The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Softube Vintage Amp Room and Other Amp Modelers
Old 18th June 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Softube Vintage Amp Room and Other Amp Modelers

After using Waves GTR3 for past couple years, I downloaded demos of three amp simulators (Amplitube 3, Softube vintage Amp Room, and Line 6 Pod Farm Platinum) and tested them out last night. I didn't try Guitar Rig yet, but from my experiences with previous demo versions of this software, it's always fallen short.

Being most interested in Vox AC30 and Fender amp sims, I quickly realized that the only of these emulations that had the immediacy of response and dynamics similar to a guitar amp was Vintage Amp Room. As I noticed, its footprint was very small and it was very light on CPU, which I suspect contributed to latency figures lower than Amplitube or Line 6 that in turn translated into instant, more amp -like response. It was that physical aspect of amp response as well as a sense of being right there next to an amp. This was something that, for instance, I find to be seriously lacking in Line 6 emulations. I did like some of the Line 6 effects but as I'm most interested in raw guitar amp sound, it doesn't do me any good if out of 100 included amp emulations, I can't find one that is convincing and usable. In other works, a single convincing emulation of AC30 would do it, all other features being inessential (for me, anyway).

I played with various mic positions in both Vintage Amp Room and Amplitube and found Vintage Amp Room to be superior in this aspect even with its limitations of not having the ability to use multiple mics or to change them. I just couldn't come close to the sound of VAR AC30 when using Amplitube no matter how much I tweaked it.

I would have already been sold on Vintage Amp Room if it wasn't for one problem that I couldn't get around during the testing: I found Vintage Amp Room's amps to have a little usable "headroom" (if one can speak about headroom in a software amp). If, for example, I used an instance of brown (Fender) amp, I had difficulties setting up its volume not to distort (unless set very low), and this distortion was not necessarily organic and amp-like, it was more like unwanted resonances of an amp/cab that had a mechanical problem. On the front end, I use Countryman DI through Daking Preamp, DI input on the Daking Pre, or Countryman DI through EH 12AY7 preamp. My system/card (Samplitude w/Lynx L22) is capable of low latencies

Levels were set up correctly and I didn't notice this problem when using Waves GTR or Amplitube.

I tried three different guitars, and unless I backed out significantly on guitar volume pot, usable headroom was much lower than with other amp sims. These resonances were hard to get around.

Daking Pre and Countryman could hardly be considered low-end, but I was wondering if this may have something to do with impedances of devices I'm using (my technical knowledge here is pretty limited).

I'll play with it more, but I'd like to hear whether other people have noticed anything similar and would also be interested to hear other people's observations regarding newer amp modeling software.

Thanks.
Old 18th June 2010
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Jon Estes's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I agree...both that Vintage Amp Room is amazing, and it breaks up very early on. Try using a trim plugin to keep your levels at around -20db before going into the softube.
Old 18th June 2010 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
I_Hate_Synths's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Estes ➑️
I agree...both that Vintage Amp Room is amazing, and it breaks up very early on. Try using a trim plugin to keep your levels at around -20db before going into the softube.
definitely, at least -10 to -15.

Vintage amp room is by far my favorite amp plugin on the market. So lite, so straight forward, its great!
Old 18th June 2010 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
I agree on Vintage Amp Room.Try also Amplitube Fender, there's a very good Twin in there.
Old 22nd June 2010
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Thank you all for replying!
Jon, thanks a lot for the tip – the trim plug-in was exactly what I needed!
Old 10th March 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
So how do you set such a thing up? I mean... do you go guitar DI > DAW and then as an insert a trim and then amp room?

What do you mean with trim?
Old 22nd February 2012
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I bought Amplitube Fender a while back and been using the Twin model alot. Also have the HiWatt from Custom Shop. I've tried different ampsims and found the Amplitube Twin and HiWatt models to be the best... until yesterday when i got to try Vintage Amp Room again.

The responce of the Vintage Amp Room is from another league. I run bunch of pedals in front of the DAW, same setup as i use when playing live. and I always needed to tweak the pedals with amplitupe to get them anywhere close to the sounds i get with a real amp.
Vintage Amp Room blew me away. Came in straight from rehearsal and plugged my pedalboard in without tweaking any settings on the pedals and wow. I'm in love.

Now im quite sure im gonna buy the Vintage Amp Room, but the plugin is really old. Does anyone have any insight if Softube plans a next version of the soft? Really dont wanna get the current VAR and see a new version coming out after a month...
Old 22nd February 2012
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Jayrawk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Check out scuffham s gear, it's a lot cheaper than vintage amp room and responds and sounds better too. Ymmv, but I doubt it.
Old 23rd February 2012
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Did some further testing with the Softube Vintage Amp Room.
In the mixing stage the Amplitube Twin model still sounded better. The Twins uper frequencies are so detailed and workable, easy to get rid of the fizz but still get a clear sound. VAR has more meat, but the higher frequencies sound one-dimensional in the mix. Should note also that i found only the green (vox) model usable in the VAR.
Guess i can keep the cash.

