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Is Digital Amp modeling the future of guitar tone?
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #61
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike P ➡️
Let me know when that happens. Until then, it's a pipe dream at best and speculation at worst.

How can you say it's mere speculation when every 10th or so guitarist (usually the better ones) on youtube is using some form of a pod or another to connect their guitars to their computers?

Maybe they aren't common to the super rich folks here at gearslutz, but the kids these days are eating these pods up. Kids are used to having instant record and decent tones at one touch, and then they grow up and dive in to the technical aspect of it and thus (I hate that word!) it becomes a standard.

The new generation of music lovers are growing up with a cell phone in one hand and on the computer messing around. So they think digital stuff is super cool and prefer the flexibility of software and ability to edit/manipulate at a touch and record and jam with themselves.

If you were to give a kid these days a vintage amp, they'd probably think it was crap because it's so one dimensional and impractical. "where's the distortion?? where's the metronome? tuner at least? how am I supposed to play this thing late at night and record?? ...I have to buy a mic and a 'preamp' to record a riff?"
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #62
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➡️
People use digital pianos for convenience. But every pianist touring at a high level uses a real grand - elton, tori, ms keys, even Jamie cullum. The digital piano is better than the alternative (the ropey house piano) but it's a choice made through necessity, not desire.

I like amp modellers as flavour, but for core tone I prefer amps, like most guitarists. I'd rather play live in a band with one good tone rather than a boxful of average ones, but I can see their place for covers, tributes and so on.

Technology isn't always the answer. Playing a digital piano feels nothing like a real piano, it'd the same for modelling amps and computer based sims. That musical response can't be emulated without weight and size of instrument, hence the reason real players aspire to real instruments. You don't see violinists aspiring to digital violins in place of their strads do you?!
Yeah but what if the traditional piano is completely out of you price range for one and not necessarily your favorite sound or prefer a variety of sounds and the flexibility to create different styles of modern music?

Apocalyptica is using pickups and different effects on their tones, so that's basically one step closer to merging it with the digital world.

And the reason why the big names still use pianos is because they can afford it and they enjoy the status it brings and the people enjoy the classic good looks of a grand piano. If they played the songs on a lap size Micheal Jackson Casio even with every drop of soul and heart they had, the reaction would probably be underwhelming. It's a matter of status and crowd or public expectations.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #63
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Most musicians don't like to admit it, but status and sex appeal play a huge role in the whole appeal to why they buy masculine or flashy looking instruments and flashy looking gear.

For example I've played drums for a few bands and I would use my electronic kick drum for the live shows. And as you all know the ekick is very compact and portable. I loved it, it was super light and responsive and it sounded great... However the crowd wasn't so much in to it because it was almost as if I was a magician revealing his secrets or somehow disrespecting the traditional look of a drum set. It wasn't very accepted at the shows I played, but I'm sure if I would've installed it in to a shell of a bass drum then people wouldn't have noticed.
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Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #64
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod ➡️
"I know of many guitarists who are already doing this live with excellent results!"

I doubt very much that you can name a well known professional guitarist who is doing this. I think you should make it clear that you are refering to local club gigging guitarists. Just saying...
Actually the AxeFX is used by many big names on tour. Dweezil Zappa - Pettrucci's B-rig, Steve Vai's B-rig, there's a list on the AxeFX site somewhere...

Lots of these people have endorsement deals with amp manufacturers so sometimes they can a little elusive on what's actually being used.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #65
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod ➡️
"If you want a unit that sounds and feels like a tube amp and speaker cab then the AxeFX II does that now."

See blow up doll comment above.
You're being ignorant I'm afraid. Play an AxeFX II sometime - you will change your mind.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #66
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
https://sites.google.com/a/inrerockn...attredirects=0
A taster...

All guitars AxeFX II (Trainwreck model I believe)
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #67
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Anyone actually thinks that the future would be replacing the real thing for some kind of devices trying to sound like the real thing? Forever? This sounds kinda over optimistic.

I've tried anything since the days the POD was out a few years ago, many of these current things and software intended to sound like amps and anything in between. Many hybrid or modeling amps too. Nothing comes close to the real things. Just put them side by side. plug your guitar and check by yourselves. You may like the digital emulators better than real amps, of course. Some are happy and pleased enough with MP3s too. Weird things actually happen.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #68
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
Yous guys are so lazy! I don't mind taking a rig to any gig. I can make it as big or small as I like.

Tiny rooms = Fender Champ modified to 12 watts.

Medium room = 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb, modified to 80 watts. Hello!

Big room = 100 watt showman head, not too heavy or large to move.

Huge room = 120 watt Basson Sound stack w/ 480 watt 4x12 cab.

