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Are software guitatr amp simulators up to speed yet?
Old 29th January 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Are software guitatr amp simulators up to speed yet?

I've been out of the loop, and was just wondering if they've got better?

Cheers
Old 29th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
don't know all of them but i have amplitube and tried others.
so far nothing beats my deluxe reverb with the 50's nos rca tubes.
an sm7 in the grill and an at4033 three feet back.
amplitube does a reasonable job though.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed ➡️
If you want to check out a comparison of them, I am running an ongoing review of them on another site here. I've recently added even more products to it.

I think that X-Gear (the full guitar&bass suite costs $499 from IK, well worth it) is awesome when you learn how to use it, ReValver MkIII is killer (especially so with a $40 additional IR library called Recabinet), and Overloud's TH1 is excellent too. Guitar Rig 3 has amp sound which range from VERY good to mediocre, but the effects, control options, and routing capabilities are really unmatched by anyone at all. Waves GTR Solo is awesome for being free, but if I were paying for Waves GTR 3 I'm not sure if I'd get along with it. I have recently started checking out Studio Devil's Virtual Guitar Amp and Virtual Bass Amp, and I have to say, for the money they are great plugins and should be considered alongside the others if you're after authentic guitar amp tone and don't need a big effects package to go with it. The cabinet sim is basic but effective, but it has a "DI" mode where you can use it with an external cabinet sim (say, the free KeFIR with Recabinet's IRs) and I've done that with great results in my testing so far. I can't get Line6 to call me back so I can't comment on Pod Farm, but hey, Sneap uses it so it's got to have some kind of mojo, right? I'm not a big fan of Line6 modeling in general but it seems like if you work with it you can get some pretty good sounds.

There are also some very good free plugins, usually more basic in their features but some of which have remarkable tones for no money at all. Look into Nick Crowe's Wagner Sharp and Wagner II Sharp; BTE Audio's Juicy77 amp and TubeScreamerSecret pedal plugins; Simulanalog Suite is still good sounding though it's very old now (and the guys who made it are now making Overloud TH1!). Voxengo Boogex 1.5 is flexible and useful, plus it lets you load external IRs for an even greater variety of tones.

123
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
soundrage's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Define "up to speed"

Do you mean comparable to hardware modelers or to the real thing?
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
You can do good work with amp sims, and partiuclarly within the context of the mix they can sound good. But I recently moved up from Amplitube, which I'd put in a LOT of time learning and optimizing, to an Emery Microbaby amp, and I have to say that the difference is substantial. Through a nice mic (Pearman TM-1) into a Great River, then a Distressor, it sounds stunningly nice.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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henge's Avatar
I just got a Fender Vibro champ xd and it sounds and records better than my Pod x3.
SM57 in front of an amp, hard to beat!
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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steelyfan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I was listening to an old mix last night, which i think was a test of mixing 5 different guitar tones out of Guitar Rig , and to my surprise sounded REALLY good. That and FabFilter are the only computer based sounds I use for guitar, for the last couple of years I've been collecting analogue pedals, they sound wonderful, but I've come to realize that a sound is not complete by itself, when it sits in a mix nicely, I judge how it sounds from there. I think it all depends on what your going for, as long as it sounds right, I love it. I think you can make great sounds with alot of pluggins. Just run'em through something with an interesting signal.
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
FredrikCarno's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
imo

IMHO

They're not close to the real deal .. but I'm a guitarist so I'm partial

Nice ac30 from the stoneage turned up really loud nothing beats it. That being said. It's always nice to add tools to the box.. as said above feed it with an interesting signal and see what happens

Last edited by FredrikCarno; 29th January 2009 at 11:35 PM.. Reason: ohh spelling
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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maxpidge's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
listen to AC/DC's new album, sounds good, just like AC/DCheh
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
All this talk, talk, talk, talk, talking gets nobody anywhere. Suffice it to say there are folks like me who whole-heartedly embrace digital and will give you a hundred reasons to use it (even though, speaking for myself, I have over 30 pedals ranging in price from $25 to $400, and my primary amp is a low wattage boutique); and there are those who will turn their nose up at any attempt to model the "magic" of tubes.

Here, this will actually do some good, though.

EM tests software-modeled guitar amps against the real thing

Don't bother posting your results, just listen to the clips, try to guess the real one, and learn something.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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matt82aust's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by henge ➡️
I just got a Fender Vibro champ xd and it sounds and records better than my Pod x3.
SM57 in front of an amp, hard to beat!
How killer is that little amp!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
brutze's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well I think Modellers are really useful and often usable.