Downloaded also the scuffham s-gear, but haven't had the time to test it.
Old 26th February 2012 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayrawk ➑️
Check out scuffham s gear, it's a lot cheaper than vintage amp room and responds and sounds better too. Ymmv, but I doubt it.
+1 for S-Gear
Old 3rd March 2012 | Show parent
  #11
Here for the gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwp99 ➑️
+1 for S-Gear
what they said. S-Gear rocks VAR in my opinion.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Sorry I gotta say it, try a real amp, none of these simulators compare to the real thing, unless you don't have a way to record it, or it's loud for where you are, in which case use any simulator and have someone re-amp for you.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I've used guitar rig, vintage amp room and a couple more. At the moment I can honestly say that peavey revalver is winning it for me. Great rock tones and some really nice more subtle sounds too.
Old 3rd March 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
preben's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes, if you can get past the fact that there is no 'brand-name logo' emulations I also think that S-gear is the best currently available.

I own Amplitube Custom with a great selection of classic amps (and still have around 250 credits left on it). It's for sale if you want it. But my S-gear isn't.

For what it's worth 95% of my guitar recording is done with a real amp and cab but for when that isn't possible for whatever reason nowadays I always turn to S-gear.
Old 14th May 2012 | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab ➑️
Sorry I gotta say it, try a real amp, none of these simulators compare to the real thing, unless you don't have a way to record it, or it's loud for where you are, in which case use any simulator and have someone re-amp for you.
Come on - totally missing the point. For the sake of argument, lets disregard the astronomical comparative costs of one good real amp and the cost of all the recording gear you'd need and the difficulty of finding a place where you can turn up loud enough that's also quiet enough to record in (hello NYC traffic)... I'm gonna rant here.

A typical scenario in amp modeling is, listen to a good recording of a good amp in a good sounding room, then go into your software and try to emulate it. You can get pretty damn close, and if you make a couple judgement calls, you can definitely get something that may be a little different from where you started, but still works well in the context of your end product. But what if you flip the scenario? Sit there and get a couple really good sounds with just a couple plugins. Then, go out into the "real world" and try to recreate it. Incidentally, you probably don't own the Matchless Chieftain or the 5150, and you probably don't have a soundproof live room that you can carry around in your laptop case.

In any case, one scenario should be just about as baffling as the other. It's hypocritical that people spend years perfecting the art of recording a real amp and then scoff at plugins when they can't replicate the tone with one in ten minutes... Fact is, it's entirely possible to get some pretty great sounds from a plugin, and it'll be just as difficult to replicate that tone when the situation is reversed.

To sum things up, I can't make my white girlfriend into an asian girlfriend, but I can dress her up like one, and that'll be fun and different. And vice versa. So if the guy just wants to dress up his white girlfriend, don't tell him to go get an asian instead, because it's really expensive, it's huge pain in the ass, and he'd have to learn how to use a totally different machine.
Old 15th May 2012 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinline ➑️
Did some further testing with the Softube Vintage Amp Room.
In the mixing stage the Amplitube Twin model still sounded better. The Twins uper frequencies are so detailed and workable, easy to get rid of the fizz but still get a clear sound. VAR has more meat, but the higher frequencies sound one-dimensional in the mix. Should note also that i found only the green (vox) model usable in the VAR.
Guess i can keep the cash.

Downloaded also the scuffham s-gear, but haven't had the time to test it.
There is a reason Fender, Orange, Ampeg, Soldano and the upcoming ****** amps all trust AmpliTube's sound enough to official license our gear models.

When the people who make these amps say we're the best, its for a reason.
Old 15th May 2012
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Jayrawk's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Is the reason for the officlal license partly for money or is the reason for offical license soley based on the quality of the emulations? Do these companies get a piece of the sales for their models through the custom shop? I am not claiming the emulations are not good, in fact they are. I am just curioius if the quality of the emulations alone are why the companies choose ik multimedia. I am guessing the ****** is for bogner, am I right?
Old 15th May 2012
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
gavriloP's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You have to remember that amp manufacturers are in business to sell real amps. So these endorsements and licenses are a form of marketing for them. Actually it is better for them if the emulations aren't 100%, because then there are more reasons to buy a real one

But I have to say I bought few amplitube fender models from custom shop because they are nice for that fender sound, even though I have S-gear too
Old 15th May 2012 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkjurai ➑️
Come on - totally missing the point. For the sake of argument, lets disregard the astronomical comparative costs of one good real amp and the cost of all the recording gear you'd need and the difficulty of finding a place where you can turn up loud enough that's also quiet enough to record in (hello NYC traffic)... I'm gonna rant here.