I have several cabs to choose from too. If I want to move air and not my back, the 100 watt Showman head with a small 1x12 Thiel cab with a Eminence Tonker will rattle your world. Easily heard 10 blocks away, it's been "tested".

PS, for bass and solid state guitar amps multiply this figure by 2 or 3 to coupe up with guitar tube amps.

Loading in my amp is like a relief pitcher running to the mound, it's a warm-up act. Better that than ANY cheesy simulator, I don't do cheese.
I don't find the need for amps bigger than 30 or 30 some watts in any situation. And they don't need to be too big or super heavy. 100 watters were born when the PA was just another amp for the vocal mics placed side by side with the instrument amps on stage. Those bands played big gigs just with their amps. Even in front of 20,000 crowds just with the band's backline and nothing else back in the '60s. 100 watts and beyond was a real need those days. Currently most shows in the world happen in under 3000 people rooms and have powerful PAs, monitors, etc... No actual need for those big old amps anymore. Maybe 30 years back the guys wanted to be heard 10 blocks away playing with their bare amps. Do we really need this nowadays?

I work as a full time live engineer. It's always funny seen guys carrying 100 watters around and playing them set either at ridiculously low volumes or crazy loud. Sometimes ridiculously low for real, so the amps barely develop any decent tone, and sometimes so loud that everyone else but the player (from their band mates to the engineers) is complaining about the stage volume because nobody can hear themselves, only guitar. Don't you know that typical sentence? -"Hey, I'm not loud. My volume is only on 3.5!" Makes any sense? 30 some watters will cover any kind of show. From huge stages to small clubs... they may be even too loud for small clubs if setup by the sweet spot... Time for half power. Not kidding. It works every time.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #69
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi ➡️
OK - i'll bite ...

Fact is: audiences have been fooled by towers of amps and speakers for generations now. How often have the big name players had gear on stage as props for show (probably endorsement deals), and the *real* sound comes from a small amp under the stage. (IIRC, I believe AC/DC, Neil Young, Stones etc have done this and it's fairly well documented).

I fully understand the visual fashion statement thing: that's another subject, for another day in another forum.

But music is about the performance, and gear is just gear that has a job to do and not get in the way.

The future of guitar has to be wireless - even for recording. Cables suck, and the EMI environment is only going to get worse. Assuming we stay with magnetic pups (big assumption) then the electronics need to be housed inside a faraday cage. If the signal could go direct to a high quality A/D, and then be transmitted digitally via wireless we could avoid a lot of problems both on stage and in the studio. Recording to a DAW and reamping later would be a breeze - no need for DI, Preamp etc.

A tube amp is a very simple electronic device, and the behaviour of each component can be modeled extremely accurately. The fact is, right at the moment, CPUs are not grunty enough to model more than maybe a single stage. The algorithmns are heavily compromised, and the developers are very aware of this. If they had more CPU, they could get closer to the real interaction of all the components.

Crystal ball gazing: in 5 years time, you'll have guitar amp software that allows you to experiment with the actual circuit design. You'll be able to replace resistors, capacitors, tubes - even transformers. The sound will be indistinguishable from the real circuits in blind A/B tests - and you'll be able to remove the annoying features such as hiss & hum (or maximise them if you take perverse pleasure in these things).

Give it time ... it's going to happen. And you'll love it. And besides, you won't be able to afford real tubes anyway.

The amp modeling & FX may as well be on board the guitar, where you can tweak it. Optionally. Because in many applications it would be better to send a dry mono signal. But with wireless digital - you could have options for all applications.

I can also see the integration of personal monitoring, and vocal/instrument/backing track/training/recording features all being built into guitars.

We need designers with a new aesthetic to make this stuff be cool.
You're insane. And uninformed.

Nice try.
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Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #70
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
How can you say it's mere speculation when every 10th or so guitarist (usually the better ones) on youtube is using some form of a pod or another to connect their guitars to their computers?

Maybe they aren't common to the super rich folks here at gearslutz, but the kids these days are eating these pods up. Kids are used to having instant record and decent tones at one touch, and then they grow up and dive in to the technical aspect of it and thus (I hate that word!) it becomes a standard.

The new generation of music lovers are growing up with a cell phone in one hand and on the computer messing around. So they think digital stuff is super cool and prefer the flexibility of software and ability to edit/manipulate at a touch and record and jam with themselves.

If you were to give a kid these days a vintage amp, they'd probably think it was crap because it's so one dimensional and impractical. "where's the distortion?? where's the metronome? tuner at least? how am I supposed to play this thing late at night and record?? ...I have to buy a mic and a 'preamp' to record a riff?"
Really?

tutt

Has this site become completely overrun by amateurs?

If so, how quaint.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #71
Lives for gear
 
Alex Breaux's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
This thread pisses me off even more then the plugin vs. analogue thread.

