tubes and speakers I'm using if I post clips without mentioning that they're modeled.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"Which would be great if you wanted to get a variety of Mesa tones, but not all that good if you're looking for a pitch-sensitive wah center frequency running into a split stereo configuration of a Dumble Super Overdrive and a Twin and a harmonized echo with feedback on the echoes "

Well yeah if you believe those things really sound like Dumbles or Twins

But yes, that's the advantage of the plugs....super FX fast and easy. That's all that really keeps me coming back for 'em. Given time and enough 3rd party plug ins you can usually get to where you want to be but the guitar simulators sure make it convenient.

"There are plenty of folks who have moved from big amp setups to software setups (software in a computer, or software in a floor or rack unit). I'm one of them, my analog collection is down to just a few amps and a scant 33 pedals. With my software I can do anything I'd ever want to do - the limiting factor is my own creativity rather than access to sounds. Pretty neat. And you don't have to sign away your analog gear when you go digital, you know, I'm rocking both happily - though I find myself plugging into my computer interface more often than my real amp these days, and I've made patches which emulate my real amps so closely that people have asked me what tubes and speakers I'm using if I post clips without mentioning that they're modeled."

Yep, with plugs I've done the same. Confused myself when I've gone back to listen to something from a year ago and said "Was that real or a plug?" I've actually gone back and opened up sessions I thought were real and there were Amp Farms or Eleven's or whatever in there .

There is still some "ommph" missing for me though. You play a clean Fender amp and then play any of the simulators on a Fender, and you get the same general sound, but without the sag that comes from air pushing in a room. In a mix though, you're right, you often just can't hear the difference.

Tom
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
CaliTone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Also, don't forget you can plug a real amp using your preamp out into your interface and use an IR Reverb and use cab IR responses. Works really well (at least depending on how well your IR responses are). Lots of great free Cab IRs on the web, but there's also ReCabinet.
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
zabukowski's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My chart

1. Peavey Revalver MKIII
..
..
..
4. Amplitube
5. Guitar Rig, Waves GTR

Didn't try AxeFX, TH-1 and others, yet ...

My real amps: Marshall JCM800, Fender Supersonic. Gallien Krueger

My HW ampsims: Line 6 POD XT Live, Roger Linn Adrenalinn II, Sansamp GT2, Sansamp Bass Driver

+ a bunch of guitar pedals (from vintage to modern)


Comparing software to real thing ...

Revalver MKIII is definitely THE THING (IMHO) !! thumbsup

Regards
Old 11th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed ➑️
Pod X3 is software amps... it is not inherently superior or even inherently different from a well constructed software setup.
I disagree. It is the same principle as software modeling but it is inherently different. Software has to be designed to run on multiple hardware configurations with multiple operating systems, and also on multiple DAWs. POD modeling began as a hardware device. Their "software" on their hardware allows for more control and more consistent performance. This also contributes to better control over latency. There is absolutely no perceivable latency with a POD. While this is possible with a custom setup, it takes more money and time to get there than it does with a POD.

Secondly, POD has been modeling amps for a very long time. Their models are more realistic compared to "software" amps. As far as an AxeFX is concerned... it is definately the best there is but the price puts it out of reach for many people. An X3 can deliver sufficient tone for most for the price.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Wow, now even more choices!!!!

Thank you all for responding.
I appreciate your sharing with me your experience.

I will try before I buy.

TMS, just listened to some music clips at Musicians Friend Website for the POD XT.
Wow!!!!
They really sound good.
I can share some of your reasoning, not that the other opinions about harvesting the computational power of the modern PC with the same software algorithms is wrong.

But, I tend to agree with you. It is the same, but by connecting the digital out or analog out of the POD to my recording set up, the signal is there and there is even less that can go wrong in the path of the guitar to the computer (IMO). It is an electronic device with only one function, and it performs that function well.

And the sound clips of the POD XT Pro sound quite impressive, with and without effects. I now understand why this has been such a successful line of products.

Choices, choices. I own the VOX Tonelab SE, have not liked it that much, but have not given it a sufficient chance either. Maybe I will try to take the pure amp signal from that and AD it into my DAW computer.

Yours,
ES
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tms8707056 ➑️
I disagree. It is the same principle as software modeling but it is inherently different. Software has to be designed to run on multiple hardware configurations with multiple operating systems, and also on multiple DAWs. POD modeling began as a hardware device. Their "software" on their hardware allows for more control and more consistent performance. This also contributes to better control over latency. There is absolutely no perceivable latency with a POD. While this is possible with a custom setup, it takes more money and time to get there than it does with a POD.