A typical scenario in amp modeling is, listen to a good recording of a good amp in a good sounding room, then go into your software and try to emulate it. You can get pretty damn close, and if you make a couple judgement calls, you can definitely get something that may be a little different from where you started, but still works well in the context of your end product. But what if you flip the scenario? Sit there and get a couple really good sounds with just a couple plugins. Then, go out into the "real world" and try to recreate it. Incidentally, you probably don't own the Matchless Chieftain or the 5150, and you probably don't have a soundproof live room that you can carry around in your laptop case.

In any case, one scenario should be just about as baffling as the other. It's hypocritical that people spend years perfecting the art of recording a real amp and then scoff at plugins when they can't replicate the tone with one in ten minutes... Fact is, it's entirely possible to get some pretty great sounds from a plugin, and it'll be just as difficult to replicate that tone when the situation is reversed.

To sum things up, I can't make my white girlfriend into an asian girlfriend, but I can dress her up like one, and that'll be fun and different. And vice versa. So if the guy just wants to dress up his white girlfriend, don't tell him to go get an asian instead, because it's really expensive, it's huge pain in the ass, and he'd have to learn how to use a totally different machine.
I've been playing guitar for 49 years now, what I like amp simulators for is so some of my clients can get something down at home and then we reamp here and get a real sound. That's about it. And maybe you can't replicate the tone in 10 minutes, I haven't really run up against that. And yes I have a soundproof room, and quite a few very nice amps. Everytime I've ever A/B'ed between the real thing and a modeler it never was that close. If you really want good sounding amp simulation, go get either Bruce Egnater's module system or a Randall RM series and pick the tones you want
Old 15th May 2012
  #20
Here for the gear
 
Darren Jenkins's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
There's nothing like the real thing but Peavey's Revalver comes close.
Old 17th May 2012 | Show parent
  #21
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab ➑️
I've been playing guitar for 49 years now, what I like amp simulators for is so some of my clients can get something down at home and then we reamp here and get a real sound. That's about it. And maybe you can't replicate the tone in 10 minutes, I haven't really run up against that. And yes I have a soundproof room, and quite a few very nice amps. Everytime I've ever A/B'ed between the real thing and a modeler it never was that close. If you really want good sounding amp simulation, go get either Bruce Egnater's module system or a Randall RM series and pick the tones you want
I'll show you something I just whipped up that you might find interesting. I actually did it to make a separate post from this, specifically pertaining to the subject.

Strictly for educational purposes, I was messing around with some stems of a Paramore song. I don't exactly know where they came from. Anyway, I decided to remove the original guitars, model them myself, and replace them.

I'm not gonna say the two of them sound identical - For one thing, I'm using a different guitar with different pickups, and I was too lazy to bother putting on new strings or tuning down to Drop C#, so I just voiced the chords in standard tuning and inverted the C#. But the point isn't really to sound identical to the original, the point is just to be functionally identical in the mix.

First, the real guitars. Then, the chorus with guitars removed. Then, the chorus with modeled guitars added back in. (Side note, the modeled guitars are done with Softube Vintage, into Logic's compressor, then EQ, and a room reverb). So let me know what you think.

For my own personal comments, they sound different for sure... The guitar tuning and voicing would've gone a long way towards giving the modeled guitars a little bit more depth - I just pounded out some power chords. After that, I feel like the real guitars have a better transient attack - I'm pretty sure a bus compressor across the guitars would fix that.

In the end, the question is basically, if those guitars got swapped in for the real ones, would it have made any difference in record sales? I honestly kind of doubt it. But anyway, I wanna reiterate that I'm only putting this material out there for educational purposes - I don't wanna get in trouble if I'm not supposed to be using that stuff =P

I kinda want to make a separate post with this stuff though. I'm still not saying one is better than the other, but for what it's worth, I did it in my Hells Kitchen apartment on a laptop.
Attached Files

ParaCrush Real Guitars.mp3 (344.4 KB, 5574 views)

ParaCrush No Guitars.mp3 (344.4 KB, 5122 views)

ParaCrush Modeled Guitars.mp3 (344.4 KB, 5453 views)

Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkjurai ➑️
I'll show you something I just whipped up that you might find interesting. I actually did it to make a separate post from this, specifically pertaining to the subject.

Strictly for educational purposes, I was messing around with some stems of a Paramore song. I don't exactly know where they came from. Anyway, I decided to remove the original guitars, model them myself, and replace them.

I'm not gonna say the two of them sound identical - For one thing, I'm using a different guitar with different pickups, and I was too lazy to bother putting on new strings or tuning down to Drop C#, so I just voiced the chords in standard tuning and inverted the C#. But the point isn't really to sound identical to the original, the point is just to be functionally identical in the mix.