But they're not as much fun as moving serious air.
I have real Fenders/Orange/Peavey/Marshall

Love Guitar Rig, Amplitube is very good, Logic Gtr amp "pro" is horrible, Revalver I found unreliable and CPU hogging, Waves-dunno.
One or two of the recordings of the real amps in the test were really unflattering sounding. For people who have no idea about amps/rooms/mics/pres etc. and when time is pushed, modellers offer a quick fix.

Some of the models are REALLY nasty sounding. None of the real amps were that bad. How are you going to know. Use both.

The dynamic quality of real amps in real rooms and how that interacts with the recording system is really lost for me in the sims. You can feel it.
The organic system.

The other proof of the pudding is in the mix. This is where I very often find the simulators to be really lacking. They always sound somehow 2d.
Especially when everything else is real. I always feel as if the sound is somehow cheating me. Like eating fast food. Seems like it tastes good but it's all sugar and salt.

I call it the the Jurassic Park effect.
They Look and move like real dinosaurs should, but somehow...naaa. Not scary enough. Not heavy enough. No depth. King Kong's giant spider fight was scarier (Real Spider).
Mr. Lucas destroyed Star Wars this way. The puppets in the original were better than the CGI. Still holds true today.

I got only 50% right.
So I'll shut up now.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
brutze's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Oh I forgot. I have a POD 2 for sale.
Horrible sounding. Stupid shape. Stupid interface. Nonstandard pedal control (money money money). Nonstandard mounting system(money money money). Noisy. Be my guest. It will sound better when I drop it in the bath to end it all after having had to endure its awfulnessstike
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt82aust ➡️
How killer is that little amp!
It's very very usable. Go check it out!
Old 30th January 2009
  #15
Gear Addict
 
huarez's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I´ve bought the Eleven TDM and I´m quite amazed. I´m a guitarist and I´ve got a nice collection of vintage amps, as well as new gear. Those plugins became much better. But with a decent mic in front of a decent speaker ,
it´s still a huge difference! Where those new ones excell is in Metall.
Hmmm, think, I don´t like emulted guitar amps that much.heh

btw check out recording Very Loud! Most Emuaters are building the sound of a full driven Amp, big difference when it comes to distortion and definition.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
celebritymusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wow - wasn't expecting so many replies when I checked back in.

Cheers guys - I'll start checking out some demo's if they're available.

S
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i honestly like GR3... big step up from GR2, i don't know what changed, but it didn't sound like cardboard anymore

guitar amp pro in logic is better for just 'amping' rhodes or synths and stuff, not on actual guitars... although when i had to i've used it on tracks with no problems
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
js1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agreed ➡️
Don't bother posting your results, just listen to the clips, try to guess the real one, and learn something.
It would help if they did a good job of recording the amp without overloading something. Three times I selected the real amp, then second guessed myself when I was hearing the digital clipping.

But, I get your point. Some of the amps screamed fake, some were good.

js
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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robot gigante's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
My #1 gripe with people that send me stuff to mix are those goddamn grotty amp sim tracks...

I'm to the point where if I hire a guitarist in on a session and he doesn't bring his amp with him or doesn't want to use one of ours then I'll pay him for showing up but he will be fired on the spot...

IOW forget it, I'm sick of wasting my time on crap.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
Agreed's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by js1 ➡️
It would help if they did a good job of recording the amp without overloading something. Three times I selected the real amp, then second guessed myself when I was hearing the digital clipping.

But, I get your point. Some of the amps screamed fake, some were good.

js
Exactly, I don't mean that all of those clips sound tops - quite far from it! But there are some where it is clearly difficult to tell the real deal from the, er, fake deal, and not because the real amp was recorded poorly. The comparison reviewer wasn't doing all that himself, he was helped by a good studio with great gear. I don't think that a quality studio like that is going to make idiot mistakes that invalidate the comparison. Of course he might have done some amateur level matching afterwards which clipped them, but I didn't hear it on my first run through the tracks. Point me to the offending comparison and I'll give it another go.

Heck, I am a reviewer, I work with the very software under comparison for long periods when doing reviews and demos, and I couldn't peg which was which (and had a few surprises when the results came in).

All I mean to say is that in situations where the all-important eyeball-ear relationship is compromised, well, the equation changes.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #21
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jinksdingo's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I got a 40 watt Fender and a Spider II. The Fender sounds better with or without effects into a twin cab.