Eleven is great for when I'm traveling and I cant bring my studio with me so I can throw some rough drafts down on my laptop. But....... Other then that eleven, axefx, the line 6 stuff, etc. sucks. There is no comparison to the real thing.

If you think that there is a comparison, you should not be an engineer and especially not a guitarist.

Wouldn't it be convenient to not lug your 4x12 to gigs? NO. Go to the damn gym cause your a lazy ass.

Whats up with people these days trying to do less and less work?!?!?!
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #72
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
I think this is a subjective choice really. It comes down to whether or not you care about your tone and doing it for real. Musicians are facing these choices all the time these days. Its like, do I decide to use samples or learn a real instrument? Do I decide to use Reason & synth presets or buy an analog synth and program it myself? Do i download mp3s or buy vinyl?

To me the people who do it for real and have the talent are always going to win out in terms of tone, musicianship, tactile satisfaction and on-stage vibe.

Who cares what "the kids" are allegedly doing these days or whether it's popular?

As a wise engineer told me once "you can run with the turkeys if you want".
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Old 5th October 2011
  #73
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
Most musicians don't like to admit it, but status and sex appeal play a huge role in the whole appeal to why they buy masculine or flashy looking instruments and flashy looking gear.

For example I've played drums for a few bands and I would use my electronic kick drum for the live shows. And as you all know the ekick is very compact and portable. I loved it, it was super light and responsive and it sounded great... However the crowd wasn't so much in to it because it was almost as if I was a magician revealing his secrets or somehow disrespecting the traditional look of a drum set. It wasn't very accepted at the shows I played, but I'm sure if I would've installed it in to a shell of a bass drum then people wouldn't have noticed.
Depends on the size of show. Small shows it would sound terrible - no acoustic sound, all through the PA. Bigger shows it might work better, but only when the audience isn't really hearing any onstage sound.
Old 5th October 2011
  #74
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
Sure but think of the power of software... Imagine learning how to play the blues and it lets you know when you're fingers aren't in the right position or you aren't strumming properly for example. Proper error correction is what a good teacher can teach you that a youtube video can't.

You can watch educational satriani videos all you want but if you don't practice it, and have someone coach, inspire and error correct you, then you'll probably won't get *that much better at playing guitar. If you play with musicians who are bright and creative and know different tricks than you and vice versa, then you sponge off each other.
Lazy kids who need that sort of hand holding and can't be bothered or aren't into it enough to figure out and want to improve won't ever be "great". Anyone really into it will figure out what they're doing wrong and work past the problems.

I don't know if you've ever worked in education, but if someone isn't interested in learning, it makes the job of teaching them a whole lot harder. For something they HAVE to learn, you just plough through it. But fir something extra-curricular like playing music that someone should be doing for fun, all the extra help in the world won't stop the guitar being left in the corner once the kid is bored with it. Only those really into it will continue - and for them, the tuition aids are there.
Old 5th October 2011
  #75
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
Yeah but what if the traditional piano is completely out of you price range for one and not necessarily your favorite sound or prefer a variety of sounds and the flexibility to create different styles of modern music?

Apocalyptica is using pickups and different effects on their tones, so that's basically one step closer to merging it with the digital world.

And the reason why the big names still use pianos is because they can afford it and they enjoy the status it brings and the people enjoy the classic good looks of a grand piano. If they played the songs on a lap size Micheal Jackson Casio even with every drop of soul and heart they had, the reaction would probably be underwhelming. It's a matter of status and crowd or public expectations.
I think you've kind of missed the point. No-one is really saying it's bad to use an amp modeler instead of a real amp, or a digital piano instead of a real one.

Just that in an ideal world, we aspire to the real thing. The emulation isn't sonically better, it's just more convenient and cheaper. As someone rises in their field, they generally aspire to better sound quality and can afford to pay the price financially and in terms of convenience.

It's a good parallel with the mixing world. Generally those starting out have an itb setup. Those at the top generally have a full otb setup with 2 assistants and the room to make it worthwhile. Those of us somewhere in the middle often have some sort of hybrid setup. Most traditional engineers would love a full otb setup but the expense and inconvenience outweighs the sonic benefits.

The significant difference is that mixing is much less of a performance than playing an instrument - there's no resonances or feedback from a physical mixing console, in the same way as there is from a piano or guitar amp.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #76
Deleted fece643
Guest
Seems like this is just another thread based upon subjectivity. Use what you like and what sounds good. If sound wasn't subjective there would only be one type of music, guitar, amp, mic, piano, etc................... the conclusion to this thread is there won't be a conclusion just circular debate. I have played guitar for 39 years, own a bunch of guitars, amps and an Axe-Fx Ultra for the past 2 1/2 years and still dig it.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #77
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
for smaller venues (less than 1000 capacity) amp modeling would be a good choice. In those venues, the biggest problem are blaring amps which are picked up by 20 mics and are deafening the first rows of the audience because they are exactly in ear-height. Ask any FOH-mixer and most will agree.

On big venues it doesn't matter that much. Stuff is set up by the techs anyway. Truckspace is no issue because lighting, rigging, PA etc. take up more space than amps. Although pro touring doesn't really help tube-amps either. Some play very reliably, some not (had many problems with Framus amps over the last year. 3 failed in one year. Sucks even with endorsement).

Some big touring acts use modeling soultion, believe it or not. All the full-stacks you see might be used or not. No way to know unless you know the git-techs personally. Hint: Just because the lamp is on and a mic is in front, it does not mean it's used.)

Bottom line, IMO most amateurs and gear-freaks don't WANT to like modeling.
In the pro-tier, people are more flexible because the pure tone of one amp is just one little part in the whole picture.
It will get used more. It's just too practical. It's the same as with digital desks. The big live-desks are dying like the flies.

Of course, a band like QOTSA will probably kill you if you suggest to them a modeling solution. You have to know your clients..

I am a pro backliner for major bands here in Europe, so I really know what I'm talking about.

Ah, @ Jim Williams: Anything more than 30-50 watts is never needed. Any venue-size. Even stadium shows.
You know that they use PAs nowadays, right?
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #78
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snap ➡️
Anyone actually thinks that the future would be replacing the real thing for some kind devices trying to sound like the real thing? Forever? This sounds kinda over optimistic.

I've tried anything since the days the POD was out a few years ago, many of these current things and software intended to sound like amps and anything in between. Many hybrid or modeling amps too. Nothing comes close to the real things. Just put them side by side. plug your guitar and check by yourselves. You may like the digital emulators better than real amps, of course. Some are happy and pleased enough with MP3s too. Weird things actually happen.
Did guitarist ever expect to see software that can mimic their hardware? No! Did studios and mixing engineers ever think you'd be able to produce an entire album on a laptop? Gear is being phased out whether you want to accept it or not. As technology advances, it will continue to phase out. Can you imagine how small a studio is going to be in the next 50 years? Can you imagine the processing power and size of a laptop then? You people aren't looking far enough into the future. As long as human beings exist, technology will keep advancing, and your precious gear will soon fade away with its advancements.
By looking at technological trends, it doesn't seem far fetched for some of the big piano manufacturers (Steinway, Bosdendorfer, Yamaha, etc) to jump on the bandwagon if they want to retain their profits. When sampling was able fit a piano sound into a small, 40 lb rompler that was a huge advancement...and most people have electric pianos in their houses than actual pianos, why? You think the trend would reverse? Of course not! Don't be silly, it won't be too long before we reach a point where no one can hear the difference between a real piano and an emulated one. We're practically at that point already.

Okay, so you want to go on tour with a real looking piano? No problem. Don't be surprised to see a huge grand on stage, with Steinway printed on the front, but the actual sound is not of hammers hitting strings, but of computers processing data. Manufacturers will start making pianos that look real, but are actually emulations simply for novelty effect alone. Of course, there will always be the collectibles; the rare pianos still in existent that people will want to have simply for the novelty of it. But don't expect your gear to be the norm, they'll be the minority. Software will be the norm!
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #79
Lives for gear
 
Ward Pike's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Most everybody wants a magic box. A panacea. Instant gratification. The easy way out.

Yeah, right on. I'll keep on swimming against the current. Maybe I don't beat those magic boxes all the time, but when I do, I get something that was worth the effort.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #80
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
Sure but think of the power of software... Imagine learning how to play the blues and it lets you know when you're fingers aren't in the right position or you aren't strumming properly for example. Proper error correction is what a good teacher can teach you that a youtube video can't.

You can watch educational satriani videos all you want but if you don't practice it, and have someone coach, inspire and error correct you, then you'll probably won't get *that much better at playing guitar. If you play with musicians who are bright and creative and know different tricks than you and vice versa, then you sponge off each other.

What about heart and feel? Even the worlds most powerful supercomputers can't compensate for the human feel/factor. Using your method, you would have cookie cutter guitarist with no soul or heart to their playing (Go to your local Guitar Center if you like that crap). Would you really be happy with that? Do you think music as a whole would be better off? Please give me your address, I am going to mail you a blow-up doll
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #81
Lives for gear
 
Bassmec's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Lightbulb Umm!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
for smaller venues (less than 1000 capacity) amp modeling would be a good choice. In those venues, the biggest problem are blaring amps which are picked up by 20 mics and are deafening the first rows of the audience because they are exactly in ear-height. Ask any FOH-mixer and most will agree.

On big venues it doesn't matter that much. Stuff is set up by the techs anyway. Truckspace is no issue because lighting, rigging, PA etc. take up more space than amps. Although pro touring doesn't really help tube-amps either. Some play very reliably, some not (had many problems with Framus amps over the last year. 3 failed in one year. Sucks even with endorsement).

Some big touring acts use modeling soultion, believe it or not. All the full-stacks you see might be used or not. No way to know unless you know the git-techs personally. Hint: Just because the lamp is on and a mic is in front, it does not mean it's used.)

Bottom line, IMO most amateurs and gear-freaks don't WANT to like modeling.
In the pro-tier, people are more flexible because the pure tone of one amp is just one little part in the whole picture.
It will get used more. It's just too practical. It's the same as with digital desks. The big live-desks are dying like the flies.

Of course, a band like QOTSA will probably kill you if you suggest to them a modeling solution. You have to know your clients..

I am a pro backliner for major bands here in Europe, so I really know what I'm talking about.

Ah, @ Jim Williams: Anything more than 30-50 watts is never needed. Any venue-size. Even stadium shows.
You know that they use PAs nowadays, right?
They in the last paragraph is in fact probably us.
it seems what responsibility for a musicians sonic performance is now to be defined by presets. I haven't heard a a sans amp VT modeled bass rig with a light weight power amp sound anything like a classic SVT on full beans yet.
PA will always be sound reinforcement to me, its not really suitable for sound genesis, Too much modeling generally has the tonality of the wedding band version to me. So Far!
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #82
Lives for gear
 
decocco's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattvdh ➡️
Maybe they aren't common to the super rich folks here at gearslutz, but the kids these days are eating these pods up...
Dude, I am FAR from super rich. The federal government considers me poor. However, I own multiple pianos, guitars, tube amps, and other instruments of various types. I am a musician. My wife is a musician. We make music with real instruments. There is NO substitute for the real thing. Hell, I have a decent tape machine in my home studio. I have these tools because there is no substitute. NONE. There are only other tools.

FWIW I have used plenty of PODs alongside real amps on recordings. It is not a replacement for the real thing. Not even close.

You owe it to yourself to get out and experience the real thing.
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Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #83
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnieRice ➡️
You're being ignorant I'm afraid. Play an AxeFX II sometime - you will change your mind.
Not ignorant at all. I first heard AxeFX II sound clips on their web site and on many, many YouTube clips. It sounds like a PODx3. Since I don't have a local AxeFX dealer, I compared the AxeFX ll clips to PODx3 clips going through my studio converters & monitors. They both have that lifeless Hi-Fi tone about them. Real amp clips on the other hand had life and personality. Also, don't confuse effects with raw tube amp tone. The AxeFx has a lot of ear candy in terms of effects. With the effects turned off the unit sounds like a$$.

Is the AxFX ll worth $1800 more than the PodX3? Hell no! Kudos to Fractal Audio systems for their clever marketing though. Waiting list, impressive list of guitar players on their site, etc. (some are PAID endorsers no doubt). But at $2600 for the unit plus another $750 for the foot controller, $3350 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay for mediocre. It also negates the original posters comments about cheaper alternatives for younger guitarists.

If you truly cannot tell the difference between a real amp and a modeler such as the AXFX ll, then by all means, knock yourself out. I just know that if the AxFx ll is the "best" out there, I'll have to pass. To my ears the difference is not subtle. No doubt the convenience factor is nice, but I'd rather not pay $3.3k for that "convenience".

That being said, when and if amp modelers reach a point where I cannot tell the difference, I will be the first to jump on the band wagon. Call me old fashioned but I like the good old days when music fidelity/quality took priority over convenience.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #84
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by kosmokrator ➡️
I am a pro backliner for major bands here in Europe, so I really know what I'm talking about.

Ah, @ Jim Williams: Anything more than 30-50 watts is never needed. Any venue-size. Even stadium shows.
You know that they use PAs nowadays, right?
Yes, and most club systems sound like crap too. I prefer my amp to fill the room rather than a crappola PA with blown speakers, inept operators and ear piercing horns.

It's proportional, always. No, I'm not the loudest guy on stage, it's well mixed. If the system sounds like ass (I do check it out with other acts playing) I'll kick over that beer soaked Mexican SM57 set up to my speakers and fill out the room with MY system instead. No, it won't be louder, just better. I'm a player that incorporates feedback into my playing style. I am an accomplished guitarist and my rig allows me to obtain my sounds with any of my amps (except the Champ). They always sound best not reproduced with a PA, but natural and live.

What pisses me off is some egomanic sound mixer telling everyone on stage to be quiet as a mouse while they, the all important "man behind the curtain" will make it all sound beautiful. First thing they do is push the kick drum 6 db hotter than anything else. Then they start adding all sorts of weird EQ and effects when we are never asked if we want it.

Yes, I have worked with some of the best in the live sound field. Some are really excellent, but rare. Top notch mixers realize it's not them, but the act they must present in the best light. To that end they work with the arteests to obtain a consensus and agreement. Many times loud amps are used with touring acts. I saw Neal Schon locally at the "Belly Up" and he used a 100 watter into a 4x12 and it satisfied him and the crowd. I was glad I brought my earplugs, but I'm smart enough to wear them too when I play.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #85
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile ➡️
Did guitarist ever expect to see software that can mimic their hardware? No! Did studios and mixing engineers ever think you'd be able to produce an entire album on a laptop? Gear is being phased out whether you want to accept it or not. As technology advances, it will continue to phase out. Can you imagine how small a studio is going to be in the next 50 years? Can you imagine the processing power and size of a laptop then? You people aren't looking far enough into the future. As long as human beings exist, technology will keep advancing, and your precious gear will soon fade away with its advancements.
I know exactly how big a "studio" will be in the next 50 years - exactly the same size control and live rooms, because unless we suddenly discover how to trap bass in a way that contravenes the current laws of physics, it'll be impossible to make a small room that's as flat as a larger well designed control room. the actual EQUIPMENT might be smaller, but you can't capture a drum kit in a room smaller than the kit itself!

Like many on this thread, you're confusing miniaturisation with sonic improvement. Of course, things will get more convenient, more affordable, and so on. Whether these improvements will sound any better is debatable - whilst it's possible to mix an album on a laptop, it's much harder than doing it with a "real" studio, and arguably most people mixing on laptops don't produce top level product. It's better than portastudios of yesteryear, but it's not better than the top level product, of either yesteryear or today's studios. Just because a load of guys are recording using pods, USB mics and mixing on earbuds, doesn't make good product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile ➡️
By looking at technological trends, it doesn't seem far fetched for some of the big piano manufacturers (Steinway, Bosdendorfer, Yamaha, etc) to jump on the bandwagon if they want to retain their profits. When sampling was able fit a piano sound into a small, 40 lb rompler that was a huge advancement...and most people have electric pianos in their houses than actual pianos, why? You think the trend would reverse? Of course not! Don't be silly, it won't be too long before we reach a point where no one can hear the difference between a real piano and an emulated one. We're practically at that point already.
Yes - as far as for recording. I'll play back a recording, and you won't be able to tell if it's a real piano or a sampled one. However, sit me down in front of a real piano and an electric piano in a real piano body, and I'll be able to tell you instantly, because one will feel like an instrument, and the other like a recording. Hence real instruments will always be more popular for musicians, and will produce better performances, regardless of whether economics dictate it's always available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile ➡️
Okay, so you want to go on tour with a real looking piano? No problem. Don't be surprised to see a huge grand on stage, with Steinway printed on the front, but the actual sound is not of hammers hitting strings, but of computers processing data. Manufacturers will start making pianos that look real, but are actually emulations simply for novelty effect alone. Of course, there will always be the collectibles; the rare pianos still in existent that people will want to have simply for the novelty of it. But don't expect your gear to be the norm, they'll be the minority. Software will be the norm!
If you're going to bother carrying a mock-real piano around, you might as well carry the real deal! Actually, what you describe sort of happens already - tori amos for example has a piano with midi wired up to it. On the loud songs, she's playing and feeling a real piano but the sound is a synthesiser (to get better clarity and separation). On the quieter songs, it's mics on the real piano. But in both situations, the performer is playing a real instrument.

Likewise with guitars - guitar cabs ARE the sound of an electric guitar, and they're a physical object - there's no way to shrink a speaker that has to be 12" for acoustical reasons. So you might as well just carry a tube amp if that's the sound you like. Many bands don't WANT a multitude of options of guitar sounds live, regardless of what happens in the studio. They want a unified band sound for the entire gig.

This is turning into such a divide between those looking for convenience and those more concerned with standards! just because something's newer or more technically advanced, doesn't make it better. Technology can be great (looking forward to trying my new iRig adaptor for the iphone for late night practice) but I'm not intending to use it in the studio!
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Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #86
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
i do a lot of touring and recording and have gotten to a point where i use both real and plug-in amps a lot, so i feel like i can throw my hat into this argument. (and so it's known, my opinions come from playing/recording rock mostly)

as a touring musician, i prefer the real thing. getting feedback is essential, and there's just something lacking when you don't feel the air coming off a cab onstage. even though i use in-ear monitors, there's a lack of energy when a loud amp isn't trying to force it's way into your ears. i learned this not by having used amp simulators on stage, but from doing a tour with a dummy cab set-up. i'll never not have my cab in front of me again.

my band did a tour with fall out boy once where they used no cabs. all amp simulators straight into the board. while i was jealous because of the money they saved on cartage, it looked kind of strange on stage, and to me didn't sound great. but of course there could be many factors as to why it didn't sound great (their guitars, their modeler and its settings, their FOH guy, etc...). anyway that's my stance as a live musician.

as for recording, sure it's always more unique and fun to mic up an amp because there won't be any exact model for what your doing right there, but to say that plug-ins can't be very convincing and useful is silly. i've done several recordings in the past year that combine real and plug-in amps, and i guarantee no one could pick out which is which at any point. they've come a long way with these plug-ins. someone earlier said if you think there's a comparison you shouldn't be an engineer, which is the most laughably dickish thing i've read in awhile. a good engineer can easily make a plug-in amp sound like the real thing. they may not be suitable for everything, but the same can be said for any real amp. it's using whichever tool works at the moment that is important. i think everyone of us has that story about how the ****tiest, most seemingly useless piece of gear ended up producing the coolest sound. that's why those blanket arguments against plug-ins (or anything involved with recording) are so silly to me.

while i have the same complaint about lack of feedback while recording with plug-in amps, being able to record into the night in places where there would normally be a noise cut-off, being able to be up and running to lay down an idea quickly (and even perfect the tone later), and being able to recreate an exact tone months later are all huge bonuses. again, not saying they work for everything, cause they don't (and i doubt there will ever be a total takeover of real amps), but they are another useful tool in the box for sure, just like a rebox or a marshall half stack.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #87
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey ➡️
I know exactly how big a "studio" will be in the next 50 years - exactly the same size control and live rooms, because unless we suddenly discover how to trap bass in a way that contravenes the current laws of physics, it'll be impossible to make a small room that's as flat as a larger well designed control room. the actual EQUIPMENT might be smaller, but you can't capture a drum kit in a room smaller than the kit itself!
Don't be ridiculous. We're talking about virtual emulation, and this is what I'm talking about. Not recording space, not acoustic treatment, not monitors, not any of that. In the 80s and even the 90s NO STUDIO would have thought that one day, people may be able to churn out an entire album in their bedrooms with nearly none of the equipment in a studio, regardless of the quality. I'm not discussing quality of the album or any other thing you feel to nitpick that's not part of the initial subject of this thread.

Quote:
Like many on this thread, you're confusing miniaturisation with sonic improvement. Of course, things will get more convenient, more affordable, and so on. Whether these improvements will sound any better is debatable - whilst it's possible to mix an album on a laptop, it's much harder than doing it with a "real" studio, and arguably most people mixing on laptops don't produce top level product. It's better than portastudios of yesteryear, but it's not better than the top level product, of either yesteryear or today's studios. Just because a load of guys are recording using pods, USB mics and mixing on earbuds, doesn't make good product.
Doesn't necessarily make bad product either. Experience, knowledge and skill makes the product for the most part. And this good/bad output is subjective. I'm not discussing that.

Quote:
Yes - as far as for recording. I'll play back a recording, and you won't be able to tell if it's a real piano or a sampled one. However, sit me down in front of a real piano and an electric piano in a real piano body, and I'll be able to tell you instantly, because one will feel like an instrument, and the other like a recording. Hence real instruments will always be more popular for musicians, and will produce better performances, regardless of whether economics dictate it's always available.
What I put in bold is exactly the point; the end result, the final output, what the consumer hears. You won't be able to tell the difference. The rest of your argument lacks logic. 20 or 50 years from now, do you really think if they put a sampled/physical modelled piano processor into a grand and closed the lid, you'd be able to tell without lifting up the lid? By that time, you won't even need sampling! Have you heard physical modelling lately? Can you imagine the precision and dimension of it in the next 50 years? Really...think about what you're saying. I doubt ANYONE would be able to tell difference when that time comes. Most people (especially people who aren't very familiar with pianos) won't even be able to tell the difference today!

Quote:
If you're going to bother carrying a mock-real piano around, you might as well carry the real deal!
You know why you'd carry a mock around? Because it will be cheaper and lighter than tugging around a real piano, with real strings, hammers and pounds of hand crafted wood and mechanics inside of it. You'd carry it around for novelty.

She says she feels like she always has her piano with her, thanks to sampling (we haven't even touched physical modelling on this piano yet). She can carry it around with her on a flash drive, hook it up to a hammer-action MIDI controller and she's set. Is she just talking for marketing? Maybe, I won't doubt that. But can I see it being true, especially 50 years from now? Very much so! Did you hear what she said about her album "the Element of Freedom"? She used that piano on her entire album. Why am I highlighting that? Because the end result is the only result that matters. It doesn't matter how you get it INTO the mixer, what matters is what's coming OUT of it. So yes, I can see professionals doing this in the future. It's convenient, it's economical, it's fast, it's smart! Once the sound is right, most of them won't care. The only thing that may be the deciding factor for them is the action on the keybed. I know musicians are typically picky about this. It can sound like 10 thousand stereo grands mixed to perfection, but if it doesn't feel or behave authentically in their hands and fingers, they don't want it. Do not get me wrong. I have nothing against real pianos/amps or any gear for that matter. I love gear, I horde gear. I'll be one of the old guys with collectible gear that most people may not see the need for, simply because I like the originals and how the originals feel. But the future of music is undeniable!

Quote:
Actually, what you describe sort of happens already - tori amos for example has a piano with midi wired up to it. On the loud songs, she's playing and feeling a real piano but the sound is a synthesiser (to get better clarity and separation). On the quieter songs, it's mics on the real piano. But in both situations, the performer is playing a real instrument.
I didn't know that. Thanks for that info. But it drives my thinking further, as to why I can see this happening the majority of times in the future, especially when physical modelling has reached the point where authenticity cannot be discerned between synth and actual instrument.

Quote:
Likewise with guitars - guitar cabs ARE the sound of an electric guitar, and they're a physical object - there's no way to shrink a speaker that has to be 12" for acoustical reasons. So you might as well just carry a tube amp if that's the sound you like. Many bands don't WANT a multitude of options of guitar sounds live, regardless of what happens in the studio. They want a unified band sound for the entire gig.
I understand what you're saying, but just because amp sims are out there doesn't mean you have to use them. The actual power from a speaker is something that you can't really simulate. But, you never know what the future holds.

Quote:
This is turning into such a divide between those looking for convenience and those more concerned with standards!
I have no clue what "standards" have to do with this. This is about sound, and to say that right now we can't get good sound out of modelling or will never get that sound in the future is absurd. By that logic, Alicia Keys' album I mentioned before is of low standard. Or, anyone who recorded guitar using amp sims have failed before they start, because the quality will be of a low standard. I'm not sure why that standard issue came about, but we have reached that point in modelling where there's no either or. We don't have to sacrifice quality for convenience, both can be achieved.

Quote:
just because something's newer or more technically advanced, doesn't make it better.
I never said that. Better/standards is subjective and that's not what we're debating. We're discussing capabilities, that is all. Whether it's a sim or the real deal, they both have their pros and cons and none is better than the other. But, I will say, guitar amp modelling is not as precise or developed rather, than piano modelling. Some sims are great, others, not so much. But you don't have that fluctuation with the real deal. You can never get "not so much" with real amps. Virtual amps however, are either good, bad or in between. However, I am certain in the future that won't be the case.

Quote:
Technology can be great (looking forward to trying my new iRig adaptor for the iphone for late night practice) but I'm not intending to use it in the studio!
No one is suggesting or saying that you have to. Use what you like, because at the end of the day, the sim and the actual thing both do the same job. So whatever you like best to accomplish that job, use that.

Again, I'm not implying one is "better" than the other. I'm simply discussing what I think is going to happen in the future where it concerns amp simulation and that is precisely what this thread is about.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #88
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrod ➡️
It sounds like a PODx3. With the effects turned off the unit sounds like a$$.

If you truly cannot tell the difference between a real amp and a modeler such as the AXFX ll, then by all means, knock yourself out.
So you can't tell the difference between an Axe FX II and PODx3? Jesus. Your opinion has no credibility.
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #89
Lives for gear
 
NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnieRice ➡️
https://sites.google.com/a/inrerockn...attredirects=0
A taster...

All guitars AxeFX II (Trainwreck model I believe)

This sounds cool, but maybe not like a real tube amp to me. Still, it sounds good.

My beef with dsp is when distortion comes into play. Particularly for hard rock or metal, that is balls out HEAVY distortion. DSP here, to me is a ballbuster. It never works for me. I have heard some things that sound pretty close, but in real day to day practice, within the context of a mix of real instruments, I cannot ever seem to make it work the way I want.

You can blame this on me, the player, whatever. Until it does produce results for us EVERY time, I will not be gambling the poor client's hourly rate on it.

That said...

I've gotten usable clean tones for years, direct, dsp, whatever.

Doesn't sound like an amp, but is definitely usable.

There are only a few of dirty tones I like in history that didn't use an amp, one being Black Dog by LZ. No dsp involved though.

If you like the sound of dsp emulations, have at it. Release your music, if it's good, people will buy it right?

john
Old 5th October 2011 | Show parent
  #90
Lives for gear
 
Enlightened Hand's Avatar
 
16 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
As far as the Alicia Keys reference goes,...

She's not the greatest pianist first of all and she is selling a product so who knows what she really does.

But she is a great songwriter.
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