Secondly, POD has been modeling amps for a very long time. Their models are more realistic compared to "software" amps. As far as an AxeFX is concerned... it is definately the best there is but the price puts it out of reach for many people. An X3 can deliver sufficient tone for most for the price.
The fact that it is one known hardware setup is a very good point and something I shouldn't have glossed over in the comparison of hardware to software, but it doesn't change the fact that the known hardware is running algorithms which have been comfortably translated to native platforms (in fact, I believe the SHARC DSPs they use are programmed in higher level programming languages and at floating point precision, and thus with the appropriate software environment are literally just a recompile away from being "software" in the sense you're using it). But there is an aspect of genuine trouble-free operation that is just too easy with a POD, while a lot of attention must be paid in the construction and maintenance of a computing rig to keep it running as trouble-free and intuitively. So a point for the POD, there, and deservedly so.

I have no objection to your characterization of how much money it takes to get into a good software setup versus a POD. I built my studio computer myself, saving quite a bit of money in the process over buying a prebuilt or having a custom built made for me; I managed to put together an extremely powerful, extremely low-latency audio setup for just a hair over $2400 (of course I'm not counting peripheral devices, here, I already had a great LCD monitor, good wireless keyboard and mouse, etc.; and I don't count my studio monitors in that price, either, or it'd be much higher). Add to that the cost of investing in a pallete of modeling software and the price quickly compounds. I am not in software because I can't afford hardware, even the AxeFX would have been well in my reach if I had chosen a different path. But I have my preferences which can only be fulfilled with modern software. Even the AxeFX unit is a bit clumsy in the studio if you're doing more than initial tracking or if you prefer different samplerates than that at which it processes (using its digital connectivity; obviously, if you've got great A/D/A then you can run whatever you like through it and get it back however you prefer, but that's a lot of added conversion). In fact, if you added up the total cost, I could have bought any "attainable" stack on the market - okay, some boutiques would have been well out of reach, but nearly everything else wouldn't. I think that modeling is a choice, and of course it isn't for everyone, but I have full confidence that more people would enjoy listening to an album cut with modelers if they weren't aware of the fact than would if it were advertised. And for flexibility, nondestructive editing at any point in the process, and sheer processing power and routing complexity, nothing beats a software setup. Yes, the AxeFX is powerful for a DSP, but I've got four modern cores at over 3.4ghz each in a DAW which handles multicore duties quite well, and 8 gigs of RAM to handle whatever I need to have open. Latency nor processing power nor working space are ever any concern, and even the AxeFX (which, bear in mind, very well earns its accolades and which I am not in the slightest denigrating!) can't claim that.

Finally, being the first to do something doesn't have anything to do with being the best to do something (and even if it did, IK Multimedia has been doing software sim for about the same amount of time as L6 - Amplitube one was 2001). But it isn't really relevant, especially since there has been quite a lot of advancement in the physical modeling of dynamically interactive components, some of the work done academically and some behind closed doors at software companies. In fact, in most of my discussions with other high-end software modeling users, the consensus is rather against Line6 (a feeling I don't necessarily share, I try to take a measured approach and appreciate the value in each program, taking them at face value and on their own terms).
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Addict
 
HDJK's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
For distorted sounds I really like Trash:

iZotope Trash - 64-bit distortion, filter, delay and amplifier modeling

It's sounds a lot like the real thing (mic'ed amp).
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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trock's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
fractal audio axe fx

better by far than my POD XT pro, Amplitube 2. of which i have those 2 and to me its no contest at all

and they are coming out with a SW version of the hardware soon.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trock ➑️
fractal audio axe fx

better by far than my POD XT pro, Amplitube 2. of which i have those 2 and to me its no contest at all

and they are coming out with a SW version of the hardware soon.
I understand all the arguments in favor of software and the Fractal thing in particular, but there are just not that many guitarists that are going to think shelling out 1400 for a simulation of a real amp vs a real amp is a great idea. I personally don't and wouldn't. $500.00 yes. 1400.00 no, I don't care if it serves coffee. And for me, squinting over a tiny LCD screen is so yesterday. I was doing that with Roland samplers in the 80s. Not for me

And as far as processing power, the amp simulators eat it up rather quickly. I have an 8 core Mac with 8g ram and Eleven is a hog. If you have 4 or 5 of them going, it starts becoming an issue, because guitar is not the only thing in your session....you have other needs such as reverb, delays, EQs, comps, etc, etc.....so the world isn't all rosy with simulators. Neither is it with real amps of course. But at least you have something that will probably outlive you, where with software, the company may or may not be in business five years from now. I hate software anything compared to something that I can drop on my foot.

TH
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
trock's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think thats a very well thought out answer and i agree with alot of it

for alot of people like me though, home studio, little ones going to bed early, and amp and mic'ing it just aren't in the cards. So i strive to find the best ITB solution i can that will allow me to write, play and record some great sounds without keeping everyone awake during the 1-2 hours at night i might have

would i love an old AC30 and some great mics and to crank it up? heck yeah.

sadly thats just going to happen now

i will add the Fractal does come with a nice midi interface and software controller so you don't ever have to look at the LCD screen. its nice and big and incredibly tweakable right there on your mac or PC screen.
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Deleted User
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this has been covered pretty well


Guitar Amp Plugins

Best Software Amp Simulator
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
trock's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
don't come boppin in here like that
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trock ➑️
I think thats a very well thought out answer and i agree with alot of it

for alot of people like me though, home studio, little ones going to bed early, and amp and mic'ing it just aren't in the cards. So i strive to find the best ITB solution i can that will allow me to write, play and record some great sounds without keeping everyone awake during the 1-2 hours at night i might have

would i love an old AC30 and some great mics and to crank it up? heck yeah.

sadly thats just going to happen now

i will add the Fractal does come with a nice midi interface and software controller so you don't ever have to look at the LCD screen. its nice and big and incredibly tweakable right there on your mac or PC screen.
Good news about the ability to avoid the LCD!

Yes, understood, I have kids too and can't be cranking an amp at 10 in the evening (nor do I feel like it by that time of night). And I'm on deadlines a lot from ad agencies so I have to use sims to get things done. I am purely talking about "in a perfect world" here, and I know that we many of us cannot really get by without them. I do use the real deal on projects where I have the time to do the tracks at hours of the day when it won't cause the Sheriff to come to the door

Tom
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
trock's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Got ya

ah the perfect world

I keep dreamin its gonna drop by one day
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
oceantracks's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by trock ➑️
Got ya

ah the perfect world

I keep dreamin its gonna drop by one day
Trock, how do you think the Line 6 X3 compares to the various plug ins you've heard? I'm hearing some good things about it....

Tom
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
trock's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey tom

I think the X3 is about the same emulations but that they improved the AD/DA and hardware components of the box. whether or not that translates to better sounds over all i am not sure

I got good sounds with my POD, but where it fell down a lot for me was layering tracks together. even using different sounds to layer say 4 rhythm tracks i would always get some weird phasiness/shrill sounding stuff

this is one area where the fractal has really shined, i can now layer alot of electric guitar tracks and they sound full and meaty now

i almost bought a POD X3 Pro,, but thats when I found out about the Fractal and went that route
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
Factal Axe FX

In reading the responses, and considering my own situation, I have become very interested in the Fractal AXE.
The device creates the sound, and I record the sound.
The company website does not offer that much info.
More, Youtube, other forums and reviews impressed me more.

Question, whey does the company limit the output to 48k digital signal?
Is that a serious limitation for recording a digital signal?
Or do most users simply seek a good analogue signal, and put it into their recording chain?

For now, I will probably continue to work with what I already own, and plan for a Fractal Axe in my future.

Yours,
ES
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
48khz is high enough to do anything. Operating at higher sample rates gives no real returns but eats up a lot of extra space, processor cycles, etc.; see articles on this very site for proof of that. Higher samplerates are pushed primarily by marketing folks at ADAC companies The AXE doesn't have a built-in SRC so it's limited to what its internal processing is, 48khz. But, it does have GREAT ADC on the front end, which is way, way more important than arbitrarily high sample rates. 48khz is sufficient to capture and recreate, that's a point most people miss, an accurate audio signal in the human frequency range. The "tiny snapshots of an analog wave" explanation of sampling is technologically only half the story. There's a lot of cool stuff that goes on to make the "tiny snapshots" in the first place, and then to construct the original waveform from the "snapshots;" it isn't a question of whether you just have enough snapshots or not. There's a heck of a lot more math going on than that
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
I find a pod x3 in combo with a Fender Vibro Champ xd gives a very usable pallette.
It's nice to have a real amp wih a 57 in front of it!
Old 15th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceantracks ➑️
TH1 is good all around but is very glitchy in PT8
Not true...
we released TH1 1.0.2 which fixes problems with PT8 a couple of weeks ago.
πŸ“ Reply

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