I must get one of those Champs. This is the 3rd or forth time I have heard a happy studio customer.

I got A'tude and Revalver II. Both are excellent in their own way. Revalver is a CPU hog but damn it has something that is pretty real, especially on cleaner tones. I like how you can import a VST into it.

If I want something CPU lite with no frills but definitely usable and plain fun to use its the freeware Dirthead
To me it sounds way better than DevilAmp but i Like Devil'sBass Amp but its not as good as IK's Ampeg.
Ndzeit VST Guitar Plugins
I'm VSTing it into Revalver II right now and turning off the Cab sim.

I'll try some of the others mentioned one day soon
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
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robot gigante's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I got a vintage Champ as well. It's nasty! heh
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
Max The Dog's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The point i think most people may miss when considering amp plug-ins is not so much how they sound solo'd and not even how 1 track sounds in a mix, but how a bunch of tracks sound in a mix. I feel that they are fine on 1 or 2 tracks and even nice for a change of pace. However, if your going to have a lot of guitar tracks there is something unpleasant about stacking up a bunch of plugin guitar amps. IMO tey don't sound great and if your are trying to make a great sounding recording you should use some amps. I own Amplitube and Guitar Rig 3 and the Logic amp sims. I seldom use them. I guess I must be old.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I can't recommend the Emery Microbaby enough. It's got that vintage Champ vibe in spades and just sounds immaculate, and it's only 1 watt so it's great for recording, and it looks very sexy and you can get them open chassis (which I did) so you can swap tubes around easily for a lot of flexibility from a single amp. It sounds so good it makes my big toe shoot up into my boot.

No sim is going to really duplicate that. I'm a strong believer that you can make good music with whatever you have if you really want to. So I'm not saying that you can't make good music unless you have a boutique amp. I'm just addressing the narrower issue of the sound of the two. The Microbaby sounds just heavenly. There's that soft, warm breakup thing that I could never really get to with Amplitube, and that 'distorted but you can clearly hear every string, but at the same time they are completely melded together' thing as well, and that great sag when you slam a chord with it cranked.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #25
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante ➡️
My #1 gripe with people that send me stuff to mix are those goddamn grotty amp sim tracks...

I'm to the point where if I hire a guitarist in on a session and he doesn't bring his amp with him or doesn't want to use one of ours then I'll pay him for showing up but he will be fired on the spot...
.
I agree completely.

Its pretty funny, I am re-mixing a record this week for some one. kind of an alt country thing. They recorded the guitar direct and used plug in amp sims on them. I was mixing the first track on the album and the artist said "what ever you did on the guitars is great, they sound so much better" I had just by passed the amp sim and did some analog EQ and compression on the track.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
David Robinson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hi,
try the TH1 demo.
DR9.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
H-Rezz's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think nothing sounds like a recorded amp , especially when someone has their sound together , there is a sense of solidity there that i don't hear from amp sims no matter how good and deceptive they might be , but i understand the reason why people use them! I try and keep em as much as i can to quick demo's .......... one thing i really hate about amp sims is the artificial sounding string slides from chord to chord .....YMMV
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Chaellus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
are they up to speed..unfortunatly not....
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Take the EM challenge

As the EM article said, I found a big difference between the clean/semi-clean sounds and the distortion sounds. Easy to tell the difference on clean sounds, much harder to tell the difference on distorted ones. I got 3 of 6; and had the real amp as the second choice on 2 other (distorted) sounds. But on those the modeled amp sounded better.

There's a whole other issue for players with response, latency, touch sensitivity, etc. But sound-wise there has been a big improvement.

Philo
Old 1st February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Mortal Engines's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have Amplitube Jimi Hendrix and the GearBox Gold bundle, and while I liked the utility they offer (and they DO sound pretty good), I always found myself working really hard to get the guitars to stand out in the mix when I recorded them. I got a good deal on a Fender Champion 600 and a Radial ToneBone Tri-Mode pedal and honestly, I like that better than either of the sims I have. I don't know if it is more versatile but, I would rather have 3 or 4 GREAT sounds than 600 just okay sounds any day. I liked the GearBox's tape delay and a couple of the stomp box emulations and would use them more if the the GearBox wasn't such a CPU hog (even with just a single pedal and no amp or cabinet in line). I don't find that I use either very much (if at all) anymore.
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