First, the real guitars. Then, the chorus with guitars removed. Then, the chorus with modeled guitars added back in. (Side note, the modeled guitars are done with Softube Vintage, into Logic's compressor, then EQ, and a room reverb). So let me know what you think.

For my own personal comments, they sound different for sure... The guitar tuning and voicing would've gone a long way towards giving the modeled guitars a little bit more depth - I just pounded out some power chords. After that, I feel like the real guitars have a better transient attack - I'm pretty sure a bus compressor across the guitars would fix that.

In the end, the question is basically, if those guitars got swapped in for the real ones, would it have made any difference in record sales? I honestly kind of doubt it. But anyway, I wanna reiterate that I'm only putting this material out there for educational purposes - I don't wanna get in trouble if I'm not supposed to be using that stuff =P

I kinda want to make a separate post with this stuff though. I'm still not saying one is better than the other, but for what it's worth, I did it in my Hells Kitchen apartment on a laptop.
when you make a recording is it for big record sales or to make the best recording you can. That argument holds absolutely no water. Are modelers useful? sure you can get a performance using them in your apartment and then re-amp in a real place,
Old 18th May 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Darkjurai, that stuff you posted is really impressive, with regards to how good modellers sound.

So what amp did you use in Softube's vintage amp room amp modeller? Sounds reall good and I wouldn't really mind to have that sound over the 'real' amp sound you recorded.
Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #24
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab ➑️
when you make a recording is it for big record sales or to make the best recording you can. That argument holds absolutely no water. Are modelers useful? sure you can get a performance using them in your apartment and then re-amp in a real place,
There are always practical limitations to making any recording, and "best" is entirely subjective. I bet with a little more subtle tweaking - and I'm just talking mild EQ, bus compression, and a fader ride - if you took the general listener in a scientifically prepared blind test with the examples just marked A and B, asking them if they prefer A, B, or no preference, you'd end up with a statistically inconclusive split between A and B, and a bunch of no preferences.

I'd say that the record sales argument does hold water when it comes to a band like that. If the recording quality was lacking, then it probably wouldn't have been the radio-friendly ear-candy that it is... and in that context, where the recording does matter, I think the modeled guitars stand up with the real guitars pretty well. Since "best" is entirely subjective but recording quality matters, then record sales is at the very least a quantifiable measure of the effectiveness of both the song and the recording in this specific instance. The intent when making a recording is to render the song in the most effective way possible. How would you go about measuring the effectiveness of a radio pop hit? If two different forms are potentially equally effective, then who's to say which is better?

I think people are afraid to step back and really figure out, at what point does this all become a psychosomatic effect similar to women buying a thousand dollar pair of high heels so they can feel good about themselves? It really just comes down to how sexy she is, and the only guys who are gonna notice a difference are the ones who know women's shoe designers, and ironically they're probably gay and not interested in her.

I'd be curious to hear someone with a real studio take as long as they want and get as close to those guitars as I got in about an hour in my apartment with my laptop. Then after, we could compare hypothetical invoices or something.
Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearowner ➑️
Darkjurai, that stuff you posted is really impressive, with regards to how good modellers sound.

So what amp did you use in Softube's vintage amp room amp modeller? Sounds reall good and I wouldn't really mind to have that sound over the 'real' amp sound you recorded.
Thanks - it's the Vintage White with a compressor and EQ after.

Also, the real guitar amps are the originals from the song. I didn't record them myself - I wish I did.
Old 18th May 2012 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiK ➑️
There is a reason Fender, Orange, Ampeg, Soldano and the upcoming ****** amps all trust AmpliTube's sound enough to official license our gear models.

When the people who make these amps say we're the best, its for a reason.
Old 18th May 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Webb's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not sure what your budget is, but I've been extremely happy with the Axe FX II. It's just so versatile and the sounds are very convincing. And Fractal Audio as a company is constantly striving to improve it. As some like to say "Firmware 6.0 made things 100% more real-er!".
Old 18th May 2012
  #28
Gear Addict
 
sscannon's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I usually only use amp sims when I'm mixing. They can be useful for adding size and color to an already recorded track, or adding punch or clarity without just grabbing an eq. One of my favorites is the age-old Sansamp in Pro Tools. Also useful on bass, vocals, and tons of other stuff.
Old 18th May 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
uncle muscles's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Vintage amp room is hard to get right but when you do get it right it's amazing. Out of all of them though eleven is king.
Old 18th May 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
henge's Avatar
Loving Scuffham here!
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 265 views: 56127
Avatar for Peter - IK
Peter - IK 21st March 2013
replies: 304 views: 48812
Avatar for Ingresso
Ingresso 24th January 2017
replies: 180 views: 17542
Avatar for Bignatius
Bignatius 6th January 2021
replies: 1502 views: 147227
Avatar for musicman691
musicman691 27th January 2022
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump